Between clubs, racing schools and open track days, it’s not terribly difficult to find ways to take laps around Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in a road car. But a chance to be a passenger in a race-spec Porsche 911 GT3 with a professional race driver at the wheel . . . now, that is a rare treat. When the opportunity arose, I jumped on it right away. But once I arrived at the track on one sunny summer afternoon and began the preparations, it wasn’t long before I was questioning my decision.
First, I was handed a waiver as I entered the grounds. That didn’t really faze me; I’ve signed those many times. After I arrived at the pits, however, I was handed a second waiver. “Just in case the first one goes missing,” I was told. That gave me pause. I then met the man in whose hands I was placing my well-being: Marco Cirone, the driver of the No. 88 car for the Mark Motors team in the Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin.
Cirone then briefed me on his procedure. Before I had a chance to wail out a protest, we took off. By the time I climbed out of the car, I was exhilarated but mentally and physically exhausted. “Careful,” a team member said to me as I walked it off afterward, struggling to catch my breath and calm the adrenaline. “It’s addicting.” Having now experienced the sensation of going faster than 250 km/h, I can certainly understand what he meant.
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