Grand River Raceway track expansion to proceed this fall

Plans have been in place for years for a 'multi-million dollar' transformation to a 5/8-mile track

ELORA – Work is expected to begin this fall on a multi-million dollar project to expand the track at the Grand River Raceway here.

Officials announced on April 26 the raceway is moving ahead with longstanding plans to transform the current half-mile oval into a 5/8-mile track.

“This is a great opportunity … and we are eager to begin working on this project,” stated facilities manager Doug McCaig in a press release.

“The track expansion is a strong addition to the racing community here in Elora and the surrounding area.”

Raceway manager Chad Rozema told the Advertiser a larger track, with “wider, sweeping turns,” will lead to “more speed, more action and more flow” in races, improving the overall experience for both fans and race participants.

Asked about the cost of the expansion, Rozema said only that it is a “multi-million dollar project,” which will be funded entirely by Ontario Racing’s capital improvement fund.

In 2021, raceway officials told the media the project would cost about $2 million.

The expansion, Rozema explained, will also include “fantastic” new LED lighting, as well as new timer boxes.

The limestone screening surface will be recycled and expanded.

The track’s stretch drive and finish line will remain in the same location, with the track’s turns and backstretch being “pushed out” from the current configuration, said Rozema.

He noted the larger track was always the plan for Grand River Raceway, and serious discussions about the expansion began in 2020 and 2021, though they were put on hold for a number of reasons.

The general contractor for the project is Thoume Construction in Ariss, while GM BluePlan Engineering Limited is the engineer and track consultants Dan and Greg Coon will also be involved.

Preliminary site work is set to begin on Aug. 14 with the project to get underway in the fall.

Rozema said this season will not be impacted by the expansion and the new 5/8-mile track will be completed by the end of next April, in time for the start of the 2024 season.

This season, the Elora track’s 20th, and last as a half-mile oval, will begin on June 2.

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