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Old 25 Jun 2006, 02:00 (Ref:1640603)   #16
Louis B.
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Old 25 Jun 2006, 04:37 (Ref:1640634)   #17
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Today was much better.

We arrived at the track one hour earlier than yesterday. The weather was gorgeous.

In our way to our stands (ironnically, they are ten minutes away from home going there by bike but this access is closed during the GP weekend such that we must take the metro and walk 45 minutes to get there), my seven year old asked me whether the fox we often saw on the island would be safe. I told him that, shy as the animal is, he must have moved to nearby St-Helen's island for the GP weekend. I told him we might nevertheless see some squirrels or "siffleux" (sorry, I don't know the English word for this kind of tailless beaver). It reminded me of a few years ago when one of those crossed just in front Irvine's Ferrari during a Friday or Saturday practice.

Île-Notre-Dame where the GP circuit is located is essentially a man-made island. There used to be there only a few rocks and dry patches of sands and muds in the Lachine rapids. However, in the course of building the present seaway in 1958 with its locks allowing ships of a length of up to 730 feet to go up to the Great Lakes, the area was filled in with what was excavated in order to build the nearway St-Lambert lock and access waterways. This is how the present island came to exist.

It later became part of the site of Montreal Expo 1967. An olympic basin for rafting and kayak racing was built there for the 1976 olympics and, later, the island got most of its greenery for the the international "floralies" contest. It is now a park with a casino and formula 1 / champs car race track. When there is no GP, we can roller skate or bike on it. There is also a patch of water and beach in the middle of it.

Unfortunately, most of the island is, except for the corridors giving access to the various stands, barricaded behind ugly fences for the GP weekend.

The f1 infrastructure are getting old and Bernie didn't miss a chance this year to remind us of the fact that, while the future of the Canadian GP is safe for the upcoming four years, it could be held elsewhere in Canada.

Crawling with my eldest son in the crowd to our stands, I could understand how Lenin might have been inspired for his communist theories. While I paid a significant amount for my pair of tickets, the "well-born people" (the lucky ones working for sponsors or potential sponsors) are gratuitously ferried to loges with roofs, comfortable seats, TVs and free meals. The worst is that those are most of the time empty. It makes me suspect that most of the "well-borns" don't even care about f1.

Meanwhile, the racing fan has to walk to roofless and uncomfortable aluminium stands and pay his hot dog and beer $4.50/$5.75 each. Fortunately, we can bring our own food & drinks.

The show was good. JV kept us at the edge of our uncomfortable seats with early appearances and impressive lap times during the free practice and parts 1 and 2 of qually. It's a shame that he just missed the last stage but, as per my post in the qually thread, his engine deserved a rest.

The on-track live coverage is also surprisingly good. The pair of commentators includes the excellent "Bob Costanduros" (why is ITV not hiring him in lieu of James Allen?).

The Mazda serie race just after qually showed us how unsafe the track can be. We were patiently waiting to cross the Royal Bank of Scotland wooden overpass when the rolling start was given. I went with my son just next to the fenced wall such that the cars passed only 10 feet away from us. It was scary. My son was asking me if we could stay there for one more lap when I saw on the giant screen a huge accident involving a dozen of cars a couple of turns away from us (nearby where Panis had been injured). The ambulances went on the track. We later saw and took pictures of some of the wrecked car. I still don't know whether anyone was injured.

We came home exhausted and I fell asleep watching Argentina v. Mexico. My son, after having asked me to carry him on my shoulders for some of the walk between the stands and the metro, still had enough energy for playing roller hockey with his younger brother and neighbours.

Tomorrow is D-Day. Good luck JV!

Last edited by Louis B.; 25 Jun 2006 at 04:45.
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Old 25 Jun 2006, 13:41 (Ref:1640845)   #18
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I was looking forward to your update here -- thanks Louis! My friend didn't want to go (c'est dommage -- I wanted to drive his car) so I'm in Ontario watching it on the tv. Bien sur, bonne chance a Jacques!
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Old 30 Jun 2006, 12:46 (Ref:1644885)   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis B.
The Mazda serie race just after qually showed us how unsafe the track can be. We were patiently waiting to cross the Royal Bank of Scotland wooden overpass when the rolling start was given. I went with my son just next to the fenced wall such that the cars passed only 10 feet away from us. It was scary. My son was asking me if we could stay there for one more lap when I saw on the giant screen a huge accident involving a dozen of cars a couple of turns away from us (nearby where Panis had been injured). The ambulances went on the track. We later saw and took pictures of some of the wrecked car. I still don't know whether anyone was injured.
4 of them were transported to hospital, all released that night with nothing major -- bumps and bruises. One kept in overnight with I believe a concussion, but all OK. A testament to how strong and protective those cars are...

On the other hand, 4 cars totalled, 15 altogether damaged in the incident - an estimated repair bill of $2,500,000.

I was working 4A, saw it start, man, what a mess!!

