Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What is the Grand Prix - background

The Toronto Grand Prix is a CHAMP car, or CHAMPionship Car race featuring open wheeled race cars using only one make of engine with various body styles. CHAMP is also the successor to CART, or Championship Auto Racing Teams. The CHAMP style of racing is similar to the Formula One (F1) racing series with some subtle differences which include a turbocharged engine, methanol instead of gasoline and smooth tires compared to F1's grooved tire. The cars are extremely noisy!

The Ford Cosworth turbocharged engine allows for approximately 850 horsepower with a top speed of about 240 mph (or 390 km/h).

The Grand Prix races are held on both circuit and road courses - Toronto has a 1.755 mile (2.82 km) road course which now enters it's 21st year. The race is centered around the Canadian National Exhibition site along the shore of Lake Ontario. The cars not only race within the exhibition grounds but also along Lakeshore Boulevard which I believe is temporarily closed for the normal through traffic.

2006 CHAMP schedule shows 15 races of which 3 are in Canada (Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal). A.J. Allmendinger won the race previous to Toronto (Cleveland) and last years race in Toronto (2005) was won by Justin Wilson (#9 - Lola driver). UPDATE: The new schedule has 17 scheduled races and the South Korean race is not included in the revised schedule.

Before the Toronto race the driver top rankings are 1) Sebastien Bourdais, 2) Justin Wilson and 3) A. J. Allmendinger. There are three Canadian racers in CHAMP - Paul Tracy (ranked 11), Michael Valiente and Andrew Ranger (ranked 4).

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