Close to 300 Attend 18th Annual
Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Gala
Close to 300 guests, the largest attendance in recent history , were on hand for the induction ceremonies of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s 18th annual Hall of Fame Gala April 21, 2012 in Toronto.
Michael Andretti, who retired from active racing in 2003 to focus on team ownership and won 42 CART/Champ Car races in his 20-year racing career, including a record seven Toronto Indy victories was Inducted into the International Category along with seven Canadians.
The seven Canadians included : Dick Foley of Montreal, Quebec; Rudy Bartling of Courtrice, Ontario; Robin Edwardes, of L’Orignal, Ontario; Paul S Manson of Toronto, Ontario; Ben Docktor of Calgary, Alberta, Greg Sewart of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Norm Ellefson, who now lives in Spokane, Washington.
We are delighted to welcome Michael Andretti into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame,” said Dr. Hugh Scully, Chairman of the Canadian Motorsport Heritage Foundation. “Two years ago the Hall of Fame introduced an international category at our annual induction gala to formally recognize non-Canadians who had made significant contributions to motorsports in Canada.
Besides entertaining thousands of race fans with his on-track performances in Canada over the years and holding the record for the most wins at the Toronto Indy, Michael Andretti’s contribution to the promotion of motorsports in Canada and to the development of Canadian drivers, is well established. ”
Son of legendary motorsports icon, Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti has left a lasting legacy of his own in the world of open-wheel racing both as a driver and team owner. In 2008 his love of Toronto was instrumental in his decision to purchase the assets of the Toronto Indy, a move that brought the marquee event back to the city after a one year absence. On January 11, 2012 Andretti also announced that Andretti Autosport had signed Canadian racing talent James Hinchcliffe to a multi-year contract. Hinchcliffe will be present at the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and will be a guest speaker.
I’m extremely honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame. Throughout my career, I’ve always considered Canada to be almost like my second home. The Canadian race fans have been some of the most supportive I’ve ever seen and I’m thrilled that almost a quarter of my career wins came on Canadian soil and in front of such enthusiastic fans.”
The Hall of Fame was initially introduced in 1993 and now has over 100 inductees from across Canada. An International category was added two years ago. Michael Andretti joins Bobby Rahal Carroll Shelby and Professor Sid Watkins as inductees in the International category.
The Hall of Fame comes under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Motorsport Heritage Foundation created by a group of leading international businessmen.