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not distributed evenly over a 52-week period. In past years
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Late 1977. Michael Wilhoite Jersey . Roger Peart receives a call from the president of the Fédération Automobile Québécoise. Its the Labatt beer company, the then-title sponsor of the Canadian Grand Prix held annually at Mosport near Toronto. They want to know if Montreal can host a Formula One race. "Great question," says Peart, who then asks for a little time for reflection — 30 minutes to be precise. "I first thought of Île Notre-Dame. Then, I looked at a route that would start and end at the Olympic Stadium, but that would have been devilishly complicated to implement. I even looked at [building a track at] Laval." "We didnt have to go far down those roads," says Peart. "The first idea was always going to be the best." After 30 minutes, he phoned his interlocutor back to tell him yes, Montreal could accommodate a full-fledged Formula One Grand Prix, and that the best venue was Île Notre-Dame – a man-made island built to host Expo 67 a decade earlier – if for no other reason than its excellent access to public transit. The timing was perfect. Montreals then-Mayor Jean Drapeau had just announced that the artificial island would be devoted to sporting events, while the neighbouring nature-made Île Sainte-Hélène would host cultural-type events. By April 1978, Montreals city council had accepted the idea of a racetrack — "on the express condition that it cost the taxpayers nothing," recalls Peart. Peart, an engineer, is well-known in the world of international racing. Over the past five decades, he has not only competed as a driver (largely in amateur races) but has monitored and inspected racing circuits all over the world. Now 80-years-old, Peart is still president of the Canadian National Sports Authority (ASN Canada), and the only sports commissioner in the country recognized by the Fédération Internationale de lAutomobile (FIA), Formula Ones governing body. Unsurprisingly, it was Peart who was given the mandate to design the Île Notre-Dame track, which would need to meet Formula Ones rigid standards. The Briton, who was then living in Montreal (he now calls Ontario home), still remembers the moment he went to first inspect what would become Canadas most famed racetrack. Mother Nature had dropped a major snowfall on top of the island, forcing him to develop the initial drafts without even being able to inspect the actual ground he was surveying. "I remember those days at my cottage in Saint-Sauveur in the Laurentians; when skiing conditions were poor, I drew up plans, plans and plans again." The challenge was more than he expected. "First, I had to ignore the old pavilions of the Expo 67 scheduled for demolition. Then I had to deal with some elements – the lake and park in the center, the river on one side, the Olympic basin on the other – that were obviously there to stay." "There wasnt much space and I had to fit a circuit in there, with rights and turns." Despite the challenges, the track, by and large, remains almost the same as Peart originally designed it. The buildings to the east of the island, where the boathouse was situated and where the hairpin turn is still today, were originally used as the pits. One weekend a year, the boats would then give way to the F1 cars — "It was an economical solution," recalls Peart. Because of the impracticality of this arrangement, new pits have subsequently been built in their current location, to the west, just before the Senna turn. This is the most significant change in the circuits 36-year history, a testimony to the excellence of Pearts original design. "Everything Was Going Too Fast!" The construction of the circuit that would later bear the name of Gilles Villeneuve was executed in record time. "It was a crazy time," says Peart. "Everything was going too fast!" After a winter spent developing the best possible layout, the British engineer travelled to Europe to attain approval for the plans by the FIA. By May 1978, after a meeting in Monaco, approval was granted and the construction began shortly thereafter, in July 1978. The first F1 race was held barely three months later. A Fairy Tale for All Sunday, October 8, 1978. The first of 35 Grand Prix of Canada races to be held on the new Circuit Île-Notre-Dame – its been held there every year since 78, except in 1987 during a sponsorship dispute between Labatt and Molson, and in 2009 when event funding became an issue – unfolds like a fairy. Its a fairy tale for Peart, who, serving as the race director, gets to hear firsthand from racers like Jackie Stewart that "his circuit" is "a little paradise in the middle of a great river." Its also a fairy tale for the Quebec public. In a race seemingly scripted by the gods of motor racing, Quebecs own Gilles Villeneuve takes the inaugural checkered flag in his Ferrari to the delight of more than 72,000 excited spectators. Its Villeneuves first win in 19 races, and he receives his much-deserved trophy from Prime Minister Pierre-Elliot Trudeau. For Ferrari, it is the companys first success in eight years. The track would be renamed in 1982 to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in honour of its first champion after Villeneuve tragically died in a crash during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix 36 Years Later: Peart Still Hasnt Missed a Race A technical track - Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve requires full concentration at all times and leaves little room for error. It is a circuit of long fast rights, interrupted by tight corners where, even today, the tires, brakes, engines and transmissions are strained to their limits. However, "unlike so many other F1 racetracks, Montreal has several opportunities for overtaking," says Peart. "That means the races are always exciting." Peart has not missed a Canadian Grand Prix since 1978. He watches every race from the control tower, as one of the three sports commissioners delegated by the FIA. This year will be the first exception as Peart has