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Canadian Grand Prix organisers embrace fans with pre-race weekend “Open House”
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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 May 2013   |  3:28 pm GMT  |  27 comments

Fans will get a special insight into the world of Formula 1 when Canadian Grand Prix organisers host an “Open House” at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next month.

The free initiative, which takes place on Thursday June 6, will allow fans to spend up time exploring the pit lane and getting a good view of the teams working on the cars before the race on Sunday June 9. Fans will also get the chance to speak to team members.

While at the venue, visitors will gets to see the trophies – designed locally by the BRP Innovation and Design team – which will be awarded to the drivers on the podium after the Canadian Grand Prix.

Elsewhere, cars from the four supporting series for the Montreal event – the Ferrari Challenge, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, the CTCC and Formula Tour 1600 – will be on show for fans. Visitors will be able to meet the drivers and team members from those four series.

The venue opens at 0900 local time with fans asked to enter via the Cosmos Bridge, close to the Parc Jean-Drapeau Metro station, where they will catch a shuttle bus to the pit lane. Visitors must arrive via the Metro as the site will be closed to cars on the day.

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27 Comments
  1. Deb says:

    I am glad to see that this open house is back – having been there twice. Last year, it was cancelled due to the student protests, which was a real disappointment. This year, we are going to Austin Texas instead of the Canadian Grand Prix, but we will be back in Montreal in 2014. The Canadian Grand Prix is a fabulous race to attend!

    1. Youngslinger says:

      Wow. Green with envy!! Enjoy yourselves!!!

    2. BurgerF1 says:

      I was there last year and very impressed with the track layout. From my grandstand I could see about 70% of the track. I recommend walking this track too as there are many General Admission areas that have as good or better views of the track then some of the grandstands. It’s built into a bit of a double bowl so there are great views from the pathway that circumvents the track.

      PS – get to the buses early if that’s how you’re getting out to the track!

      1. KGBVD says:

        You must be talking about Austin, because there is absolutely no way that you can see 70% of the track from ANY grandstand in Montreal.

      2. BurgerF1 says:

        Lol. Yes you’re right – sorry I wasn’t clear! Montreal has better atmosphere in the city, and you have the chance to be much closer to the track then at Austin. Both are great, but quite different. Also, Austin didn’t have the public pit walk.

  2. Steven Boyd says:

    That’s fantastic news, as I tried to attend this event for the first time last year by traveling a day earlier only to be extremely disappointed. We crossed our fingers and planned to arrive in Montreal Wednesday night this year – so there is much rejoicing!

  3. Chris G says:

    I’m arriving Thursday night
    Curses!!!

  4. Luke says:

    I know its hard with large numbers but F1 should do this more. WEC and LeMans do pit walks all the time and it adds so much to the weekend.

  5. Andrew M says:

    When I went to Montreal in 2010 I had no idea this event was even on, by the time I got there it was too late :(

  6. BurgerF1 says:

    Glad to see it’s back. A great initiative that was sadly (and unnecessarily I think) missing last year. Does any other GP do this?? Great way to see the cars get prepped, talk to team memebers (I had a great chat about fuels with one of the Shell reps on the Ferrari team once) and get some close up photos of the garages and cars.

    It’s also a chance to watch some of the drivers and their engineers do their track walk.

    1. Yes, Melbourne does that on the Thursday too.

      1. BurgerF1 says:

        And so the Canuck and Aussie similarities continue… Though now that I think about it, Spa has it too!

  7. franed says:

    This sounds like Silverstone in the good old days before they put all the twiddly bits in like Vale. Except of course we did our walkabout in the night before the race while the teams re-built the cars from quali to race configuration. This normally involved different engine, gearbox/diff and suspension and of course tyres.
    All things are relative of course, good old days for fans when the prices were reasonable, but bad old days for the drivers and mechanics.

  8. Canadian Fan says:

    I’ll be there! Missed it last year due to the student protests, which was such a shame. I went to the pit walk in 2011 and it was really cool to see the pits, the mechanics working with the car chassis’ up on stands, and you can even walk right up and sit in the teams’ command centres on pit row (where on TV you see the team managers sit with headphones on and watch the data on the screens).

    One thing I was really surprised with was how spotless the garages are. They’re like mini laboratories. I didn’t even see a set of tools laying about.

    And if you’re lucky the teams will fire up their engines and rev them for the crowd. And if you’re REALLY lucky you may get to see a driver up close walking the track

  9. Nick4 says:

    Sounds wonderful. Hopefully this will spread to other GPs like the Aus next year. I recall the days in the early 70s when we could get access to the pits at Kyalami with relative ease and walk around chatting to drivers, mechanics and other personalities. I have a clear memory watching a Ferrari being started up and the engine being tested whilst on jacks – in those days it was redlined at 12500 RPM where it sounded exquisite; below 5000 it popped and stuttered – not happy! Great days the 70s – raw speed, BIG tyres and very brave drivers.

  10. Michael says:

    COTA are you listening?

  11. John in SD says:

    Great news James! I’m going with my daughter and her family. It’s their first time at an F1 weekend, but I’m confident that they won’t be disappointed. Certainly, the Canadian Grand Prix is a race I’ve always enjoyed attending having been to the Montreal race about six times over the years since 1984. Never made it to the open house before, but we’ll be in Montreal by Wednesday afternoon, so we’ll plan to be there.

  12. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Don’t miss to visit Crescent Street in Montreal with the great F1 atmosphere there!

  13. Harvey says:

    Great news! Hopefully the crowd control will be better than two years ago. There was a lot of pushing and shoving when drivers stopped at the autograph tables, only two security people for hundreds of fans. Several fans were knocked to the ground, many were shoved against the metal barriers which were supposed to keep fans in queue while boorish fans shoved to the front and cut out many who stood in the heat and humidity for almost two hours.

  14. Vinay says:

    Great news!

    Missed it last year. Will be there this time.

    James, would I be able to meet you there :) Would love to say hi and personally convey my thanks for the fabulous work you are doing.

    Cheers!
    Vinay

      1. andrew says:

        Great James! We’ll look for you. Any chance of bringing Fans’ Forum back to Montreal? We participated the last time (two years ago) and found it very rewarding. Cheers, Andrew and Fiona

  15. Seán Craddock says:

    Great idea. I worked at Bavaria City Racing when it came to Dublin last year, we tried to allow fans similar access. Some even got the opportunity to sit in JB’s 2011 Canadian GP winning car. The team members were all really friendly and happy to talk and allowed pictures to be taken up close. Brilliant news that they’re doing it at GP weekends, brings a new insight into the sport for fans

  16. Jimbob says:

    Any word on how late it’s open? We’re making the haul that morning but should arrive early afternoon.

    1. Deb says:

      You may be out of luck. The circuit web site says it is open till noon, which is the usual time. See the site for more info at:
      http://www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca/news/retour-de-la-populaire-journee-portes-ouvertes-jeudi-6-juin

      1. Jimbob says:

        Thank you for the link! My next step was to give them a call but that saves the long distance call lol More money to buy Kimi a drink now!

  17. Twig says:

    Anyone know if the open house day also had driver signing sessions ? Any signing sessions planned on other days ?

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