Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport International Raceway)
Mosport features fast, sweeping turns and dramatic elevation changes
Mosport International Raceway is a multi-track facility located north of Bowmanville, Ontario. Mosport features a 2.5 mile, 10 turn road course; a half-mile, paved oval; a 1 km kart track and the new 1.5 mile Mosport Driver Development Centre.
Featuring fast, sweeping turns and dramatic elevation changes, the majestic and challenging Mosport road course was designed by Alan Bunting, and opened in 1961. Since then it has hosted eight Formula One Grands Prix, as well as many Can-Am, Formula Atlantic, Indy Cars, IMSA, World Endurance, Formula 5000, and stock cars.
Although its importance declined after Formula One moved to the street circuit in Montreal, Mosport has been revitalized by its acquisition by Don Panoz in 1998. Current major events include Trans Am, American Le Mans, CASCAR, SCCA Nationals, vintage races, and motorcycle races.
There is an excellent official site at http://www.mosport.com.
There is only one road course configuration. A half mile paved oval and a kart track share the site.
E30M3 at Mosport with COMSCC - 05/02/2011 from Mick D. For more videos visit our Vimeo Group.
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- It is advisable to obtain an insurance card from your insurance company covering your auto while in Canada. Also, you should have a complete listing of all equipment being brought into the country (parts, tools, tires, etc).
- Do not bring a radar detector into Canada, as they are illegal and will be confiscated if found.
- There is no leaded gas in Canada. Bring your own racing gas, but only enough for the event.
Food & Lodging
Hotels & Motels
From what we understand, there aren't a lot of choices for motels in the area around the track. Most of the motels are located on 401 in the Bowmanville area. Here is a list to try:
- Holiday Inn Oshawa 1-800-Holiday (just west of Bowmanville)
- Howard Johnson's Bowmanville 1-905-623-3373 (20 minutes to the track)
- Quality Suites Whitby 1-905-432-8800 (two towns west of Bowmanville - 30 minutes from track)
- Twin Oaks Motel Orono (north/northwest of Bowmanville)
- Sonrise Motel Orono (north/northwest of Bowmanville)
You can also try calling the regional Visitors Bureau (1-905-623-0733).
Mosport Park (Panoz Motorsports)
3233 Concession Road #10
Bowmanville, ON, Canada L1C 3K6
Course Walkthrough by Will Martins
Photos by Dave Guertin
Mosport is ten amazing turns spread over 2.5 miles of the most scenic track around. If you have never been to Mosport, you are in for a treat! I love this track. Of all of the COM tracks, this is my favorite.
I consider Mosport a driver's track, as there is a turn at Mosport for every type of racer. One drive around will erase any question as to why Mosport was a F1 circuit years ago. There is the full-speed late apex at turn 1, the blind-late-off-camber-double-apex at Turn 2, the full-throttle late apex of turn 4, the uphill hairpin at turn 5 (aka "Moss Corner"), the high-speed double-apex or late-single apex at turn 8, and the chicane of 9/10 back to the front straight. These turns, the way they are connected, and the opportunity to smooth out and connect them lap after lap are what keep Mosport addicts like myself coming back for more.
Before we jump into the turn-by turn, there are some things about Mosport that deserve our attention. First of all, the paddock at Mosport is much like the one at Lime Rock, which is to say, there really isn't one. The paddock is a large paved area. No garages, no shelter. You will be exposed to the elements. Plan and dress accordingly. Several members will bring tents, and there are few trees that provide shade in the distant corner of the paddock. There is a walk-up type of cafeteria at the other end of the paddock which has outdoor seating, much like the one at Watkins Glen. There is no race shop, so don't expect to find any emergency repair items at the track. There is a gas pump, and prices are somewhat reasonable, at least as far as Canadian race track prices go. ;o) Many drivers bring gas cans and fill-up before entering the track. That said, previous years have provided so much track time, that even those of us with gas cans had to fill up our tanks SEVERAL TIMES at the track. Bring gas money...plenty of it!
