With the closure of Autodrome St-Eustache, racing enthusiasts are wondering what the future holds for their beloved sport in Quebec. Building a racetrack is an insanely expensive endeavor but is there an alternative?
There exists an old racetrack on private property near the town of Bedford, Quebec which is visible on Google Earth. It was called Champion Speedway and was originally constructed as a dirt racing facility for stock cars in the 1960s. Around 1968 it was paved and they even built grand stands to support crowds of up to 4000 people.
The original owner was from Ontario and operated a number of these tracks along with gas stations and garages in the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, he accumulated a lot of debt and some of this property (including Champion Speedway) was auctioned off. The person who bought it is still the owner to this day! He operated it as a scrapyeard.
I spoke with François Choquette who is the owner’s son. He was very happy to talk about the history of the track and invited me to go have a look at it. He also pointed me to the the Stock Car Quebec website where some old photos could be found.
Choquette isn’t sure what will happen with the property but imagines eventually it’ll have to be sold. How cool would it be to crowdfund enough money to clear the trees and restore the track to its original glory? Maybe we could even host a drifting competition.
In reality it’s unlikely that is financially feasible but it’s fun to dream. Here are some old photos of the track during its prime and in its current state.
Thank you to Jacques Beaudry and Carl Prud’Homme who helped with this article.