Rich.
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Old 25 May 2007, 18:53 (Ref:1921191)   #20
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BobHWS should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridBobHWS should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
2 weeks to go to Montreal

Now that Monaco is here, there are less than two weeks to go to the start of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend in Montreal , so I'm reviving and updating this thread. Here are links to some of the events planned for the 2007 Canadian GP week, the biggest event of the year in Montreal.

2007 Official site Grand Prix du Canada
Tickets and hotel rooms still available.

2007 Canadian GP Festival on Crescent St
Thursday-Saturday, June 7-9

2007 Festival Mode (Fashion) & Design
Montreal fashion industry Grand Prix week shows, Wednesday-Sunday June 6-10, McGill Ave.

2007 Ferrari club of Quebec car parade and exhibit
Thursday, June 7, 5:30 pm to midnight, Peel Street

2007 Bridgestone Open House Day
Thursday, June 7, 9AM-1PM

BMW of Canada
I haven't heard anything yet, but BMW usually sponsors some kind of event at the Canadian GP. Last year was Pitlane Park, previous years involved road car introductions and a fashion show.

And, of course, there are always the F1 Babes of Montreal:

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Old 26 May 2007, 20:31 (Ref:1921772)   #21
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Thanks for posting this info.
Have you missed out the Gilles Villeneuve anniversary event at Le Marche Bonsecours in old Montreal, June 6th - 9th ?
How likely is it that good seats ( 2 together ) will be available from the circuit, on Friday morning for say, Stand 12 Section 4,5,6, or Stand 11 Section 1,2,3 ?
Reason for asking only single seats are available through admission.com / ticketmaster. Do they keep seats back like theatres ? May slum it in General Admission otherwise.
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Old 26 May 2007, 22:57 (Ref:1921815)   #22
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Originally Posted by gringottsdirect
Have you missed out the Gilles Villeneuve anniversary event at Le Marche Bonsecours in old Montreal, June 6th - 9th ?
Thanks for the tip...I didn't know about that exhibit, but it sounds very worthwhile. Here's a link:

Gilles Villeneuve Museum-special exhibit in Montreal
Le Marché Bonsecours in Old-Montreal
June 6th to the 9th

Quote:
Originally Posted by gringottsdirect
How likely is it that good seats ( 2 together ) will be available from the circuit, on Friday morning for say, Stand 12 Section 4,5,6, or Stand 11 Section 1,2,3 ?
Reason for asking only single seats are available through admission.com / ticketmaster. Do they keep seats back like theatres ? May slum it in General Admission otherwise.
If you're just interested in 2 tix together in those sections for Friday's practice, then I would say you could find them easily on the secondary market. Ask around downtown and/or deal with the scalpers or people who have extra tickets outside the track. It's usually not a completely full house for Friday's practice, so even if you get 2 tix that are not right together, you can still probably sit together...though they do check tickets carefully at several points before you get to your seats so you should at least have tickets in the same stand and preferably in the same section.

If you are looking for tickets for the whole weekend and you need 2 together, I would probably buy the best available from the official website (or call and have them held for pickup at the track). You could also deal with the scalpers. I would probably do this each day rather than buying the tickets together for all three days, because the scalpers will demand a premium for tix for 3 days.

My impression is that attendance may be down a little this year. They took away some stands (stands 10 and 3, I think), but the race is still not a complete sellout yet, as it often is by this date. The fact that tickets are still available perhaps indicates a drop in demand. Maybe some fans are choosing to buy tickets for the NASCAR Busch race later in the summer. But Montreal always supports F1 very well, better than many venues on the circuit.

I wouldn't buy general admission tickets, because there are very few good viewing places and they tend to fill up and stay full all day. You would be paying just for the right to go into the circuit and walk around and buy souvenirs and see the F1 babes...you can do that for free on Crescent St. and watch the racing on TV in a bar.

Last edited by BobHWS; 26 May 2007 at 23:01.
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Old 28 May 2007, 14:31 (Ref:1922897)   #23
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...you can do that for free on Crescent St. and watch the racing on TV in a bar.

That sounds pretty appealling !
No seriously - have taken on board your advice about GA.
Thanks Bob
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Old 30 May 2007, 13:23 (Ref:1924638)   #24
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2007 on Crescent St.

Here's the schedule of events for this year's Canadian Grand Prix Festival on Crescent
June 7th to 9th 2007

The F1 party to attend during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend is undoubtedly the legendary Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival. This year will mark the 9th edition of this world renowned Grand Prix celebration. Experience an unrivalled Grand Prix atmosphere during this extravagant four day party. You can take part in a variety of race related activities, visit our various F1 merchandise booths and take in some spectacular live outdoor shows every night. For the ultimate Grand Prix experience, come see how we party on Crescent Street!
Crescent Street Grand Prix of Canada Festival
2007 Schedule

