Hey, drivers, listen up!

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

Until the Rexall Edmonton Indy, it's worked the other way. It's been the Champ Car drivers going to a new track every week.

Each week this season has been on a track where they've never raced before, usually an oval on which many had never driven until this year. It's been with new cars unfamiliar to both drivers and crews.

Finally, 14 races into the 18-race series this year, they at least get a "home" game.

Justin Wilson, Graham Rahal, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Oriol Servia, Bruno Junqueira and Mario Dominguez have raced the Edmonton airport track before.

The regulars from the Indy Racing League have never seen the place before.

While having to race Saturday this year to fit into the expanded series schedule means a more-difficult-to-sell Thursday first day of practice and Friday qualifying, it ought to still be very interesting. The IRL drivers get their first go at it and the Champ Car teams can't wait to dial into the place, which, for many of them, has been their favourite track.

With that in mind, as a bit of a primer for the drivers who haven't taken it on yet, we thought they might be interested to read what other drivers have said about the circuit.

It sits on the property which was Canada's first flying club, started by renowned pilot Wop May - who famously fought Manfred Von Ricthofen (aka the Red Baron) during the First World War. It became a commercial airport from where May led Edmonton's bush pilots and the RCAF northern and arctic rescue team.

Sebastien Bourdais:

"It's just a fun place to race. This place is tricky. It's tough as can be. It was the toughest race of the season.

"You just have to sustain a higher level of intensity in the car. It's a place where it beats you up and drags you down to your knees. But when you pull it off and win, it feels really good."

Justin Wilson:

"It's one of the toughest tracks to drive. It's not a negative thing. To me, it's a positive thing. The thing about this course is that there are a lot of high speed corners with turns that require a lot of energy to handle. It's a course which challenges so many different areas of a driver, especially physically and mentally. The Edmonton track is one of the most fun tracks to drive. It is unique in design - half airport and half permanent road course.

"It's fast and flowing with a few bumps which makes it very technical. It's a quick track and if you get it wrong, you're going to hit something. There isn't a lot of room for error. It's a tough, tough track."

Graham Rahal:

"It's the most physical circuit we're going to do this year. It's such a fast course and so physical that I think it plays into my hands being a bigger guy and all. But the speed is the biggest difference. The corners are a heck of a lot faster than you're used to on other road courses. You get wide by six inches and the car just does not want to turn. You don't have to be very far off, but if you are, you're done. It's a very quick and physically demanding track with little time to relax."

Alex Tagliani:

"This is the most physical track we had in Champ Car. But it's a fun track It's a quick track. It makes things very interesting."

Will Power:

"It's a very physical course, fast and fun. It's high-speed corners with down force. Basically the combination means that the faster you go, the harder it is."

Bruno Junqueira:

"I think this is one of the toughest tracks that I ever drove in my life. And funnest! It's a very nice track, very fast, very hard to drive and I like it a lot. It's difficult because there are so many high-speed corners. It's easy to spin out and go off track. This track comes at you so fast. It's unbelievable, those fast corners. It's very physical to drive. It's really fast. And I really like it."

Ryan Dalziel:

"This is by far the most difficult and intimidating track I've ever been to. At the same time, it's a blast and now probably one of my favourites."

Paul Tracy:

"It's fast. It's all about momentum and high speed. It's unforgiving. It doesn't take much to fly off the track at 130 mph. Very fast. Very unforgiving. If you make a small error on your turn-in, you miss the line. It's a fun track. Definitely challenging. And much, much different than anything I've ever had to learn. A lot of the tracks that we go to are temporary street courses that are really slow. You know, you've got a lot of slow-speed corners. You're going 130 mph in some of these corners. It's pretty technical. You have to be right on perfect and have a lot of trust in your car."

Hope that helps, Helio, Danica, Marco et al.


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