Verbatim: Dominic Young, sophisticated gearhead
A Very Racey Business
by Tim Querengesser
Position: President and CEO, Rockyview Motorsports
Vehicle: 2014 Porsche Cayenne S
Vehicle Pictured: 2013 Porsche 911
Dominic Young is a retired accountant who owns European sports cars. Naturally, then, he’s trying to build a four-kilometre, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile sanctioned racetrack on a 640-hectare field outside of Airdrie. Well, perhaps that’s not natural. But Young is confident his dream is economically viable. The reason is demand.
Calgary’s Race City Motorsports Park, opened in 1985, built a racing culture in the city, which flourished around the dragstrip and oval. But it closed in 2011. Young sees opportunity to serve those who lamented Race City’s demise. His proposal, however, is different – a European style road course without a dragstrip or an oval, where club racers will rent the track, the Calgary police will train newbies on car control, Olds College will use surplus land to study wetlands and every once in a while, a big race event will add some thunder. Young explained his vision to Alberta Venture.
“The main objective is to provide a venue for motorsports enthusiasts to enjoy the sport. There are about 35 car and motorcycle clubs in the Calgary region, and today there’s nowhere to enjoy that sport.
“Myself and my partner, Dan Patrin, are the two principals on the project and we were the ones that initiated development. Since then we’ve raised a substantial amount of private equity from individuals and companies. Most of that equity comes in once the [construction] approvals are in place. The first raise was $6 million, and then we’ll have a second round of probably another $6-8 million. Total capital cost of the actual race facility itself is about $40 million. Then the related development of car condos and garages would add another $20-$25 million.”
“A car condo is not intended to be a residence. It’s intended to be a place where guys can either store or work on their vehicles. And then it would typically have some entertainment facilities associated with it as well. Some folks might call that a ‘man-cave.’ ”
“We’ve had a public open house and we had over 200 people attend. The reaction from the crowd was predominately supportive. There were certainly maybe about a dozen people who had questions and concerns that we tried to address.”
“A noise study was done on the basis that there were 30 vehicles using the track at the same time. It takes into account the unrealistic condition of noise blowing out in every direction, being carried by wind. And really, quite candidly, the noise is much less than most people would expect. It comes in between 60 and 65 decibels at the borders of our facility.”
“The primary reason that we haven’t got a formal quarter-mile dragstrip as part as the project comes down to economics. We’ve raised equity and the folks that are contributing are really road-racing fans, and are buying into the project because they want a world-class road-race facility. We didn’t find anyone that was prepared to put any substantial money in for a quarter mile dragstrip.” – As told to Tim Querengesser