|Sanair International Speedway|
|AMP | Cayuga | Mont-Tremblant | Mosport | Race City | Sanair|
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|Sanair International Speedway is a multi-complex with 3 tracks. The facility is 45 to 60 minutes south-east of Montréal. It is located just south of Ste-Hyacinthe. It is very near Ste.-Pie de Bagot.|
It's road course is a combination of the drag racing long straight with the road race circuit and the 1/3 mile stock car oval.
It also features a stock car high-speed banked tri-oval with a karting track in the infield.
In the spring of 2000, the BMW Club of Canada's Québec chapter used the road course; later in the summer, it used the tri-oval and infield.
The track's website is http://sanairracing.com/. The site includes directions, accommodations, and general info.
Tel: 514 772-2426.
NOTE: An earlier version of this document was posted here. The original notes were authored by Blake Nancarrow with the assistance of Matt Levine. The drawings of the tri-oval were prepared by Lee Vuong.
The road racing circuit was used at the BMW Club of Québec's May 2000 driving school.
This circuit is a combination of the drag racing long straight with the road race circuit and the 1/3 mile stock car oval. The length is 2.0 km. It has safe run-offs.
|Here is a short walk-through for the road course track. These instructions were written by Matt Levine (cerco1@CAM.ORG), chief instructor of the Québec chapter--please appreciate that he wrote this from memory having not driven the track for 8 to 9 years! Instructions slightly modified by Blake. Direction: clockwise.|
"The track is a mile and a bit and can be lots of fun. I used to watch Gilles Villeneuve race Formula Fords here and a Trans-Am event was actually held at this track. It should not take anyone long to learn the lines, which makes it fine for a one-day event."
Blake's Lap of the Sanair Road Course
Detailed description written by Blake Nancarrow (firstname.lastname@example.org) during and after May 2000 school. Corner numbers supplied by the marshals.
"I thank Brian Clarke of Talon Tire for showing us some track secrets and walking a few of us through corners 5 and 6. Thanks to Phil Abrami for his assistance in corner 1, the hairpin. And finally thanks to my students, Frank Chang and Cherif Gress for showing the instructor a trick or two."
Corner 1-- This challenging 180°+ hairpin is slightly banked in it's mid-section. It is followed by a little left-hander which connects to a straight so good speed throughout is important. Yet if you carry too much in you'll scrub it all off with understeer before the apex and push after it.
You'll be braking hard, having come off the front straight, as you begin this corner. Downshift from 4th to 3rd. Some cars might be setup better for 2nd gear but, unless you have a long 2nd gear, you may run out of revs very quickly.
There is a marshal after the turn-in point, on your left, outside the armco.
Turn in earlier than you think necessary passing within a car width of the barrier at a 45° angle. Freeze steering input. Let the car out to the far outside edge--it's looks like you'll fall off. Balance then gently squeeze in the throttle. If you feel push, use some lift-throttle-oversteer and instantly unwind the steering a bit. The apex is extremely late, effectively when you're all the way 'round going the opposite direction. Very large bumpy turtles at the apex.
Corner 2-- A slight left hander. If you're pointed well inside this corner's apex then you've missed corner 1 big time. You'll need to slow up dramatically since you'll run out of track at the apex. Very large bumpy turtles at the apex.
All going well you will not brake for this corner; in fact, you should be full throttle through it. Track out to the right side of the track.
The straight-away between 2 and 3 dips down then climbs. Near the trough of the dip there is a ridge under the pavement, perhaps from a drainage pipe. If you run over the bump on the right side (where one would be exiting corner 2) at high speed in a stiffly sprung car, it feels very hard. Some cars may bottom out. If you run through the dip in the middle however, it is smoother.
I timed my upshift from 3rd to 4th so it occurred just before the ridge. Then I pounced on the loud pedal to lift the nose up a little JUST as I passed over the hump. It eliminates the bump. It felt silky smooth.
Corner 3-- Corner 3 is actually a left-right chicane in the back-straight followed by a large open area. It is fairly bumpy with a lot of pavement transitions. The left hander does not have curbing (just grass); the right hander has a somewhat bumpy curb. Clip the right curbing at speed--it will not be harsh since the right side of the car is unloaded. Many approach the chicane from the extreme right edge of the straight; however, a mid-track line keeps the car and wheels straight.
