Maranello Hardware arrives
Luc, having been late up to this point, finally arrives. It's almost time for the 9am driver's meeting, and he hastily gets in line for his tech inspection. Fortunately, Luc gets a repreive: the CMP staff are getting the logistical kinks worked out of how to handle this volume of people and cars (This is there very first time at it here at CMP, after all!), so we are about 30 minutes behind schedule.
Ah... there he is - finally!
Conversing with Supercar owner
At long last, almost everyone is through tech inspection, and we gather near the pit lane for the morning's introductory meeting and rules session. John Hamilton, the track director, welcomes us warmly. It is apparent that they are quite happy to finally, after all these years, have reached this point. It was (pardon the pun) a long hard road to make this track a reality.
John then passes us over to Bruce Gregory, a Porsche enthusiast and a director and shareholder in the track. He'll be leading our (myself and Luc's) class of cars around the track. The main rule - no passing today! We're just out to learn the track.
I put the camera away and head out onto the track - I've got a guy from Toronto named Joe in my car with me - he's a motorcycle guy that wants a preview of the track before he gets out on it himself.
I am the first car behind Bruce's pace 911 GT3, and so, technically, I'm the very first "official" user of the new Calabogie Motorsports Park. There's obvious signs of recent construction - the surface is still a bit dusty, the verges are not fully grown in, but wow... what a nice track! wide, super smooth pavement and lots and lots of ups and downs, and every sort of turn imaginable - heavily cambered, decreasing radius, high-speed sweepers. Scenic, too! The course winds through mixed woodlands, past huge glacial erratics, and into and out of open areas. It was fabulous even though this outing was at a very low speed.
By the way... if you notice strange white-ish looking stuff on the pavement in some of the pictures, it is lime. Apparently they went with a fast-curing process for the pavement and one of the downsides is this lime residue. It will dissipate in fairly short order, I was told.
After getting our first taste of the track, Luc and I hang around near the main straight and watch some of the nice machinery zoom by.
Photographing the Photographer