Formula Atlantic car Flashing By
There is a car show in Toronto that has a achanging name but oustanding car viewing: both race cars and vintage as well. I am referring of course to …. uhh the Grand Prix of Toronto … uhh the Formula Atlantic Toronto Race … uhh all that and more wrapped into one big whonking show just like … uhh Talledega Nights.
Okay, so the Molson Indy takes a strip right out of Talledega Nights in terms of commercial overdrive and the omni-presence of Sell Sell Sell til they drop. And like the image of the Formula Atlantic car whizzing by in the time trials -its almost as if the car racing is just incidental. And for this reason I have avoided the Molson Indy as a photo taking opportunity. But this year I was lured down to Exhibition Place because it was on the way to the Electronics Music Show at Harbourfront – so why not take a few pictures while waiting for the Music Show.
And as I approached the grounds I was not disappointed with all the percs of power on display in the outdoor islands of tentshops sprouting all over the labyrinthine Toronto Indy infields. next to the newly being built Soccer Stadia there was a Country Fest with Coors-Molson beer tent and then a straight away of all sorts of car and motorcycle condiments up for sale or freebie grabs. I even happened upon a Cheshire Cat Car with winning grin of a grill – didnt miss this photo op.
Cheshire Cat Car with Grill Grin
But even the Cheshire cat wears out when the sell Sell SELL barking (including Canadian Armed Forces just prior to their ship off to Afghanistan) starts to wear down and out. So I found out where the Cars on Display Show is and headed off in that direction. At the Moslon Indy of Toronto, people flow loses out to race car flow – and that is to be expected. However the detour around to the Princess Gates and then underground and back up to the International Centre was hot and long but reward by four things:
1)air conditioning emanating out from the International Centre;
2)the pit area for almost all of the racing cars;
3)the display cars;
4)The Display CarGirls
Now comedian Bill Cosby used to do a routine on TV in which he was driving with a friend in a Shelby Cobra (and let me assure car afficionados, there were plenty of Shelby Cobras and their ilk to be seen at the Toronto Indy Car Show)… and lo and behold when they got to the end of the street, they were no longer alone in the car but there were “nubile young babes in the car too and to my surprise they were all over me … all over me”. Now the current Grand Prix of Molsons is applying that same psychology just in reverse. Add a few CarGirls to the show and the guys will be all over the CarGirls ….uhh the Cars.
None too soon I found the real prize of the Toronto Prix show – the indoor racing car pits and work areas for all the racing crews. What makes the International Centre so nice is that there is so much room they can do like the Royal Winter Fair – offer cool indoor work areas for all the various racing car teams.
Now there is a pecking order, the Champ (or is that Indy) car teams have their big Trailers and lavish meals laid out for them in their big Truck Wagon Rectangular Circles in the main hall:
The Truck Wagons of the Molson Toronto Grand Prix
Here I got to ask a lot of questions and found the crews from Forsythe on down most accomodating – willing to answer not a few novice questions. Too bad Russ or Steve or Ned or some other racing enthusiasts I know were not along – we could have had an even more intelligent chat.
But even more interesting was to find the real Racing Car/Talledega Knights – these are are the small teams that enter the various Stock and Team car races. These car races are like the undercards at the big boxing matches. However, these racers preceed and then in a departure from most boxing follow the main event. Now these racers do their own repairs and car tuning, prep the cars, get them to and from the tracks. In general they are jacks of all trades and it certainly shows as they work around a curious observer asking some rudimentary questions, taking pictures, and generally getting in the way of the shortest path to race preparation. But thes gals and guys are the True Knights of Car Racing – because despite “the Peanut Purses” they are out there with machines and speed and going all out – its in their blood.
True Car Racing Knights
Now I must admit that I am still a slave to curves and styles as much as racing car action. So this image caught my eye as much as the flashing racers. I wanted to stay for some more of the pole position time trials but it was getting late and the Electronic Music Show was calling its Siren Song- so I departed with one last picture: