Klaus Graf's column: Flexing our Muscles at Mosport

Klaus Graf's column: Flexing our Muscles at Mosport

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Klaus Graf's column: Flexing our Muscles at Mosport

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Canada is certainly becoming one of my favorite countries after winning what was our fourth race in a row at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, or as we all like to call it, Mosport. It’s pretty incredible to think that each time we’ve gone to that track, we’ve led every single session we’ve taken part in, from practice to qualifying to the race for the last four seasons.

The last few years, Lucas and myself have also celebrated our birthdays in Canada, although this time Lucas’ birthday was on the Monday following the race. It does make for a nice birthday present, only thing better would be to be able to spend it with my family but that’s all part of racing.

While it’s easy to say that the weekend was ‘uneventful’ since we had another dominating weekend, it wasn’t as easy as it may have looked from the outside. One of the biggest factors for that is the track itself, it’s such a challenging circuit.

I love the Mosport track. It’s a lot of fun. The commitment level you have to take as a driver in a P1 car is very high. It’s definitely a big boy’s track. The changes they made improved the safety and the asphalt patches have a lot of grip, so we’re actually going quicker. It’s adding to the speed so it doesn’t make it any easier. I welcome the changes they made at the facility. It’s still and always will be a serious track.

That said, we may have qualified on pole “easily,” more than half a second quicker than our pole time from last year, and won the race by four laps but it wasn’t easy. I did have a lot of fun, though! When you have the car right and it’s doing what it’s suppose to, it’s a blast driving around this track.

That was the case in qualifying as we had a very good car. We hit the sweet spot with it, which was great because near the end of the final practice I wasn’t really happy with where the car was but we made a final adjustment at the end of the session and got it right where we wanted it.

Our Michelin tires came in just perfectly in qualifying as well. It’s not always easy to get that perfect balance between the pressure and the temperature with the tires, and it can be critical at a quick track like Mosport.

Come race day, everything went very smoothly. The Muscle Milk car was very strong once again and I was able to build a gap right from the start. While it may have looked easy, it was not. I had to maintain my speed and make sure I made no mistakes in traffic. It was our race to lose.

Traffic can be very bad at Mosport, which makes it difficult. Everybody is hanging on to their car and it can be tough in some classes. You have to be careful with where you overtake and how you do it. Managing the traffic was definitely my biggest task.

When you don’t have direct competition and you’re leading by a lap, it can be easy to lose your focus. You have to get into your rhythm and do the same things you normally do. We didn’t have to push as hard as we sometimes had to this year but we want to remain predictable to the field so they know what we’re doing. There are a lot of close fights in other classes and you don’t want to mess with them.

I was asked over the weekend how we dealt with the fact that the competition level may be down from what we’re use to. To be honest, nothing much has changed. It’s part of our mentality to stay sharp and on our game. Whenever the regular Dyson drivers and Rebellion come back, we want to be ready.

We definitely missed having Guy Smith and Chris Dyson on track and we can’t wait for the Rebellion team to come back for Petit Le Mans. A win will always be a win but some are more satisfying than others. We’d much rather win a tight race that we fought hard for than win by many laps. We want to have more competition out there, it makes it that much more fun.

Not that we didn’t have fun because, as I said, just driving on that amazing Canadian track gives you so much pleasure and to win four times in a row there is very special. I’ve had a lot of success there and I certainly hope we get to go back to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park next year. They’ve invested a lot of money and made great improvements to the whole facility. The fans certainly deserve to have a sports car race as does Ron Fellows, who co-owns the place now.

Thanks for reading!

-Klaus

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 9 – ROAD AMERICA

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