A Day of Racing, Parading, Cold Weather and Sunburns
It’s not everyday that I get an opportunity like I did this past weekend. I was invited out to Mosport International Raceway to do some ‘parade lapping’ at lunch in my own car. All I had to do was watch some great grass-roots racing and make a small donation to the Hospital for Sick Children. It was a Win-Win-Win situation, how could I pass it up?
Anyone close to the racing world knows how legendary Mosport International Raceway is. To get the opportunity to drive around it in any form is one I have been waiting for. However, to run it you usually need serious safety equipment, serious money, and serious racing experience; all things I do not posses. More on that later.
This past weekend the British Empire Motor Club (BEMC) presented their 59th Annual Spring Trophy Races. The event took place at Mosport International Raceway (about an hour outside of Toronto). It was sanctioned by the Canadian Automobile Sports Club – Ontario Region (CASC-OR).
The Spring Trophy Races featured several different racing classes. Formula Ford, RaceOntario GT Sprints, Vintage and Historic Racing, Formula Classic, G70+, and Formula Libre were all represented.
The race series with the most participants was by far the RaceOntario GT Sprints. This series is fairly simple to comprehend. The cars are split up into 6 classes, GT1 through GT6. Classes are based on lap times around Mosport. Much like bracket racing in the drag race world, you can’t go faster then the target time for your class. Almost any Race Car ever built can compete in it.
So, just how did I end up on the track? Well the thanks goes to Alan Balinsky, a veteran of the RaceOntario GT Sprints, a friend to car enthusiasts, and a general gear head through and through.
Alan is the driver of the Scarboro Mazda 1990 RX-7 GXL race car (see picture). He competes in the GT4 class in the RaceOntario GT Sprints as well as the G70+ vintage race series.
Alan approached BEMC/CASC-OR with a simple proposition. At the lunch break during Sunday’s races, Alan would take a pace car around Mosport and give some car enthusiasts a rare chance to drive around the track. All you had to do was donate to the Hospital for Sick Children and own a Mazda.
With the help of some members at RX8Club.com the call was put out to several local Mazda car clubs. The response was phenomenal for a cold Sunday that just happened to also be Mother’s Day. With money in Hand I jumped in my RX8 Sunday morning and headed to the track (sorry mom).
I wasn’t the only one though who couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Close to 40 Mazda’s showed up for the event and over $1000 was raised for the Hospital for Sick Children. Despite a cold morning the weather held out and a great time was had by all.
Alan Balinsky’s generosity and hard work paid off. He won his class (his first win in this class), came 12th overall, and won the overall trophy which was awarded to him for winning the GT class with the most entries.
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