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      11-06-2012, 09:48 PM   #23
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Oh, and I think you're confusing me with STALKER.
That could be - its hard to focus on things in the rearview mirror that disappear at an astonishing rate...
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      11-07-2012, 11:04 AM   #24
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From the Toronto Star this AM

http://thestar.blogs.com/autoracing/




Another hurdle has been cleared by the developers of the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie.

On Monday, the Ontario Municipal Board rejected all appeals against the planned speedway, which will include a one-mile paved oval track with seating for 65,000 spectators plus a road course.

Good luck to them. There are still some hoops to jump through - completion of environmental reports, that sort of thing - but the green light seems to be getting closer.

I first wrote about this project in 2009 and interviewed Jay Mason, a Niagara Falls entrepreneur who was involved at the time who suggested that if everything went the way everybody hoped it would, there could be racing at the track as early as 2011.

Well, it shows how the wheels can grind slowly when it comes to projects of this size.

There remains some cynicism about the viability of the track. What might have made sense in 2009 might not make as much today.

For instance, one-day pleasure trips by Americans to Canada are down 70 per cent because of the passport requirement, which has hit the casino businesses in Windsor and Niagara Falls particularly hard.

Americans will buy passports if they want to go to Europe. Whether an American family of four will spend more than $300 on passports in order to attend a car race in the Niagara region of Canada is suddenly a big question.

All of the stories about this place, of course, mention NASCAR. The developers are careful not to, but it's no secret that if you're going to build a big oval speedway that NASCAR has to figure into your plans somewhere along the line.

But anybody who knows anything about auto racing knows that you do not snap your fingers and expect an answer from NASCAR. It is not a case of "if you build it, they will come," when NASCAR is involved.

And, in fact, NASCAR has made it clear previously it is not all that interested in the Fort Erie track, suggesting that races at Watkins Glen and Michigan International Speedway are of higher priority.

Of course, the International Speedway Corp., which owns NASCAR, also owns Watkins Glen and Michigan, thus explaining its reluctance to go into business against itself.

Plus, NASCAR is likely in the days ahead to announce a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for 2013 and to suggest that perhaps a Nationwide Series stock car race will be possible for 2014.

If that happens, the new Fort Erie speedway would have trouble attracting any of NASCAR's major series.

The promoters of the IZOD IndyCar Series race in downtown Toronto recently re-upped for three more years, so the earliest an Indy car race could be contracted for the Fort Erie track would be 2016. Even then it would be unlikely because the Toronto race attracts government money and a race at a privately owned circuit probably would not.

Return on investment, then, becomes a problem without major races at the facility. Whether motorcycle races or sports car racing would attract big enough crowds to turn a profit and pay off investors is of concern.

At the end of the day, though, Canada needs a big oval speedway. Despite the obstacles, here's hoping it gets built.

Talking about Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - or Old Mosport, as I call it on occasion - the Castrol control/scoring tower – which started life in 1962 as the Esso tower at Mosport Park – was demolished Monday after 50 years of service.

The tower was removed in order to lengthen the pit lane for an anticipated NASCAR race in 2013. It was about to become redundant in any event because a new corporate and media centre, plus offices, is under construction across the track on driver’s left at turn ten.

Other than the name change, the Castrol tower stayed just about the same for all of those 50 years. On the ground floor, there was a medical room where members of the Ontario Race Physicians organization could do their work; a large area where press conferences were held; a small reception area where competition reports and statistics were prepared – and where lunch was served – and a unisex washroom. Upstairs were executive offices, a working press room where the track announcers occupied a corner, and men’s and women’s washrooms.

At one time or another, each and every one of the greats, and not-so-greats, in the world of motorsport passed through that building. Now, only the ghosts remain.

I could write a book about that place - but here are just a couple of quick reminiscences off the top of my head.

