Are you bored of playing with those racing games and race simulators? Want to make sure that you're not related to Michael Schumacher or Jimmie Johnson? The best thing to do is to follow a driving course.
Auto123.com had the chance to be invited to follow the "Thrill of a Lifetime" driving experience of the Bridgestone Racing Academy at Mosport International raceway near Toronto, Ontario.
Several racing schools were created when Canadian Jacques Villeneuve clinched the 1997 Formula 1 World Championship. The less serious organizations closed their doors a few years after. The Bridgestone Racing Academy debuted back in 1991 and has been on operation since then.
In 1991, Goodman Motorsports purchased 10 Reynard F2000s from the Spenard-David Racing School at Shannonville. The following year, the Academy was launched under the sponsorship of Bridgestone Canada.
In 2000, the Academy moved to Mosport, and the new track owner Don Panoz agreed to build a new driver development circuit where safe driving courses would be given.
And in 2008, the Academy purchased 10 new Van Diemen Formula race cars to put the Reynards into semi-retirement.
The Academy offers a wide range of driving courses, ranging from the half-day experience at $285 to the extensive, three-day race license course at $3995. The Bridgestone Academy also offers corporate entertainment events for top sales staff, VIP clients and suppliers. "Beats the pants off golf" says their brochure!
For more information about the Academy:
A genuine race car
The new Van Diemens are purebred formula race cars. Their tubular chassis is mated to a 2.3-litre, four-cylinder Chrysler engines of 170 bhp. This may not sound like much, but please keep in mind that the car weighs just 1000 lbs, which is three times less than a compact Hyundai Accent!
The Van Diemen is fitted with a five-speed push-pull sequential gearbox and high performance disc brakes at all four corners. It is capable of breathtaking performances.