Toronto Motorcycle Show 2009

November 16, 2009 by  
Filed under events

On the 11th, 12th and 13th of December 2009, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will be hosting the Toronto Motorcycle Show 2009. A host of powerful two wheeled machines will be on display for motorcycle enthusiasts to enjoy, not only showcasing the latest models, but will also be exhibiting motorcycle gear, accessories and a variety of products. Some of the scooters and bikes on display include models by Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, Buell, Yamaha, KTM and Honda, to name but a few.

Visitors to this massive motorcycle show will also have the opportunity to talk too many of the industry leaders and enjoy live entertainment. For more information in regard to show times and exhibitors, visit the convention centre website at www.mtccc.com.

Date: 11 – 13 December 2009
Venue: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
City: Toronto
Country: Canada

Gilles Villeneuve

February 9, 2009 by  
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Joseph Gilles Henri Villeneuve was an outstanding Formula One driver from Canada. Starting off on snowmobiles, Gilles Villeneuve raced in Formula Atlantic and then F1. As a Formula One driver, Gilles Villeneuve truly impressed the crowds and was well known for his excellent skills on the track. A true risk-taker, Villeneuve was known by his compatriots for his sensitive, friendly personality.

Gilles Villeneuve was born on 18 January 1950 in Quebec, Canada. Right from a young age he expressed an avid interest in motor vehicles. When he turned 16 years old and received his driver’s license, it was like a dream come true. By 1976 he was racing with Ecurie Canada and taking the Formula Atlantic championship by storm. He was quickly noticed by McLaren and asked to join the team.

Gilles Villeneuve debuted as an F1 driver in 1977 at Silverstone race track. He attracted much attention as an up and coming talent. In August 1977 Ferrari met with Villeneuve and soon after he began racing for the team. His first major F1 victory occurred in 1979 in Canada. Some reason that he would have done better if his vehicle could have matched the great Lotuses of the time. Others said that his wins weren’t many due to his all-or-nothing driving method. One of F1 driver Villeneuve’s most notable races was the 1979 French Grand Prix held at Dijon track. Renault driver Rene Arnoux looked set to come in second following teammate Jean-Pierre Jabouille. However, Gilles Villeneuve wasn’t about to let the faster Renault beat him. In a tense duel with much sliding and contact, Villeneuve managed to end the race just ahead of Arnoux for second place.

Sadly, on 8 May 1982, Villeneuve died as the result of an accident whilst taking part in the final qualifying session of the Belgian Grand Prix. There are a number of memorials to the exceptional driver, including the naming of the Grand Prix track in Canada after him. With his persistant attitude, excellent car control and strong driving style, Gilles Villeneuve will go into Formula One history as a legend.

Jacques Villeneuve

February 9, 2009 by  
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Jacques Joseph Charles Villeneuve was born in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada on the 9th of April 1971. At the tender age of eleven years, Jacques Villeneuve lost his well-loved and much respected father, Gilles Villeneuve, a Formula One driver, during a qualifying round at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982. Jacques Villeneuve followed his father’s footsteps in his career choice and is currently a successful Canadian automobile racing driver having won the Formula One World Championship in 1997, the Champ Car Championship in 1995, as well as the Indianapolis 500. This makes Villeneuve one of only three drivers to ever have accomplished all three feats, the other two drivers being Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Jacques‘ uncle also named Jacques, was also into racing and was moderately successful at it, even winning one IndyCar race. Villeneuve began his racing career with kart racing, quickly moving up the ranks. He went to various racing schools and his talent was clearly recognizable. He took part in the Italian Formula Three series between 1989 and 1991, then the Japanese Formula Three series in 1992.

In 1993, Villeneuve moved to the North American Toyota Atlantic racing series, where he successfully finished his debut season ranked third due to the five races he had won. The following year he moved to Champ Car Racing where he found himself Rookie of the Year. He then drove the new Reynard chasis with a Ford Cosworth engine for expatriate Australian Barry Green’s team, helping him finish second in the Indianapolis 500. Jacques’ strong performances and his family name brought him to the attention of Frank Williams, who wasted no time in signing him up into his Formula One team. This led to Villeneuve testing the Williams F1 car once the IndyCar season had ended.

