Three generations of a Williams Lake auto racing family will be on the track together this Saturday night when Thunder Mountain Speedway hosts its Doug Larson Memorial, West Coast Vintage Racing and Mini Special.
Karl Seibert, his son, Trevor Seibert, and his grandson, Ryley Seibert, are all set to put the pedal to the pavement this weekend — each racing in their own West Coast Vintage open-wheel car — in their hometown.
The trio also raced together Wednesday evening in Prince George, and are slated to race together Friday evening in Quesnel before they hit the track in Williams Lake as part of the touring vintage car series.
“It’s pretty special,” Ryley told the Tribune. “Us three we’ve always been very close. We’ve always been at the race track together. If Trevor’s racing, Karl and I are there, or if I’m racing Karl and Trevor are there.
“I raced with Karl back in the street stock days at Thunder Mountain when he bought a car and raced with me for a season, and then I’ve raced with Trevor lots.”
Trevor, meanwhile, spent time racing with his dad in the 80s and 90s, but Ryley said it’s the first time all three of them have been on the track together in a sanctioned race series.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of people and to have three generations all together there is special, but to have us all on the track at the same time kicks it up another notch,” Ryley said.
At last year’s West Coast Vintage Racing in Williams Lake Trevor participated.
Cars are loaned to drivers in the series by Bob Wills, originally of Kamloops, who owns upwards of 20 of the modified 70s, 80s and 90s-era vintage cars.
“The series was originally kind of for an older group of gentlemen split through B.C. and the U.S. They run both an American series and a Canadian series,” Ryley said.
“The whole series was founded around racers from the 70s, 80s and 90s kind of getting back into racing and having fun with it again, but it’s transformed into quite a competitive series as they’ve started to invite out really great drivers.”
Ryley was invited to take part in the series at a race in Tucson, AZ. this past winter.
“I did quite well so they had a vote and allowed me to stay in the series, so now I’m racing full time with it this year and, kind of a last minute thing, they put a car together for Karl for these three races in the Cariboo.”
At the vintage race Wednesday in Prince George, Ryley won the ‘A’ main event after battling through car problems during practice.
“My car actually broke down twice in practice,” he said. “I only got two practice laps in then got it fixed just before qualifying, but I barely made it and wound up winning the ‘C’ dash, ‘B’ heat and ‘A’ main.”
Trevor, meanwhile, had brake issues, and wound up starting the ‘B’ main in the back row and needed to win to advance to the ‘A’ main.
“He managed to do that, lapping the field, but in the ‘A’ main the brake issues finally got to the point where they weren’t manageable anymore.”
In Williams Lake, roughly 24 vintage cars will be on the track to race in the series.
“It’s going to be quite the show,” Ryley said.
“I think the fans will really enjoy it. It’s been a lot of years since they’ve seen this kind of car count, and these things are really cool. They’re all vintage sprints from the 70s up to mid 90s and a mixture of all the different designs from people playing with them: sprint cars, roadsters – they’re all mixed in and it’ll be a treat for the fans to see all those cars out there.”
Ryley, Trevor and Karl each have an extensive background in stock car racing locally and abroad, with Ryley and Trevor most recently racing at the Canadian NASCAR level.
Of the vintage cars, Ryley said it’s a totally different beast.
“I really enjoy it,” he said. “It takes a whole, different skill set in driving but it’s transferable from everything I’ve done in my career. The cars are high horsepower, low weight and very twitchy. You have to have very quick muscle reaction and hand co-ordination is massive. They’re very easy to spin out. Having them on the edge is a very cool learning tool for how to push a car.”
He said having become accustomed to 300-lap main events in stock car racing, the vintage sprint cars are toned down to a 30- to 50-lap main event.
“The spring is the whole deal,” he said.
“You’ve got to be as quick as you can for 30 laps.”
Also in action, Saturday night at Thunder Mountain Speedway will feature the final points event for bone stock and pro mini classes.
Pit gates open at 9 a.m., the spectator gate starts at 3 p.m. Qualifying laps begin at 4 p.m., with racing to get underway at 5 p.m.