Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – 18-20 July 2014

This year I decided to attend the three-day event jointly hosted by Northern New Jersey and Upper Canada regions at CTMP. I know a number of guys from NNJR from their events at the Glen, so it would be a good reunion of sorts.

I drove down Thursday afternoon in about three hours – it’s nice to live closer to CTMP! I found a new high for the price of gasoline in Havelock at $1.36 per litre – this is crazy! The new paddock gave me lots of option on where to park, so I selected a spot and unloaded; then went for an early supper since my hosting friends in Pickering would not be home until much later.

Friday morning I was up at 5:30 to get to the track around 7 AM for registration, but needn’t have hurried since it was a very simple, self-serve process for instructors. I met several familiar friends and my student, who drove a 2011 Turbo S cabriolet and was middle-aged. At least he knows the track reasonably well, so my work should be fairly easy. My friend and host came up to the track mid-morning; we had a good visit and he saw some good driving, even getting an excellent photo of me on the front straight. There was an incident right in front of me at Turn 6 when a 911 RS America hit some oil and spun, almost catching it completely before nudging the fence. They had to clean up the oil after missing it the first time, so the track was closed for a while and the driver surveyed the damage, deciding to bend the fender out a bit and keep driving. There were lots of faster cars and expanded passing, so it got a little busy out there.

Friday night I treated my hosts to a great feast of take-out Chinese food, as we frequently do. And we had a relaxing evening visiting and getting caught up. Saturday morning was sunny and not too warm, which would make for a good day. At one point I did my fastest lap of 1:58 while being passed four times, so I was happy with that. My student progressed very well but seemed to tire at the end of the day. He skipped the last stint and began talking as if he might not return Sunday because the weather forecast didn’t look too good. Sure enough, he texted me Sunday morning to say that he wouldn’t return. And it was wet, raining lightly all morning.

There were a lot fewer cars on track in the rain and people started to pack up to leave early for New Jersey. I drove one stint in the rain and spoke to the chief instructor on my way into the pits afterwards. He said he wouldn’t drive in those conditions unless someone was paying him, and I agreed. So I packed up and left in the late morning. It was a good weekend although shortened by the weather and I’m glad I went.

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