A competitor in the 2018 Fernie Demolition Derby. All photos by Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

GALLERY: 2018 Fernie Demolition Derby a smashing success

Over 3500 people attended the derby on Sunday, with all proceeds going to the Fernie Lions Club

All cars lined up side by side, drivers with one hand on their steering wheel, one hand out the window to show they’re ready.

Each car is decorated with war paint and reinforced with steel bars and chains, ready for battle.

A loud horn sounds and they’re off, each driver taking off in a different direction, circling around before finding a target and racing towards it. Their goal; to be the last car running.

It’s all about driving well, avoiding getting hit, and having a good mechanic, said winner of the small car heat, Brendan Mcaulay.

“Feels great, I’m pretty pumped,” said Mcaulay after arriving back in the pits following his victory on Sunday.

Mcaulay has been participating in the Fernie Demolition Derby for nine years, and knows what it takes to secure a win.

He proudly showed off his Dodge Neon, one of the cars which he keeps refurbishing and reusing for future demo derbys. In previous years, the veteran has also won in the trucks division.

This year, Mcaulay took second. He admitted there was some good competition, with several groups racing well built vehicles.

“I think I just got lucky down at the end, they blew up before I did,” he said.

Before the horn blows to start the match, Mcaulay says the adrenaline rush is almost sickening.

“Oh, you’ve got the jitters, you almost want to throw up a little bit,” he said.

“But after that first hit, it’s on.”

In the truck heat, Aaron Teslak took home first place. Lydon Franzreb took first in the main event, ahead of second place winner Neil Wynacht and third place winner Clayton Wheeldon.

Most aggressive driver award for the 2018 Demo Derby went to Nick Fedechko.

The Fernie Demolition Derby is a long-standing tradition and has been held annually for around 45 years.

More than 1000 cars have been pounded, pulped and punished since it began. The event is traditionally held over Labour Day weekend and this year was no different.

Over 3500 people attended the derby on Sunday, with all proceeds going to the Fernie Lions Club.

Over the years, almost half a million dollars has been raised. The 50/50 draw this year was a whopping $3593.50.

One of the event organizers, Chuck Shoesmith, said he thought this year’s derby went extremely well.

“Every year we get better and better, a bit more polished,” he said.

Shoesmith said in order to make this event happen, it takes the dedication of a core group of people, most of whom have been helping out with the event for over 15 years.

“From this event, we get at least $50,000. which we end up giving back into the community for various things,” said Shoesmith.

“Anybody that really needs it, we’re there for them.”

Visit Facebook.com/freepressbc for video highlights of this year’s demolition derby.


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