Racing | December 3, 2021

Historic racing is the best racing

Written by Jethro Dundee, Photography by Amit Ahluwalia

Vintage racing is always quite a spectacle to watch. As old cars slide around circuits at their absolute limits, their raw mechanics, simple electrics, plus no traction nannies make for a visual feast on the eyes. You can see a car’s chassis rolling on its suspension, leaning on tires fighting for grip while drivers saw at their wheels, having the time of their lives. As great as it is to see these race cars sitting static in a collection or museum, attending the races is a perfect way to soak up the nostalgia. Paddocks are accessible to spectators so walking around, experiencing these machines up close and personal along with taking in the sounds and smells is absolutely fantastic for any gearhead.

There are some well known vintage motorsport events around the world such as the Goodwood Revival or the Monterey Historics, but you can also find amazing events in your own neck of the woods. Le Circuit de Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada is one of them and hosts three events a year where the noise police turn a blind eye and voracious beasts are permitted to rev their motors to their mechanical hearts content.

Situated in the heart of the beautiful Laurentian mountains a little over an hour north of Montreal, the race track sits near the ski village of Mont-Tremblant. Constructed in 1964 with 15 corners, changing elevation and just over 4 kilometers in length.  The track was known for it’s notorious “Hump” off the back straight which would launch cars airborne creating some spectacular and grizzly moments. The big boy Can Am and Trans Am series were the first pro races hosted off and on throughout the 60’s and 70’s and featured some epic racing.

Formula One also made an appearance in 1968 and then again in 1970 where the great Jacky Ickx took a win for Ferrari. Unfortunately, Quebec’s heavy winters were tough on the tarmac and every spring it’s surface became bumpier which in turn made it progressively more dangerous for high-horsepower machines. This eventually lead to the popular racing series pulling away from Tremblant leaving the track for just local clubs to play on.

Fast forward to 2000, Lawrence Stroll, now Aston Martin F1 team owner, purchased Tremblant and hired famed race track designer, Alan L. Wilson to redevelop the facility. Fresh tarmac was laid down and the overall course was updated to modern FIA safety standards. In addition to being Stroll’s personal playground, the track now hosts three must attend annual historic racing events each summer. Fortunately, one can also experience driving the track themselves through various local lapping clubs and high performance driving schools from Jim Russell and local/regional clubs, Porsche, BMW, etc.

Attending the Classic is a great way of reliving the feel and energy of racing in days past. Hitting le Circuit Mont-Tremblant for a day as either a driver or spectator and then grabbing a beer with friends at the village pub after is must do for any motor head.

Drive the track:
BMW Auto Club Quebec
Rennsport – Porsche Club of America

Watch the races:
Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant