Tag Archives: Canadian Motorsports Expo

Canadian Motorsports Expo Update

So they’re really pulling out all the stops and hyping the crap out of the NASCAR driver appearances this weekend. (don’t remember them creating quite the same frenzy for Tracy, Villeneuve, Hinch or Franchitti)
Anyway, this dropped into my inbox earlier today.

“Starting today, CME showgoers will have an opportunity to participate in special access sessions with NASCAR stars Michael Waltrip and Kyle Busch. There are a limited number of tickets available for private VIP Meet & Greets as well as Reserved Seating for the on-stage Question & Answer sessions. Both feature guaranteed, enhanced autograph and photo opportunities with Waltrip and Busch.”

VIP Packages range from $150 to $50 (!)
For more info and to order your VIP tix in advance, click here:  CME Website

Additional info:
NOTE: For those who don’t wish to purchase a VIP Meet & Greet or Reserved Seating autograph package, there will be General Admission autograph lines for both Michael Waltrip (Saturday) and Kyle Busch (Sunday). People in these lines will receive an autograph (1 each) on a ‘first come, first served basis.’ Tickets go on sale each morning of the show at 9:45 a.m. and the autograph lines will form inside the show, adjacent to The Mazda Stage. No additional costs are associated with being in the General Admission autograph lines. However, as we cannot predict the number of people who will want autographs, the CME is unable to guarantee that General Admission line members will receive an autograph. That said, everyone in attendance will be able to see and hear our guests on The Mazda Stage during their respective Q&A sessions and we will make every effort to satisfy as many people as possible with autographs. Our experienced staff will keep the line moving as quickly as possible. If you have already purchased a General Admission ticket to the CME but would like to upgrade to a VIP package, please email info@canadianmotorsportsexpo.com or call David Weber at (416) 938-7223.

The Rage’n Canadian meets the cast of Swearnet!

Has a nice ring to it huh? Also announced was an appearance by the stars of  “Trailer Park Boys” who apparently have a new racing themed movie called “Swearnet” coming out. (sounds like it’s gonna be right up my alley!!) This might actually be the most fun part of the weekend!

There is still no schedule up on the site, so I have no idea who or what seminars are being offered, or the full stage schedule. And since no one at the show has responded to my email from a week ago asking for those details, I have no further recommendations for you at this point. But should they decide to enlighten me or upload the schedule, I’ll let you know!

Next Stop: Canadian Motorsports Expo!

With the first thrilling racing event of the season, the Rolex 24, under our belt now, it’s the perfect time to reach out and connect with racing fans of all ilks and build on that momentum as we all prepare for the 2013 racing season ahead. If you’re in Ontario, or even in the surrounding US border towns, you will want to block off February 8, 9, & 10th, and head into the GTA for the 7th Annual Canadian Motorsports Expo.

Once again, the International Centre out by the airport opens it’s doors to thousands of pasty white Canadian race fans who groggily come out of hibernation every year to catch up with friends, colleagues, vendors, and venues, to shop, research and plan for the racing season ahead.

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Post Q&A photo op with Journalist Panel

With the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series making its Canadian debut on the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on Labour Day weekend in 2013, and with the Canadian Motor Speedway  in Fort Erie, Ontario coming closer and closer to fruition, the CME is Capitalizing on NASCARization of the Canadian racing landscape by providing a very NASCAR-centric show this year. In fact both “headliners” for the weekend come from the top tier of the US tintop side of the fence.

Saturday afternoon will feature an appearance by 2-time Daytona 500 Champion Michael Waltrip. While Sunday the show welcomes one of NASCAR’s most popular stars, Kyle Busch

Following along with the NASCAR theme, the aforementioned Canadian Motor Speedway will also have a major presence at the show, the highlight being a display featuring Jeff Gordon’s Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup car.

Not enough NASCAR for you? How about the opportunity to have your picture taken with the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy? This comes courtesy of Michigan Motor Speedway.

Other feature presentations this year include the Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Continental Tire, and the DragRaceCanada.com Quarter-Mile Corral.