A car can scream through here. The climb from the dip preceding the chicane ends so the car gets a little light just after the chicane. A wonderful feeling...
There is a marshal on the right side of the second turn.
After exiting the right corner of the chicane, the car, at high speed, will want to drift out to the left--let it! Some drivers try to pull or hold the car in close to the right side of the pavement after the second apex--don't. This will make the approach into 4 slightly angled. Just look at the racer tire marks!
Entrances to paddocks and pits are here, on the left of the open area. If exiting the track, be sure to get to the extreme left.
Corner 4-- A tough 90° left turn onto the small Sanair oval. There are a lot of undulations in the braking zone, waves in pavement, from the hard braking of enthusiasts and racers. Brake late but very hard. Downshift from 4th to 3rd. Time the downshift very late so to not over rev the motor or generate wheel spin.
The normal apex for the corner would be the paddock walls and post. However, this cement structure is not protected with tires nor collapsible barrier so cones are placed several feet from the wall. This slows drivers and makes the corner safe.
Perform an extremely late turn-in and apex so to get a better line into the oval. If you're early, you'll shoot out into the oval and crawl over the very large turtles that run around the inside of the oval.
Marshals and organizers are often at the turn-in point, on the right, near the grandstand.
Corner 5-- The corner marshals refer to the entire oval as corner 5. In actuality, corner 4 of the road course puts you near the beginning of the west corner of the oval (let us call this 5a). We drive through the exit of this onto a very short straight between the east corner of the oval (5b). Half-way through the oval's east sweeper we exit tangentially toward the bridge and corner 6.
Again, extremely large mounds lie in the curbing inside much of the oval. If you drop a wheel in here you'll give your suspension a heavy workout.
Corner 5a-- Do not turn right early for 5a. This will cause you to exit early and you're facing the concrete wall. In wet conditions as a lot of water stands in the apex area. In this scenario a later apex avoids large puddles and reduces push. That said, if you exit terribly late, perhaps safer, you're unable to make a straight line of the little chute between 5a and b. As much as possible, hug the wall, get parallel with it.
The pits exit onto the track at the acceleration zone of 5a. Watch for traffic.
There is a marshal outside the apex. They watch the on-track traffic and control the pits.
Corner 5b-- This corner becomes a fairly high-speed sweeper, increasing in radius as we drive off the oval. A light tap on the brakes (a lift for the courageous) will settle the car. Turn in smoothly and accelerate firmly. The apex is long and wavy (the pavement undulates).
The very slight banking of the oval forms a crest or a lip then the track dips down into a pavement change. Aim toward where the tire wall ends for your acceleration zone (you might notice the blue arrow on the pavement showing a good line). Again, hug the wall as closely as possible.
You'll be staring straight into the eyes of the marshal of corner 6.
Corner 6-- Corner 6 is a blind large right-hand bend from the oval onto the drag strip. It is downhill. The exit zone lies in the "dragster box," where quarter-milers perform their burnouts and stage.
The wall "hooks" in at the turn-in for 6, i.e. it's curved in to connect with the bridge post. This is where the marshal works. Hug this and use it as your turn-in point. The tighter you get to the wall here the better you're setup for the apex and exit.
The track is downhill and moderately steep from the braking zone to just before the apex. As you approach the apex you'll find it rather uneven with all the pavement changes, concrete, asphalt, old and new patches. The blind apex for the corner is close to the "arrowhead" of concrete at the wall that divides the dragster lanes. This barrier is exposed. Be extremely careful.
The proximity to walls, the uneven pavement, combined with the rubber burn out patches, makes for very interesting driving through the acceleration zone.
Even in the best of conditions it is slick--you'll feel the back end twitch and buck as you power out. In wet conditions the moment you touch the accelerator (or it seems merely think of it) you'll rotate the car. This is an exercise in balance and moderation.
When nice and straight, squeeze up to full throttle, and enjoy the dragstrip. Upshift and check gauges.
A chicane of cones is often placed at the -mile marker, forcing the driver to turn slightly left and right. Initially, drivers were slowing and downshifting but soon many discovered that it could be taken near full throttle. Lean slightly closer to the armco approaching the chicane, lift on the throttle slightly, smoothly turn right, then quickly but as smoothly as possible flick left. At high speeds the car drifts out wide to the right (although still well away from the armco)--let it run out but quickly and firmly get back to the left side to set up for corner 1.
