Drivers have need for speed

Vincent Ball

By Vincent Ball, Brantford Expositor

Karen Lindsay has another story about life in the fast lane to share after an experience Saturday.

"The fastest I've ever gone myself is 140 km/h," said the Waterford resident. "Not that I'm one to speed very often.

"Come to think of it, the only other time I can remember going really fast was when I was on the back of Harley going 120 km/h down at Turkey Point. That was kind of scary."

But now, after a visit to Britain West Motorsport, Lindsay will be able to tell people about the time she drove a Formula 1600 Mygale race car simulator, which gives a driver the sense of what it's like to be behind the wheel of a race car without the danger.

She managed to get around the track without crashing thanks to the help of some onlookers.

"Gear up, gear up, you have to gear up," Lindsay was told as she tried to navigate the track.

"I can't, I'm afraid I'm going to crash into the wall and kill all those people!" she replied.

Later, she wondered if using the simulator would make her a better driver and, while she managed to avoid any major crashes, Lindsay did have a one rather dangerous experience.

"Oops, I'm going the wrong way," she said as she tried to find her way into a pit stop.

Lindsay was one of many people to visit Britain West Motorsport headquarters as the company held an open house to mark the opening of its new 10,000-square-foot shop on Godby Road. In addition to trying the simulator, visitors had a chance to view more than 20 exotic formula cars, rare vintage racing cars and British cars, including the Austin Mini.

The company was started by Oliver Clubine in 1975 and is now owned and operated by his son David.

"He started it as a retirement project, something to keep him busy," Clubine said Saturday. "But the business grew and when I took it over I had another job and was busy here.

"I had to make a decision - this or my other job and I decided to stick with this."

The company was started to service SU carburetors for MG sports cars but has evolved over the years and now services and maintains Formula Ford Series race cars for drivers, rents cars to drivers, and services vintage cars, including a 1971 Lotus 7 that was in the shop on Saturday.

The business supports drivers who compete in the Ford Formula Series in Canada and the United States.

"This is where racing careers are started," Clubine said of the Ford Formula Series racing. "This is where drivers come after they leave the go-kart track."