The majestic St Jovite Circuit, home to the Canadian Grand Prix in 1968 and ’70, and the very first Can-Am Challenge round in 1966, is to reopen for international events this season as Le Circuit Mont Tremblant.
Nestling high in the Laurentian mountains 90 miles north of Montreal, the track (initially shorter than its ultimate 2.65-mile length) was built in 1964, in memory of Pete Ryan, the exceptionally promising Canadian killed in a FJ race at Reims two years earlier. The top ski resort’s tricky woodland course has been subtly altered and totally rebuilt since it was last used for font-line events. Widened to 11 metres, and in the throes of being completely resurfaced, it now meets FIA safety and operational standards for all events below grand prix status, with gravel traps, run-off areas and barriers, according to former Brands Hatch manager Alan Wilson, now president of the operating/marketing company.
While the outline of the historic layout remains, an alternative chicane has been added inside the apex of the old Turn Two, a super-fast, blind righthander known as Le Diable (The Devil) leading into the fearsome plunge of Redman ‘s Hill, where the Briton flipped his Can-Am Lola in 1977. The final two bends have been realigned to create more pit and paddock space.
As with Goodwood, massive efforts to maintain the charm and heritage of the venue have been made. The control tower is being rebuilt with an additional floor, but it will look just like the original, and similar make-overs are planned for other buildings. The only grandstands will be for a few corporate guests, but spectators will enjoy great views from tree-sheltered grass banks. Future plans include a Historic jamboree. “With its history and wonderful setting, it has the potential to be a truly unbelievable retrospective event,” said Wilson. MP