The year 1996 saw Jacques Villeneuve put on a spectacular performance by becoming the second Formula One driver to ever achieve pole position as well as podium position on his maiden grand prix. That year he won four races with a total of 78 points, having reached the podium 11 times, all of which are rookie records.

Over the years, Villeneuve has taken part in and continues to take part in a variety of Motor Sports, including NASCAR, Le Mans, Speedcar and Top Race V6.

Gilles Villeneuve Circuit

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Gilles Villeneuve Circuit was named in honor of Gilles Villeneuve, a Canadian driver and father to Jacques Villeneuve. The circuit was constructed on a man-made island named Ile Notre-Dame, which is located in the St Lawrence River, in Montreal. In addition to hosting the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix, the circuit hosts an event in the NASCAR Busch Series. It was also home to the Champ Car World Series Grand Prix of Montreal that was hosted here between the years 2002 to 2006.

With its location in the St Lawrence River, for most of the year, Ile Notre Dame is a quiet island that is lush and green and the fastest moving objects on its surface, are animals, cycle enthusiasts and the joggers. But for a few days each year, within this idyllic setting, the island comes alive with racing action and all its accompanying noise and frantic activity.

The Gilles Villeneuve Circuit is part street circuit, and is extremely fast, with a common problem for drivers being to misjudge the barriers that are located very close to the track. The most famous part of this track, is a wall that is located just outside the end of the last chicane, which said “Welcome to Quebec” and was later nicknamed the Quebec Wall. Three Formula 1 champions had their races brought to an abrupt end when colliding with this infamous wall, namely Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher. The wall no longer carries the name Quebec Wall, but was renamed the Wall of Champions.

In 2005, the curbs in the last chicane were made higher, and drivers complained that they were more difficult to see and that the curbs made the chicane even more difficult for drivers to navigate. The changes were extremely controversial, as they had reduced the area for general admission ticket holders, to see the race. This forces spectators to purchase grandstand tickets, to enable them to see.

Normand Legault was awarded exclusive rights, by the city of Montreal, to host two race weekends on the track. Legault is the promoter for the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix. The contract for the rights, runs from the year 2007 to the year 2011, after which there is an option to extend it from 2012 to the year 2016. The Champ Car Races have been replaced with the NASCAR Busch Series and the Grand American Road Racing Associations’ Rolex Series.

Blue Sky Looking Ahead to 2009 Panasonic World Solar Challenge

October 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Every two years a number of ‘special’ cars are shipped to Australia where they participate in a race known as the Panasonic World Solar Challenge. The race sees these cars cross the Australian continent with only one source of fuel – the sun.

Building a car that is capable of completing the 3,000 km journey from Darwin to Adelaide in dry, hot, dusty conditions powered only by solar power, can prove to be quite a challenge. Special teams need to be assembled to accomplish the task and Toronto team Blue Sky Solar Racing is constantly striving to attract world class engineers, environmentalists and scientists to help them to accomplish this goal. In the 2007 challenge, the team managed to come first amongst fellow Canadians and it was fifth overall in its class. Now Blue Sky Solar Racing is looking ahead to the 2009 race with plenty of ambition. Not only do they want to improve on their previous performance, but according to Andreas Marouchos, their singular mission is “to demonstrate the viability of alternative energy technology and the practical benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to solving problems.”

A constant supply of new blood is supplied in the form of the University of Toronto as a number of team members involved in the design of the vehicles are often first or second year engineering students. The team also uses the Dassault SystSmes Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools. These include the ENOVIA SmarTeam data management technology and the CATIA virtual 3D design software. In order to speed up the design for the 2009 car, the team plans to use ENOVIA SmarTeam to work on complete assemblies in context. This will save time because it means they will be able to look at the bigger picture without having to focus so intently on the individual parts. Being able to look at the bigger picture also means that ways of reducing vehicle weight and so increase speed will also be easier to spot.

The final result is a great team working on a great concept car at a fantastic pace. The students that get involved with the program will get invaluable hands-on experience in automotive design and the software used in the design process as well as the opportunity to work alongside some really experienced industry experts. All this goes a long way toward finding more efficient ways to design new car parts. Heads will definitely turn when the Blue Sky Solar Racing team takes part in the 2009 Panasonic World Solar Challenge.

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