Scott Maxwell

IMG_5429

Over a career in motorsport that has spanned close to four decades, Scott Maxwell has said his defining moment came in 2000 as a team member of Multimatic Motorsports and a class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“My greatest moment personally was leading the team at Le Mans and standing on the podium there,” Maxwell noted. “There’s just nothing like it.”

While the Le Mans victory may have been the highlight of Maxwell’s career, he worked hard and long to get to that podium as one of Canada’s most respected road racers.

As a youth, Maxwell’s early years were spent at race tracks with his father, an amateur racer and official. Walking around Mosport and meeting racing legends such as Graham Hill and Jack Brabham helped to provide the inspiration to get behind the wheel of a race car.

Maxwell started racing in earnest in open-wheel competition as the CASC’s Formula Vee rookie of the year and through 1984 to 1986 was that series’ champion at several levels. He then started racing endurance cars with national class wins in the early 1990s.
[Read more…]

Norris McDonald

Logos-11-27-20120360.JPG

In 2011, Norris McDonald missed the running of the Indy 500, one of his most cherished pastimes, to accept his induction into the Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame, which was held the same weekend.

“I had planned to go to Indy and its 100th birthday,” McDonald noted at the time. “But I’ve said it 1000 times – this is the only hall of fame I’ll ever get into.”

Well, for once, McDonald, one of this country’s most prominent motorsports journalists, was uncharacteristically wrong.

McDonald is now being honored by the Canadian racing world for his contributions to the sport. A former racer himself, he has gone on to not only promote the sport through his writings, he has broadcast various aspects of the sport through radio, television, and as a track announcer.

McDonald has been involved with the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame almost since its inception, serving various committees as well as acting as master of ceremonies during its annual induction ceremonies.
[Read more…]

Paul Tracy

PT 2005 Las Vegas

 

Colorful, controversial at times, and successful describes Paul Tracy’s racing career. With determination, stubbornness, and pushing both himself and his machine to levels others would not, Tracy has amassed a record in open-wheel racing that has done Canada proud. Starting in karts, as most open-wheel racers do, Tracy took his role behind the wheel seriously, and learned his craft well.

At age 16 he became the youngest Formula Ford champion, and a year later he won the final Can-Am road race, held at Mosport in 1986, racing the Horst Kroll Frisbee.  With his sights set on North America’s premier open-wheel series, Tracy started in CART with Dale Coyne and then Penske racing in 1991. He continued on a part-time level with Penske the next season, running in 11 races for the injured Rick Mears and placed 12th.

This gave him a ride with Penske in 1993, and he reciprocated with five race wins, including in front of the home town folk in the Molson Indy Toronto. Although he switched to Newman/Haasin 1995, he went back to Penske for the 1996 season, and then with Team KOOL Green with limited success until 1999 when he went to the podium seven times and placed third in the  championship.

But it was in 2003 that PT had his defining year. Driving for Player’s Forsythe Racing, he won seven of the 18 races on the card, including a popular victory in Toronto. He continued with theteam the next several years, placing fourth in points twice in CART. In 2006 he also raced vehicles with fenders, competing in NASCAR’s Busch Series, and the Grand-Am Rolex Series.

In 2008 he got back into an open-wheeler, now for Vision and Forsythe Racing in the CART-replaced IndyCar Series with limited success. He continued with this until 2011, and a year laterco-piloted a Doran Racing Dallara in the 24 Hours of Daytona, where he helped the team to a satisfying seventh.

PT 2006 NASCAR1

Tracy has commented he is proud of his part in the Toronto IndyCar races, adding his first Toronto win was the turning point in his career.

Tracy returned to Toronto this year, not as a driver, but as the color commentator for the NBC Sports Network, which broadcasts the Verizon IndyCar events.

While some of the hardness has left, Tracy continues to be honest and forthright in his opinions, providing IndyCar television audiences a refreshing and honest view. You know what he tells usis correct and he would probably love the opportunity to get back behind the wheel and show us.

John Magill

1965 356 SC

While he may have competed in various road and karting events over the years, John Magill is best remembered for his organization skills and contributions to the Canadian Auto Sport Clubs on a management level, especially in the field of karting.

After racing karts in the early 1970s, the inductee was invited by the CASC to organize its first national karting program in 1978. In 1980 he hosted Canada’s first FIA/CIK-sanctioned event, at the Ontario Goodwood track, as the CASC’s National Karting Director.

For the next five years, between 1980-85, this inductee served as the CASC National President, along with a role on the FIA motorsport executive committee and as the North American representative for the CIK executive committee.