One of the unique features of this show is the full schedule of panel discussions on the main stage, including the annual Q&A with the who’s who of Canadian motorsports journalists, as well as a series of smaller presentations and seminars offered throughout the weekend.
*at the time of this posting, the official schedule had yet to be posted, but it will appear HERE once posted*

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:
Friday, February 8: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, February 9: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 10: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click Pic to save on Admission to the show!

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To keep on top of the the latest information on the show bookmark: http://www.canadianmotorsportsexpo.com/

You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

I’m gonna be covering the event, and will be milling about throughout the weekend, so if you’re heading to the show, drop a note here, or tweet me on site so we can say hello!

Canadian Motorsports Expo Takes Giant Step Forward

I must say, I was suitably impressed with the CME this year. Just walking into the show on Friday I immediately had the sense that it had finally found it’s legs after several awkward toddler years.

Is it spectacular? Not yet, but you could definitely see and feel the potential and growth, more so than during any other year I have attended.

There are still some niggley things to work out. Flow of the show itself (layout of aisles/booths, scheduling of the mainstage/seminar room talks, sound on the mainstage) but those are all fixable technical issues. Other than that, the substance of the show itself, well, things were much improved in that area.

There was a larger corporate presence this year, which not only added to the look/feel of the show, but also upped the quality of the presentations and seminars. Sadly, I had to miss out on some I really wanted to see, due to scheduling conflicts. (will suggest a doubling up on presentations for next year)

Though I jinxed it on Thursday by talking about the weather (Bad Meesh!) and then predicting Snowmageddon (which actually did happen, though not that bad) the foot traffic appeared to be heavier, right from the get go. I noticed more people milling about, and with a larger hall this year and wider aisles, you would expect the opposite interpretation. I also heard vendors remarking that they had had more inquiries and traffic at their booth on the Friday than they had had during the entire weekend in previous years. So it would appear to have been a successful weekend no matter what side of the aisle you were on.

One can only assume, especially when you take into consideration all of the announcements about the growth of racing and racing venues in Canada during this year’s show, that next year we will see even more outreach for this “little show that could”.

I can’t stress enough how informative and enjoyable the discussion panels and Q&A’s are, especially if you’re a race fan. The opportunity to speak with drivers and industry leaders in a casual setting in the off season, when they aren’t bogged down by the stresses of the season yet, is invaluable, and rare.
Unfortunately, my trusty digital recorder decided he had had enough this year, and failed me on two occasions over the weekend, otherwise you would hear a complete example of what you missed. Trust me. They were phenomenal discussions! But hey, maybe that is better. Maybe that is what will convince you to pop up and check out the show next year for yourself.

Anyway, here are a few shots from the weekend.  (will upload a gallery elsewhere later, as FB pic resolutions are shite)

I didn’t take too many general show pics this year, as I was too busy meeting, greeting, listening and hobnobbing! But I did manage some from the presentations I was able to enjoy.

I will also be posting an interview I did with the Mayor of Hinchtown 😉 later this week. Always great to chat with that boy. Feel like I’ve watched him grow up before my eyes.

EDIT: OH Eureka! So, turns out I did manage to capture all but a little bit at the end of the Media Panel Discussion on Saturday! I will figure out how to upload it so you can hear it.

Also, Stephanie from More Front Wing managed to capture the Q&A from Hinch so head over there and have a listen to that!  (Thanks for choosing one of my pics for your story Steph! 😉 )

So there ya go! Another year under our belts to kick off what is setting up to be a pretty damned exciting racing season for all genres of racing, both here in North America, and across the pond!

Thanks again to everyone at Inside Track magazine, specifically Greg MacPherson, for their hard work putting this show together and assistance on site! See you next year!

2 more days til MY sports season begins

alright… Got all of that Football stuff out of your system?

Good, because now it’s time to concentrate on some real sports entertainment! Racing and Cars!

That’s right, over the course of the next week, things kick off in a big way, especially here in Toronto.

First up, this weekend is the annual Canadian Motorsports Expo, or CME as it’s known in these parts. In a stroke of genius, the powers that be decided to push the date from it’s usual dreary January weekend, to the second weekend in February.

