Lawrence Stroll has put Quebec’s historic Circuit Mont-Tremblant up for sale. The historic track was opened in 1964 as a direct competitor to Ontario’s established Mosport International Raceway. Mont-Tremblant hosted the Canadian Grand Prix in 1968 and 1970, went through several ownership changes before being purchased by Canadian billionaire Stroll in 2000, when his son Lance was only 2 years old. The track has since been completely resurfaced, has a new timing tower, and upgraded medical facilities that make the circuit quite suitable for international level sportscar races.
In 2010, a state-of-the-art kart racing track was built inside the famed circuit, and hosted the Canadian Karting Championships. That year, Marco DiLeo of Goodwood Kartways fame, qualified fastest of 49 racers in Rotax Max, Antonio Serravalle was the fastest in Rotax Micro Max, Zachary Claman Demelo beat the competition in Rotax Mini Max and in Rotax Max Junior none other than Ferrari Academy driver Lance Stroll took the win.
In the decade since, the track has not exactly been a hot-bed of racing activity. The Nissan Micra Cup raced there, and the karting track is still active (scheduled to host the Canada Open in 2021) but Mont-Tremblant also served as the Stroll private track, providing a facility for young Lance Stroll to develop as a driver, eventually reaching F1 in 2017.
The local municipality values the track at $8.5million but the true market value may be much higher. The site totals 304 acres and provides a potential buyer the opportunity to run a fully-equipped race track or convert the area into a residential subdivision.
A well-established karting track in Florida has permanently closed…and racers in Canada should be concerned. This wasn’t some dusty old concession kart track with mini golf and batting cages.
Ocala Grand Prix was a a top-tier facility with national level ROK Cup USA events. Yet in these challenging times, the track is being torn down to put up… a storage facility. In his CKN article, Cody Schindel explained that the town of Ocala has become centre for equestrian sports, and the size of the track will allow it to provide ample RV parking for well-funded horse people.
One would imagine that such a well respected track would still be profitable and sustainable. Ocala Grand Prix has hosted many rounds of the Florida Winter Tour over the past two decades, and this year, the new generation of racers like New Speed Motorsports‘ Rocco Simone even competed there.
In an interview published on eKartingNews, OCP’s owner explains:
“…It is a sad day for karting but something that must happen to make a viable business. With the karting industry, both race and rental sides evolving and changing every year, it is not easy to stay ahead of the game. My team and I have worked tirelessly but have come to the conclusion that it is time for a change. This is about business, money-in versus money-out…”
Jorge Arellano, OGP
When racing resumes in May, it is critical that Ontario racers head out to the track. Join a karting club and run the full schedule. Sign up for a regional series and visit tracks one may never have raced at before. Head out to a big track for a once in a lifetime experience in an Italian supercar. If motoring enthusiasts do not support tracks during these challenging times there won’t be many tracks left. Some smart race track owners might throw in the towel and transform the area into a residential subdivision. Just one big Smart Centre next to a planned community. But don’t worry, there will surely be a storage facility for all the stuff people buy at Costco.
Earlier this week, just before the suspension of motorsports in Ontario, Chris Demaras made the usual drive up the DVP to Goodwood Kartways. Chris had appointment with Marco to pick up the new kart Daniel Demaras would be racing in the 2021 Toronto Racing Association of Karters series.
Besides the all-white kart, Marco had prepared more than a dozen karts for pick up from new and returning racers. The season was 100% ready to start before the provincial stay at home order put the brakes on everything.
The new kart is an evolution of last year’s chassis design, though slightly narrower, and with a vastly improved braking system. Daniel’s kart in particular is a mash up of OTK sidepods on titanium crash-bars, plus an Intrepid nosecone and fairing. Even the steering wheel spokes have been re-profiled to better fit the MyChron 5 timer.
In automobile manufacturing, a “Body In White” refers to a stage in assembly where the body and frame are joined together before painting (and usually before the engine, glass, door handles, seats, upholstery). So, it’s not totally accurate to use the term referring to this kart, but it does make sense. Because it will never look this white again!
Stashed away in Garage K-12, the new kart is ready to race. Chris even picked up extra spindles and steering columns, just in case.
In Quebec there’s an 8:00 pm curfew, and in Ontario a ‘stay-at-home’ order. Great tracks like Circuit ICAR near Mirabel, PQ, and Point Pelee Karting in Leamington, ON, are silent. While the Canadian karting season is on hold, for the second year in a row, because of ‘the virus’, there are members of the public who believe there should be no restrictions, no shutdowns or other government mandated safety measures. These folks live in Florida.
Our young New Speed Motorsports teammate Rocco Simone will compete on Sunday at AMR Motorplex (in the Homestead – Miami region of Florida). Simone will be racing the No. 195 in both the IAME Micro Swift and Briggs & Stratton LO206 Cadet class.
The ’03 Bugeye is up on the hoist at the body shop. The car has come so far since that test drive in February. Now in excellent mechanical condition, plated and insured, it’s almost ready to his the road.