It was also during this time that he helped to establish the Motorsport Foundation of Canada. One of this group was Gilles Villeneuve, who died two weeks before the official introduction, so it was renamed the Gilles Villeneuve Foundation in honor of the legendary Grand Prix driver. The first funds received were used to purchase computer equipment for the McGill University Sport Group to launch its testing of racecar drivers. [Read more…]

Diana Carter

Diana Portrait

 

Before Janet Guthrie, Paula Murphy, and Shirley Muldowney, Diana Carter entered what was at the time a man’s world. 

And she succeeded. 

Like other early women racers, Carter not only competed on the track in a male-oriented environment, she experienced prejudice and small-minded attitudes off the track. 

Throughout the 1960s Carter proved to the racing world she could compete, and win, in road racing and major rally events. From her Toronto base, she earned her successful reputation as a racer in the Shell 4000 Cross-Canada Rally with her Volvo, winning three consecutive Coupe des Dames from 1963 to 1965 in what has been considered the toughest rally in North America. 

At a time when women competed in female-only events on road circuits in their husbands’ or boyfriends’ race cars, Carter teamed with Jerry Polivka in establishing her racing credentials along working with Polivka with the Canadian enthusiast magazine Track and Traffic. In 1963 she won the sedan championship and a three-hour endurance event at Mosport driving a Mini-Cooper with Shirley Bowes. She also competed in road events in a Lotus 9, a Studebaker Hawk, and her own personal race car, a Sunbeam Alpine, while competing in the Shell 4000 rallies. 

Driving a Volvo 122 she won the CDRA Touring Class championship in 1963, the first woman to do so. She also raced in the Bahamas Speed Week in Nassau in 1966, winning that event over other pioneering women drivers such as Guthrie and Denise McCluggage. 

 

DC wins 1st race231Carter retired from racing in 1967, and took an advertising position with the new owners of Mosport. She also filed racing stories for major Canadian newspapers at this time. After leaving Track and Traffic, Carter went to work as public relations director for the Michigan and Texas International Speedways in 1968, then after three years went into advertising work in Detroit. In 1976 she left the business world, living in Wyoming and Oregon before returning to Canadian soil, ending up on Vancouver Island. 

Due to her success in racing, Carter was able to help promote the sport through the mainstream media, and her reputation evolved as a successful competitor who raced because she enjoyed the sport. 

She also helped to break down the barriers for women in the sport, helping to open doors for future generations of women racers. 

Please welcome Diana Carter into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.

 

Bob Armstrong

Armstrong1

 

Inducted 2012

A true competitor and a gentleman in the world of Canadian road racing, the late Bob Armstrong excelled in the sport in a wide variety of classes, from Formula Fords through to V8-powered Triumph TR8 and later raced a turbocharged Nissan.

While his credentials on the track are exemplary, it was his work behind the scenes where Armstrong made his biggest influence on the sport.

Armstrong’s formative years were ones of Formula One racing on the European circuits of the 1960s witnessing greats such as Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, and Jim Clark. Motorcycle racing and sports endurance racing also influenced the young Armstrong.

His vocation was an air traffic controller, but his passion was at the race track. In 1969 he became a track marshal at Mosport and four years later was able to start his racing career with a Toyota-supported Corona in the Canadian Showroom Stock Championship, placing a respectable third in his rookie year.

In 1974 he bought and climbed into a Merlyn Formula Ford, and took well to the open-wheeled class, taking nine top-fives in his first year of competition. He then raced a Lola T-340 at this time while winning the Formula Ford championship in 1976. For the next two years he raced with his Crossle, a car that helped him with numerous victories and lap records, including a posting at Mosport that stood in the class for the next 20 years.

Armstrong returned to a full-bodied car in 1980 with a sponsored ride driving a Sunoco CAM2 Motor Oil TR8, a team that included such racing luminaries as Scott Goodyear, John Buffum, and Don Prudhomme. There were some teething issues with the Triumph, but in true Armstrong style he percevered and placed fourth in the CASC National Championships.

Following that there was some racing in the Canadian Molyslip Enduro Series, a ride in the IMSA GT series, and more Formula Ford racing.

In 1985 Armstrong was appointed Chief Steward for the Canadian Professional F2000 Series working with the CASC and ASN Canada FIA. He was also the head of the Rothmans Porsche Cup where he firmly but fairly dealt with the on and off-track temperaments of racers such as Bill Adam, Paul Tracy, and Ron Fellows.

