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2021 Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Enduro Race reports, pictures, video, Stanley Cup sightings thread


Bill Strong
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Well, our weekend did not go near as planned.  We knew we would not be super fast here but thought staying out of trouble may get us a decent result.  Saturday started off with a failed CV joint after 30 minutes of racing. We took some camber and raised the ride height, cut a big hole in the air-dam and punctured the boot to allow pressure out and that seemed to work. The rest of the day went pretty well. My 2hr stint was completely in the wet and it was awesome. I only got passed by 3 cars and they were all EC (2 of them with full wet tires on). Finding the right line was challenging, but I kept searching and I ended up running sub 2:00 in the wet.  I think we worked our way back upto 7th. Unfortunately when my dad got in for the last hour or so it started raining harder and he spun and tagged the inside wall lightly. Brought it home 9th.

 

Sunday started well as the track was just a little damp. I got a decent start, but had an EC BMW throwing some interesting blocks and being rather aggressive for the start of a race.  I sent it into turn 2 on the outside and ended up wide and got the black flag.  After that, I had a decent stint. Our second driver (rental) got in, and ran almost a full stint and got us upto 6th after others had to pit early. But then he radioed in that the engine was missing. So we tried coils, plugs, checked compression and switched drivers. Still had an odd miss. I asked him if anything specific happened and he didn't recall anything.  So we plugged a scanner in and sent the next driver out to log some data for a lap and down the back straight things started making serious noise, lost drive and lost the clutch pedal. Flywheel is loose in the bell housing. After looking at the data and video, there was a missed shift (got 2nd instead of 4th). Atleast we know that it wasn't a prep issue or motor problem this time. 

 

Great job by Carl and the gang for putting this on. Great to see some US teams up here too. 

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We don’t usually do a race report, but this was such a fun weekend….

 

The border crossing was packed and I could see them turning people around at the pre-check tents. Sheesh. It’s really not that hard. 
 

Saturday afternoon I was in the car when it started raining again. A little too ambitious in T3 and my unplanned Tokyo Drift ended with the right front in the concrete. Thanks to the cars behind for getting past without collecting me. We pounded out the sheet metal, cut off everything else that was in the way and then discovered the sheared motor mount stud. Ugh. Couldn’t find a welding machine in the paddock so we visited the track namesake and bought one. Why not? Who doesn’t need a second welder. Thank you Canadian Tire. Back at the track we purloined some power, welded the motor mount stud to the mounting arm and tried to get back out for the checkers. Never mind the extreme toe out on the front wheel. But, we were belting Kevin in when the checkered flag fell. Bummer. 
 

Everyone was soaked by that time. The wind/breeze blew the rain in under our canopy garage. So we called it a night and went to dinner. 
 

Sunday morning we did an eyeball and 2x4 alignment, changed to new tires and went back at it. All the fixes worked and Kevin set our fastest time of the weekend in the first stint. The rest of the day was uneventful. Everyone drove great stints and we finished strong.
 

We’re not fast but we try to race consistent and be predictable on track. We appreciate  the faster cars’ patience. Overall we thought the EC cars were more respectful than at most of our other races. 
 

There were some really good looking cars out there this weekend. I, for one, would like to see that standard met at all ChampCar races. 
 

We really enjoyed working with and around our pit neighbors, Red Cow Racing, who came to our rescue Sunday evening when our tow vehicle had a dead battery. 
 

Carl and crew did a great job. We appreciated Carl stopping to chat in the pits Sunday morning and I agree with him: more US teams need to go up there and race. It’s an awesome track. 
 

One question. Why wasn’t the flagger at start/finish using the flag stand over the start/finish line? 

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Wow what an EPIC weekend at an EPIC track!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can't stop talking about the weekend on the 13 hour drive home as it was the hot topic

all the way to my driveway.

 

Let me start by saying what a great group of folks up north. Champcar Canada is alive and well and I will say in our 10 years of racing this series

this was the best run event we have had the pleasure of attending. Carl our hats are off to you and your crew and we can't say enough!!!!!!!!!!!

