Dream Wheels – Race the Base

by MCpl Warnica – B Sqn
5 October 2010

The weekend started on the 27th of August at 0630hrs in the morning. My crew, Cpl Kearns, Tpr Hazen, Cpl Thiffault-Dumont and myself, left for CFB Cold Lake with box lunches and guns - we weren’t going camping, we were going to a charity fund raiser to display a Tank . Our first timing was 1000hrs with our Point of Contact in Cold Lake, Capt Button. We had a convoy of five vehicl  es following Captain Button through the restricted area to set up for the owners of about a hundred or so supercars -cars people dream about at night. The whole goal of these drivers was to race an F-18 and go approximately three hundred kilometres an hour. The F-18 is capable of going mach 1.8, so it was no easy task and the drivers clearly had their work cut out for them. My crew’s task was to keep the people interested as a side line activity, and judging by the overwhelming response, I would say the mission was complete.

At first people weren’t sure what to think about a 44 ton, 830 hp, combat vehicle. Once it was established that the tank was there for them, line ups formed and kids kept us busy for hours. Meanwhile the drivers ripped up the runway with high octane race fuel and very expensive tires. The first day was winding to an end and we parked our vehicle across from an Engineer Cougar and an F-18. The Air Force put us up in the Maple Flag Inn for the night - let us just say the Air Force camps out a little bit more civilized than we do. The next day we knew we had to be at the vehicle 0700hrs in order to fire the first round as a crowd pleaser for 0800hrs sharp. People really wanted to see the tank, so at one point, we drove the vehicle up and down the runway and traversed the turret for photo opportunities for the general public. When we positioned the vehicle at our so called “Battle Position” soon after we had line ups again with no end in sight. The weather was unpleasant with rain and cold wind forcing us to rotate shifts through the van for shelter.

At 1400hrs we fired our last blank round to signal the start of the F-18 race. Once we fired the last round we sat there at the edge of the runway and watched an F-18 beat a supercar. All things being said it was good weekend and I would advise anyone interested in cars to make the trip out to Cold Lake next summer.