delegated his position to another steward — hell still be there, just with a different view. And if you happen upon him and ask if, after all these years, he would change anything about his original design? Hell tell you that, to this day, throughout the world, he has never seen a track as perfect. Encounter With A Young Gilles Villeneuve Early 1970s. Peart is, at the time, chief instructor at the Fédération Automobile du Québec, when as he recalls, "a quiet little man from Berthierville comes to see me." "He wanted to drive race cars. I asked him about his experience, and he replied that he was racing, of all things, snowmobiles. "As our summer events were all finished, I suggested he rent [some time at] Sanair [Super Speedway], bring along a car and we would see what kind of automobile racer he would make." "The day he showed up with his brothers Mustang, I had to leave for a business appointment. But I asked a fellow instructor to work with him and give me a report. Later in the day, the instructor called me, excitedly saying, Hey, boss, we may have something here!" "Each and every lap, the young Gilles Villeneuve was faster than his instructor. Obviously, we gave him his racing license." "I remember that to thank me, he wanted to give me a five-dollar tip." Via www.Autofocus.ca Tyler Lockett Jersey . As TSN reported Thursday, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is under intense pressure from the federal government to focus drug testing on athletes who compete in international events representing Canada. Since funding for the tests has been frozen and the cost of testing can eclipse $1,000 per test, university athletes in a number of sports are being tested less often. Shaun Alexander Jersey . The club says its first-choice centre back "underwent medical tests on Wednesday morning" which confirmed he has injured his right hamstring. The injury was caused in the second minute of Tuesdays 4-1 league win over Real Sociedad in the Camp Nou when teammate Sergio Busquets accidentally struck Mascherano just above the knee with an outstretched boot. http://www.seahawksfansprostore.com/ . Ghoulam has put pen to paper on a four and a half year deal, tying him to Napoli until 2018. The 22-year-old Algeria international, who played for France at Under 21 level, has made 87 league appearances in four seasons at Saint-Etienne.NEW ORLEANS - The NFL Players Association is asking player agents to warn clients that signing with the New Orleans Saints could subject them to unfavourable workers compensation benefits. In an email Friday, NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith said union officials believe agents should "consider the Saints efforts" to push for legislation that would substantially reduce benefits to players who are hurt outside the 17-week regular season, when player salaries are paid. Players receive only per diems during off-season workouts and training camp. Under legislation which has passed the Louisiana House of Representatives and awaits consideration in the state Senate, workers compensation benefits could be based on per diems — rather than the full annual value of a contract — if injuries occurred in the off-season. "We are actively involved in the effort to defeat this bill but we feel it is important for you to consider the Saints efforts given your representation of our players and the advice you would have to give to any free agent player considering an opportunity to play for the Saints," Smith wrote. "Please advise your players of the potential consequences of the Saints efforts should they sign with the Saints." Bill supporters say it would place athletes under the same rules as other Louisiana employees. The Saints have not commented on the legislation since its introduction in the House of Representatives, but quarterback Drew Brees has come out publicly against it. In a written statement distributed by the NFLPA, Brees said the legislation "is not good for Saints players, not good for our team or other sports teams in Louisiana and not good for our state." "The job of legislators in Louisiana is to protect injured workers and fight for theiir workers comp benefits, not find ways to support bills like this one which reduce the workers comp benefits we receive when we get hurt. Eddie Lacy Jersey. There is no financial benefit to the state with this bill, only team management," Brees continued. "Whether we get hurt during the season or in the preseason, it is all the same. It is in preparation to help us win a championship for our community." The legislation, called House Bill 1069, aims to calculate workers compensation benefits for pro athletes based only on recent earnings. The NFLs collective bargaining agreement has a formula that also includes future earnings and is aimed at ensuring that benefits are calculated on the full annual value of a players contract. The bill is sponsored by state Reps. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, and Cameron Henry, R-Metairie. Broadwater has said the Saints asked for the bill, which aims to clarify in law that pro athletes cannot be exempt from a state formula that applies to every other Louisiana employee seeking workers compensation benefits after a workplace injury. The NFLPA counters that athletes should not be punished with potentially reduced benefits simply because their salaries are not distributed evenly over a 52-week period. In past years, the same matter has spawned several lawsuits between the Saints and former players — with differing outcomes depending on the venue. A state appeals courts in Jefferson Parish, home of Saints headquarters, has sided with the clubs assertion that players must follow precisely the same formula as other Louisiana employees. However, an appeals court in Orleans Parish, where the Superdome is located, has ruled that the annual value of player contracts should serve as the basis for benefits, regardless of when the injury occurs. 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Re: not distributed evenly over a 52-week period. In past years
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