Also all the teams were really fun to race with and clean racing even with a full day of rainy weather. Not too much contact and most was self inflicted,us being one of them but more later. The track in our track walk on Friday evening looked to be very intense to say the least but we had a local, Jerry Chinn to walk us thru and explain lines. It was a major help as none of us had ever been before. Everyone said put your big boy pants on!!!! No lie there as we have never run a track that was ALL high speed! When they say it is mostly all 5th gear, well that is no lie either. Pavement was really good and the track was very wide if you got in trouble. Only a couple cars saw the wall and neither survived well as neither could continue. If anyone ever is on the edge about going to Mosport don't even think twice as you will love it! 

 

Day one! Started with both cars running and about 28 or so racing with a large field of EC cars. Now what about double wide starts!!!!!! Yes you heard me, started double wide into turn one!!! Clean and what a blast with plenty of room. Aaron and Chad started in 150 and 5 with a good start with a moist track with a light mist as we knew rain was coming. Both cars fit in well with Aaron falling back a little but soon got his wings moving soon after and Chad just charged ahead. Both cars running well mechanically and moving up toward the front. About an hour or so in Aaron hit turn eight a little hot and spun on track. Staying on the pavement and then was collected by an EC BMW on the drivers rear quarter panel hard, seems we needed about 3" of tow out. He was brought in for the rest of the morning and mid afternoon, seems the wrench had lots of work to do. Chad marched on and moved up the ladder finishing his first stint well and in went Jerry who also worked his stint to perfection moving us up further and before you knew it we were leading the race of non EC. They continued to lead and swap drivers with clean 5 minute stops and even in the rain which started in the second stint we continued to stay out front for most of the day. Did anybody know there are tons of Honda's running up north and all front wheel drive?? Well enough said as we had been chased for a long time by OB Prestedge Honda Civic and front wheel drive got us in the last stint but the boys did there best as the rain was really coming down in the last two hours. I might add the wiper motor also failed. RWD just doesn't pull like the FWD, go figure. Great run and getting ready for day two. Finished P2 and first in class

 

With the spin and crash damage we started by fender bending to get wheel clearance, then moving on to damaged goods. Replaced upper and lower a arms and several bent bolts but we did not have a spindle and we set it up the best we could. Had to maximize both side adjustments to get close knowing it would not track right but should be able to drive OK. Put Patrick in the car to run some laps near the end of the day and it seemed to work OK or good enough to run Sunday. After a few laps he had some fuel cut out issues and brought it back in and we looked and found some questionable connections, tightened them up and he ran a few more laps and then came in to really go thru everything because with the hard hit it makes everything funky. We found a team with a spindle and changed that and dialed the rear back to spec with near perfect alignment, not bad for at the track work and tossed in a new axle and switched wheels to be safe. We changed all the fuel filters and blew out the hydromat for good measure and looked everything else over for the next race. Car 5 needed a good look as well with a new rear rotor and pads on one side, new fuel filters and a good solid check over it was ready for day two.

 

Day 2 Started with the same double wide start, can I say that again, the same double wide start and the guys loved it! Both cars doing well With Patrick in 150 and Jerry in 5, both did a great job and the intermittent fuel cut was still in 150 for the first 30 minutes and then went away. Both turning strong laps at 1:40 or so. Came in for driver change and fuel without a hitch with Chad in 5 and then Aaron into 150. Both had good runs in the 1:40 range with clean laps and no issues and before you knew it we were at the next driver change and Patrick went into 5 and Jeff into 150. Keep in mind this was Jeff's first time on track and he took a few laps to get in the grove but his times kept coming down, he did a great job getting in the 1:44's. They continued to run well and 5 was out front again with 150 in about 8th or 9th. Next driver change was a hard choice in 5 as Chad and Jerry could not make up their mind, but Jerry went in to finish since his wife and daughters were present to watch. In the mix we had dropped to second by a BMW which went on to win. Jerry brought it home for a solid second as we had a failing front hub and had to slow the pace just a touch. 150 was Aaron in for the finish and well the gremlins came back with car going into limp mode and he was towed in. We found a code for TPS sensor and looked at all the wiring and connections and tested in the parking lot and seemed good. Out for another two laps but nope it came back and is either a throttle pedal issue or in the throttle body and no time to repair either and parked the car.