While the track and grounds are quite beautiful, most of the track is not visible from the paddock area. There is a short section between turns 1 & 2 that can be seen, but not much else.
I have been to COM events at Mosport where we've had an entire day of open track - no run groups. We've also had days of 1-hour run sessions. Plan accordingly! If you are used to 20-25 minute sessions at NHIS, you'll find that the car starts behaving differently at 30 minutes. So can the driver. The car, brakes, tires, etc., get hot (again, so does the driver). All should be in top condition before the start of a weekend, and bring spares if possible. Be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks to stay hydrated.
Reference the map and turn numbers as you read the write-up below. Pay attention to Turn 5, which is actually a combination of turns (two right hand turns followed by a left onto the back straight).
Traditional Passing Zones that COM may run:
- Front Straight between Apex of 10 and braking zone of 1 (always)
- Apex of 1 and turn-in of 2 (sometimes)
- Exit of 2 and braking zone of 3 (sometimes)
- Exit of 3 and entrance of 4 (always)
- Exit of 5 all the way to the braking zone of 8 (always)
Tracking out to the left from turn 10 and onto the front straight, keep your foot buried on the throttle. This is a passing zone, so don't forget to "check 6" (glance in your rearview mirror). You'll shift from 3-4 somewhere around the start-finish line. Glance over to the flagger at start/finish. The front straight tapers slightly uphill and then tapers slightly down hill as you enter the "braking" zone.
Pick your eyes up and look to the flagging station which is straight ahead of you at Turn 1. Taken at speed in a Miata, all that is required, at most, is a lift to settle the front end for the right-hand turn into Turn 1 (but you'll start the day by lifting early). Breathe the throttle, turn in, and come all the way in for the apex. The pit wall follows the inside edge of this turn, which limits the view of the track-out point. Also, Turn 1 becomes a noticeable downhill slope as you progress from the turn-in point. This downhill continues to track out.
After breathing the throttle, and as you turn in, begin to apply pressure to the throttle. By the time you're at the apex, you'll be at full throttle. As you come around to the apex, you'll be able to pick out the track-out point as you pull away from the pit wall. The track out point seems very far away, but it comes up very quickly due to your speed and the downward slope. Done correctly, you'll need every inch of track. This is a very rough and bumpy part of the track, especially the rumble strips at the edge of the track (track-out). If the car didn't carry itself to the rumble strips, you weren't going fast enough. If you end up in the gravel, you early apexed. You won't do that twice in a row. I have heard some say that Turn 1 is the deadliest turn of any racetrack in this part of the world. The track-out rumble strips are very rough and slippery, especially in the rain. If you drop a wheel here, it is very likely the car will hook, and send you across the track and into the wall to the right. You will undoubtedly see skid marks across the track here. This is one of those times where the tire marks on the track are not showing you the line!
Exiting Turn 1 onto or just off the rumble strips at the far left, begin to bring yourself to about mid-track as the roadway straightens out and begins to slope up-hill. Continue to work yourself to about 2/3 the way to the right, but proceed with caution. The pit wall ends here and slower moving traffic may be headed out. This may also be a passing zone, so extra attention needs to be paid to the traffic all around you.
As you get closer to the crest of the hill, glance over to the flagging station to the right. A throttle-lift will probably be required. Start the day with a very early lift, perhaps at the end of the yellow pit-out line. Avoid the temptation of getting on the brakes as it will create a hard-to-break habit later.
Lift off the throttle and begin to turn in to the left as you approach the crest of the hill. Maintain the steering input and prepare to get back on the throttle as you crest the hill. There is a little break in the pavement on the edge of the track followed by the beginning of a white line. The little gulley at this point is where you want to position your left front tire. Begin to add throttle as you clip this first apex and track out to the right, just shy of mid-track or so (approximately 2-3 car widths).
