Legally Fast: CASC-OR Ontario Time Attack

Written by Chuck Atkins & Dave Barker | Photos by Michael Lindman on .

Legally Fast CASC OR Ontario Time Attack

If you watch enough television these days you’re bound to see a car commercial with a hot performance machine being driven all out on an open road with a voiceover stating something about “performance, handling and speed”, before this flashes across the screen in small type at the end: “Professional driver on a closed course, don’t try this at home” Something similar occurs in car magazines where it is often suggested that car “X” is faster in the quarter-mile, but car “Y” is better all round due to its superior handling at the limits.

As a driving enthusiast, the temptation to explore your car’s limits (and your own) is hard to resist, but even lowly four-door sedans have enough performance to quickly get you into serious trouble with the police and your insurance company. What you need is a venue to explore your interests in fast driving without the risks to you or others that is inherent in street racing. The answer to “where can I do this?” is Ontario Time Attack. Ontario Time Attack lets you explore the limits of your driving and your car in the safest environment available.

Legally Fast CASC OR Ontario Time AttackOntario Time Attack racing (originally known as Solo 1), started in the late 1970s in Ontario when a group of car enthusiasts decided to rent a true road circuit in order to run their street driven cars in friendly competition against the clock. Since then it has expanded to a complete racing series sanctioned by the Canadian Auto Sports Club (CASC) and run at different race tracks across Ontario – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Driver Development Track and Grand Prix Track), Shannonville Motorsports Park, Grand Bend Raceway, and Calabogie Motorsports Park.

Ontario Time Attack allows you to drive your car on a real race track without the expense and commitment of regional road racing. Maybe you have a “grocery getter” and just want to experience driving on a racetrack, or maybe you have an expensive exotic and want to see what it really will do without risking your driver’s license. Competitors’ cars range from street cars which are usually their daily drivers to dedicated, fully-prepped race cars, and everything in between.

Ontario Time Attack competition pits you and your car against a race track and the clock. Each lap is timed and at the end of the day, the fastest single lap in class wins. Although there may be a number of cars on the track at the same time, there is NO passing allowed during competition and virtually no risk of car to car contact. Cars are spread out as they enter the track to prevent them from coming too close together and timing is done electronically to the thousandth of a second. It is very similar to professional race qualifying. Times are posted in real time in the paddock on a large TV screen and can also be viewed on a smartphone.

The Ontario Time Attack series is open to all production cars as long as they have at least a functioning three-point seat belt system. There are numerous classes (14) based on different cars’ performances and even a class for non-production based cars. Due to their propensity for rolling over, pickups, minivans and SUVs are not allowed.

Typically, an Ontario Time Attack event starts at 7:30 a.m. with registration, scrutineering, and a driver’s meeting. From 9 a.m. until noon, open lapping is broken down into three classes – GT1 and higher, GT2 and lower, and novice. The actual competition gets under way at 1 p.m. and continues until the track closes at 5 p.m. There are usually three timed sessions of five laps each and if time allows, open lapping is available at lunch and at the end of the day. The day ends with results and awards as well as a barbeque on Saturdays.

Legally Fast CASC OR Ontario Time AttackGetting started is easy. First you need to join a Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs (CASC) sanctioned club. Then, get a helmet (check the rule book for the current regulation) and sign a comprehensive Vehicle Inspection Checklist after getting your car checked out. Although it is not absolutely necessary, we highly recommend a licensed mechanic does your safety check. You also need to register for the series and any events you wish to run as well as get your car classified. Car classification can be done online and through our forum with the help of a Car Classification Committee member. All competitors new to the series must be signed off by one of the certified instructors, either at one of the OTA schools or during the morning lapping sessions. The last item required is a CASC Ontario Region class “C” license.

