TORONTO (June 6, 2016) – The 2016 Canadian Motorsport Hall Fame (CMHF) inductees highlight this country’s success in various disciplines with accomplished competitors on two wheels and four who raced on dirt and asphalt becoming members this year.
Rallying’s Antoine L’Estage, stock car driver Peter Gibbons, drag racing’s John Edgar Petrie, motorcycle racer Jordan Szoke and CASCAR champion David Whitlock will be honoured in the 2016 Canadian Motorsport Hall Fame Induction Ceremony presented by MAV TV and Lucas Oil at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on Oct. 22, 2016.
“This year’s list of inductees underlines the many different forms of motorsport where Canadians have excelled,” said the Hall’s Chairman Dr. Hugh Scully.
“It is an honour for the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame to include these five new members who have not only found great success in their careers, but also thrilled countless fans over the years.”
A reception following the induction ceremony will allow fans to have an opportunity to meet the inductees as well as bid on a variety of racing-related items in the CHMF’s annual silent auction that will take place in the lobby of the theatre.
When it comes to rally races in North America, it takes a while to find one where Antoine L’Estage hasn’t been victorious. An eight-time Canadian Rally champion, seven-time North American Rally champion and the 2010 Rally America champion, the St-Jean-Sur-Le-Richelieu, Que., native has won a record-tying 43 Canadian Rally championship races and a staggering 48 overall in North America. In 2010, he became only the second competitor to win the Canadian, North American, and Rally America championships in the same year.
Two-time CASCAR Super Series Champion Peter Gibbons, of Stouffville, Ont., is the series all-time wins leader with 25 victories to his credit. In addition to his driving success, Gibbon’s reputation as a top engine builder earned him the nickname “Mr. Horsepower.” While his on track exploits were impressive, Gibbons also made his mark on the next generation of racers by supplying cars at a reasonable cost to young drivers to help them break into the sport and gain valuable experience.
A native Englishman who called Toronto home, drag racer and motorsport builder John Edgar Petrie began his love of the sport with a 1964 Plymouth Savoy and ended it in 1972 after going up against some of the great names in the sport, including Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins and Ronnie Sox. Along the way, he chalked up more than 180 wins in over 11 years, winning about two thirds of his career starts mostly in Pro Stock and Funny Car. Inducted into the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2015, Petrie is slated to enter the MOPAR Hall of Fame in Carlisle Pennsylvania in July.
Look for a record in Canadian motorcycle racing and you’ll likely see the name Jordan Szoke at the top of the list. The Brantford, Ont., rider notched an unmatched 10th Canadian Superbike Championship last year in style by winning all seven races on the calendar, upping his record number of wins to 52. He showed no signs of slowing down this year after adding another victory in late May’s superbike season opener at Ontario’s Shannonville Motorsport Park. In addition to superbike excellence, Szoke also has 10 other national titles to his name, including five Pro Sportbike Championships and four National Observed Trails crowns.
A three time CASCAR champion and 1989 CASCAR Rookie of the Year, David Whitlock scored 19 wins and 12 poles is a 24-year career that made his Whitlock Motorsports one of the premier teams in Canadian racing. The Wyoming, Ont., owner-driver was the first to win back-to-back CASCAR titles and the first to take three national crowns. He was also active in his community, using his race team to raise the awareness of several issues including a Racing Against Drugs in conjunction with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and men’s health issues such as Prostate Cancer. In 2012, he became the first motorsport figure to be inducted into the Sarnia Lampton Sports Hall of Fame.
A limited number of tickets for the induction ceremony will be made available through the CMHF website (CMHF.ca). starting early July.
Photo credit: Gary Grant