In 1977, A.J. Foyt came up from Indianapolis to promote an Indy car race at Mosport – the Molson Diamond Indy – and went on and on about how wonderful the track was. There was a big, somewhat gruff, reporter there from a newspaper in Dayton, Ohio, who was taking delight in egging Foyt on.

"Tex," he’d say, "just exactly what is it about this place that makes you so keen to race here?"

And Foyt would give the guy a steely eye and then say something like, "I like racin’ on real road courses and there ain’t nowhere better’n this place."

And the reporter would follow up. "Tex," he’d say, "you seem to like just about everything at this place. Is there anything you don’t like?"

And Foyt would grit his teeth and give the guy an even steelier eye and say, "Nope, I can’t say there’s anything wrong with this place at all."

And then the reporter dropped the clunker: "Tex,' he said, "how much are they payin’ you to say all this?"

And Foyt snapped at the guy: "None of your business. And if you ask me another stupid question like that, we’re goin’ outside."

Later that same year, Ian Ashley lost control of his Hesketh at the end of the Andretti straight and wrapped himself and the car around a television tower.

About an hour later, I was in the late Harvey Hudes’s office (he owned the circuit, in partnership with Bernie Kamin) when three very upset people – two women and a man, all in their 20s or early 30s – walked in and asked to use the phone.

The man placed an overseas call to England and got Ashley’s mother on the line.

"It’s Tony," he said (I think this was Anthony Horsley, known as Bubbles, who was a great friend of Lord Hesketh) and I’ve got bad news. Ian’s had an accident. They’ve flown him to hospital."

Of course, Ashley recovered and, in fact, raced in the first Molson Indy Toronto at the CNE in 1986. But I was struck by Horsley’s calmness once he got on the phone – he’d been as upset as the two women when he first walked into Hudes’s office – and by the reaction of Ashley’s mother when she was told about the accident.

I was close enough to the phone to hear her response. "Oh, dear," she said.

So very British.

I could go on. But it’s gone.

And great things are right ahead for Old Mosport, I think.

Last edited by Gearhead999s; 11-07-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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      11-07-2012, 02:31 PM   #25
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^ I don't see why the Indy couldn't be held in Toronto and an oval race in 'Niagara Falls' in the same year. Isn't the Toronto Indy one of the most profitable events on the IZOD calendar? I don't see the oval cannibalizing the street race.
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      11-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #26
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Oh, and I think you're confusing me with STALKER.
i see that second ball finally dropped and you feeling pretty good about yourself after the DDT. I almost feel bad having to burst your bubble next year....
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      11-07-2012, 04:24 PM   #27
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That could be - its hard to focus on things in the rearview mirror that disappear at an astonishing rate...
Red Pcars tend to do that.
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      11-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #28
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i see that second ball finally dropped and you feeling pretty good about yourself after the DDT. I almost feel bad having to burst your bubble next year....
You guys are going to be fun to watch next year!
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      11-07-2012, 05:56 PM   #29
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You guys are going to be fun to watch next year!
LOL. All in good fun. Khalid knows he's my boy.
But I'm still gonna have to smoke him at the Glen.
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      11-07-2012, 05:58 PM   #30
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LOL. All in good fun. Khalid knows he's my boy.
But I'm still gonna have to smoke him at the Glen.

I will ask Joe to run the Nascrap track for you guys.....then you guys bump and push each other around and feel right at home....
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      11-07-2012, 06:36 PM   #31
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LOL. All in good fun. Khalid knows he's my boy.
But I'm still gonna have to smoke him at the Glen.
Definitely all in good fun! But i'm gonna milk this all the way to the Glen! You aren't going to hear the end of this all winter!

PS. The handle STALKER makes sense now - all you gonna be doing is following me around the track!

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      11-07-2012, 07:16 PM   #32
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Definitely all in good fun! But i'm gonna milk this all the way to the Glen! You aren't going to hear the end of this all winter!

