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Champ Car race will be a real circus
Cirque du Soleil will be centre stage for the relaunch of Champ Car at Circuit Mont Tremblant this summer.

The world-renowned circus company is partnering with Montreal promoter Normand Legault, track-owner Lawrence Stroll and the U.S. based open-wheel racing series in an effort to ensure its long-term success in the province and, specifically, at the historic track in the Laurentians resort area.

For the Cirque, it could be the start of major participation in motorsports.

Daniel Lamarre, president and chief operating officer of the Cirque - speaking on behalf of Cirque founder Guy Laliberte, a fan of auto racing - said the company has been involved with projects related to sporting events, but the move to join Champ Car's debut at Circuit Mont Tremblant June 29 to July 1 is the most significant to date.

"The success we've had with (shows) at the Super Bowl and events we created in the motorsport industry, like the launching of the new Formula One car with McLaren recently in Spain, and having been involved with the F1 Grand Prix party here for many years, convinced us there is a linkage between motorsports and Cirque du Soleil and sports in general," Lamarre said.

"Guy has traveled around the world to different racing events and always thought something was lacking. There was not enough glamour. Not enough of an experience," Lamarre added. "He wants to prove at Mont Tremblant that it can be a happening."

Legault, president and CEO of Groupe Motorise International, has re-emerged as the driving force behind Champ Car in the Montreal area after last August's problem-plagued fifth edition at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Legault said the Canada Day weekend event is not a one-time venture and investments will be made to improve seating and safety for spectators. Tickets, ranging from $95 to $135, are expected to go on sale March 1. More at The Gazette

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