The 19th annual Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s Induction Ceremonies presented by Canadian Tire took centre Stage on Saturday September 28 at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto.
It was evening of firsts as six Canadians , the late Bob Armstrong; racing and administration; ( accepted by his wife Cindy ) , Jimmy Carr, sprint car racing and team management; Sharon and John Fletcher, Ron Fellows ,champion road racer; Stompin Tom Walters , stock car racer along with International Inductee and former world formula one champion, Indy 500 and Daytona 500 winner Mario Andretti became the latest honorable members before a sold-out audience.
This was first time for a new theatre -style format as fans and the racing icons alike mixed in the Studio Induction show followed by a reception open to all.
This was the first time this event was hosted by a presenting sponsor, Canadian Tire Corporation, a company which has become a leader in supporting Canadian motorsport activities.
This was the first time the induction ceremonies sold in recent history. It was a night when Mario Andretti literally sold the socks off his feet in an impromptu auction with the proceeds going to the Hall of Fame. The socks were bought by inductees John and Sharon Fletcher, who were inducted for their contributions to Canadian drag racing .
The evening was a distinct step away from the black tie dinners of past CMHF inductions.
“The evening, a huge success in my view, allowed the Hall to reach new audiences and opened our doors to more of the general motorsport community,” said Dr Hugh Scully, CMHF chairman.
The sound and images celebrating each inductee’s career was unprecedented. The Glenn Gould Studio was designed for the recording of classical music. Known for high notes, not horsepower, and divas rather than drivers, its acoustics and control room with state-of-art technology reproduced the sounds of high-powered competition as never before.
As one fan said upon leaving the Studio “When can I get my ticket for next year”?
Image: Ryan Dupont