For experienced drivers, all you have to do next is show up at the events for which you have registered. For those who are newer to fast driving, we highly recommend you take the Ontario Time Attack driver’s school held at the Driver Development Track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, usually in May. The Ontario Time Attack driver’s school includes instruction on the skid pad, a slalom course and the racetrack in handling, braking, and car balance as well as how to learn the best way to take a corner quickly. There is also a second driving school that is held at the Grand Prix track at CTMP, usually later in the summer. This is a “must” for newcomers to Ontario’s premier race track.

When choosing a car, always choose one that you can actually drive and control at speed. Corvettes, Boss 302s, Z28s and GTRs are great cars to own, but to actually be able to control them on a race track is a different matter. There is an old adage that sums it up nicely: “It’s easier to learn to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car”. As you modify your car, choose your mods wisely; think of the performance gain with each mod. Start with brakes and tires followed by tweaks to the suspension. Leave engine mods until you have learned how to drive the car safely at speed.

As mentioned earlier, there are 14 different classes for competitors’ vehicles based on performance potential. All the cars that compete are classified in their original equipment state (which includes street tires) based on weight to horsepower ratios and handling ability. Any improvements to a car will raise that car’s class to a higher performance class according to a master schedule. The number of classes that a car is raised is dependant on the extent of modifications. Some classes contain absolutely stock cars, slightly modified cars from one or two lower performance classes, and more heavily modified cars from still lower performance classes.

Legally Fast CASC OR Ontario Time Attack PRNMAG 4Our system favours good driving first and foremost - as all the like cars are grouped closely together. Here’s how the classification works in a nutshell.

• Each car starts with its performance index (PI) number, with each class being separated by a value of 5 points. For example, a GT2 PI is 70 to 74.9 and GT1 PI is 75 to 79.9.

• The PI is based on stock values for the car's weight, power and Handling Index (HI) values.

• Performance Index Points (PIPs) are added for any modifications, depending on their potential improvement to lap times. More modifications lead to a higher PI and possibly a higher class.

• The base PI assumes the car is equipped with Street Tires. Running on non-premium r-comps or premium r-comps will increase the car’s overall PI. This allows street cars running on street tires to be highly competitive without the use of racing tires.

• In addition, some safety items can also reduce your PI. For example, a full roll cage is worth -2 PIPs, while a roll bar is worth -1 PIP, etc.

• You should also be aware, that some mods are free and don't cost any PIPs – better brakes.

• A complete list of Free and "PIPed" modifications are included in our Rulebook under Section 4.8.

Legally Fast CASC OR Ontario Time Attack PRNMAG 5To easily see how your car classifies:
◦ Go to: www.macrocosm.on.ca/ccdb
◦ Open a user account
◦ Pick your car from a Base Car List and then follow the simple online steps to classify it.
◦ If you cannot find your car on the Base Car List, please register on the forums and let us know.

If you have any questions or require any assistance, don't hesitate to go to their Forum, http://www.casc.on.ca/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=11.

The Ontario Time Attack community is always there to assist you in making the correct choices or to answer any of your questions.

For more specific information, please refer to our website http://www.casc.on.ca/timeattack.

2014 Mobil 1 Ontario Time Attack Championship Schedule
Best 5 of 7 Events Count for 2014 Mobil 1 Ontario Time Attack Championship

Saturday, June 7
Event #1 DDT

Location: CTMP
Host Club: OMSC

Sunday, June 8
Event #2 DDT

Location: CTMP
Host Club: OMSC

Saturday, June 21
Event #3 SMP - Pro

Location: Shannonville
Host Club: SPDA

Sunday, June 22
Event #4 SMP - Long

Location: Shannonville
Host Club: SPDA

Saturday, July 5
School #2 MIR

Location: CTMP
Host Club: SPDA

Sunday, July 6
Event #5 MIR
Location: CTMP
Host Club: SPDA

Saturday, July 26
Event #6 GBR

Location: Grand Bend
Host Club: TAC

Sunday, July 27
Event #7 GBR

Location: Grand Bend
Host Club: TAC

Saturday, August 9
Championship Shootout - DDT
Location: CTMP
Host Club: Director

November TBD
Event: Banquet
Location: TBD
Host Club: Director

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