Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Under-appreciated corner number 4 CTMP Mosport

Corner number four at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, formerly known as Mosport, is the often overlooked and under-appreciated corner. Corner number two, it's double apex, blind corner, odd camber, high speed sweeper gets all the drama and attention. On the contrary, corner number four is probably as exciting if not more important for an aspiring driver.

Most drivers will focus on number two starting cautious and building up momentum and confidence, and lap after lap prepare for it again. Corner number four is as exciting and important for a number of reasons. It is also a great opportunity, particularly for those of us in relatively underpowered cars in
the field. Having an elevation change of about 90 feet (corner number two is about half that), and despite how it looks has camber in your favor which means tons of traction. You can only appreciate this if you have an opportunity to walk the track. What this means is that once positioned correctly you can easily power through the corner gaining tremendous amount of speed in a very short amount of time. It is a great opportunity to make up some distance on those Carrera S's and Turbos.

Secondly, this importance is amplified considering what is coming up next. Turn five A and B. Any way you slice it, turn five is the slowest part of the track. You either try and crank through it or just accept and sacrifice it. As such any progress you can make coming into it (turn four) will give you an advantage. Another benefit is that the approach to corner number five has an incredible steep rising slope. Turn five is so steep that when walking you must climb on your toes. This plays in your favor as you power through corner four and delay braking to the point that it feels too long. The incline of corner five will help you compress and amplify braking power.

As you come out of corner three on the far left side, ensure you approach corner four far to the right. Approaching the crest be sure to turn in early and align so that you are turned in and passing under the Continental sign approximately in the middle. Look far ahead and your goal is to be positioned and aligned tight to the left of track at the bottom of the hill. It may not look like you will get there but hold steady and as soon as you are over the crest, power down and the car will rotate as you come through and align perfectly so you are tight to the left edge at the bottom of the hill. With the elevation change and positive camber you will experience great acceleration and continue accelerating until it feels almost too late. Heel-toe technique is quite important here as you need to shift down quickly as you brake hard. The change in slope will assist in braking and engage as coming in to turn five.

As you build experience through this corner, you will be amazed as you can consistently build time, speed and power. Master this corner and number five becomes is merely a setup for the Mario Andretti Straightaway.

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