Why is this important? Well, a number of reasons, but the main one being it’s close proximity to the Canadian International Auto Show (that kicks off next Thursday, and I’ll be there too) This makes it a great lead in to the automotive season here in Toronto. Plus, the football season is done (apparently they played their last game during the Madonna concert last weekend) leaving a good portion of the male population wanting something to do on the weekend besides tackle their “honey-do list” 😉 And, though they could never have predicted this, the weather has been ridiculously pleasant this winter. (of course now that I’ve said that, there will be Snowmageddon this weekend)

At first glance at the handy electronic version of the show program
There looks to be a much larger presence this year. The layout appears to have changed substantially, and there certainly appears to be a larger corporate footprint mixed in with the smaller “mom & pop” operations.

What am I looking forward to? The discussion!
Yes, it’s the annual meeting of the motorsports minds. The who’s who of Canadian (Ontarian?) motorsports journalists hold a Q & A panel each year (Saturday), while I, the “who the fuck is that chick?” of Canadian motorsports journalists, sits in the audience and heckles… er “asks questions” 😉
There are actually things to talk about this year! In years previous, much of the discussion at the CME amongst my colleagues and friends amounted to nothing more than speculation because as you well know, other than the mega teams, very few deals are signed, sealed and delivered in January. This year of course was a bit of an anomaly as teams were eager to secure drivers sooner rather than later to take advantage of the limited testing of the new car, a time sensitive priority with the first race 46 days away. (not that I’m counting… but I’m counting)

Speaking of the new car; you can get up close and personal with the DW12 at the show courtesy of the Honda Indy Toronto, who themselves will once again have a presence after a year absent from the show. Come down, ask about the car, ask about the race, get revved up for July!!

oh, right, you want to know about drivers?

Ya, they have those too! As is the case currently in North America, it’s all about NASCAR, (there really is no accounting for taste 😉 ) so much of the special guest action is NASCAR centric (hey, they’re probably footing most of the bill too, so good on them) This year features both CDN & US stars who will feature prominently throughout the weekend: Carl Edwards, Robert Yates, Randy LaJoie & Scott Steckly But don’t fret Open Wheel/Road racing fans, CME stalwart Ron Fellows will be there again (should be interesting to pick his brain about Mosport) and the most important feature, for me anyway, up and coming open wheel SUPERSTAR (though he’s always been one in my book) James Hinchcliffe! (he’s there on Sunday)

So, it looks like I will spend a good portion of my weekend on the fricken Go-Bus to and from downtown to the fricken boonies about behind the Airport to the International Centre. (my biggest complaint about this show, especially as a non-driver) (no, the irony of that is not lost on me) On the bright side, at least I know once I’m there, I will have plenty of sights and sounds to occupy my time! But don’t just take my word for it, come check it out for yourself!

And be sure to say HI! if you’re down there. Tweet me a hello @whatimthinking

And in local news…

So, it’s Mid-January, it’s so fricken cold here that your eye juice feels like it’s freezing as soon as you walk outside, and the racing season feels like it’s impossibly far away.

But wait! If you live in the GTA (greater Toronto Area) there is a glimmer of race season hope in the form of the:

Brought to you by the terrific folks at Inside Track News Magazine.  It kicked off today, but the meat & potatoes of the action takes place on the weekend (here’s the schedule)  Including the late addition of Monsieur Jacques Villeneuve! (Open Wheel… represent!)


I’ll be up there Saturday and Sunday, wandering around, snapping pics, going to seminars, and gathering news and gossip for here and OOW as well as repping for Level Ten Communications alongside Chris Jameson at our seminar on Sunday. If you’re in the hood, drop by!

In other local news… the interweb is all abuzz with the prospect of my buddy Paul Tracy being considered for KV racing.

I am cautiously optimistic, but it all comes down to money. Lots of it. What’s new??

I have no doubt he will be in a car somewhere for Toronto and Edmonton. They (the powers that be) would be out of their fucking minds to not make that happen, especially for Toronto. (will be touching on T.O. in a future blog)  But I would really REALLY love to see him get a full season (even if it’s just one) so he can have a proper, final, balls to the wall, kick at the can and go out on his own terms.

I guess we shall see…

Anyway, I’ll post some pics and notes throughout the weekend.