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Toronto Motorsports Park - Track Review

TMP has emerged as the most important Time Attack circuit in the region.

Oct 22, 2012

Toronto Motorsports Park
Location Kohler, Ontario (65 miles southwest of Toronto)
Track Configuration 1.86-mile, 11-turn road course
Other Facilities quarter-mile dragstrip, timing tower with VIP lounge, classroom and boardroom, Pit Stop Grill, grandstands (for the dragstrip), F2000 driver training program, Advanced Driver Training program

With Toronto being the fourth largest population center in North America, it should come as no surprise that there are four racetracks within a two-hour drive of the city’s center. Perhaps the most accessible—both in terms of location and frequency of lapping days and race events—is the 1.86-mile, 11-turn Toronto Motorsports Park, built in 2000 on a WWII airfield adjacent to the NHRA- and IHRA-sanctioned dragstrip that opened on the same property back in 1955.

In recent years, TMP has emerged as the most important Time Attack circuit in the region, in large part because the Canadian Sport Compact Series (which you’ll find coverage of later in this issue) hosts the largest events in the country here. The current Time Attack track record around this deceptively technical circuit belongs to our good friend and occasional Modified contributor Sasha Anis from SG-Motorsport and his famous all-motor Nissan 350Z. Here’s what Sasha had to say about TMP:

“Although it may look like a power track, heavy, high-horsepower cars don’t necessarily turn the fastest laps here. We’ve seen lightweight and relatively low-power cars put down incredible lap times at TMP as proof that although it has two fairly long straights, there are enough tight, technical sections to require a well-set-up car and a good driver. So although it’s a fairly small and tight track, it rewards good dampers and a good setup. It has bumps in all of the wrong places and is very technical, so even if power will shave off seconds, unless you’ve got your setup right, it’s difficult to put the power down.

Modp 1211 02+toronto motorsports park+track Photo 1/2   |   TMP is run in the opposite direction for drift events so the last three turns—the ones closest to the grandstand, pit lane, and spectators—are used.

“Corner 2 is my favorite. It has an interesting dynamic, including a high-speed entry leading into a wide concrete curb you can get up on, a pothole at the end of the curb you want to avoid, and a braking zone basically immediately after the apex. So you can dive into T2 with a ton of speed and cut the corner aggressively by using all of the curb, but only if the dampers are set up right. When you get it right it feels too fast and like you might get tossed off the track!

“The next section (Turns 4, 5, and 6) is fun, too, though, where I use some left-foot braking and chuck the car through the tight esses and finish with a huge curb smash on the outside of the last kink. Flowing the car through this section and getting it to rotate well while still being able to put power down is extremely difficult, and it’s where I feel my Z makes up a lot of ground on the competition.

“There are two other technical sections on the track where time can be saved—the braking zone/chicane on the infield straight [between T6 and T8] where you need to brake as late and as deep as possible, and the quick lefthand kink [T10] and double apex last corner [T11]. The dogleg T10 turn is especially fun, since I’m at full acceleration in Third gear and my instincts tell me to lift off of the throttle for the kink, but when I keep it matted, the feeling is incredible. My Z gets a little loose here, so it’s twitchy and then settles down just before braking for T11. You have to be careful here, though, because if the car washes out too wide, you risk blowing the braking zone for the last corner, which is critical to carry speed out of onto the long front straight. “

For video evidence of Sasha’s record-setting lap around TMP, go to YouTube and search “CSCS lap record.”

Modp 1211 03+toronto motorsports park+track map Photo 2/2   |   Toronto Motorsports Park - Track Review

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