What a terrific weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal!  The racing action was as good as could be imagined, with many close races within the race, no safety cars, great weather and even better company!

As you’ve been reading, this was the 4th Annual Bill/Ellen father-daughter Formula One race outing.  It’s a really special weekend for me and auto racing is a very special connection I’ve had with Ellen since she was a little girl.  Each year is better than the previous one, and this year’s was no exception.  I guess as we get more experience going to the Montreal race, it’s easy to focus on the things we enjoy.

In year’s past, Ellen and I have been in Grandstand 15 which is deep in the hairpin, but a little far from the racing action.  The racing action in the hairpin is always exciting, as this is the place where the cars decelerate from nearly 200 MPH to less than 50 MPH and then accelerate back up to nearly 200 MPH down the front stretch.

This year we were lucky to join in with Dave and his race buddies J.B., Jeff and Matty, sitting in Grandstand 24.  The change in perspective is amazing as we could appreciate how incredibly the cars brake for the corner and then get back up to speed.  And, we were closer to the cars so we could see a lot of minute things we were not able to see in the past.  Ellen was able to get some great photos like this one.

The guys were nice enough to include us for dinner Saturday night in Montreal and didn’t make Ellen feel awkward being with a bunch of guys on their “guys weekend” (though we made sure not to interfere with “guy activities”.)  Thanks Dave, JB, Jeff and Matty.  Looking forward to next year.

This year was also a first for us as it’s the first time we went “legit”.  See, when we first starting attending the race, Ellen had just had knee surgery, so I was able to procure a parking pass that let us drive onto the island and park behind the grandstand.  Sweet! We drove right past the “peasants” and never had to hassle with the Metro, walking or any issues.  And, I was able to keep that going for the next 2 years after that.  It made it really easy, especially when we were driving back and forth each day from Essex.

So, when we joined in with Dave’s group and switched grandstands, Ellen & I decided we would stay overnight rather than commuting so we could see what was going on in Montreal.  Doing that I figured we would not try for the parking pass and do what the “real people” do … take the Metro and walk!  In other words, we went “legit”!  It was actually very easy and fun.  And, especially after the race when I was dreading fighting the crowds for the Metro, we made it from the grandstand to the Metro in under 15 minutes, made it right onto a train and were in the car less than 30 minutes from the end of the race.  In years past, they wouldn’t even open the bridge to exiting car traffic for a couple of hours, so we made it home within 2 hours of the completion of the race.

Of course, there was a little post-race jousting with other race fans on the highway, but let it be said that the “cool dude” driving a Nissan GT-R from Connecticut was embarrassed in front of his girlfriend by the Audi allroad from Vermont!!  And, using the border crossing at Alburgh Springs I’m sure saved a bunch of time rather than waiting at Highgate Springs.

Bonnie was really wonderful, having made a delicious eggplant lasagna which we devoured when we got home and enjoyed watching the DVR of the race.  (What?  You know that even if you were there, you have to watch the TV coverage to ensure you saw everything, right?)

Sacked out big time and slept like a log.

What a great weekend.

Now it’s back to work at DODGE Ski Boots, working on those carbon fiber ski boots.

Got inquiries from more European WC racers asking how to purchase the boot.

More later.

Bill

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