Thursday, June 7, 2007

11:45 am Opening Ceremony - Dizzy Racers presented by Budweiser
4:00 pm O fficial Weigh-In for the “Gala de Boxe du Grand Prix”
4:45 pm Budweiser presents DJ LouLou and Guest
7:00 pm Budweiser presents Minority (Green Day Tribute) in concert
9:00 pm Budweiser presents Young Soul (Alternative Rock) in concert

Friday, June 8, 2007

12:30 pm Budweiser presents The Vets in concert
4:45 pm Budweiser presents DJ LouLou and Guest
7:00 pm Budweiser presents Electric Waves (80s Tribute) in concert
9:00 pm Budweiser presents Joshua (U2 Tribute) in concert

Saturday, June 9, 2007

12:30 pm Budweiser presents SIC (Alternative Rock) in concert
4:00 pm Budweiser presents DJ LouLou and Guest
4:30 pm Groupe Yvon Michel and BBF Promotions & Events present “Fast & Furious” (Public boxing training and autograph signing session)
6:30 pm Budweiser presents Synchronicity (The Police Tribute) in concert
8:15 pm Budweiser presents Dizzy Racers in concert
9:00 pm Budweiser presents Rebound in concert

Some scenes from Crescent St. F1 festivals of the past:







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Old 2 Jun 2007, 12:19 (Ref:1926823)   #25
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Oh, and for the record, you can drop the F1 from the Montreal Babes moniker. There's just babes in Montreal.

What a great town.
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Old 4 Jun 2007, 14:46 (Ref:1928508)   #26
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Bernie on Montreal

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first Canadian Grand Prix (which was held at Mosport, near Toronto). In the ensuing years, the race was held a couple times at Mont Tremblant (in the mountains north of Montreal) and back at Mosport in the other years. The race moved to Montreal in 1978 when it was won by hometown boy Gilles Villeneuve.

Here's a story about the 40th anniversary from The Montreal Gazette. It quotes Bernie on the Montreal venue, and for once, I agree with his opinion...though I do think Bernie will eventually stab Montreal in the back and take the race away from the city, so he can award it to someplace that is more willing to pay his ever-escalating price for the rights to host a race.

Inaugural F1 helped celebrate Canada's centennial
Monday, June 04, 2007

MONTREAL - The Grand Prix of Canada has been held 38 times, but this year marks the 40th anniversary of Formula One racing in this country.

Aug. 27, 1967, saw the first F1 race in Canada, held at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ont., 100 kilometres east of Toronto...

...Ecclestone has said that F1's arrival in Montreal in 1978 was the best thing to have happened to the Canadian event.

"Some thought the move was a gamble, but history has proven it was the right decision," Ecclestone is quoted as saying in Benoit Clairoux's book, Montreal - 25 Years of Formula 1, published in 2003 on the 25th anniversary of the race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"Montreal has become one of the best-loved venues in the championship and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has produced some of the most exciting races," Ecclestone said.

"Monaco and Monza are great venues and must-see events for the fans for many reasons, including their great history and tradition, but today they are not alone. Today, Montreal and the (Grand Prix of Canada) also have pride of place within the Formula One community."
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Old 4 Jun 2007, 15:02 (Ref:1928520)   #27
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"The Grand Spree"

Also, here's another article from today's Montreal Gazette, about the economic impact of big-spending F1 fans (I fit more into the "small spending" group) on Montreal's economy:

The Grand Spree
For the richest of the f1 fans pouring into Montreal, nothing but the finest will do. Our hotels, restaurants and boutiques are ready
The Gazette
Monday, June 04, 2007

This isn't just a car race. Montreal's Grand Prix will be over in less than two hours from start to finish on Sunday afternoon. But in the days leading up to race time, tens of thousands of visitors will fan out across the city for long outings of shopping, eating and partying, spending an estimated $75 million...
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Old 4 Jun 2007, 18:08 (Ref:1928654)   #28
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On the subject of 40 years of the GP. The first one in 67 was also Canada's 100th birthday. VARAC's vintage festival at the end of June is celebrating this event with several Vintage F1 cars and at least 2 drivers who competed in that event. I gophered for the Cooper team (Jochen Rindt and Dick 'Tatty Atty' Attwood). Roy Salvadori was the team manager and some guy called Ron Dennis was a mechanic.
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Old 5 Jun 2007, 03:04 (Ref:1928988)   #29
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Monday's Montreal Gazette describes the Montreal F1 Grand Prix scene in the downtown area...best advice--don't try to drive anywhere near downtown from Thursday through Saturday.

City revs its engines for Grand Prix week
Anne Sutherland, The Gazette
Monday, June 04, 2007

Cars costing millions of dollars will be zooming around the racetrack on le Notre Dame later this week, but for those of us who have to contend with considerably less expensive wheels, the streets of Montreal will be almost as challenging to navigate during Grand Prix week...
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Old 5 Jun 2007, 14:39 (Ref:1929399)   #30
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Driving in MTL. at any time is exciting! At least most drivers are fairly competent even if aggressive. If you are hesitant in MTL. you are toast.
Toronto on the other hand is full of totally incompetent drivers.
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