Five Canadians will be honored at The 19TH Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s Induction Ceremonies, presented by Canadian Tire, when this year’s event takes centre stage under a new format at the Glenn Gould Studio at 7:15 p.m. on September 28th 2013.
Those to be inducted include the late Bob Armstrong, Jimmy Carr, Ron Fellows, Tom Walters, Jon and Sharon Fletcher.
They’ll be showcased on the Gould Studio stage in the Toronto CBC Building (205 Front St.) where concert pianists or jazz divas usually perform. With a lobby reception mixing inductees, fans and celebrity guests following the show, the new format is a relaxed step away from the formality of previous black-tie dinners.
“I wish to congratulate the successful inductees for their dedication and contribution to Canadian motorsports“, said the Hall’s Chairman Dr. Hugh Scully.
“We are also delighted with the new format and the participation of Canadian Tire as our official presenter allowing the Hall of Fame to reach new audiences and open our doors to more of the general motorsport community,” concluded Dr. Scully. The International Inductee will be announced next month .
Fellows, of Mississauga, ON, is among the most versatile Canadian racers with wins in 24-hour classics at Le Mans and Daytona, in NASCAR truck and Nationwide stock car competition, and three championships in the American Le Mans Series.
Fellows is inducted as a contributor as well as a competitor. His Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship encouraged and developed young drivers, and he’s a driving force in the Canadian Karting Championship and Team Canada Rotax World Finals program with Canadian Tire. After spending much of his adult life at Mosport Fellows became co-owner of the track in 2011 and its rejuvenation as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park reflects his vision.
Armstrong, of North Gower, ON, who died of cancer in April, is honored as a competitor, builder and significant contributor. Beginning as a track marshal in 1969 and a showroom stock racer in 1973, he excelled in Formula Ford in which held the lap record at Mosport for more than 20 years.
Although an Ontario Challenge Cup champion in the Touring GT class as recently as 2005, Armstrong’s work trackside earned him even more respect. He served as director of track safety at the Canadian Grand Prix from 1990 through 2012.
Armstrong was chief instructor for ASC-Ontario Region race schools. Hundreds of retired racers remember him as steward for the Canadian Professional F2000 series and the Canadian Rothmans Porsche series in the 1980’s and the Canadian Professional F1600 in 1990-1991.
Jimmy Carr, inducted as a competitor/team member, was rookie-of-the-year in the World of Outlaws in 1991 and went on to Outlaws championships in management roles with Tony Stewart Racing. Carr, now living in Indiana, as a boy watched his father Frank competing on dirt tracks outside Vancouver in the 1960’s. Jimmy raced sprint cars in Washington, Oregon and California before turning to the Outlaws.
Builders John and Sharon Fletcher of Waterford, ON, twice took over faltering drag strip facilities and steered them to prosperity, helping preserve this form of motorsport in Ontario. After purchasing Dragway Park at Cayuga, ON, from bankruptcy trustees in 1982, they introduced new classes to attract new racers, attracted non-automotive sponsorship and held the first Canadian event sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association. Next they bought St. Thomas Dragway at Sparta, ON, and developed the facility as London Motorsport Park with new timing equipment and improved safety measures.
Tom Walters of Bradford, ON, won 28 division championships in 40 years of southern Ontario short-track stock car racing. He bought a neighbor’s stock car and scored his first win at Sutton Speedway in 1970, and he’s still racing. Walters was mentored by legends like Don Biederman who in 1977 brought a hammer to his car to remove the rear view mirror, saying “without this you will be a better racer.” In 2010 Walters added the McColl Racing Series to his titles, racing late models at Sauble, Barrie, Sunset and Peterborough Speedways.
A limited number of tickets will go on sale in early June. Watch the CMHF website (CMHF.ca) for details.