OSHAWA, ON // June 1st, 2015
The Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) is launching an industry-changing relationship with The Canadian Motor Speedway (CMS) development in Fort Erie, Ontario with a goal to enhance motorsport in Ontario through specific services and advanced research, with aerodynamic and thermodynamic wind tunnel testing, engine and suspension tuning of race vehicles.
Located in Oshawa, ACE is the first testing and research centre of its kind in the world, owned and operated by The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). The $100 million facility, commercially available to customers, is expanding its presence in motorsport. A memorandum of understanding between ACE and CMS was signed recently at UOIT in Oshawa.
“This partnership will assist ACE in claiming a spot in the motorsport industry and ensure ACE is an integral part of motorsport in Ontario, Canada and the United States,” said Don Toporowski, General Manager, ACE. “Through development, research and innovation, this opportunity will strengthen the motorsport community in Ontario.”
Canadian Motor Speedway will be Canada’s largest event stadium and the nation’s first world class integrated oval and road course racing circuit, research, development and entertainment complex. A key CMS mandate is to promote education, research and improved environmental sustainability in auto racing. CMS views ACE as a natural educational and testing complement to partnerships already in place with McMaster University and Niagara College.
“The merging of new technology for the automotive and motor sport industries comes from what we learn in testing – both on and off the track,” said Azhar Mohammad, Executive Director, CMS. “This partnership with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology specifically provides wind tunnel testing in different environments, climates and conditions to push vehicle limits, which translates directly to the design and manufacturing of our passenger cars. UOIT is an industry leader with their world-class ACE facility and we are proud to be their future track of record.”
ACE will be the official competition wind tunnel of CMS. The agreement will combine ACE Speed Lab services with race/track days at CMS and encourage motorsport research at ACE and CMS. It will also allow UOIT access to CMS research facilities and provide future educational opportunities for UOIT Engineering and Applied Science students.
John Bickford is the stepfather of Canadian Motor Speedway oval track designer and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon. He understands the tremendous value of research and development partners. “It’s a vote of confidence when a major organization wants an agreement with you, a big organization saying they want to be involved,” said John Bickford, Vice-President and General Manager of Jeff Gordon Inc. “When you think how racing has progressed over the last 50 years, it’s an evolution of science. There’s more engineering in the sport than ever before with simulators and wind tunnels. Racing is the precursor of the automobile we drive on the street. Manufacturers are testing at facilities looking for better fuel mileage through aero efficiency and race teams are always looking at ways to improve vehicle performance. So having all these things come together in a small community, the CMS-UOIT partnership is like a test bench at your door step. I’m not sure this set up exists anywhere else in the world.”
PHOTO CREDITS: UOIT/ACE