Responsible and Responsive Sound Management

Our business is centered around the passion for high performance vehicles, driver training, safety and
education. As such, we are continually striving to mitigate sound impacts associated with our operation.

Our location and zoning permits reasonable noise. Our business is currently located in a zone that allows heavy industrial and commercial/recreational activities. We are situated immediately adjacent to the Cowichan Lake Highway, which is a busy thoroughfare for logging trucks, transport trucks and family vehicles heading into Cowichan Lake. It is also on the flight path for aircraft heading into Victoria International Airport. A concrete making facility, recycling plant and soil preparation businesses are our neighbours – each with fleets of trucks providing these essential services to the area. Noise is present all around us. Despite the existing presence of noise, our vehicle engines are introducing a different type of sound.

Understanding sound – and the range of sounds in the area – has been an important part of our learning during our first year of operations. We are operating within acceptable noise levels and continually working towards further mitigating our sound impacts. Our two Class “A” sound monitoring systems register and record sound measurements daily during the time the track is operational.



Planning Stage

2015 – June 2016

  • Circuit designed by global team of experts (Tilke Engineers and Architects) that factor in sound mitigation.

  • Grass seeded (softening effect for sound).

  • Business operation hours established: 8am – 10pm

June – July 2016 

  • Noise concerns raised.

  • Reduced business operation hours: 8am – 8pm with one-hour lunch

  • Typical day with cars on the circuit: 9am – 4pm with one-hour lunch

August – September 2016 

  • Contacted similar circuits around the world to discuss sound mitigation practices.

October 2016 

  • Hired sound specialist (Wakefield Acoustics) to undertake independent sound study and measure impact of VIMC in the community.

  • Goal: to better understand the way sound was moving from VIMC through the area, and to record sound levels for evaluation.

  • Four locations were selected for sound measurement collection correlating with noise concerns.

  • Wakefield Acoustics study concluded that sound from VIMC at times is audible in adjacent neighbourhoods, however sound from the circuit does not make a measurable impact (sound registered below 60 dba).

  • VIMC vehicle sounds measured lower impacts most often than the highway sounds (View Wakefield Acoustics Noise Study Here).

  • Context: One-hour period: 

    • Vehicles traveling towards Duncan: 302 

    • A mix of cars, vans, trucks, trailer/campers and/or boats, motorcycles, buses, transport trucks and logging trucks

    • Out of 302 – 27 were loaded logging trucks

    • Vehicles traveling towards Lake Cowichan: 203

    • A mix of cars, vans, trucks, trailer/campers and/or boats, motorcycles, buses, transport trucks and logging trucks

    • Out of 203 – 28 were empty logging trucks

    • VIMC purchased first Class “A” sound monitory system as recommended by Wakefield Acoustics: $7,000.

October – November 2016

  • With improved understanding of how sound is traveling from the circuit, VIMC strengthened sound policy on the circuit to align with standards of best circuit facilities in North America (101 dba).

  • VIMC started to ‘black flag’ drivers who exceeded the sound policy. Drivers were required to make changes to their mufflers before they came back to the circuit.

December 2016 – February 2017

  • Winter conditions impacted circuit resulting in fewer driving days.

  • Ongoing sound monitoring.

March – April 2017

  • Concerns raised.

  • Met with neighbours and District of North Cowichan.

  • Sound Mitigation Working Group was formed with representation from local government, neighbours and VIMC.

  • Meetings to address concerns, review data and discuss mitigation solutions.

May – June 2017Sound Mitigation Working Group outcomes and actions taken:

  1. Continued daily sound monitoring, sound policy enforced assuring the sound coming from the circuit is limited to 101 dba (best practice).

  2. Monitoring identified 3 vehicles compliant with sound policy yet operating at the 100 dba level; worked with vehicle owners to address mufflers in support of sound mitigation efforts bringing them to 95 dba.

  3. Continued to ‘black flag’ drivers in violation of VIMC sound policy;

  4. Consulted with Dalimar Instruments, the foremost sound equipment specialist in Canada, on how to measure sound in the neighboring community (May 2017)

  5. Tested mobile Class “A” sound measurement sensor proposed by Dalimar Instruments on a property closest to the circuit and recorded sound for 5 days – 24 hours a day. Monitoring system creates a report and provides audio files on the loudest sound incidents at this property along with a sound file in fixed intervals allowing the possibility of listening to the variations of noise in the community (May 16-21, 2017)

  6. Evaluated the results of sensor and approved the purchase of Dalimar Instruments state-of-the-art Class “A” mobile sensor ($18,000). New sensor to arrive in August.

  • Results: The sensor established data that recorded circuit sound in the nearest neighbourhood, and the sound registered at 48-53 dba.

  • Noise from the Cowichan Lake Highway registered sounds ranging from 50-59 dba. The loudest noise recorded is a result of air planes flying over the area. (May 2017)

  • Sensor will measure sound 24/7/365 in a neighboring property and will report on-line with immediate/real time results with full reporting (graph) available weekly. (September 2017)

May 2017 – July 2017

  • Consulted global team of sound experts through preferred association with Tilke GMBH (circuit designers and engineers).

  • Contracted sound simulation specialist, BeSB GmbH Berlin, to build theoretical sound maps of the current circuit as well as sounds maps of the future expansion plans of the facility. (May 2017) 

  • BeSB GmbH Berlin to come to VIMC in August to validate their simulations and present practical solutions for further sound mitigation. ($38,000)

  • VIMC met with neighbours at their homes to listen together to sound from the track and verified that the track was operational at the time of visits.

August 2017

  • BeSB GmbH Berlin sound engineers visited VIMC to validate their simulations and sound mapping information, and to recommend solutions to further reduce the noise impacts.

  • BeSB GmbH Berlin sound engineers measured sound in the neighbourhoods and track sound registered well below 60 dba (Cowichan Valley Regional District sound policy).

  • A formal report is expected by the end of October and will include additional recommendations for further sound mitigation solutions for the circuit as well as for the planned expansion.

We are committed to continual improvements that respect our neighbours, and allow for an exhilarating, world-class high-performance driving experience.

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© VancouverIsland Motorsport Circuit 2018