The track is off-camber here, so the car will track out more easily than usual. As you come around this part of the track, you may notice that the track slopes downward to the right, which means that you do not want to be off line by more than a car width or so. By now you should see the beginning of a concrete strip to the left which if followed, will bring you to the 2nd apex of Turn 2. Done correctly, you should be able to maintain full throttle to and through the 2nd apex. Let the car drift out to the far right of the track. The track here is also a bit rough, but not nearly as rough at the exit of turn 1. That said, the paving for the exit/track out of 2 abruptly ends and becomes grass, which will punish extremely late apexes. There is also a wall there, which could potentially punish extremely early apexes.
Turn Two is the scariest yet most exciting and rewarding turn of any track I have driven. The goal should be to approach at first with caution, learn the line, and get comfortable with it. Speed will come on its own.
Exit Turn 2 on the far right and continue the arc to bring the car to the far left hand side of the track. Turn 3 is an extremely wide 180* right-hand turn, yet the grippy section is rather narrow. Turn 3 is a classic "out-in-out" type of turn with a moderately late apex.
Approach the turn as far left as possible. You'll notice a concrete strip that follows the entire turn. Brake as you approach the turn in point and carry just a hair of trail-braking as you reach the turn-in point.
I begin with my front and rear left-hand tires just off of the concrete, turn in across the concrete while adding maintenance throttle, come all of the way into the apex, and power out all to the track out on the left.
Exiting Turn 3 on the far left, begin to come across the track. This is a passing zone, act accordingly. Once again, the track will begin to slope upward. As you climb the hill, you should be at full throttle and making your way to about a car width off of the track's edge to the right.
Approaching the sign at the crest of the hill, begin to turn-in to the left so that you'll pass under the 2nd "C" on the sign, which is approximately 2/3 track width from the left. Continue at least maintenance throttle, if not full throttle all the way down into the extremely late apex.
There is not much run off here. Just a bit of grass and then a whole lot of wall. You do NOT want to early apex here. You do NOT want to brake here. You do NOT want to even lift off the throttle abruptly. It is easy to spin here if you are traveling at speed, and as mentioned before, there is not a whole lot of run-off. This is another area of the track that should be approached with caution at first. Learn the line, then speed will come.
TURN FIVE/MOSS CORNER
Turn Five is actually a collection of 3 turns, a moderate right-hander, a sharp right-hander (a.k.a. "Moss Corner"), and then an easy left-hander at the exit.
As you exit Turn Four, you'll notice that Turn Five approaches very quickly, partly because they are fairly close together, partly because you are traveling quickly, and partly because you'll be traveling down hill at full throttle. There are two distinct lines at Turn 5. I like the inside line, which is to say that instead of tracking out to the right after turn 4 and moving all of the way to the left to enter turn 5, I pretty much straight-line between the apex of 4 and braking zone of 5, driving across the track to a normal track-out position and ending up on the right-hand side as I enter the braking zone and clip the first apex. Higher horsepower cars with higher entry speed and less braking ability seem to prefer braking a bit earlier and crossing back across the track to enter turn 5 on the left-hand side.
Exit Turn 4, track out, and immediately pick up the braking point for Turn 5. You'll track out a bit to the right, but you will not cut all the way back to the left to enter 5. Enter the braking zone of Turn 5 close to the right-hand side. As soon as you enter the braking zone, there is a sharp uphill transition which will help slow the car greatly. Heal-toe your downshift into 3rd. Slightly turn to the right as you climb the hill and glance over to the flagging station which should be just ahead. There is a pole that stands in front of you, and this is where you should be aiming the car. As you reach the top of the hill, glance all the way over and down to your right to pick up the apex point.