 

After the race we started to pack the cars and parts until the awards. We got a fair amount done with removing aero bits and packing the spare trailer. We then went to awards. Carl did a wonderful job with presenting awards. Car 5 finished P2 both days and first in class both days. 150 well another day will come for it but we had a great run. Seems Carl thought we also deserved to receive the award for sportsmanship! He was so happy we made the journey to race with them and was impressed with how we all worked as a team to make the cars race.

 

Travels up and back were with no real issues and would encourage any team to head north. Border crossing was not too bad but I would like to explain for others. Passports are needed for everyone, covid vaccination card and you must go online and fill out an Enter Canada plan. Last one was tricky for us as we had road travel but we had to have a negative covid test within 72 hrs of entry. We made it all work and just took about 15 minutes to cross. Entry back was about the same with 100 questions about trailer and parts in truck.

 

So to sum it all up it was a fantastic weekend!!!!!! Again can't say enough about Champcar Canada, Carl and his gang, the track and workers all top notch!!!!

 

If you get a chance go north and race. Last when all the locals say the track is tricky and can be scary, well you need the right mind set to just go out and drive it! We will all cherish the memories of this weekend for life.

 

Everyone needs to ask Chad what the send button means on the Enter Canada app??????????????? Its a $1000 fine if you don't have that done. 🙂

 

Edited by 55mini
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I have to Second and Third the feelings on what a great job Carl and the Champcar Canada crew did, they pulled off a great race!   

The hospitality they showed everyone was fantastic and set a great tone for the weekend.  

 

The racing was great, lots of racing room was given by all the drivers up and down the speed chart.  (there was a fair difference in speed to from the EC ranks to the slower cars)   It was like everyone understood it was an endurance race and they didn't have to do crazy XXXX to get a good finish.  

 

One other great twist that Carl threw into running the race....4 wheels off earns you a black flag and a short chat with the black flag station.   Some where held for a bit and others just stop and go.   Our team thought it was a great addition to how the race was managed.  Another incentive to stay under control.  (Both our cars had a pass through penalty on Sunday)

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Thanks! We had a blast. There are two of us in Maine and our other guys are located in Georgia and Colorado. The only time all four of us are together is race weekends which guarantees the weekend will be epic. Our Georgia boy told a very pretty customs agent that he was a race car driver. She said, “Ooh. Do you make a lot of money?” 🤣

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With Mosport as a home track for us, it always feels great to have new teams come and have a great time! We get a bit spoiled having a track like that in our backyard.  Big, fast and scary! Something about the way it flows just feels soooo good!

 

@55mini @JDChristianson @Hammerheads It was cool to see you guys out there.  MiElan cars were fast.  Congrats on a decent haul of hardware for the weekend. And great to see the BMW walk away with a small scratch from T3.

 

Our weekend was awesome and most definitely one of our best performances.  We had some demons to shake after writing our car off there last year so wanted to make sure the car came home in one piece and everyone got a chance to drive.  I took the first stint and was doing nicely.  Making some solid lap times while feeling pretty comfortable for pace. Meanwhile I ended up running my fastest ever lap with a 1:37.3.  It wasn't too long after when the rear end stepped out in T4 and I took a roller coaster ride backwards down the hill.  Wow...! That was a scary one!  Black flag #1.  I also like the black flag for spins/offs.  It seemed consistent with numerous cars coming through over the weekend.  I had a clean stint with a bit of drizzle starting to come down until nearly the end of the 2 hours.  The rear stepped out again but this time in T1.  I remember trying to shove the gas pedal through the floor with the car pointed at the inside wall.  It JUST straightened itself out with a couple of feet to spare.  Tried to gather it all up but I went tank slapping all the way across and somehow, miraculously, managed to keep it off of the outside wall too.  Black flag #2. Double dirty pants on that 2nd one that was even scarier! Two incidents that caught me off guard, I need to do better.  Thankfully I didnt collect any other cars in the process.

