The second race of the year for the Rumble On The Runway proved to be a huge success on July 15 to 16.
Organized by the North Island Timing Association, the July edition of Rumble On The Runway took place at the Port McNeill Airport, featuring a complete race program on July 15 and a separate race on July 16. The race saw the participation of 97 cars, attracting racers from various parts of Vancouver Island, including Victoria, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Campbell River, and more, introduced by Chris Sharpe, the president of North Island Timing Association and the race director of the Rumble On The Runway.
“We had both female and male racers, as well as a program called Junior Dragster for underage drivers,” Sharpe said. “We also had a fellow from Iran who was doing a blog. He was travelling and stayed for the whole race program. He’s going to put our program on his blog, which was really interesting. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also came and visited us. We gave them a tour and they were very happy and impressed with how the program was run. They liked what they saw.”
The Port McNeill and Hyde Creek Fire Departments also came out to support the races and ensure safety for everyone involved. Moreover, the weather during the weekend was perfect for racing, Sharpe said.
Port McNeill Airport efficiently accommodated both the races and the regular air traffic. Whenever planes needed the runway, the race organizers would pause the competition, ensuring a harmonious collaboration between the two activities. Even the helicopters flying by received friendly waves from the crowd below.
The race also had a positive impact on the local economy, tourism, and the community, according to Sharpe. With around 85 participants coming from outside the town, the race brought in a significant number of visitors, each accompanied by an average of three people. More than half of these visitors contributed to the local economy, supporting businesses in the community by purchasing fuel, food, groceries, and dining at restaurants.
“We noticed when we went around and talked to our sponsors of our program, they were extremely happy,” Sharpe said. “They definitely noticed the increase in business during the race weekend. It’s very noticeable to them. They support us pretty much because the event gives so much payback to them.”
Sharpe also expressed gratitude to the community for its support.
“The community support is always excellent. It always exceeds our expectations.”