As soon as next year

NASCAR in North Surrey?

Group has preliminary nod to create a NASCAR Canadian Tire Series here

A group is looking to bring Canadian NASCAR racing to Surrey.

Ryan O’Connor, president of the Children’s Charities Racing Society, told The Leader Wednesday he’s aiming to bring the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series to Surrey in the next couple of years.

“We’ve been in discussions for three to six months as an organizing group, trying to figure out how we can approach this,” O’Connor said.

The plan is to use King George Boulevard from 104 Avenue 100 as the straight-away for the high-powered stock cars.

Two options exist from there.

The course could veer west, around the back side of the City Central tower, or go east, through the commercial and residential areas of Guildford.

O’Connor said there are pros and cons to each route.

“What are the main conflicts of the zones, in terms of traffic, people, fire and rescue, transit and all those other things?” O’Connor said.

He said the difference between the major NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) events, such as those held in Las Vegas, and the Canadian Tire series, is similar to the difference between major and minor league baseball.

O’Connor and his partners met with the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association (DSBIA) on Tuesday to discuss the plan.

“It’s going to impact different businesses in a different way,” DSBIA Executive Director Elizabeth Model told The Leader. “Everyone will be unique.”

The group pitching the idea has to seek approval from individual businesses in the area over the coming months.

O’Connor says has spoken to Surrey staff, but not city council as of yet.

He noted he has early approval from the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series about his aimn to start an event in Surrey.

“Yes, they’ve indicated an interest in it, and they want to see our business plans,” O’Connor said. “We have to show all parties, from the city to NASCAR to the sponsors… that this is a viable event.”

That has to be done on three platforms, he said. They include; the economic benefit to the community and the business model for financing the race; the environmental sustainability of the event; and the social contribution.

The latter, he said, will include donations to charity as part of the event.

The group wants the flags to drop in July 2012, but it remains flexible regarding the timeline.

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