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Mosport: Toronto’s Best Kept Secret for Racing Fans – or Party Animals

This article has been submitted by Don Allan.

This article is more of an advertisement than commentary on automotive racing. Most people I talk to about auto racing are oblivious to the American Le Mans series, and I feel that it is my duty to share with everyone the hidden gem known as Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario. A stone’s throw from Toronto, Mosport houses some of the regions biggest racing events each year. Motorcycles and cars of all shapes and sizes are raced here every spring and summer.

Essentially, Mosport is a huge racing track in the middle of a partially forested campground. The race I attend each year is the park’s biggest event, the Grand Prix of Mosport, which hosts the American Le Mans Series. For those who don’t know, the Le Mans circuit is European (with an American series in North America), and is famous for its annual 24-hour race in France. In my opinion, it is the best racing to watch for the casual fan because the cars are familiar and it is easy to pick a favorite. BMW, Porche, Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet (which runs Corvette’s), Dodge (Vipers) and countless other mainstream car models are among the competition on the track. Typically, Audi and Cadillac always finish at the top for as long as I can remember, but to tell you the truth, I’m not really there for the racing.

Mosport’s greatest characteristic is its layout and relaxed atmosphere. I have attended numerous Indy’s in Toronto, and I must say that Mosport puts the overpriced and uncomfortable excuse for live auto racing to shame. In my opinion, the Molson Indy is insulting as a live spectator sport once you have attended the Grand Prix at Mosport. All that separates you from the track at Mosport is a 4-foot tall farmer’s fence – and a short wall of tires of course. Instead of grandstand seating with limited view, patrons enjoy the race beside a campfire or grill in a comfortable camping chair with a cold beverage. You are free to walk the perimeter of the track, and in most places you can view two or more turns. You are even allowed to walk through the pit area to watch the mechanics working on their cars, and if you’re lucky you may even get to have your photo taken in a car.

Our favorite is corner 8, which is situated at the end of the track’s straightaway – great for watching crashes or passes! Areas of the park are forested and are laced with off-roading trails for those with four-wheel drive trucks or ATV’s.

Many choose to camp in these places too, for shade and seclusion. The rest of the park is an open field, and many will bring campers and RV’s to enjoy the weekend with more civilized amenities. However, the park does offer showers and washrooms for those who do not wish to go four days without cleaning themselves. The park also houses two other smaller tracks. One is for smaller go-kart type racing, the other is a circle for the Saturday Night derby! This is one of the highlights of the weekend, as people enter their own vehicles to race others around the donut. Friends of mine have entered, and it is always a blast!

The other nights are always filled with campfires and partying. Everyone is very friendly, and it’s common to have neighbouring campers stop by your fire for a beer. Though not encouraged, firework displays are abundant as well. You are also permitted to walk the track at night or ride a bicycle, and hundreds circle the 2-mile track all night!

I have heard discussions of potentially bringing a NASCAR event to Mosport, as there are few other viable venues in the GTA. It certainly caters to that fan type, and it is a wonderful place to experience what auto racing should be. Mosport provides legitimate, entertaining, affordable and formal racing in an informal setting. I encourage everyone to experience Mosport at some point in their lives as it is truly a phenomenal experience for the casual race fan and seasoned partier.

This article has been submitted by Don Allan.

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3 Responses to “Mosport: Toronto’s Best Kept Secret for Racing Fans – or Party Animals”

  1. Principal Dondelinger Says:

    This thing reads like a children’s story. Sorry for all of the photos.

  2. Blake Murphy Says:

    Nope, you’re wrong…this made me want to go camping and watch this stuff. Mission accomplished, Donny.

  3. Cur Says:

    You mention ATV trails. In case anyone is tempted to bring one to Mosport, you should know that Mosport doesn’t permits ATVs or dirt bikes on their property. Their security staff actively patrol the property looking for them. More than a few off-roaders have had their vehicles chained to the nearest tree while waiting for police to arrive to lay trespass and other charges, followed by eviction from the grounds.

    Otherwise, the camping is good there. Just leave the motorized toys at home, be mindful of the 11:00pm music and loud noise curfew, and you’ll have no problems there with their staff.

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