 

It then proceeded to rain for what seemed like the remainder of the day.  The FWD and LSD came in handy!  There were times when visibility was quite bad.  The rest of our drivers did stand up jobs and kept it clean the rest of the day!  For the final stint my dad said "no way, that looks like no fun out there" so I took the final stint to bring it home.  "fun" isnt how id describe it!  But it was good none the less! In the end, two black flags put us in too big of a hole to overcome to claw back at MiElan and we finished two laps down for 3rd place.  We were VERY happy to have run strong all day long and be in there at the finish for a podium.

 

Sunday we decided to relax, make sure everyone, including my Dad got to run and we played the long game.  A bit slow and steady (still making 1:40-1:43 lap times) but making sure the car stays on track. Mission accomplished until about the final hour when Dad did some landscaping! That sent us back from the 4th place we were trying to hold on to.  No matter!  Everyone got some great driving in, everyone had a blast, the car drove onto the trailer without even any new scratches and we got to climb up on the podium as icing on the cake!

 

I'll echo the other comments and say thanks to Carl for putting on a great event.  Run like clockwork.  Lots of good clean on track action and driving.

 

For some viewing pleasure, my fast lap on Saturday, and the two "moments" that I mentioned...!

 

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2 hours ago, thewheelerZ said:

 

With Mosport as a home track for us, it always feels great to have new teams come and have a great time! We get a bit spoiled having a track like that in our backyard.  Big, fast and scary! Something about the way it flows just feels soooo good!

 

@55mini @JDChristianson @Hammerheads It was cool to see you guys out there.  MiElan cars were fast.  Congrats on a decent haul of hardware for the weekend. And great to see the BMW walk away with a small scratch from T3.

 

Our weekend was awesome and most definitely one of our best performances.  We had some demons to shake after writing our car off there last year so wanted to make sure the car came home in one piece and everyone got a chance to drive.  I took the first stint and was doing nicely.  Making some solid lap times while feeling pretty comfortable for pace. Meanwhile I ended up running my fastest ever lap with a 1:37.3.  It wasn't too long after when the rear end stepped out in T4 and I took a roller coaster ride backwards down the hill.  Wow...! That was a scary one!  Black flag #1.  I also like the black flag for spins/offs.  It seemed consistent with numerous cars coming through over the weekend.  I had a clean stint with a bit of drizzle starting to come down until nearly the end of the 2 hours.  The rear stepped out again but this time in T1.  I remember trying to shove the gas pedal through the floor with the car pointed at the inside wall.  It JUST straightened itself out with a couple of feet to spare.  Tried to gather it all up but I went tank slapping all the way across and somehow, miraculously, managed to keep it off of the outside wall too.  Black flag #2. Double dirty pants on that 2nd one that was even scarier! Two incidents that caught me off guard, I need to do better.  Thankfully I didnt collect any other cars in the process.

 

It then proceeded to rain for what seemed like the remainder of the day.  The FWD and LSD came in handy!  There were times when visibility was quite bad.  The rest of our drivers did stand up jobs and kept it clean the rest of the day!  For the final stint my dad said "no way, that looks like no fun out there" so I took the final stint to bring it home.  "fun" isnt how id describe it!  But it was good none the less! In the end, two black flags put us in too big of a hole to overcome to claw back at MiElan and we finished two laps down for 3rd place.  We were VERY happy to have run strong all day long and be in there at the finish for a podium.

 

Sunday we decided to relax, make sure everyone, including my Dad got to run and we played the long game.  A bit slow and steady (still making 1:40-1:43 lap times) but making sure the car stays on track. Mission accomplished until about the final hour when Dad did some landscaping! That sent us back from the 4th place we were trying to hold on to.  No matter!  Everyone got some great driving in, everyone had a blast, the car drove onto the trailer without even any new scratches and we got to climb up on the podium as icing on the cake!

 

I'll echo the other comments and say thanks to Carl for putting on a great event.  Run like clockwork.  Lots of good clean on track action and driving.

 

For some viewing pleasure, my fast lap on Saturday, and the two "moments" that I mentioned...!

 

That first spin was pretty scary.  
 

