Posted on April 03 2017
Canada’s longest road racing course, 3.14 miles in its full configuration, is a course you may not have heard of. Calabogie Motorsports Park is about an hour outside of Ottawa in eastern Ontario. In addition to offering a challenging, well-designed, well-maintained circuit, it also has the pedigree of having been designed by famed track architect, Alan Wilson, who is best known for designing Barber Motorsports Park and Utah Motorsports Campus.
The goal with Calabogie Motorsports Park from its inception was to build a course that was safe, beautiful, and convenient to a major urban area. The location in Calabogie checks all of those boxes and more, as it also provides a challenging landscape with elevation changes, as well as ample space for facilities without disturbing any nearby housing. These edicts were passed along to Wilson for the design as well. What he came up with is a track that is both accessible and safe for amateur drivers – with plenty of barriers, run off and gravel traps – while still being challenging and interesting enough for pros.
Calabogie has come a long way from its humble opening in 2006. When the first drivers showed up, they were met with a facility with no running water or electricity, and staff that was operating from trailers. Now, facilities are state of the art, with everything from trackside executive suites, to a gift shop, to 40,000 square feet of garages. All of this matches the quality of what some consider the most scenic track in North America.
A limited number of professional level spectator events are held at Calabogie Motorsports Park, including rounds of the Canadian Superbike Championship, the Canadian Touring Car Championship, and in 2011, a round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge for the first time in Canada.
More commonly, Calabogie is used for club races and track days held by local and regional Porsche, BMW, and Viper clubs, to name a few. It is also commonly used for its usage as a high performance driving school, and for corporate events.
Calabogie also holds its own race series for local racers, called the “Calabogie Challenge Race Series.” It consists of three races, a GT, Platinum, and Libre Challenge, with each race getting progressively more challenging. For instance, the Platinum Challenge allows for open passing, and the Libre Challenge includes open-wheel cars.
Calabogie is currently in the midst of a five-year, two-phase plan to further improve garage, pit and guest facilities, link the Northern section of the existing track, and expand the Western track by an additional 1.12 miles.
Radical will be holding a round of the Radical Canada Cup at Calabogie Motorsports Park on June 10-11, 2017.