I thought Watkins Glen separated the men from the boys. Mosport makes Watkins Glen look tame. Most of the turns seem to have been designed by the Marquis de Sade. Off camber downhill blind corners. Turn one off the front straight you slice across the track right to left and drop down a hill towards a corner that you can’t see the apex or even the midpoint of. It’s theoretically possible to do it flat out in fourth, but I’d have to go back to the trailer for more cojones first. You exit the apex in a bumpy drift across a wide concrete repair patch with substantially less grip, slide out to the gator bumps with the throttle buried, gather up the car and what’s left of your composure and head towards the blank cliff called turn two.
You can’s se ANY of the turn at the entrance–just a hill crest with a lot of rubber streaks on it. You come in to the right of center, drop over the brow, and aim for an apex about halfway down the hill. Make that properly and the car starts sliding away to the right in the off-camber steeply downhill section that lightens up the front end and compromises your steering. You drift out, point the car at the second apex and it’s wide repair strip, and hang on. Turn in too soon and you’ll run out of track briskly. Do it just right and you end up in the gator bumps and make it back to the black stuff just before the bumps end.
You let the car keep swinging so the nose points left to the entrance of third. Incidentally, you really haven’t used the brakes at all so far–just little chicken stabs to make you feel better. If you try to brake as you head down the hills you’ll be dragged way off line and probably won’t make it back.
Third is a right hander with a decreasing radius, and of course, it’s blind and had a big repair strip you need to negotiate. It’s also flat out in fourth, though you do brake a bit before turning in.
Turn four is a downhill swoop that’s unbelievably steep and it twists left as you drop. You don’t brake at all heading into it, and the wide base makes it safe (SAFE!?!) to go through it flat out, but the pucker factor as your car gets pulled off line and seems to be headed directly at a grove if big, firm trees is simply amazing. You’re less than halfway around the track, and you’re scared spitless.
As you exit four there’s a short straight that you brake hard on once the car quits sliding right. Five A and Five B are tight right turns with an uphill run into 5A that is steep as a cow’s face. You shift down two gears to second, drift through 5a and punch the throttle for a second, then lift and turn into 5B. You slide all the way through this turn, sawing the wheel and getting as much power down as you can, because you’re exiting onto a long uphill straight.
Turn Six and Seven aren’t turns at all for a car with a weenie little motor like Peyote. I get up to about 120 MPH at the end, which is of course a steep uphill crest that you can’t see beyond. There’s lots of skid marks on the crest, but I have tyo sail right over it, flat out, brush the brakes for luck and turn in to eight at full throttle. It’s a wide corner that looks tight but isn’t, I go all the way through flat out in fourth. Of course you have to get the line just right or you’ll hit the wall. Someone didn’t yesterday, and he’s in the Hospital, though it looks like he’s okay. His car is an expensive cube of wadded F1 hardware.
After eight I lift, blip and downshift to third, get back into the gas to settle the rear end and push into nine, a thoroughly unforgiving, decreasing radius, but puzzlingly fast corner. Then a short chute to the hard right hander of turn ten, which empties onto the straight.
It’s exciting all the time. My heart is pounding just writing about it. No rest, no letup, no room for error or concentration lapses.
I’m doing a decent time, but it’s just the car. I haven’t done a single turn with any kind of skill or consistency in the three days I’ve been here. In many ways this is the most difficult track I’ve ever been on. They race motorcycles here. That’s just crazy. I wouldn’t think of riding a bike here.
More on the art and culture of the area next time. Very funny place. I like these Canadians, but they sure are unique.