Tag Archives: canadian road trip

NASCAR Trucks at CTMP Canadian Tire Motorsport Park debrief

For the second time this year I took my little red roadster on another thousand mile road trip north of the border to Ontario, Canada. Much like the trip in the beginning of the season for Victoria Day, Ontario was freezing cold. It didn’t help that I decided to camp… at least for the first few days where I got pretty well cold but with prospect of rain on the schedule I decided to ditch this camping thing and evacuate to Bowmanville where my CouchSurfing friend was kind enough to host me. Warm bed, hot shower, my fortunes turned around really quickly.

I had a hard time deciding whether to go to Watkins Glen for IndyCar or travel twice the distance to Mosport for NASCAR trucks and I’m glad I did… the series was all they were cracked up to be, although on a much lower scale… a budget version of the Monster Energy Cup and the Xfinity Series if you will. Nevertheless this event over Labour Day weekend is the biggest event Mosport gets right now… even though I’m sure IMSA feels bigger.

The Motorsport Marshaling Services club went above and beyond at making me feel welcome back… and so did all of the locals. I had fantastic station assignments. Some I haven’t worked in a while, like Turn 8… and some I never worked before like Turn 3 and Turn 1. Ironically I couldn’t even find my way to Turn 3 on the morning of that assignment because I didn’t realize it was on the other side of the track… I had worked 2A many times before and saw the marshals on our side of the track, but it was a surprise to me to discover the hard station across track and nicely elevated for a perfect view of that turn with all of it’s elevation changes.

We didn’t have many incidents to flag this weekend. The biggest being probably from the feature event… as the series direction refers to it… the Nissan Micra Cup. With the new suspension the cars were less prone to roll over, but they were still very prone to incidents. On Race Day in Turn 1 one had a tank slapper and smashed the wall losing a wheel in the process which continued onwards to Turn 2. I was on comms for that incidents and may have fumbled the call a little bit. It was neat to witness though.

My buddy from Montreal came over to marshal in pit lane. And several more people I worked with at Formula E were working directly for Canadian Touring Car Championship. So it was an awesome weekend to catch up with friends. The boss of CTCC even gave me a few series hats and a lanyard to take home as a souvenir. And for that I’m very grateful.

Would love to go back to Canada again for another event.

Mazda MX-5: Canada Miata Meetup in Ontario that Never Happened, Sorry!

What’s more Canadian than saying “Sorry?”

I had high hopes of meeting up with some local MX-5 Miata owners in Ontario on my latest trip to Bowmanville to volunteer for some amazing racing over the Victoria Day Weekend at Mosport – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park…

Unfortunately the mini-meet, little get together, a foodie cruise never materialized due to the lack of interest… Sorry!

I’m really disappointed with myself for not being able to make this thing happen… surely there are Miata owners in that part of Ontario right? I was willing to drive an hour out of the way to Toronto if anyone had gotten in touch, but it seems people didn’t care. Too bad!

So instead I enjoyed all the American Miata’s that showed up to race in the Pirelli World Challenge TC and TCA class… their paddock area was along the main route to the marshal Chalet at the top of the hill in Mosport so I got to drive past them every morning and afternoon… the only thing I pussied out to do was park my car next to all the race cars and take some photos… Oh well, maybe in the future I’ll grow some balls… maybe as soon as next weekend at Lime Rock where the PWC TC/TCA cars will be next…

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I had such a fantastic time on this trip, I’m not down one bit for not meeting other Miata owners… even though it was a perfect opportunity wasted. Instead I focused my free time on supporting race sponsors, like Petro-Canada who sponsored the Canadian Porsche Carrera / GT3 Cup with their Ultra 94 brand… I learned that Petro-Canada took over the distribution of this product from Sunoco (that’s why Ultra 94 may seem familiar) but either way, it was like a mission to me to find this gas which isn’t available at all stations… I found that staging a little photo shoot at Petro-Canada was a very cool and patriotic setting for this trip… so, the pix:

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The Petro-Canada station where I ended up getting a fill-up with Ultra 94 was some 30 miles along 401 heading home, where the price was cheaper than Shell 91 I filled up with when I first arrived Bowmanville… One thing’s for sure, Gas Buddy lied to me!

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By the way, Petro-Canada calls it Ultra 94 in Ontario and Alberta, while in Montreal, Quebec they call it SuperClean 94. Speaking to one of the marshals about octane levels and such, he suggested that from his experience filling up his bike, Shell fuel 91 Nitro+ is the best option out there… but having tried both, I’m not convinced.

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Maybe next time I’ll be able to organize an actual Canadian MX-5 Miata get-together… I have high hopes! Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a perfect venue for Mazda Miata mini-meets!

 

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