1988 purchased Fiat 131 (found in a back alley!) stripped it,
added safety equipment and went ice racing on the frozen lakes of British Columbia’s interior
with an all family crew. Darren’s young wife Margo and his father Garth were his main supporters
early on but brothers Dan and Dave and many friends helped out as well. Darren won seven races
in 30 starts allowing him to claim rookie of the year honors in the rear wheel drive
and 1990 Bought an Australian built Bowin Formula Ford to race in the semi-pro Canon/Yokohama road racing series in B.C.
and Alberta. Enjoyed the transition to pavement racing in a touring series, and participated in
the very last race at the famous and now defunct Westwood Motorsports Park.
Continued ice racing during the winters in an open category Scirroco (Fiat was
sold), winning several races over the two seasons. Also, just to say we’d done it, raced the
Scirroco at the Knox Mtn Hillclimb in 1989.
Darren attended the Jim Russel race school in 1990 at
the Laguna Seca race course in California to further develop skills.
& 1992 The cost of The Formula Ford series proved too great for Darren and his growing
family, and sponsorship was difficult to find in the open wheel world at that level. A move to
the Player’s GM series was considered by Darren and his Dad because of the greater sponsorship
opportunities, and a deal on a one year old Camaro had been almost settled, but rumors of the
series future demise kept Darren from jumping in. Too bad, as it was a great
Instead, a change in direction to the world of oval track Stock Cars proved a good
move at the time. The races were closer to home, the costs were lower (at first) and the
value to local sponsors helped with the financial burden. Several races were won, and lots of
experience gained (especially doing body work) over the two seasons in the Street Stock
division. Darren’s road racing and ice racing experience proved extremely valuable in the
oval track world where you are always at the very limit of traction and car
Speaking of ice racing, this was the same time that the spec Chevette series was
formed. Darren thrived in this environment. The combination of the equalization of car
preparation rules and a return to the rear wheel drive that he loves netted many, many race
wins and three championships over the next six or seven seasons.
& 1994 After lots of success in street stocks, Darren wanted to move up a division to
the Sportsman class. A Pontiac Ventura was purchased from Shane Charleton, and the old motor
from the street stock was dropped in. Again the team found success, winning Rookie of the year
in 1993, and several wins over the two seasons. This success just fueled the fire more. A move
up to the extremely fast Late Model division was on the horizon.
During the Sportsman years, Darren met Roy Cobden at the ice races during the winter. Roy joined the team for the
summer months to help on the stock car and quickly showed his technical knowledge and thirst for
more. Roy’s abilities with car preparation gave Darren the confidence to make the move to the
more complicated Late Models and together they started to build a car for the 1995
to 1999 The Late Model Super stock years. They actually won the very first race they entered
with the new Camaro Late Model. It was a heat race at Spanaway Speedway in Washington. Darren,
wife Margo and Roy went to that first big race just the three of them and really knew no one at
this race track that was far from home. It was a very small, surreal and immensely satisfying
victory celebration. The team travelled all around the northwest for a couple of years with the
Budweiser All Star Tour. They learned a ton; particularly with regard to logistics and chassis
set-up. By the end of the five year run with that type of car they were very comfortable and won
several races, including all four of the Thrifty Foods series races at Penticton Speedway in 1998 and 1999.
During this period Darren also ran in a couple of road race events at Mission
Raceway near Vancouver and Race City in Calgary. This was just to keep up his road racing
license and, of course, because it’s fun.
to 2007 The CASCAR years. Darren had become anxious to move up to a professional series and
the decision was made between Darren, Roy and Darren’s dad, Garth to move into the very
competitive and expensive CASCAR Super Series (now called the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series). The media coverage was much greater than
anything else around and included some television.
There were many highs during this high profile time period. Pole positions, fastest
laps, best appearing car awards, many podium finishes and out right race wins in CASCAR’s
Sportsman division to name a few.
By 2007, the Western Canadian portion of the series was squashed by the sanctioning
body, so the car was sold and a step back to the Sportsman division was considered. The
economy and business concerns fragmented the team that had been built through the years as
many moved to other areas. So even the Sportsman program was put on hold in the
Summary: Darren has over 20 years of race experience now. He
has over 100 race wins in stock cars, open wheel formula cars and sports cars on pavement and
ice, on ovals and road courses.
Future: For 2012 and beyond Darren will be returning to the race track. The desire to
compete is stronger than ever and new venues and challenges will be sought
A VW Golf sedan is currently under
construction for a return to ice racing, and more production-car based road racing ventures are
being considered as well. Stay tuned….