I was very impressed with how quick you guys were.  Looking at your times from CMP earlier in the year I didn’t expect you to be that quick.  It looks like you’ve got quite a bit of hp to motivate that thing.  I took a quick glance and your 2 seconds faster than us from the exit of 5b to the bridge.  

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38 minutes ago, petawawarace said:

That first spin was pretty scary.  
 

I was very impressed with how quick you guys were.  Looking at your times from CMP earlier in the year I didn’t expect you to be that quick.  It looks like you’ve got quite a bit of hp to motivate that thing.  I took a quick glance and your 2 seconds faster than us from the exit of 5b to the bridge.  

Thanks! We definitely take a bit of pride in making the big dumb cars go fast.
 

LOL we use horsepower to compensate for a number of things... 😂 (...but seriously, the solid rear axle and 66%+ front weight bias being a couple of them!). The 3.5 is solid though, stock but came from a good home in its previous life. 
 

CMP was the cars literal shakedown. Just finished building it in time and took it out to see if it even worked. So a bit of fine tuning happened between then and now. It really is a straight line car that does well at big power tracks. Some of those long sustained turns at Bogie are pretty tough on it!

 

strangely it was oddly calm in the T4 spin. I’ve done literally the same thing in a previous race when there was some oil laid down on the track. I almost thought; “oh this again eh?!”

 

You’re  car looked great out there. Will be good to race against you guys again hopefully!

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I'll chime in on this one too!  No joke, this was one of the most enjoyable Champcar weekends I have had in a long while.  The hassle to get into Canada feels a bit overblown, but did take a decent amount of planning on our part to make happen.  We had to meet up at our office on Tuesday morning at 7 am, all spend time spitting into cups and filling out the online forms, then I rushed down to the state hygienic lab with our tests to guarantee they were processed in the window of 72hrs.

 

The drive from race central to the border was a little over 9hrs, but easy driving and quite pleasant.  Once we got into Canada the plan was to stay the night in London, ON, however once we arrived we found that all of the hotels had been booked out.  Apparently, this was due to the homeless being housed due to Covid, not a mass influx of travelers.  Good on you Canada.  A 20 minute drive down the road to Woodstock and we had a nice cozy couple of rooms and found dinner for the night.  Driving to the track allowed us to experience Canada's version of Chicago traffic, although there was a lot less honking and sporadic lane changes, we found ourselves at the gates right at 12 noon....only to be told we had to come back at 2pm and maybe we could go park a few miles away at a gas station to wait.  After our brief detour and relaxing wait in a truckstop lot, we finally got into the track.  Mosport has an entrance similar to Road America, you drive down a flag line entry and go under a bridge, only to emerge into the glorious playground you signed up to compete in.

 

This track has elevation......in the paddock...seriously it was like Barber, but in reverse.  The paddock climbs to the pits.....  Once we got settled in and the cars ready to go, we set up the pit box and headed out for a track walk(much appreciated).  As we went from turn to turn and up and down, the team decided Mosport is what happens if Road America and Barber procreated.  There is a lot of speed, and plenty of places where you have no idea where the track is going so you just have to commit and send it!  After that we made our way to a nice local spot for some good eats and back to bed.

 

The morning started out for our team like it always does...who gets to start....   This is where the next interesting part comes in....due to the hoops and some other circumstances, we brought two cars and wait for it.....................................................5 drivers.  Patrick went to work and made a couple different matrices of how we could make this all work and be successful with only having to have  people do two stints max.  Good idea....until it went to heck.  I was picked to start in the 150 and Chad went out in the 5.  The day before when we were told it would be a two wide start, I was a bit skeptical especially with all the speed that was brought by other teams.  Going out for the pace laps it was clear we weren't in the States anymore.  The Pace car set a nice pace of close to 80 mph on the first time around....Sorry @Bill Strong, they got you beat here bud.  The second lap by we went blistering fast and everyone qued up nicely on the back straight.  BOOM! Flag drops, we go, I am on the outside and pass 3-4 cars holding on, only to watch 5-6 come inside going through turn 2.  What a rush, the first few laps felt awesome, the car was great, the track had grip, and the field was very professional.   At no time did I, or anyone else on our team feel like the driving was anything less that courteous.  There were some awesome race cars here, that while they were outside of the Champcar ruleset, they drove and gave everyone respect and space.

