Episode 11: Tales From the Road
GP3R: Trois-Rivières Grand Prix
2 ft. plastic tube. Duct tape. Velcro.
I love the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. Everything about it: the fans, the buzz, the history and the track itself. The track is a proper street course where most of your turn-in points, apexes and exit points are a concrete wall. Many modern day street circuits have the walls recessed from the actual curbs, which provides a lot of wiggle room should you run a little wide or turn in too soon for an apex. Not at GP3R - clip an apex by an inch too much and you are tearing something off your car! The honorable King Richard Spenard taught me the racing line around the track with great emphasis on getting your front tires INSIDE the yellow line that followed the perimeter of the circuit – the line is about 6 inches from the wall. It was with great pride that I would later show Richard concrete dust on the sidewalls of my Formula Ford! Racing there in a sedan is slightly different. Leaning on fenders can cut a tire so the trick becomes scraping the wing mirrors or even better: bending them in off the walls. Only problem is, in a two hour Grand Am race, a bent in wing mirror renders you blind on that side of the car – and even if you loosen your seat belts they are still to far away to pop back into place with your hand (don’t ask). So this year, while driving for APR Motorsports, I came up with what I now call the Magic Stick. Simply Velcro a stick into the cockpit and use it to pop the mirror back into place after whacking an apex wall. It worked to perfection – I ended up using it three times in the heat of battle on my way to a hard fought 5th place!
Advanced Driver Training Days at Toronto Motorsports Park (ALL WINTER LONG!)
TMP: Toronto Motorsport Park
Gerry Low and Captain Terry Henry
Stratmosphere new facility grand opening
Back in September, I was fortunate enough to be a guest at the grand opening of the new Stratmosphere facility in upstate New York, just outside of Rochester.
Stratmosphere is one of the oldest and most well respected tuners in North America specializing in VW, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Mini and more. What a great afternoon! Lots of cool cars and enthusiasts, not to mention the staff and facility – all top notch. It was only a matter of time before I got asked to “test drive” their new “lightly tuned” Audi S4. What followed was an afternoon of fun demo rides for everyone there. What can I say – I’m a sucker for a great car and an empty parking lot! Below is a fun link that tells the story of the whole event, complete with video.
No only do they retail some of the very best performance parts they also design and build many components as well. Definitely a must if you are looking at doing any mods to your car. You can find them online at www.stratmosphere.com
Just for Fun
General Lee – Dodge Charger
Hazard County Sheriff’s Police cruiser – Dodge Monaco
Somewhere outside of Berthierville, Quebec
Wow, talk about an automotive icon. To my generation these cars were right up there with Knight Rider (insert Hasselhoff joke here). I stumbled across these beauties sitting in the middle of a gas station parking lot this summer. I’ve seen the odd General Lee replica in big cities or car shows but this was pretty much in the middle of rural Quebec - love it! All I need now is to stumble across a Red Kenworth from BJ and the Bear and I’ll have ticked off pretty much everything on the list (I’ve already met the stunt rider from the original CHIPS TV show!!) No wait – I still want a ride in Air Wolf.
Victory in Utah
Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
Miller Motorsports Park
APR Motorsport / VW Driver Gear
AP and DJ Ian Baas
Yours in motoring,