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Tracing the colorful, surprising history of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

I was on a podcast recently and part of the conversation centred around the notion of using familiar corners as points of reference when learning a new track. I'm one of thousands who use the technique, but my racing education was different than that of most drivers. My home track is Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), and I learned much of my craft there.

 

Sure, the Nürburgring Nordschleife may be more complex, and Road America and Road Atlanta are nearly as fast, but CTMP’s ten-corner Mosport Grand Prix circuit presents a unique set of challenges. Many Canadian racing drivers who proved successful on tracks all over the world started here, 20 kilometres north of Bowmanville, Ontario. Even when I was young, the adage ran: “If you can go fast at Mosport, you can go fast anywhere.”

 

Conceived in 1958 by the British Empire Motor Club, the organization established a company called Mosport Limited to construct a road racing circuit an hour or so east east of Toronto.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/motorsports/tracing-the-colorful-surprising-history-of-canadian-tire-m...

Replies (11)

Replies (11)

I went to a few GP's at Mosport in the 70's, was always an amazing time camping right there and of course ALWAYS at Moss corner. When it moved to Montreal I went a few times but once they put stands on the hairpin, it just wasn't the same. Honestly? Can't beat Mosport!

Passenger

Great article Brian. I enjoy every article I find about Mosport and it's history since it played a part in who I am today.

 

While going to collage in Toronto in the early 60s, I heard about Mosport and eagerly attended my first race. In the race that day were two Mustang GT350s. I caught a picture of them way in front of the pack coming off turn 2 and rising half way up the hill to 3. It was a moment and a picture that I would never forget. After graduation I went to my local Ford dealer and ordered a 67 Mustang 2+2 Fastback, in white of course. I have been a Mustang fan ever since.

 

When I retired in 2006, I joined the corner marshalling team at Mosport. That was a great experience giving me close up access to the pits and many drivers and teams. I was able to drive my own Mustang on the track on several occasions, as well as participate in track days and a training session on the Development Track. 

 

While attending Mustang shows throughout the US I have enjoyed on track drives in many of the major race tracks. Although I have never raced, my attraction to race tracks and performance cars which started at Mosport has never waned.

 

 

 

Intermediate Driver

Excellent story, as I'm coming to expect from you.  I saw Peter Revson win the '73 Canadian GP in the rain there, Jackie Stewart's last race.  I'm glad they haven't changed the layout.

 

You might want to fix the "east east".

Intermediate Driver

For the benefit of the young guns that read this article (and some of us old coots with foggy memories and bad eyesight) it would sure be nice to have a caption under each photo to identify the person (s) shown and or the setting.     It would really enhance the article.   

New Driver

 Been going there since 1972 and have seen most of the major races held there but still miss the 24 hour race that was held there maybe bring it back but under imsa banner

Passenger

If you look at the photo of mine of Hunt and Lauda at the Mosport 1976 Grand Prix Drivers meeting you will notice right at the front a young boy standing to the left of Mario Andretti......that is Michael Andretti and he would have been 12.

Passenger

I have but a few hundred laps on the track. That pales compared to the many legends, some of whom I have pretended to be wheel to wheel with - Ludwig Heimrath, Eppe Wietz (who just passed) and others.  The track does separate the men from the boys (are we even allowed to say that any more?) They really need to dump the Canadian Tire Moniker - cheapens the place. Sell them some billboards if they want their name there!

 

Urban sprawl is creeping up to Mosport. Noise abatement soon and then shut down.

Passenger

Excellent story.  Thank you.

Intermediate Driver

As unbelievable as it seems, very early in its life Mosport Park actually allowed fans (mere mortals like me) to do a lap around the course in their private cars. This was a mass event with cars of all types crowding the track. I got on the track driving my 1960 Morris Minor with a couple of buddies on board. I did not realize how steep turn 5A was until I had to downshift to first gear on my Morris. This may be a moot point as my car was not the most powerful on the track. This was the last time that the public was allowed to do this. The hearsay is that an accident on that very same stint put an end to it all. It still baffles me as to why this was even allowed to happen. What kind of insurance did they have? My best memory of Mospurt was the glorious first series CANAM racing. Ed from Etobicoke

Passenger

saw Dan Gurney race there (in the mid to late sixties I recall) racing in a big domestic sedan race.  Wow! those things screaming around the track and such pressure on the tires through the corners with these 3,000 plus weight cars

Passenger

replying to myself

New Driver