Before we launch into the coming rant about how completely and utterly inane this potential decision to uphold a proposed ban on drifting at a race track is, we must state that the few times we ever went to Altamont Speedway in Altamont, California was for the Pumpkin Smash 400. The track was watered and soaped down, pumpkins were strewn onto all four corners, and a collection of the most dented cars ever assembled turned it all into a soupy mess of smash-up mayhem for 400 laps. This race is a wildly popular event.
Let the Kids Drift
Drifting is also wildly popular. The key difference is at the drift events we've been to there are many more spectators buying coilovers, RC cars, and churros then there are swilling beer and falling over. We politely remind Karin Rivard, the woman in the video complaining about alleged post-race track activities, and who looks as if she may be constipated, that she moved in next to a race track. A motorsports facility. A place where people go to race machines. These people that come to race also occasionally stay overnight in the same RV they used to tow their race cars to the race track. Overnight camping is another activity which Karin, her Hubby, and their Lawyer also want banned.
Not a Motorsports Fan
Thus two people and their lawyer have somehow forced the Board of Supes to potentially uphold a drifting and overnight parking ban at the race track. Mark and Karin Rivard seem to be the sole members of a group called "Community for a Better Altamont". Despite the images of eagles and baby foxes on their web site and in their newsletters, these folks seem to have a personal vendetta against Altamont Speedway, which they moved in next to in 2005. The race track was established in 1966. The ultimate irony is that Mark Rivard himself evidently cared nothing about the baby foxes when he constructed a personal motocross race track on his adjacent to Altamont Speedway property. The board of supes already ruled drifting and overnight camping were OK back in March, but the Rivards appealed the decision.
This excerpt from the Tracy Press back in March.
"The Rivards purchased a plot of land next to the track in 1999. Rivard, an executive at a staffing firm as well as a self-proclaimed former motocross racer, built a motocross track as well as a house on the property. He and his family moved there in December 2005, shortly after Lakeside Motorsports-Altamont, LLC — a group of investors that includes Bay Area businessmen and a Burbank developer — purchased the track.
Neither Rivard nor other members of Community for a Better Altamont returned calls seeking comment. Condren said he expects them to continue fighting the track.
'To the Rivards, Altamont Motorsports Park is an absolute," he said. "There is no middle ground — they want it absolutely gone. And that is not an option.'"
Source: <a href="http://tracypress.com/content/view/8396/2/
">Tracy Press March 23 2007 [tracypress.com]
Everything lay in the balance today. The drifters involved plan to win this battle, and take it all the way to the Governator if the Rivards and their Lawyer manage to pull baby foxes through loopholes. The irony of all this is that the time-proven way to get racing off the streets is to give people a place to do it - such as a race track. The commercial at the beginning of the KTVU news video states: "There are endless choices of where you can drive in California." Not for long with people like Mark and Karin Rivard. Always support your local race track. If you don't like racing, then building a house next door to a race track is probably not a great plan.
KTVU News Video [ktvu.com]
Community for a Better Altamont [betteraltamont.org]
County to Decide on Appeal Over Altamont Drifting [tracypress.com]
Alameda County Board of Supervisors [acgov.org]
Contact the Governator [gov.ca.gov]
SUPER GLOBAL ALL-STAR DRIFTING BATTLE! [Internal]