I’ve been fortunate to have visited a number of race tracks across North America over the past couple of years. One thing that I always notice is when a track has retail facilities catering to racers. I notice it because most of them support visiting racers very well, and my home track has next to nothing. While there has been a race prep shop in the garages at Mosport for the past several years, it wasn’t the retail focused haven for racers like one would find at Lime Rock.
Earlier this year I was excited to hear that there was a new enterprise coming to Mosport and that my old friend Blaise Csida was playing a major part in it. I wasn’t prepared for the level of transformation that has been made to the dingy old space. From the modern, spacious retail facility to the race shop, the place has undergone a complete transformation.
The retail store is well stocked with personal safety gear, pit equipment and things that often break at the track, like seats. They have even paid attention to small details, things like sunscreen and headache relief that we all need but often forget to bring.
On occasion, it can be tough to know if the people selling race gear and building cars are the real deal. When one finds out that they aren’t who you thought they were, it can lead to a scary situation.
Blaise Csida is another long time car industry guy, with a background in the service industry. Along the way, he has been honing his car building skills to the point that he has built several of his own GT1 and Trans Am cars. Built them. He didn’t buy a chassis and bolt stuff to it. This guy has some pretty serious fabrication skills and is known for his attention to detail. He has even been a race mechanic with the Brian Stewart Indy Lights team. In the shop, Csida works alongside another old friend, Rob White. The first time Robbie and I met was when Mamma G and I crewed for Kat Teasdale’s team in the Firehawk endurance series way back in the early Nineties. There is some serious depth of experience in this shop.
In addition to the retail shop and race car prep and support, Gateway also offers arrive and drive rentals ranging from an entry level showroom stock prepared Nissan Sentra all the way up to a full on Trans Am Corvette or even a NASCAR Canada car prepped for the road course. Arrive and drive is absolutely the least expensive way to get on the track, and doing it with a professionally prepared car means more track time and less time fixing stuff. If you could use a bit of help finding some extra speed (who doesn’t), Blaise also offers driver coaching to help you get the most from your time on track.
Whether you are a Mosport veteran or are visiting from far away for the first time, be sure to drop in and say hi. There is lots to see in the shop and everyone loves to talk racing! This weekend, look for Blaise Csida and the Gateway Racing C6 Corvette in the Muscle Milk Trans Am race at Mosport and later this summer at the Honda Indy Toronto. Next week, we’ll have some in car video from the race.
Gateway Racing is located in the center of the pit lane garage, with entrances on the paddock side and pit side. You can also visit them on the web.