Burning rubber at the Airport Drags

Legends Car Club held their 16th annual Charity Airport Drags on Aug. 18 and 19 at the Altona Municipal Airport. Thousands of race fans and adrenaline junkies turned up for the event, which featured everything from high output nitrous oxide cars, like the ones pictured here driven by Ray (Chopper) Friesen and Rod Fehr, to classic generic cars, motorcycles and even snowmobiles. Sixty competitors a day, made up of veteran racers and newcomers displayed some mega horsepower, burning rubber on the 1/8 mile tarmac, competing for prize money, bragging rights, and a chance to support important local causes. CAREY KEHLER

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Another great fundraising event is in the books for the Legends Car Club.
The 16th annual Charity Airport Drags took place Aug. 18 and 19, drawing thousands of race fans and adrenaline junkies to the Altona Municipal Airport for two full days of roaring action.
Sixty paid entries per day took on the 1/8th mile track to compete for prizes and bragging rights. They were there for the thrill of it, but they were also happy to be part of an event which supports two very important local causes: Genesis House in Winkler and South Central Cancer Resource of Morden. Fifty per cent of the profits are divided between these two charities.
Race committee co-chair Don Elias says while the final tallies from the racer fees, gate admission and other donations are not in yet, the club is hoping they’ll exceed last year’s donations.
“Last year we had a net profit of $16,000, and were able to give each charity $4,000. In the last 14 years, the SCCR alone has received over $200,000 from us, so you can only imagine how many people that has helped. They spend $40,000 a year just for transportation. With cancer rates now at 1 in 4, it’s an organization we need to support.”
Genesis House also had a 50/50 draw and raised an additional $550.
A cold shack run by Clara Dyck and the food booth run by The Bunker were kept busy all weekend. “We were selling gelato that’s made in Altona, but no one knew what it was, and nothing was happening. Once we started promoting it as homemade ice cream made in Altona, and that you get a free wooden spoon with every container, we sold 200!”
Elias says their 36 sponsors have helped them keep the prices the same for the last 16 years.
There were a number of first time winners over the weekend. “It was a tremendous competition,” he says. “We had a 1,000cc motorcycle from La Broquerie run a 5.85, which is incredible. His speed was 122 miles per hour.”
Father/son team Robert and Kieran Loewen were both running snowmobiles over 100 miles an hour. Ray (Chopper) Friesen set an all-time record of 4.363 seconds and 165.38 miles per hour in the eighth mile.
Elias says the community effort and support can’t be emphasized enough. “We had so many out-of-towners attend for the first time this year, and they all raved about this community, and how well the races are run. The Club 75 youth from Morris did security. The Altona Elks took care of the parking. The local first responders were there for safety. Triple E and Lode King gave out 250 free tickets to their staff to bring them here. This is more than just a bunch of cars racing. This has become an annual tradition for a lot of people. I’d say this event is really uniting southern Manitoba.”
Elias wants to thank all the volunteers and club members for making the weekend run so smoothly. “Thanks also to our announcing team, Henry Hiebert, Kel Neufeld and Karl Krebs. Thanks to the drags organizing committee for the many hours of meetings, the set up and tear down we did in record time, and our great sound team Accusound, who did an excellent job.”