Like many things in life, it’s really difficult to understand something until you actually experience it for yourself. One of those things happened for me last week when for the first time in my life I had a chance to spend the day behind the wheel, on the track with Budds’ BMW at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for their annual Driver Development Day.
If you have never experienced the thrill of driving on a track, I urge you to give it a try. Mosport, as us drivers call it, is a small but exciting track and has hosted almost every type of racing since it’s opening in 1961. The facility boasts a 3.957 km circuit, which has hosted Formula 1, Indy Car, sports cars, stock cars, endurance racing, motorcycles, motocross, showroom stock, historic vintage racers, “Big Rig” trucks and karts.
I was fortunate enough to have access to 2012 BMW M6 for the day and it was, in a word, awesome. With a short track, ten challenging turns and the fact I was as green as can be, I topped out my max speed on the backstretch at 190km/hr.
Despite being relatively slow, I couldn’t believe how invigorating it was trying to set up each turn. Budds’ BMW provided each attendee with a professional driver to ride shotgun. It was truly amazing how little changes and tips you implement in your approach can change the entire experience of maneuvering around the track.
Another big epiphany for me was just how much my attitude about professional drivers changed in six hours. I remember being outraged when Larry Walker, arguably Canada’s most accomplished baseball player lost the 1997 Lou Marsh Award for Canadian Athlete of the Year award to race-car driver Jacques Villeneuve. I know I argued that he lost to a car! I didn’t realize how much talent, focus and stamina it takes to navigate a track!
So, I officially have the racing itch! As a fan, now I can qualify for Best Western’s Speed Rewards®. If you are a Race Fan too, then sign up today, members earn points at Best Western hotels worldwide that can be used towards a variety of rewards, including free room nights, gift certificates, airline miles and much more.
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I can’t wait to get back on the track next year. Do you have any plans to hit the track?