gokart

This is a view of part of the current SIMA go-kart operation in Sumas. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

Planned are an expanded track, new entry, RV parking, more fencing and a pedestrian overpass  

SUMAS ­— Plans to expand the Sumas International Motorsport Academy (SIMA) go-kart track and facility are moving forward after the conditional-use permit submitted by Italian Motors USA was approved by the city in September. 

The plan is to expand the facility by extending the track and adding RV parking spaces with water and power hookups,  a new entry area and residential units. Also in the plan are storage sheds, pedestrian overpasses and fencing. 

Public comment on the expansion was taken to the end of August, with some citizens expressing concern about an anticipated rise in noise level that an expanded operation could bring. 

Sumas Mayor Kyle Christensen had said he wanted to have the noise concerns addressed prior to the approval of the conditional-use permit.

Italian Motors USA general manager Claudia Carpentier said she believes the expansion of the track would possibly bring down the noise level, with kart racing moved farther south, away from town. She also said that devices reducing exhaust noise are required for 2-stroke karts.

Adding space for overflow parking should ease that issue for larger events, she added.

Sumas International Motorsport Academy has been operating at 529 W. Front St., generally in an industrial area, since 2009 and is one of the largest racing facilities of its kind in North America. 

Italian Motors is a company of the Valiante family. This is a summary of how it developed, from the SIMA website: “Claudio Valiante purchased his first kart for son Michael Valiante 30 years ago, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The two raced at their local track, Westwood, where their weekend hobby quickly developed into a lifelong passion. Claudio began importing karts, engines and spare parts from his home country, Italy. Claudio and wife Beverley owned a European car repair shop that eventually transformed into a full-service kart shop. By Michael’s teen years, his older sister Claudia started karting and the entire family would be seen travelling across United States competing at all levels of karting.”