Ron Fellows – Shifting Gears

July 18, 2012

Ron Fellows – Shifting Gears

July 18, 2012

A Canadian motorsports legend and one of North America’s most versatile and popular drivers, Ron Fellows is on the other side of the proverbial fence this week.

As a driver, Fellows is a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, three-time American Le Mans Series champion and four times voted the Series most popular driver. These days he wears a new hat, often a construction hard hat, as part of the Canadian Motorsports Ventures, Ltd, ownership group with transportation industry leader Al Boughton and real estate developer Carlo Fidani.

“Mosport has been a big part of my life. I went to my first race in 1969 as an 11-year-old kid and here is where I was bitten by the bug to go racing. A lot of my first wins came at Mosport,” said Fellows.

The first Canadian to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series event, Fellows and his business partners realized Mosport needed significant investment and energy to keep it relevant and successful going forward.

“We had to improve the infrastructure of the paddock, getting in and out of the property for the competitors,” said Fellows, who is quickly learning the costs of being a race-track operator and promoter.

“We installed a brand new tunnel in Turn 9. You can drive two tractor-trailers through that tunnel side by side. You can enter through Gate 3 and drive under the tunnel into the infield,” continued Fellows. Previously the track had to be shut down to bring competitors haulers into the paddock.

Another big change is the name of the track itself to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

“Having a marketing partner like Canadian Tire, we feel like it is really going to help grow motorsports and create a lot more racing interest,” said Fellows.

That is why spectator improvements are a big part of the plan.

“We have done a lot of grading to improve the sightlines for spectators,” said Fellows. “We created some new areas for camping. We also have a road that goes from one end of the property to the other so it now connects the grand prix track – to the cart track – to the oval track and to the driver-development track. You no longer have to go on public roads to get to these facilities.”

This big wave of improvements isn’t the end for one of motorsports most challenging and historic tracks.

Fellows, who scored his first Trans Am win here in 1989, reports that there is still much more to come. “We need a registration building, we are working on a plan for a new events center including a media center and timing and scoring and administration.”

When one of the hardest working, most successful and most popular people in motorsports gets rolling, the result is typically great success. Whether as a driver or race promoter, Ron Fellows knows how to find the winner’s circle.

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