August 30, 2012
CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK
FEATURE | Roadbuilding
Tearing Up The Road
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park passes half-century mark
For more than 50 years, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) has stood out as a major venue for professional international motor racing. Located just north of Bowmanville, the track has played host to such driving greats as Stirling Moss, Jacques and Gilles Villeneuve, Bruce McLaren, Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al and Bobby Unser, and Richard Petty.
The concept for the track dates back to 1958 when members of the British Empire Motor Club formed Mosport Limited, dubbing the proposed facility “Mosport.”
Seven company directors shared duties for the construction project. Alan Bunting was responsible for track design, site layout and coordination, while George Grant acted as structural architect. The other five members managed trade relations, advertising, utilities, access roads, financial planning, fund raising and public relations.
The construction project largely followed the hills and valleys of the existing terrain, although some of the hills were excavated and leveled. In 1960, British race driver Stirling Moss paid a visit to the project site.
“He was enthusiastic about the course layout,” says Ryan Chalmers, communications and promotions manager at CTMP. “But he recommended that the single-radius carousel hairpin at the south end of the track be changed to a 90-degree right, followed by another right leading onto the back straight, because it would be a greater test of skill for drivers and a better show for spectators.”
Turns, 5a and 5b are still known as “Moss Corner.”
Despite zoning challenges and heavy rainfall that washed out parts of the construction site, the project was completed in 1961. The result was a challenging, winding track 28 feet wide and 2.459 miles (four kilometres) long. All told, the project came in at twice its construction budget at $500,000, about $4 million in current value.
The first major international race staged at the track, the Player’s 200, was held on June 25, 1961. Moss, who had helped to design the track, won the two-heat event.
The track continues to follow the same curves and circuit as the original design, with slight modifications. The entire track was repaved and widened in 2000 to 40 feet (12 metres) under the direction of Roger Peart, president of both the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) circuits commission and the National Sporting Authority (ASN), the governing body for motor sport in Canada. Peart notes that he’s not employed by the track, merely a “friendly unpaid advisor.”
“The upgrade in width allowed the track to maintain FIA standards for international events,” he says. “But with the additional width, we wanted to maintain the corner radius as well as we could.”
Peart notes that the track doesn’t differ much from a regular highway in either the design of base and sub-base layers or paving. “It’s traditional construction with a high-quality asphalt surface,” he says. “The major difference is that a regular road has a significant crown to it for drainage purposes, but the race track has only the most minimal of crowns, so it can be as flat as possible in the cross-section.”
The camber of the track is critical. In some cases, the engineered curves and angles of the track assist the driver. In turns three, four and five, however, the camber works against drivers who need to work to retain control of their vehicles.
Paving and maintenance of the track is monitored by track staff and undertaken by local contractors.
“The heaviest maintenance is required in areas where there’s heavy braking required, going into a corner,” says Peart. “It’s where the vehicles are heading into the low-speed corners that the track really takes a beating, because the cars are really digging for traction.”
Occasionally, hot weather or a car fire will degrade portions of the asphalt and require a quick road surface repair.
Though the Canadian track is a favourite of some international drivers, Peart notes that professional racers tend to say nothing at all when they’re satisfied with the track surface.
“But they’ll certainly let us know if they think some of those corners need repaving,” he says.
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
- Concrete parking building repairs could save costs
- New Pickering airport to help move growing population
- Pink crane a beacon of awareness at St. Joseph’s
- McMaster’s Health Sciences Campus a Gold Seal project
- SNC-Lavalin hopes Algeria police raid will help to shed light on wrong
- 20 Most Popular Stories
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 386 projects with a total value of $2,459,241,452 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Friday.
$50,000,000 Scarborough ON Prebid
$37,000,000 Scarborough ON Prebid
$25,000,000 Guelph ON Prebid
- Builders stack cans to topple hunger
- MTO unveils new methods for road work
- Price combined with criteria, wins bids
- Water protection needed for building envelope
- Students strut their best at Skills Canada
- OTA keeps on trucking for road funding
- Dessau CEO Jean Pierre Sauriol quits in wake of corruption scandal
- Journal of Commerce Update for the week of June 17th, 2013
- CASA and Manitoba sprinkler fitters union reach agreement
- ERCB investigates Zama City, Alta pipeline spill
- Industrial headquarters opens in Nisku, Alta.
- Public protection site safety plan required with permit application
- Sprinkler fitters reach agreement after strike
- Understanding authority levels
- Federal project apprentices discussed
- Pushing for accountability in safety
- Acquisition targets LNG
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)