Sanair has a banked tri-oval (triangular-shaped) track. The paddock and pit access roads on the infield or interior of the oval have been joined and can be configured a number of different ways.
The BMWCC Québec chapter ran a 2-day school in August and formed 3 configurations.
We used the track 3 different ways:
We did not use the front straight of the tri-oval.
Rather we entered the race track pits (bypassing the hairpin #6), then take (at corner 7) to the infield briefly, then re-emerge onto the tri-oval.
Be careful pitting, the pit in lane is right on the racing line! Very tight.
We did not use the infield at all, this was a flat-out full tri-oval run.
Exit infield at corner 3, take corners 4 and 5, then down the front-straight to 3 again. Nice and easy--go fast, turn left. Must be super smooth. A good exercise in looking ahead!
When running the Super Speedway torque wheels! Double-check! Check oil level!
The track facility is 45 to 60 minutes south-east of Montréal. Located near Ste.-Pie de Bagot.
If coming from the south, take exit 55 from Autoroute 10 to 235 North.
If coming from Montréal, take exit 123 off Autoroute 20 East and take 235 South.
Here's the alternate route. Not as direct but fun.
Entering the Track...
See the track's website (http://sanairracing.com/) for directions and a clickable map.
St. Hyacinthe is 10 km to the north-west.
St. Pie is a couple of kilometres to the south-west.
The closest station is immediately outside the tri-oval. But I've heard the gas isn't very good...
In St. Hyacinthe (10 km to the north), at the main intersection of Laurier and Castelneau, there's an Esso and Sonic.
Remember that Canadian Premium fuel is lower octane than US fuel. Select Petro Canada stations have 94 Octane.
There is a small restaurant that serves sandwiches, burgers, etc. It is located outside corner 4's turn-in point.
L'Espiegle Restaurant, 1834 Des Cascades Ouest, St. Hyacinthe, between Saint-Joseph and Hotel-Dieu, fantastic sandwiches, great selection of beers, try Le Forestier, they now have a terrace, 450 778-1551.
Washrooms are little white brick structures, like out-houses, with black roofs. They are located throughout the facility.
There are washrooms in the road course/drag strip tower.
There are showers in the tri-oval tower.
|There is AC power in the tri-oval infield. Sockets are available in the last remaining structure. There is a fuse switch box on this structure as well as another near the food shack near the entrance to the pits.|
Bring your own. Talon Tire may return as our sponsor. They will have air and other facilities.
For any participants coming up from the States via (U.S.) highways 89 or 91 or participants from the Eastern Townships, and even for participants from Montreal, this seems like a good route to take to Sanair. The highways are good and easy to follow and the available accommodations are relatively near the track.
If you were to take Autoroute 10 (Eastern Townships Autoroute) to exit 55 and then follow highway 235 north for exactly 20 km, you arrive right at Sanair. Halfway to Sanair, at roughly 10 km, you meet highway 112. If you take highway 112 east toward St-Paul d'Abbottsford (and Granby), you will find the following motels, hotels and campground at approximately the indicated distances from the corner.
|Camping Tropicana campground, looks reasonable.||8.2 km|
|Motel Bonsoir, looks reasonable, friendly
reception, outdoor pool
Tel. 1 888 311-7947 or 450 378-7947 http://www.motelbonsoir.qbc.net/
$65.00 / night, single or double occupancy, one double bed
$75.00 / night, double occupancy, two double beds
|Motel Familial, small, looks low cost, no other information.||9 km|
|Motel Les Pins, looks reasonable, friendly
reception, single/dbl. occupancy.
Tel. 450 378-0793
$50.00 / night, one double bed, bathroom with shower
$60.00 / night, two double beds
$70.00 / night, two double beds, more luxurious
$115.00 / night, suite with whirlpool
|Motel le Gazou, Small, looks low cost, basic, no other info.||10 km|
|Motel Royal, located at the entrance to
Granby, seems fair, offers heated pool, water beds.
Tel. 450 378-6966
$75.00 / night, one bed (double?)
$85.00 / night, two beds (doubles?)
|Hotel Castel, this is Granby's top hotel
Tel. 1 800 363-8953 or 450 378-9071
$69.50 / night, one queen bed
$79.50 / night, two double beds
$135.00 to $200.00 / night, suites
Auberge des Seigneurs
tel: 514 774-3810
Hotel Le Dauphin
tel: 514 774-4418