Believe it or not, motorsports in Alberta are actually quite easy to get into! And not only that, there is a wide variety to try out. In the warmer months, autoX, drifting and the track are the go to places for motorsports enthusiasts. While winter has its own rallyX..on ice. Most of the clubs that are hosting competitive events also offer inexpensive schools at the beginning of the season that will be beneficial to drivers of all skill levels.
Most of these events only require an approved helmet and a car in good working condition. It's good to keep in mind though, you will not have insurance while participating in the competitive events, so try not to be too overzealous your first time out!
The ultimate test of car control. AutoX (Auto Cross) is a small track marked out by cones usually held in a parking lot. It will challenge both you and your vehicle as you race against the clock around a tricky course full of turn arounds, slaloms, and sweeping curves. Usually costs $40 for entry.
Calgary Area - Southern Alberta Solosport Club and Calgary Sports Car Club
Red Deer Area - Red Deer Sports Car Club
Edmonton Area - Alberta Solo Association and Northern Alberta Sports Car Club
Here's an Autox video from our Standard Shift instructor, Orrin. Nice driving!
Winter Rally X / Ice Driving Schools
You'll be surprised how fun winter driving can be after some experience on the ice. Winter Rally X is popular event among Albertan enthusiasts, so grab a friend and register early to get a spot. Much like AutoX, RallyX is a course usually marked out by cones (or plowed out in snow) on either a lake or large area. The ice is checked for thickness before every event, but it is still at your own risk. On the ice you will learn more about your car in five minutes than years of driving on the street. You will learn the difference proper tires make and quickly identify the cause and effects of improper driving technique. RallyX skills transfer over into daily winter driving and cause dramatic improvements in a driver's confidence and driving skill. For those more interested in simply learning basics of winter driving, there are full blown winter driving schools held on Ghost Lake west of Calgary. There's almost always an instructor beside you, describing what your vehicle is doing and how to correct it. An amazing experience we want all Albertans to take part in.
Edmonton Area - Edmonton Rally Club and Northern Alberta Sports Car Club
Calgary Area - Calgary Sports Car Club
Driving School - Southern Alberta Solosport Club with an explanatory article here.
Below is a video of our instructor, Orrin, pre-running the course at one of the S.A.S.C ice schools.
Drifing, Drag Racing, RallyX
More great options for enthusiasts. Expect lots of car wear and good times! Other than random annual events across Alberta, the best place to try out these events are at Castrol Raceway in Nisku with the various car clubs that manage the events.
Drifting - Spec D
Rally X - Edmonton Rally Club
Drag Racing - Castrol Raceway
Time Attack / Lapping
If you have a need for speed, the track is a great place to go. Castrol Raceway has a 2.7km road course full of high speed turns, kinks, and even a few straights. Your fist time out can be quite intimidating, but don't worry, you'll have an instructor with you at all times until they believe you can go off on your own and drive safely on the track. All passing for these events are done by point by only and drivers are put into run groups based on skill, this allows for everyone to be safe and have fun lap after lap. Around $200 - $300 per entry.
Castrol Raceway with Track Junkies