Bridgestone/Firestone Racing Academy will use new Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Track
SHANNONVILLE, Ont. - March 5, 1999 - The Bridgestone/Firestone Racing Academy is moving to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park International Raceway, effective in the spring of 2000.
Charlie and Brett Goodman established the Academy in 1992 at Shannonville Motorsport Park, just east of Belleville, Ont. when they acquired the cars and equipment of the former Spenard-David Racing School and teamed with Bridgestone/Firestone Canada Inc. to offer a comprehensive, industry-leading approach to driver training.
Former Formula 1 world championship Jacques Villeneuve, CART stars Patrick Carpentier and Alexandre Tagliani, two-time Formula Atlantic champion David Empringham and road racing star Ron Fellows received training at the Shannonville school. Four of the top 10 finishers in the 1998 KOOL/Toyota Formula Atlantic Series were graduates of the Bridgestone/Firestone Racing Academy.
The Academy will use a new track designed by the Goodmans in collaboration with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park that includes the existing handling track, to the north of the road course and the oval at the north-west area of the property, north of Clarington. The track will be designed in such a way that racing conditions can vary from a tight, precise handling circuit to a fast sweeper design. Construction will start this month and will be completed by April 1, 2000.
A 10,000-square-foot building will be built at the north end of the track overlooking the track and existing skidpad. The building will include administrative offices for the Academy, classrooms and storage areas for the 20 F2000 and 20 Firebirds and Camaros the Academy uses in its training. The addition of the Bridgestone/Firestone Racing Academy in no way affects current programs at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The Bridgestone/Firestone Racing Academy will continue to offer courses, racing and corporate events at Shannonville Motorsport Park, near Toronto Canada, for the 1999 season.
The Academy offers a diverse range of courses, including one and two-day test drives for fun, a comprehensive four-day race license program, corporate incentive events, mechanic training program and an internationally attended Bargain Racing Series.
"Having a Racing Academy located in the north-east forced us to offer industry-leading curriculums at very competitive prices with the side benefit of performing them in an unusual but advantageous environment: a purpose-built driver development facility, " Academy president Brett Goodman said.
"A dedicated coaching track offers numerous benefits to our clients that normal pro tracks don't. These include fewer guard rails and walls, minimum blind corners and a proportioning commensurate with the race cars that drivers at this level of the sport are likely to be running.
"You wouldn't see an accomplished ski racing coach using a pro-level race course for their developing racers. The logic is obvious, but rarely fulfilled in our industry. We are very excited about Don Panoz enticing us to re-locate. We believe the new driver development track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will be the most up to date training facility in North America."
"We are very pleased that the Goodmans have decided to move the Bridgestone Racing Academy to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park," Myles Brandt, executive raceway director said. "When Mr. (Don) Panoz completed the outright purchase of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last fall he promised race fans in Southern Ontario he would take steps to improve the facility.
"Race fans will see a number of fan-friendly improvements this season - including new washrooms in the paddock, new showers and washrooms in the family camping area, a new track intercom system, an updated public address system and a new snackbar and merchandise area at the top of Turn #2. The addition of the Bridgestone/Firestone Racing Academy will not only give Canadian Tire Motorsport Park a higher profile in the community, it will generate new revenue that will be critical in our long-term redevelopment plans," Brandt said.
"This is just the first step in our plans to once again make Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the best racing facility in North America. We are able to offer a complete racing package - oval racing, a track designed specifically for the racing academy and, of course, one of the finest road courses in the world."
For further information:
Bridgestone/Firestone Racing Academy
Executive Raceway Director,
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park International Raceway