There are some changes happening at FAST Riding School, including a “passing of the torch” to one of the school’s longtime instructors.
Based out of Shannonville Motorsport Park, the same track that CSBK and other series use (although not necessarily on the same layout), FAST is one of Canada’s best-known and most-respected riding schools. CMG big boss Dustin Woods took it in last year, and you can read about all the fun he had here.
Michel Mercier, a highly respected Canadian roadracing legend, has been running the school for decades, with his wife Odette. Now, Martin Hamel, a long-time instructor is taking over. We haven’t seen the whole story yet, but according to Facebook:
“Nothing confirms rumors more than a popped bottle of champagne🥂. It’s now official: Michel and Odette have passed the baton to long-time FAST Riding School instructor, Martin Hamel! Martin, who considers himself privileged to have worked with Michel for 20 years, looks forward to sharing his passion with FAST Riding School customers. All👀 on our Facebook page in the upcoming weeks, we definitely have lots of things in the works and can’t wait to share!”
Hamel was admittedly late to motorcycling. Getting his license at 21, he did his first FAST program in 1997 at age 26, raced amateur in 1998 and turned pro in 1999 at 28 years old, at which time he became CSBK Rookie of the Year. He became an instructor at Fast in 2000.
So, like everything else at Shannonville, changes are coming. Reaching out to congratulate Hamel on the big news, he shared some updates that they plan to implement, including a new website and logo that should be unveiled the first week in December. Changes to the riding programs for 2021 will include another track layout option for Level 2 and additional options for Level 4 which has been receiving increasingly higher demand. Instructors will also be using on-track video content to help demonstrate skills.
Some things won’t change, however. “FAST’s mission is to help new and experienced riders improve their skills and confidence for the street and for the track by practicing in the safety and controlled environment of a racetrack,” says Hamel. Keep updated on emerging details via Facebook and the FAST website.