Getting revved up for the Canadian Motorsports Expo this weekend in Toronto

As our not so nasty Winter wears on in Ontario, everyone involved with racing is itching to get on track. As has become tradition, many Canadian racers begin their season at the Canadian Motorsports Expo, presented by our friends at Inside Track. Running this weekend at Toronto’s International Centre, the CME has something for everyone from fans to photographers and of course racers.

For the fans, there will be cars ranging from drag racers to road racers and everything in between. The show stage will feature appearances by drivers, along with other exciting interactive events:

  • NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) Champ, Randy Lajoie
  • Canadian Indycar star James Hinchcliffe
  • NASCAR star Carl Edwards
  • Canadian racing legend and Mosport owner, Ron Fellows
  • NASCAR team owner and engine builder extraordinaire, Robert Yates
  • Meet the media fan forum
  • Inside Track Reader’s Choice Awards
  • NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Driver Q & A

In the Peel seminar room, there will be a number of sessions over the weekend. Some, like Mazda’s sponsorship/marketing 101 to a trailer towing primer are aimed squarely at racers. Friend of The Garage, John Walker, will be hosting a motosports photography session to teach fans some of the tricks of the trade. Newcomers to racing will want to visit with Russ Bond as he talks about the benefits of Arrive & Drive racing versus going whole hog and mortgaging the house to go racing.

The weekend wraps up on Sunday afternoon with a CASCAR reunion.

Check out some images from last year’s event.

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For full details, and to save $2 off admission, visit CME online.

Move along. Nothing to see here

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Canadian Touring Cars get new partner, logos and website for 2011 season

The longest racing series title in Canada just became a bit longer. Thankfully they’ve shortened the acronym! Now, the CCTCC is the CTCC.

Over the past few seasons, the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship has provided race fans and racers alike with some of the best racing in North America. For 2011, series President John Bondar has brought on Continental Tire as a new title sponsor for the series.

Obviously, this comes with a switch to Continental Tires. There is more to it though, as the switch also puts the cars on slicks. As the first race weekend will be the first time some drivers have been on slicks, that first event should be even more exciting for the fans as drivers adjust to the higher levels of grip that come with treadless tires. Once the field becomes used to the tires, we can expect the action to be even faster than it was last year!

The new package was revealed at the Canadian Motorsports Expo last weekend, along with the new series name: The Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Continental Tires. We’ve got photos of the launch after the break.

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Series press release

Toronto, January 21st 2011 – This is going to be another exciting year for the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC). Now in its fifth year, fans and partners will see CTCC sporting a new look and feel as it undertakes a major rebranding.
The distinctive new identity will carry the spirit and energy of touring car racing and will launch at the Canadian Motorsports Expo. “I am proud of the results. This strong new brand will help us create broader awareness and ultimately grow the series!” says John Bondar, President of CTCC. The new identity was created by Toronto-based branding agency Baker Vandertuin Inc.

Castrol is a founding partner and key supporter of CTCC since its inception. Each year CTCC and Castrol have worked to build on their partnership and are proud to continue in 2011. CTCC delivers strong value and allows Castrol to energize their brand and grow their sales. As they move into their fifth year together, CTCC looks forward to expanding their efforts with the Castrol team particularly in social media.

“Congratulations to John and the entire series on the achievements with CTCC. We are proud to have been partnered from the beginning and delighted that so many competitors have switched to Castrol’s EDGE Advanced Synthetic oil since its introduction last year,” states Marsha McLaughlin, Communications Manager, Wakefield Canada Inc. (Castrol).

“We are very excited to welcome Continental Tire as a new partner for the next three years. Continental has developed a race tire based on the same performance principles that go into their ExtremeContact family of products. The ExtremeContact race tire will be the official and exclusive tire of the CTCC. We look forward to working with the entire Continental team under the guidance of their Marketing Manager Terry Smouter,” stated Mr. Bondar.

“CTCC is the top road racing series in Canada and we are extremely proud to be the presenting sponsor of the series. This partnership allows us to expand our marketing reach and to promote the performance of our ExtremeContact line of tires,” commented Terry Smouter, Marketing Manager, Continental Tire Canada, Inc.

About CTCC
The Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Continental Tires is Canada’s only professional road racing series. Now in its fifth year, CTCC showcases race cars based on their stock street version. CTCC will be featured at Circuit ICAR, Mosport International Raceway, Honda Indy Toronto and Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.

A glimpse of the 2011 Canadian Motorsports Expo

The 2011 Canadian Motorsports Expo kicked off yesterday at the International Center in Toronto’s west end. While not on the same scale of PRI south of the border, the show still offers more than enough action to break up the winter with a bit of bench racing. The show is about the same size as last year, but includes a bit more variety in the displays.

For the fans, the highlights will likely be a meet and greet with Dario Franchitti today or Brad Keselowski tomorrow, along with lots of race cars from 3,000 horsepower alcohol funny cars to on and off road racers.

Interestingly, the most excitement yesterday (aside from the Inside Track girls of course) seemed to center around a crusty old 1972 Chevy Nova! This wasn’t just any Nova though, this was a car raced by legendary Canadian racer Don Biederman. It is about to be restored to racing condition.

John Walker is at the show today and I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon, so you know we’ll have tons of photos to share! For now, we’ve got a teaser gallery after the break.

To get all the details and print discount tickets, visit the CME Website.

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Kerry Micks describes where he wants to finish in 2011
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Cassie Simonton pilots this 3,000 HP alcohol funny car!
Lawrence Hacking hopes to be back at Dakar next year
CTCC is running on Continental slicks this year
Stop by and visit Sweetie Girl Racing and Sailun Tires
Inside Track has this super cool race simulator
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The Petty Experience
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Jason White shows off the new colors

Canadian Motorsports Expo brings some excitement to Winter this weekend

Here we are in the middle of January and most racers and racing fans are beginning to go a bit stir crazy. There is no new racing on TV and few of us will make the trek to the north country to watch ice racing. Fortunately, this weekend in Toronto we have a bit of motor sport excitement. In its fifth year, the Canadian Motorsports Expo has a lot to offer to racers and fans alike.

Fans will get an opportunity to meet NASCAR star, Brad Keselowski on Sunday. On Saturday, IndyCar veteran Dario Franchitti will be on hand to chat with the fans as well. No word on whether his wife, actress Ashley Judd, will be on hand but we can hope! I would suspect that most NASCAR Canadian Tire Series competitors will be around, even if some of them are just visiting the show.

There will be lots of vendors selling everything from racing memorabilia to speed equipment. Of course there will be LOTS of exciting race cars, from NASCAR to local oval racers and IndyCar to the drag strip.

The show runs from Friday, January 21 through to Sunday the 23rd at the International Center, just down the road from Pearson International Airport. Parking is free at the IC, which is a great deal anywhere.

To get all the details and get discounted tickets, visit the Canadian Motorsports Expo website.