When driver number 93 pulls up to the start of the Mission race track in his sleek black Van Diemen RF-02 on Saturday, it will mark the return of former rookie racer Andrew Dobbie of Langley.
Dobbie took up the sport in 2017, aiming to realize a childhood dream by racing a Formula Ford at the Mission track.
“It was something I was interested in and passionate about,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
The methodical Dobbie kept at it, and kept getting better.
By the time he finished his first season, Dobbie was named “Novice of the Year” by both the Sports Car Club of B.C. and the Confederation of Autosport Car Clubs.
“Maybe a bit of a natural,” he allowed.
In 2018, he had a good season, making multiple podium appearances.
Now, Dobbie has moved up from the F1600 to the F2000 class, which has bigger engines and ‘wings’ to help keep the faster cars on the roads.
With support from sponsor Madison Street Capital, Dobbie will compete in the Northwest FC Series and Pacific F2000 Championships.
“Launching a career in motorsports takes a great deal of preparation, track time, and financial support,” explained Dobbie.
“Partnering with Madison Street Capital will allow me to focus on developing my skills as a driver against top racing talent across the US and Canada.
In February, Andrew Dobbie Racing made its first trip to the Laguna Seca raceway in California.
After qualifying in the second row, he stayed in the front of the pack and made pass for the lead in the final corner to win the first race of the weekend in the Lucas Oil Formula Car Winter Series.
So far this year. he has won eight races, mostly on weekends.
“I still have my [day] job,” Dobbie advised.
Next year, he expects he will have to decide whether he becomes a full-time racer.
This coming weekend, Dobbie and a number of other Langley drivers will be competing in the Mission 25 Grand Prix at the Mission Raceway Park road course.
It marks the 25th anniversary of road racing at the Mission track, sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of B.C. (SCCBC) and features the return of the Northwest Formula Continental series for open wheel race cars.
Dobbie will be competing in the series both days with 20 other racers from B.C., Alberta and Washington state.
Langley racers Patrick Wilson and Stephen Ross were also expected to compete in the open wheel category.
All the other SCCBC classes will also be competing with over 120 entries for the weekend, and several Langley racers will be among them as well.
In the closed wheel category, the list includes Mike Gibson Chris Doodson, Duncan Anderson, Colin Hansen, Doug Seal and Norm Shaw.
Sports cars, sedans, open-wheel formula cars and high-performance GT racers will be competing.
Since it was founded, the SCCBC held driver training schools and lapping events in 1992 and 1993 but did not open for racing until 1994.
It estimates 1,800 people have benefited from more than 50 SCCB driver training schools, 150 race weekends have attracted more than 13,000 race entries.
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