PS. The handle STALKER makes sense now - all you gonna be doing is following me around the track!
You know what STALKER's do to their victims???
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      11-07-2012, 07:21 PM   #33
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You know what STALKER's do to their victims???
... yeah I do, but that assumes you can keep up with them
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      11-07-2012, 07:31 PM   #34
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I stand by my previous comment
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      11-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #35
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... yeah I do, but that assumes you can keep up with them
ppssshhh, thats the easy part.
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      11-07-2012, 11:04 PM   #36
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Alright, done! I'll get the engineers on it.
while you're at it, don't forget the "chicken" figure 8 and the multiple crossovers (i think 5 levels oughta be enough).
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      11-23-2012, 05:25 PM   #37
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I hope this is just a negotiation tactic:

http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news/...dway-deal-dead

EXCLUSIVE: Landowners say Speedway deal dead

Without land purchase, Fort Erie project can’t go forward


EXCLUSIVE: Landowners say Speedway deal dead. Property owners near the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway say they’re tired of repeated assurances by the developers to close the deal on the purchase of their land.
After being repeatedly assured that a deal was imminent, two property owners have given up on the Canadian Motor Speedway, throwing the entire project into jeopardy.

As a condition of the holding provisions for the by-law to approve the speedway, the developers must first acquire three properties from homeowners in the area.

But after what they described as years of promises by Speedway director Azhar Mohammed to finalize the purchase of their properties, those homeowners have now given up on the deal entirely, effectively stopping the $400-million project in its tracks.

Mohammed, however, says there’s been a misunderstanding, and they have every intention of closing the deal.

After watching deadline after deadline float by without any movement, Richard Jukosky and Mike Racey, two of the land owners, gave Mohammed an ultimatum.

Jukosky said the agreed upon closing date of Nov. 12 — a date he said was chosen by Mohammed — passed without any movement on the sale of either property.

“He said the money would be here soon, then the closing date came, and we haven’t heard from him since,” said Jukosky.

Racey provided Niagara this Week with a voicemail recording left by Mohammed, in which he repeatedly told Racey not to worry, and agreed to the sale deadline.

“We’re definitely closing early next week,” said Mohammed on the voicemail from Nov. 1. “In 10 days you’ll have the funds.”

John Crossingham, a St. Catharines lawyer who specializes in municipal cases, has been representing both Racey and Jukosky from the beginning. He confirmed to Niagara this Week the deadline for the sale of the properties came and went without receiving any contact from anyone representing the speedway.

“As far as I’m concerned, the deal is finished,” said Crossingham.

Asked if he had made any subsequent attempts to contact the speedway developers concerning the closing, Crossingham said at this point he had “no reason to communicate with them.”

When reached on his cell by Niagara this Week for comment, Mohammed said, “I don’t care what Mr. Crossingham says,” and denied the existence of any deadline for the deal.

“I think our own lawyers have a different opinion,” said Mohammed. “We have every intention of closing with them.”

He added there have been some issues transferring the funds, and said there is always a lot of “scrutiny” when transferring money from the Middle East to Canada.

When asked how he plans to broker a deal which the landowners say is dead, Mohammed replied “the town will have to deal with them with respect to the project.”

“We’re not running away from our obligation here,” said Mohammed.

He believes there was some misunderstanding between himself and the landowners with respect to the final closing date, but when asked to clarify he said, “stop wasting my time,” and hung up the phone.

Jukosky and Racey only gave Mohammed a final deadline for the sale, because of what they said were so many previous broken deadlines.

“He (Mohammed) was always telling us he needed just a bit more time, always saying ‘the money is on its way’ but it never was,” said Jukosky.

Racey said he’s also dealt with a string of aborted deadlines and broken promises from Mohammed.

“He’s … creating a lot of false hope,” said Racey as he flipped through hundreds of pages of legal correspondence between various law firms.

Both homeowners said they have now accumulated thousands of dollars of legal expenses as a result of repeated sale negotiations, and are also fed up with the stress that follows each new letdown.

