2023 Family Day

As the air turns cooler and we welcome the blazing fall colours, the warm sunny days of summer become but memories. One fond memory many of our UCR members will hold onto, is cruising the world-famous grand prix circuit at CTMP (Mosport) Sunday, August 6th during the racer’s lunch break at the PFAFF Can-Am Challenge Club Race Family Day event.

Anticipation was high, as about 200 UCR member drivers and passengers congregated on the lower paddock for their chance to experience parade laps of the world-famous grand prix circuit in this year’s Family Day event. The paddock was a symphony of sounds, with Porsches of every vintage, including air-cooled classics like Randy Gananathan’s beautiful champagne yellow 1963 356 (a Florida import making its Mosport debut), Scott Berry’s gorgeous red ’68 912 and Hubert Lee’s wicked 1987 Kremer 935 street car in Martini livery, to a full range of transaxle cars and more modern water pumping weapons, like Terrence Tong’s GT4. Members took in the excitement of Sunday’s races and socialized on the lower paddock enjoying the cars and chat with specialty coffee and ice cream courtesy of UCR for this free event, but it was the lure of the track that brought out the drivers. 

Driving the legendary Mosport circuit is a thrill that all members should experience at least once in their Porsches. The track is a bit of a roller coaster ride undulating through a beautiful landscape with sweeping blind corners and dramatic elevation changes that demand that the driver obey the racing line to maintain momentum. 914 Special Interest Group member Todd Martin writes “I have driven this track on the simulator but that doesn’t give you the true sense of exhilaration of the real thing! This is why you join PCA, so you can have the opportunity to experience this incredibly historic track.” Todd piloted one of seven 914s present including Bert Schmitz’s newly acquired ’74 LE (Can-Am) Bumblebee.

As Porsche aficionados, our members feel a deep reverence for this historic circuit which is indelibly connected to Porsche’s glorious racing past, from the RS60 piloted by Ludwig Heimrath in the 1961 Players 200, Canada’s first high-profile international race, to the more recent stellar achievements of PFAFF’s GT3 cars. Sure, Porsche’s highly anticipated Experience Centre track will be a welcome benefit to Ontario Porschephiles, but it will never replace Mosport. Never.

Billed as “Family Day”, this year’s parade laps were very much a family affair. Tim vanRooj and his 1972 914 made their third appearance, joined again by his father Godfried, this year driving his recently acquired 1985 ½ 944. SIG 928 Member Eddie Cazes and his son Avery and daughters Rebecca and Erin came in a pair of 928s. Eddie writes “We had a fantastic time at the Mosport track. Being able to spend the day surrounded by fast cars, enthusiastic club members and a great community ensured a memorable weekend. To top it off, we were able to share this as a family. Thank you PCA UCR!” Avery, driving the ’88 S4 manual and Rebecca driving the ’81 automatic both described the track experience as “beyond their expectations.” One word of caution, driving the track is an addiction that can get in the blood. Smiles abounded at the conclusion of the time on track. Having made the introduction to Mosport, some members expressed interest in UCR’s Driver Education program as a logical next step to feed their newly acquired track addiction.

As a Special Interest Group (SIG) 914 member, meeting fellow members at the Can-Am Challenge event is a great way to connect with friends, and a great membership privilege. To those members with vintage/special interest Porsches that have not yet joined a Special Interest Group, please look to the back of this edition, or visit the UCR website to connect with the SIG lead for your model and connect with other owners that share your Porsche passion! 

A heartfelt thank you to all UCR event volunteers for making the day a great success, and our UCR racing community and sponsor PFAFF, for keeping the Can-Am Challenge alive, celebrating its 26th year in 2023. Look for your opportunity to get on track next year when events feature parade laps.

One final note, sincere condolences to Marg Jardine and family on the passing of Graham. Always a helpful volunteer, Graham is fondly remembered by me for his help with parade laps, most memorably assisting our 914 members to celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2019 when he acted as the sweeper radio car. Godspeed Graham, you will be missed. </>

Story by John Tipper  |  Photography by David Billo, Eshel Zweig and Frank Tsang

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