Camping World Truck Series test day at Canadian Motorsport Park

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I’ve been so busy over at Wheels.ca that I didn’t get around to posting this here. Of course I actually loaded the pics, I just didn’t get around to adding any words.

So, a couple of weeks ago, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series folks and a gaggle of media types invaded the brand spanking new events centre at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Fresh off his boot to the nuts incident, Nelson Piquet Jr. was on hand as an “impartial” test driver to lay down some baselines for the teams when they arrive on Labour Day weekend.

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Gallery: Thursday in the paddock at Grand Prix of Mosport

Race fans start showing up at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park today for the Grand Prix of Mosport, but for the teams, the action started yesterday. As the LMP 1 & 2 teams set up their paddock and pit spaces, the support series spent the day testing on track. Me, I spent part of the day wandering with the camera and the rest of it in the press room doing stuff for my gig at Wheels.

Check out a gallery from yesterday after the break.
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Catch the fever, go racing in Ontario

Racing, you watch it on TV. You accelerate through the on-ramp thinking about the F1 race you just watched. When you have been pulled over and the red lights are flashing in your rear veiw mirror, you just sigh and think that only if you were on the autobahn this would not have happened. Or if you had purchased that 3 cylinder slowpoke instead of the V8 or turbo-charged adreneline inducing machine that you are currently driving – or rather, sitting in patiently while receiving a ticket.

It is time for a lifestyle change. For less than the cost of one speeding ticket (not counting insurance hikes) you can sign up for a day at the race track with Ontario Time Attack, a division of CASC-OR. Yes, this is the same CASC-OR that hosts many of the races that occur on Canadian soil at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly known as Mosport) and even in downtown Toronto at the Indy. 
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Racing Towards the Sunset: Gord Green Remembered

The P & G Special MK5 was one of many in a series of race cars built by Gord Green

A long time friend of Leighton Irwin, Gord Green held a special place in Canadian sports car racing history. Even here in The Garage, he left his mark, with the P & G Special. This memorial story was written by Colene Allen.

On March 23, 2012 long-time CASC Regional competitor and official Gord Green passed away at hospital in Haliburton, Ontario. Gord is remembered for the significant accomplishments he made as a competitor, good friend, car builder, and official. His contributions to racing are many, significant, and well known. In the summer of 1966, Gord competed in the Sundown Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway. Gord’s race that day was a recipe of a pinch of grit, a teaspoon of determination, a lot of talent and skill, and a sprinkling of luck. Gord’s co-driver, Ron Evans, told me the story of that historic race.

Ron and Gord met back in 1958 when Ron started racing. Both competed in various cars and classes, with Gord racing a Lotus 7 starting in 1964 and Ron following Gord with a Merlyn 6A in 1965. By this time, Gord and Ron had known each other for six years. They both slept at the track on race weekends, paddocked next to each other, and began combining their resources to save money. They were part of a larger group of racers that spent time together that included Al Sutter, Gary Magwood, Willy Cleeland, and Leighton Irwin. At some point, Ron tried to convince Gord to buy a Merlyn, but Gord was happy to keep racing with his Lotus 7.
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Introducing Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport

Since Ron Fellows and friends bought the iconic Mosport International Raceway, there have been many changes at the track. Most of those changes have been expected and were a long time coming. Today’s news was massively unexpected!

Mosport International Raceway will now be called Canadian Tire Motorsport Park!

The track has formed a partnership with the Canadian automotive retail giant, which includes the name change. While some of the elder race fans will not be happy with the change, it seems fitting that a company with such a strong motorsports history in Canada should help usher in a new era at the track.

Fans can meet with Ron Fellows in the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park booth this weekend at the Canadian Motorsports Expo.

Read the official press release and take a lap with Gunnar Jeannette after the break.
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James Hunt and “The Punch” at Mosport

This is a guest post from friend of The Garage, Jeremy Sale. It was originally published in this month’s edition of the VARAC newsletter.

I came across a report of the Canadian GP in 1977 the other day. It reminded me of a story I wrote which included a report of the infamous incident when James Hunt punched out a marshal. Here’s the context of the episode:

“By lap 60 Andretti was still leading with Hunt in hot pursuit. In fact, so quick was their pace that they had lapped everyone except Hunt’s team mate, Jochen Mass. As the two leaders came up behind him Mass managed to impede Andretti at Moss Turn and Hunt quickly took advantage, getting by Andretti and into the lead. But Hunt was still behind his about to be lapped team mate Mass and somehow at turn three the two came together and Hunt was put out of the race. Hunt, after standing trackside, angrily shaking his fist at “Herman the German” as he called his team mate, tried to cross the track and was restrained by a marshal. Still furious, Hunt punched the marshal, who went down for the count. Hunt was fined $2,750. Mass went on to finish third.”
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Amy Ruman becomes first woman to win a Trans Am race

Having come oh so close to winning her first Trans Am series race several times, Amy Ruman finally took top spot on the podium this weekend at Road Atlanta. Ruman got the jump on Mike Lewis on the 5th restart, when the race went yellow once again due to contact between Glen Jung and John Baucom. All Ruman had to do then was cruise for 3 laps under yellow to became the first woman to win in 45 years of TA racing.
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