TORONTO - One of Canada’s most storied race tracks is undergoing a major facelift in the off-season.
Mosport International Raceway was purchased earlier this year by legendary racer Ron Fellows, developer Carlo Fidani and transportation magnate Alan Boughton.
When the ownership change took place it was assumed the trio had a long-term plan to turn the racing complex into a world-class facility.
Well, that long-term business went out the window when the bulldozers and earth movers arrived last month at the track, 80 clicks east of Toronto.
Already extensive reconstruction has taken place.
“We have done extensive work on the grounds,” Fellows said on Tuesday. “We have started construction of a new tunnel between Turns 8 and 9 that will allow two race transporters at a time to enter and leave the track.”
Fellows said the experience Fidani brings in this type of development has proven invaluable.
The goal now is to have as many as three, possibly four, major sanctioning bodies — and that would include NASCAR — racing at the track by 2014.
FORMULA ONE PUTS A BOW ON 2011
The final race of the Formula One season goes Sunday at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in the Interlagos section of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Brazilian Grand Prix will have all the drama of a high school play with both the drivers championship (Sebastian Vettel) and the constructors championship (Red Bull/Renault) already wrapped up.
On another F1 note, I can’t for the life of me figure out how a washed up 40-year-old Pedro de la Rosa gets a ride with Spanish outfit HRT next season while a talented kid like Canadian Robert Wickens is still sitting on the sidelines.
De la Rosa was most recently a reserve driver at McLaren but I guess his Spanish heritage trumped talent.
HRT, by the way, is based in Madrid.
KURT GOES BERSERK
NASCAR Sprint Cup’s Kurt Busch could face disciplinary action after a foul-mouthed tirade directed at ESPN pit road reporter Jerry Punch during Sunday’s Ford 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Busch dropped the F-bomb several times off air at Punch when the reporter tried to get a live-feed comment on the blown transmission that the No. 22 Penske Dodge suffered during the race.
When Punch couldn’t get a live feed quick enough, Busch stormed off into the team hauler.
As soon as Tony Stewart’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, announced he won’t be back with the No. 14 Chevrolet team next season, the guessing game started on where the Sprint Cup-winning pit boss would go.
Speculation that Grubb could stay at Stewart Haas Racing as crew chief for Danica Patrick doesn’t make sense. She is only making 10 races in 2012, hardly a full-time job.
More likely is that Grubb could end up as crew chief for the No. 29 Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick at Richard Childress Racing.
And his replacement at SHR is very likely to be Steve Addington, who has left his position as crew chief for Kurt Busch and the No. 22 Penske Dodge team.
JASON WHITE MOST POPULAR
The voting for the most popular driver in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is over and the winner is Jason White, driver of the No. 21 A&W Dodge.
White, 38, of Sun Peaks, B.C., will pick up his trophy Dec. 10 in a ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
White finished eighth in this season’s championship and is a former rookie of the year in the series.
“This is such an honour for me,” White said. “To have thousands of race fans take the time to cast their votes for me means a lot. Without all the race fans from coast to coast we wouldn’t be able to do this.”