Top 5 motorsports events to see and do in Manitoba

Looking for something fun to do this summer? Check out these ideas

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An ATVer riding through a deep mud pit.

Make a splash in the mud pits at the Gimli Motorsports Park in Gimli, Manitoba. — photo courtesy Dave Dubchak

Manitoba, the province that sits right in the middle of Canada, offers up a full slate of fun things to see and do this summer—especially if you are a fan of motorsports. From drag races to mud bogs and motocross, the choices for two- and four-wheeled fanatics are many.

We’ve gone through some of the options and came up with five possible ways to spend your summer vacation in Manitoba. And here they are (in no particular order): 

1. Gimli Motorsports Park

Need an adrenalin fix? Visit the Gimli Motorsports Park. This 235-acre complex features a drag strip, a road racing course, a karting track, a motocross track, an ATV mud bog pit and an ATV racing course. The park plays host to the Manitoba Roadracing Association, which runs a five-round series starting in May. The Interlake Off Road Club also uses the park for its annual mud bog and obstacle course. This event usually takes place in mid-July. For more information about the Gimli Motorsports Park, visit the website.

A car lined up at the drag strip at Gimli Motorsports Park.

Drag races are held annually at the Gimli Motorsports Park. — photo courtesy Inga Robak

2. St. Jean ATV Derby

The St. Jean ATV Derby is a highly anticipated event that attracts more than 1,500 riders. Families and riders of all ages enjoy the 40-kilometre rally, which is followed by a barbecue and an evening of entertainment. And for those willing to get a little dirty, there is a mudcross event. Everyone is welcome and camping is available on site. The event is usually held in September. Keep an eye on the St. Jean ATV Derby website for this year’s dates.

Two ATVers going through a mud bog.

The two-day St. Jean ATV Derby includes a mudcross event. — Marc Gilmore photo

3. St. Labre 200

For something unique and original, head to the southeastern community of St. Labre for the annual St. Labre 200. This two-day event features a 24-hour go-kart build-off followed by a 200-lap race. And that’s not all. In addition to the main event, there is usually an excavator rodeo, a rubber boot toss competition, an arm wrestling competition, live music, fireworks and bonfires. All ages are welcome and camping is available. For more information, see the website.

Go-kart racers at the St. Labre 200 race.

The competitors build their vehicles on Day 1 of the event and on Day 2, they race to see who has the best go-kart. — Scott Kroeker Photography

4. Bison Classic Motorcycle Rally

If you love antique and vintage motorcycles, head to the town of Niverville (about 30 kilometres south of Winnipeg) for the annual Bison Classic Motorcycle Rally. The dates for this year are July 26 to 28, 2015. This event is organized by the Antique Motorcycle Club of Manitoba Inc. and it features a parade, a show ’n’ shine, a poker derby, door prizes, motorcycle games and free camping. This year, special trophies will be awarded to BMW bikes entered in the show ’n’ shine. For more information and to register, visit the website.

Vintage motorcycles in Manitoba.

Check out the finest collection of rare and vintage motorcycles in Manitoba at the Bison Classic Motorcycle Rally. — Tom Hesom photo

5. Manitoba Motocross Association

If you’ve got a bike and want to race, then the Manitoba Motocross Association is the club that will help get you started. This organization works to promote and grow the sport of MX by supporting racers, both amateaur and professional. For 2015, it will run a 14-round series, starting in May and ending in late September. A full schedule as well as information on how new racers can sign up is available on the Manitoba Motocross Association’s website.

Do you have something you’d like to add to our list of the top things to see and do in Manitoba? We’re actually looking for ideas for our next Summer Tour 2015 issue and we’d like to hear from you


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