 

Now, onto my mistake.  This race turned into a bit of a washout.  About an hour into the first stint it had started to get wet and I had backed off with the intention of just taking my time around the track and not making a mistake.  I think this made me overthink everything and I lost that "edge" you need when racing.  Going through the 8-9 transition I made the mistake of doing my normal 5-4-3 downshift when it should have been just a 5-4....end up losing the rear and doing a 180, which would have been fine, if the Tommlinson BMW E36 hadn't been closing.  They clipped our drivers side rear HARD.  Luckily their damage was not significant and were able to continue.  Us, not so much....I brought the car back in holding the wheel at 3 o'clock to drive straight just knowing the damage was no Bueno.  Once we got back to the paddock we went to work.  @55mini had the rear torn apart in minutes and we started swapping control arms, bushings, and anything else we had.  Dropped it back down, did a quick alignment check......1" toe out on the drivers side.....only thing left to swap was a spindle....which we had just gave our packed spare away at our last race and forgot to pack a new one after....crap.   After some banter in the pits, we decided, lets try to toe in the passenger side to max and see where we end up?  Car will drive, but track wonky. We do this, send Patrick out and he says it is driveable, but shakes like crazy.  We realize that there is one, I repeat, ONE other miata team here and maybe they will have a spindle.  We ask, they do, but the person who knows where it is at in the trailer is just getting in to race.....so we wait.....At this point, the 150 drivers decided to deem ourselves the Champcar Redbull Racing Pit crew and made sure the 5 car was running tip top.  After finding out that the 150 was terminal for the day, the two drivers in the 5 wanted to let the three of us get time in the 5, we said "Heck NO!" you all have a chance to win this thing, go get it".  There was an unplanned stop due to a fuel pickup issue that made this a 5 stop race.  If the rain had held off, I don't think the FWD would have caught up, that said, it was a great race to finish 2nd.

 

After the race ended we were able to get the spare spindle installed and get the 150 back on the ground and set alignment to where we wanted.  For a track that doesn't require much if any brakes(humble brag) The 5 car had a cracked rear rotor, like from the edge all the way through to the hat....wth??  Sent Chad and Jerry for pizza and finished up the prep for Sunday.

 

Sunday comes, the race starts, the 5 and 150 are running great.  Jerry brings the 5 in first sitting in the top 2, Patrick is next in the 150 and we are 8th.  Chad goes in, drives awesome and the 5 stays in the lead.  I bring the 150 in and we are in a solid 3rd.  Patrick goes out in the 5 just trying to keep position and does a great job.  Jeff jumps in the 150 for his first time on track.  Patrick runs a lot of consitant laps in a car that he does not fit into very well.  Jeff goes out and learns the track and does a great job of lowering his times and getting comfortable.  Jerry gets into the 5 with the chance to go out for the finish, starting in P2 a lapish down, and has a cheering section here to watch their dad finish the race!  Jeff and I do a good swap and I head out in the 150 with the hopes of moving up to top 5, but an hour into the stint going into turn 1 I shift to 5th and the car goes into limp mode......coasted to the bottom of turn 2, tried hard to reset the ecu to get the car to come out of it, only to be towed in.  We tried to figure it out, only to decide it was an electrical issue.  I did get it to run to go back out for a lap and a half, but that was it. 

 

I really want to emphasize how much fun this event was.  It was made clear at the drivers meeting what the expectations would be, and the staff held true.  I received my 2nd ever black flag in 10 years, for going 4 off.  I decided to go off instead of paste a car that moved over in a corner.  When I got to the BF station, I was told, "good job not wrecking another car, go on your way."  Really??? They are actually enforcing things?!?!?!  Thank you.  Carl specifically said when asked, that they made sure to have a full flag crew available for the event.  I wish the USA Champcar staff would make sure this happened as well. 

 

Canada was a pleasant experience.  They ran a clean, efficient, and welcoming event.  If you have a choice of driving up there to race vs. going down to the South, I say go to Canada.

 

 

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