The British Empire Motor Club conceived and built Mosport Limited, now known as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, to construct a road racing circuit an hour or so east of Toronto.
The story goes that the proposed Circuit plans were shown to Sir Stirling Moss and when he was shown corner five, he suggested changing it from a single-radius corner to a combination of corners. With his guidance, 5A, after the long back straight, became a wider-radius, uphill turn that gave way to 5B, a 90-degree, tighter, flat corner with a tight radius. In honour of Sir Stirling, this combination of three corners is named Moss Corner.
The name Mosport is a portmanteau of the words “motor” and “sport.” The pronunciation is MO-sport, not MOSS-port. Even today, many racing fans still use the latter, and, given Sir Stirling’s involvement, one can understand the confusion.
The original layout of the circuit remains intact. As you travel down the hill, you will meet multiple corners that rise and fall faster than a rollercoaster. It’s now been known as the “Andretti Straight”, but it’s not even called a straight, as it’s at the end of an oval. On your way to the front straight from Moss Corner, you will go left and right as the elevation rises, pulling into the last few corners as you break and settle into the final straight.
A sanctioned competition began in 1961, and that summer, the Players 200 attracted the greatest names in racing. The records show Moss won the event, followed by Jo Bonnier and Olivier Gendebien. Since that time, all the racing greats have competed at Mosport or won races there.
The first Formula One Grand Prix was held in Mosport in 1967. Jack Brabham, piloting a Brabham, took the top spot, his teammate Denny Hulme finishing second, and Dan Gurney taking third. It was at Mosport where the Canadian Grand Prix took place from 1967 until 1980, the year it moved to Montreal’s Circuit Mont-Tremblant to host the event in 1968 and 1970, respectively. Since 1978, this race has been held at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The city has hosted IndyCar (then USAC), Can-Am, TransAm, American Le Mans, IMSA, and even NASCAR Truck championships. Clark, Stewart, Andretti, Fittipaldi, Foyt, McLaren, Lauda, and Villeneuve are among history’s great motor racers.
In 2011, Canadian motor racing legend Ron Fellows and his partners Carlo Fidani and Alan Boughton purchased Mosport from Panoz. After a few months, they partnered with Canadian Tire, and now the facility is known as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Even though the new partners retained Brandt as general manager, the company underwent major changes as a result. As a result of the exit of Chairman Buyer, Fellows and Fidani became the company’s new leaders. The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville now includes the Mosport Grand Prix track, the Driver Development Track, a karting facility, as well as a modern event facility situated perfectly on the hill across the pit lane from the circuit. Despite some changes, one thing remains the same: the high level of competition on the Grand Prix circuit in the town of Bowmanville, Canada.
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