Except for the fact that there isn’t a single straight panel on the car! The wax-crayon circles on the doors, fenders hood and trunk identify every dent and sing on the body. Tony at Scarboro Subarufound a new-old-stock OEM fender to replace the rusted out aftermarket one on the car now, while Japan Direct supplied the replacement front and read bumpers. But this car is going to need a lot of hours to make it beautiful again.
Stock, unmodified 2003 WRXs are quite rare in 2021. It’s not just the age of the car that makes them hard to find. It’s that so many have been thrashed and crashed, the number of cars left is dwindling. Some might say that this WRX was not a good candidate for refinishing, being in such rough shape. But the body shop has experience repairing vehicles that there simply aren’t parts for. Sometimes the only way to fix it is to bring out the hammer and dolly and start working the sheet metal.
Or get one of those classics around the shop to teach the WRX the restoration trick from 1983’s Christine.
Canadian motoring enthusiasts only have a couple big events to look forward to each summer.
The Formula 1 race in Montreal is still scheduled for June 13th 2021, but with schools, restaurants, and non-essential businesses closed, it’s unclear whether the event will occur. News recently broke of IMSA cancelling the big sports car race on July 2nd 2021, the event location switched from Mosport to Watkins Glen. Closer to home, the IndyCar race in Toronto is currently scheduled for July 11th 2021, but with the Ontario government triggering a stay at home order until early May, it’s unclear whether the event will go off as planned either.
Green Savoree Racing Promotions is still trying to hold the race in Toronto this year in the face of insurmountable odds. The City of Toronto has cancelled all major event permits until July 1st 2021. Although the Honda Indy Toronto is scheduled for after the moratorium ends, nearly a month of construction to set up the temporary street circuit is required. This would require the city to give the promoter special permission to construct the track at the same time that businesses are closed and locals can’t even visit a local go-kart track.
Our family at Demaras Racing sees no better way to jump start the local economy and bring joy back to the city of Toronto than going ahead with the IndyCars in 2021.
The WRX is now plated and insured. Once the car leaves the body shop with rust repaired and a fresh coat of paint, it will be ready for the road. Less than a year ago, Daniel got his driver’s license, and now a license plate for his first car. Big moment!
Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix has been cancelled. Following the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen held on June 27 at Watkins Glen International, the IMSA teams, will stick around the track for another week to compete in the WeatherTech 240 At The Glen the following weekend, July 2, the date originally scheduled for the Canadian event.
The event at Mosport / Canadian Tire Motorsports Park just east of Toronto is IMSA’s only Canadian race, and has been a highlight of the summer for the motorsports enthusiasts at Demaras Racing. The IMSA paddock is very open to spectators, with opportunities to get right up to the cars and meet the star racers, which is what makes it so fun. Last time the event ran in Canada in 2019, Daniel skipped a kart race but met up with Helio Catroneves and his Acura Prototype, while Chris Demaras had the opportunity to ask Danish sports car ace Jan Magnussen for his barber’s name.
As we continue to monitor issues surrounding COVID-19, we are faced with a very dynamic and ever-changing situation. As we continue communication with our government and health officials regarding the current crisis, it has become apparent that we will need to postpone and delay our season-opening events.
With Ontario’s most recent orders implementing an emergency brake until at least May 1st, the start of our TRAK Club Racing season has been delayed until further notice. We will monitor the situation closely and will update you as it evolves.
As we adapt like all businesses must, we will continue our planning process to ensure we are ready to offer you all the best programs we can when the time comes and we are permitted to do so. Our hope is to reschedule events, and we remain committed to keeping you all informed through an updated schedule as soon as possible.
We appreciate your ongoing cooperation and look forward to having you all back at our track in the near future.
– Daniel DiLeo
For further information or to have your questions and/or concerns addressed, please visit http://www.goodwoodkartways.com or email email@example.com
Reading about the ‘Pharaohs’ Golden Parade’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a corny publicity stunt. But lay your eyes on the military troop carriers with custom bodywork that carried the ancient Egyptian mummies on their journey, and you’ll have to admit the ceremony was amazing.
A fleet of twenty-two extravagant vehicles carried eighteen pharaohs and four queens to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Caro where they’ll be on display in nitrogen-filled capsules for preservation. The antiquities are from Egypt’s 17th dynasty, approximately 1550 BC. although some are as recent as the 12th Century BC. Each of the vehicles has been emblazoned with the name of their passenger in English, Arabic and hieroglyphs.
The historic journey will recreate the way pharaohs traveled along the Nile, with overhead illumination bathing the streets in a watery blue hue. The larger-than-life chariots aim to be as extravagant as possible with their gold and black ornamentation. Even the wheels have gold wheel covers that resemble Egyptian jewelry. The vehicles have ride on custom-made shock-absorbing suspension, and even the roads traveled on the journey were repaved to make the journey as smooth as possible.
Egypt hopes the new museum which opened this month, will help revitalize tourism, a major source of revenue to the nation. As with many countries, Egypt has been hard hit by ‘the virus’ but now that cases are under control, the Egyptian government hopes to welcome international visitors again…starting with this internationally watched parade.