Jukosky and Racey had both put in offers on new homes after being assured by Mohammed they would have the funds to purchase the houses by Nov. 12, but have now had to cancel those plans.

Now in his 70s, Jukosky said he just wants to get out of the state of limbo he’s found himself in for the past six years, and move on to his retirement plans with his wife Carol.

“We gave him the benefit of the doubt and gave him one last chance,” said Racey as he recalled his final talk with Mohammed.

“When he gave me his word back then, I told him ‘are you sure you want to say that?’ because I’d had enough of this emotional rollercoaster. It’s been six years, I want to get on with my life, this was the final straw,” said Racey.

Despite his initial displeasure with the idea of selling the place he called home for 39 years to make room for a speedway, Jukosky said he was fully prepared to do so, and was looking forward to seeing the project come to life. With the potential closure of the horse racing track looming, Jukosky said he eventually agreed the town needed the economic boost the speedway would provide.

“I love this house, but it’s big,” said Jukosky. “It was a fair deal, we would have been happy to take it and move out to a smaller place, but he (Azhar) never came through.”

He called much of the public opposition to the speedway “a farce” and said the claims of at-risk species such as bobolinks being found in the area are unfounded.

“The soybean farms here have completely removed the songbird population from the area. I think the speedway would actually be an improvement for the environment here,” said Jukosky.

Racey is also fully supportive of seeing the speedway built, and is aware that as one of a small handful of people with the power to stop a project which many in Fort Erie believe is the town’s last great hope for survival, he’s in quite an awkward position.

“I’ve already had threats over this,” said Racey. “But we’re real people, with lives, and we’ve been strung along too many times now, we’ve got to move on. I just don’t think the money is really there.”

Due to a sunset clause, the holding provisions on the speedway by-law won’t expire until Sep. 2020, meaning the elderly Jukosky’s options are limited.

They can either sell to the Speedway or stay in their home.

After six years of trying to sell to the Speedway to no avail, Jukosky said he’s finished with all the lawyering and negotiating.

“No more deals, no more extensions,” said Jukosky. “He’s lost our trust.”
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      11-23-2012, 11:21 PM   #38
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They probably aren't going ahead with the purchase since a new NIMBY group PALS has appealed the OMB decision.





Thorold Niagara News - November 21

An environmental group who has opposed the Canadian Motor Speedway has thrown another fork into the plans moving ahead.

The Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society (PALS) has appealed the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)'s decision that ruled in favour of the $400 million project, expected to be built on 823 acres of land in Fort Erie.

Concerned groups had 30 days to file an appeal over the OMB's decision and last week, the PALS group followed through with that right.

John Bacher a researcher with PALS, who also spoke publicly at the OMB hearing, told the Fort Erie Times there are a number of issues he and his group have with the OMB's decision.

"There were a number of errors and that's why we wanted to appeal," said Bacher.

He feels an alternate site in Niagara Falls was not given the proper amount of consideration by the board.

He feels the headwaters spring for Miller's Creek will not be protected, along with significant forests on the site.

He also feels the presence of the Bobolink, an endangered species, was not given proper consideration by the board.

When asked if PALS considered the current economic state of Fort Erie and ten per cent of its population being unemployed, he said "we're concerned about economic considerations."

He continued by saying that the speedway is not the last hope for Greater Fort Erie and that the provincial government could assist by helping the municipality with brownfield designations around town.

"There are a lot of brownfield sites in Fort Erie that could be re-developed," said Bacher.

Azhar Mohammad, executive director the speedway, said his group is evaluating the impact of this appeal with its legal and development teams.

"Our thoughts go out to everyone in Fort Erie, who do not need this right now," said Mohammad.

"We will certainly do whatever we can to ensure we maintain our development timelines. Let's see what our lawyers come up with."

The projected cost of the entire facility is $400 million. It will include a one mile paved oval course and a 2.5 mile paved road course.

To date, $11 million has been spent on pre-development costs.
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