Right in the heart of idyllic Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is a world-class raceway, a Federation Internationale de l’Automobile-designed track with five combinations for different activities, of Formula One quality, but laying resplendent amidst waves of scenic greenery.
Peter Trzewik and Sylvester Chuang of Gain Vancouver Island had a dream of creating a place where their clients could drive their cars at high speeds and, after some thought, they hit upon a seminal notion: employ Hermann Tilke, founder of Tilke Engineers and Architects, arguably the world’s most renowned and respected Formula One track designer, responsible for, among others, the tracks at Bahrain International Circuit, Shanghai International Circuit, Istanbul Park, and Valencia Street Circuit. Trzewik, himself an accomplished driver with plenty of links to the German auto industry, connected with the Tilke team and convinced them to pay a visit to the proposed site. Though undoubtedly tired from a long trip that also took them to the States and Mexico, after spending 36 hours on the island, Trzewik says they couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful it was and that they wanted in. The exciting project opened in June.
The Circuit site is only a few kilometres off the Trans-Canada Highway, not far from Duncan, and not so far, either, from Nanaimo. This is a vital part of the overall plan, since potential members of the Motorsport Circuit will have access to the tracks, the clubhouse, and the newly (and splendidly) renovated and soon-to-be-reopened Villa Eyrie located between Victoria and Duncan. The options are not limited, but as Trzewik describes it, “You can arrive in Nanaimo, or in Victoria. We will get you to your accommodations and arrange transport to the track.” There are many options for accommodation, but Villa Eyrie is ideally located, and is owned by the resort. “You can golf in the morning, race in the afternoon, or vice versa,” says Trzewik. “You can have a wonderful evening at the resort, and be ready for the next day.” One of the Circuit’s big advantages is that it is the only one in Canada that is virtually a 365-day-a-year facility. Similar setups are seasonal; others are extreme distances away. Membership has plenty of advantages, including 25 years of driving club privileges, access to the clubhouse restaurant any day of the year, and, for an extra fee, an on-site vehicle storage facility.
Professional instructors, including celebrity guests, and a driving academy are available. State-of-the-art technology allows each lap’s performance specifications to be analyzed, showing drivers where they are doing well and where they can stand to improve. Multiple elevation changes, 19 corners, variants in corner banking degrees, seven different track configurations, all are part of this wonderland for drivers. There is even an off-road track with 10 elements, also designed by Tilke. Trzewik is now able to share his passion for beautiful cars and high-performance driving with members of the Circuit, who in turn can bring guests, and create bespoke driving experiences. Full throttle, Formula One-style fun.
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