WOW WOW and more WOW . Well race day at the Green was a roaring success. Stewart drove down from Montreal for the event leaving at 5am and arriving here at 9 am. The rest of the crew arrived about 945am. From then on it was lots of coffee and some really close racing. Some heats ended with the competitors less than 6 inches apart first to third. Some really good and exciting side by side duels. On the whole it was a great day Mareks 69 is quite a fast car but lacks brakes so we decided to rename him Mawrecked. Stewart will likely report tomorrow as he has had a long day, but there will be pictures and a nice write up with all the stats. Some surprises indeed. Until then I will let Stewart report the results and add a bit later. , Sorry for the teaser but it will be worth the wait. And you thought Vettel and Hamilton touched each other lol. Bob
No "tease" intended. Got back late last evening after an exhausting but very enjoyable day. Have had a few urgent things to take care of today, but will post something later this evening. I'm sure you all just want to know the race results, but there is a story to be told ( or written) and photos to be presented that will give the event richer context. I beg your patience and indulgence a while longer.
Hello Steward, after this qualification results i‘n sitting „on hot coals“ to learn more about the race. I‘m checking the forum every 30 minutes or so... After all the interesting results from the proxy so far this will be another highlight! Best regards Thomas
In my impressionable youth I would await the monthly arrival of the Motor Sport and Road & Track mags for the race reports penned by their Continental correspondents, Denis Jenkinson and Henry N. Manney. What a life they led! I imagined them motoring around Europe from race to race, staying in little pensions or charming local hotels, pounding out their reports on portable typewriters at café tables while sipping espresso or a fine local red. I wanted to be those guys, if I couldn’t be one of the on-track heroes they wrote about.
Well, in the end I never achieved either of those dreams. Racing scale models of the cars piloted by those heroes and writing about it for you is as close as I’ll ever get. My motivation for keeping this proxy series relatively local was to make it possible for me to attend and participate in as many of the races as I could. I wanted to witness the events personally, meet the hosts and their crews, and tell you all about it first hand.
Regrettably, personal obligations forced me to miss the Quebec City and Toronto rounds. I consoled myself with the memories of having met and raced with Christian Gingras and Chris Walker in years past. But I was damned if I was going miss the opportunity to finally meet Bob Chapman, whose Slot Forum commentaries I have read for years, and race with him and his friends at Canfield Green…
… Until the clutch hydraulics on my “B” car, a 30 year-old Porsche 944 Turbo, failed last week. My wife needed the “A” car, a 20 year-old Toyota Camry – hey, my “fleet” is ageing as quickly as I am! – so the prospects of getting to Chappy’s looked dire for a time. But Ron G., my old friend, past racing partner and local Porsche whisperer, managed to get the new master cylinder installed late Friday. All seemed clear for a scenic four-hour drive into rural Ontario on Monday morning, race day.
Sunday the wind-whipped rain pelted down. Storm and flood warnings filled the airwaves. I set double wake-up alarms for 0415 and was showered, fed, caffeinated and out the door by 0500. The rain and winds had ceased sometime in the night. An eerie calm greeted me as I fired up the car in the dark. Maybe the worst has passed us by, I thought, as I slipped the gearshift into first. The clutch pedal was satisfyingly firm under my left foot, thank God. I set off on my journey with a smile of anticipation and giddy excitement that recalled the memories of my trips to those first Canadian F1 Grands Prix at Mosport and Mont Tremblant in the late 60’s.
The rain came hard about 30 minutes later as I crossed the Quebec/Ontario border and soon the winds began to howl. I was fortunate that 90% of my route would be on the Trans-Canada, a modern divided highway (interstate/motorway/autobahn) that traverses this great country coast to (almost) coast. Constructed only 50-odd years ago, there are still some stretches where lane and shoulder marking paint has not faded completely away and the spacious 2-lane surface has not been narrowed by orange construction marker-cones. Radar beacon guidance would have been most welcome as I attempted to stay on the road while passing through clouds of spray kicked up by the thousands of transport trucks hogging the roads in those pre-dawn hours. Sunrise, though no sun was visible through leaden cloud cover, improved visibility a bit and by the time I exited the highway for the final leg of the journey to Picton in Prince Edward County the rain had finally eased. As I pulled into Bob’s driveway a bit before 0900, the view across the Bay of Quinte’s white-capped waters was spectacular, though I was happy I’d opted for the bridge rather than the ferry crossing.
Bob greeted me at the door, pressed a cup of java into my hands and we descended into the man-cave where that little piece of England that he calls Canfield Green lives. He even brought out the marching band to welcome me.
I toured the track, marvelling at the scenic detail he’d added since hosting the VRAA Proxy race last spring. Pit crews, course workers and spectators filled the landscape. In places it recalled an illustration from a “Where’s Waldo” book. I forgot to ask Bob the story behind the gold-painted driver in the paddock.
The crowds had already filed through the Ticket Stand entrance….
…and were filling the grandstands.
The crack team of Yellow Slicker Men were ready to do whatever Yellow Slicker Men do. I’m thinking it has something to do with orange marker cones?!
The Press Photographers were in position to get that Pulitzer Award-winning shot.
And the BBC commentators were ready at their microphones. Hey Marek, that wouldn’t be Sir Nigel in the telephone box, would it?
The Corner Marshals had their flags at the ready.
There were even some celebrities waiting on the podium to greet the race winners!
Before local drivers Lloyd and Kevin arrived, I took some exploratory laps around the circuit with some more robust sports cars brought along for the purpose. I didn’t want to risk any of the fragile open-wheelers while I learned a new track. Canfield Green has a wonderful flow to it, with subtle elevation changes, off-camber and changing radius curves and attention-getting hairpin corners at the end of quick straights. One could spend a racing season exploring the subtleties of this track and finding the final tenths of a second in it. I had 15 minutes. The pressure was on to not embarrass myself in front of Bob and his buddies.
Very soon, the other drivers appeared, the cars were lined up, and we were ready for the green flag!
Post by David Mitcham on Nov 1, 2017 3:54:08 GMT -5
A great report. I think the world of motor sport journalism has missed out on a real talent. This first instalment sets the scene wonderfully and I can't wait for the next part. Many thanks for your time and care in producing the report and pictures, and masterminding this marvellous proxy.