This is an "autocross moment", where as early as possible, you'll want to turn your head to the right and pick up the apex point. This is a tremendous advantage. Instead of staring at the top of the hill (where you DON'T want to go, you'll be glancing at the bottom, which is where you DO want to go. This is the entrance to a hairpin turn that is directly followed by an easy left-hander and then a very long and uphill back straight. That easy left-hander is the most important turn of the track, and your success around that turn is directly related to how you handle and exit the down-hill hairpin at Turn 5.
Remember: slow-in, fast out. Glance down to the apex of the hairpin and use all of the concrete patch. Get tight to the right of the hairpin and then use all of the track on the left to exit and setup for the easy left-hander. Your goal is to accelerate from the top of the hill, through the apex of Moss Corner, through the easy left hander, and all the way up the back straight. Any time spent scrubbing tires around Moss Corner or the exit of Turn 5 is speed and time lost for your whole duration of the back straight. Remember the basics: If you are able to carry 1 MPH extra at the exit of turn 5, you'll carry that extra speed for the entire duration of the back straight, which is a HUGE portion of the track.
Interestingly enough, if you were to walk the track, you'd notice how wide-open this turn seems. While this is true, the line is fairly narrow. Combined with the steep entrance and steep exit, the turn certainly seems like a "hairpin".
EXIT OF TURN FIVE
There is no wrong way around the exit
of Turn 5 (what I have been calling the "easy left-hander").
You should be full-throttle all the way around. You'll shift into 4th
somewhere between the exit of and another overhead sign.
TURN SEVEN / TURN EIGHT / BACK STRAIGHT
The back straight is long and uphill. Not much fun in a Miata, but the time should be used wisely. This is a passing zone, again, act accordingly. This is also a good time to glance down at the gauges, relax your grip on the steering wheel, and take a breather. This is fun, remember?
While there is not a whole lot of time to be gained on the back straight, there is some time to be saved. Turn 7is barely a turn at all, but try to straight-line the track as much as possible to reduce the distance traveled. Also, keep the wheel steady and try not to scrub any speed. The straight is so long that a difference of 1MPH adds up to a lot of time!
Watch for the flagging stations on the left, and eventually make your way over to the left for the entrance into turn 8.
You should be all the way to the left
as you pass the flagging station and head into the braking zone of turn
8. Stab the brake at 8, carry a hair of trail-braking, turn in across
the concrete while adding maintenance throttle to a late apex on the right.
Glance up at the flagging station ahead and just to the right of the
From the far-right exit of 8, move to
mid-track to setup the braking zone for 9. The distance between the
track out of 8 and the braking zone of 9 is very short, at least the
speed you should be carrying will make it seem very short. Brake and
down shift into 3rd. Following the concrete, turn-in to the right. It
is best to late apex 9 so that the transition between 9 and 10 can be
made as straight as possible. Turn 9 can be considered a throw away
turn of sorts. The most important thing to do in Turn 9 is to prepare
for Turn 10, which leads to the front straight. This is why I
prefer to get my shift in between T8 and T9. I've tried shifting
between T9 and T10, and not shifting at all. Try them all and
pick the one that works best for your car, setup, and driving style.
Exit the late apex of turn 9 no more
than a car width or so off the left-edge of the track. Bring the car
back over the far left edge of the track. Glace up the flagging station
straight ahead. Depending on your line between 9/10, you'll either breathe
the throttle or jab the brake, turn in, add maintenance throttle, clip
the apex to the right, and power out of the turn, using the full track
and rumble-strips to the left edge. I have found the apex of 10 has
a good bump, but there is a good amount of traction. If you are able
to keep your foot planted, you'll need every ounce of traction and inch
of track. The track out rumble strips are bumpy and quite often a bit
dirty, as there is a bit of gravel where the pavement ends. This is
a high-speed zone with little runoff area between the track and wall.
Your foot should be planted as soon as you clip the apex of Turn 10. You'll shift from 3 to 4 somewhere between start/finish and the underpass. Don't forget to check the flagger at start/finish as well as your mirrors. This is a passing zone.
Lather, rinse, repeat. ;o)
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