In 1990 Armstrong took on an important role as Director of track Safety for Canada’s involvement in Formula One activities, maintaining track safety, fire requirements and emergency services. In 1997 he was elected a Director and Vice-President of the Automobile Club de I’lle Notre-Dame, the FIA-delegated organizing club of the Canadian Grand Prix, where he applied his track coordination and services skills to not only the F1 races but to the popular NASCAR races which came to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from 2008 through 2012.
Armstrong continued to wear his racing helmet while working behind the scenes, competing in the World Challenge Endurance Series, the Firestone Firehawk Series and the Honda Michelin Series in the late 1980s and early 1990s, winning races and a few championships along the way. He continued to race a full schedule into 2005 with his Armstrong Motorsports Nissan, dominating the Touring GT class.

Along with his on-track activities, Armstrong was a director of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, and as with everything else he did in life, rolled up his sleeves and performed his duties on many projects, including working tirelessly with the CMHF’s Induction process and new members.

Among the many tributes for Armstrong after his passing in April of this year, ASN-FIA Canada Vice-President summed this man’s contributions best:

“If there is a Royal Family of Canadian Racing, it is certainly the Armstrongs. On any given weekend it was not unusual to find Bob the father, Cindy the mother, and Jennifer the daughter at a race event in any number of roles from track preparation, race driving, officiating, training, or whatever needed to be done. To know Bob was to respect his wealth of experience, knowledge, and willingness and ability to share with others. More importantly, to know him was to like him.

“Motorsport in Canada is better because Bob was here.”

Ron Fellows

ron fellows
Inducted 2012

Few Canadians have raced in NASCAR’s top division. Few Canadians have raced in the iconic Le Mans 24-hours. And even fewer Canadian racers have cars named after them.

But Ron Fellows has accomplished all of the above, and a whole bunch more. From his Windsor home where he started in karting and then advanced to Formula Ford and the Players Challenge Series, Fellows became a dominant name in SCCA Trans-Am racing in the late 1980s, along with competing in the IMSA GT series. He also drove in the Cadillac LMP program of the early 2000s.

Less than 10 years later, he became involved with Corvette’s racing program, and was a driver of the team that took the racing world by storm in IMSA, ALMS, and Le Mans racing with the GTS CR-5 and CR-6 Corvettes, highlighted with a class win twice at Le Mans, a class win at Daytona, and a class win at Sebring.

Fellows shifted camps so to speak during this time, racing in NASCAR’s Cup, Nationwide, and Truck series from 2002 to the present, where he has won two truck races and four Nationwide events, including the NAPA 200 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal in 2008, perhaps his most memorable and satisfying accomplishment in the sport.

Ron Fellows has had a racing career as one of North America’s most versatile and successful road racers in several racing venues. As a patron of Canadian motorsport, he has quietly counseled and mentored young racers with his Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship, and of late, has helped in the rejuvenation of one of Canada’s most iconic road racing tracks, the former Mosport Park, now known as Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

And the car named after him? The Ron Fellows edition Corvette Z06 of 2008, compete with a signature trim package. This Corvette was the first signed special edition in the history of the US sports car, and with only 399 samples produced is a fitting tribute to one of Canada’s top racing ambassadors.

Tom Walters

tom walters

Inducted 2012

This competitor has been racing on Southern Ontario’s short tracks for over 40 years. His approach to oval track racing has so far carried him to a total of 30 division championships, and he continues building on this legacy in 2013.

Tom Walters did not get into racing through the normal channels of family or friends. After a neighbor invited Walters to watch him race at Sunset Speedway in 1970, the neighbor told Walters he’d had enough after three straight rain-outs and his race car was for sale.

Walters bought the car, won a race that season, and found out he enjoyed the sport, competing up to three times a week over the next several years on the bullrings of Sunset, Wasaga Beach, and Pinecrest.

During this time Walters developed friendships and track rivalries while competing with racers such as Tom Milligan, Nate Gaiter, and Tom Waite. In 1979 he hit the track with his first new car, a Camaro Late Model, built by noted car-builder Jim Ward.

By 1990 Walters had certainly found his way around an oval. He won the Sunset Late Model championship every year from 1990 through to 1998. He also won the Molson Export Super Series title in 1991 and 1992, along with the 1993 Goodyear Challenge Cup and a couple of championships in the ALSTAR series.

Walters continued with his success going into the new century, with titles in the Lucas Oil as well as championships at both Barrie and Kawartha Speedways. In 2010 he raced three different cars, and more titles, at Sunset and the touring McColl Racing series.

Now, after more than four decades of weekly racing, Walters continues to rack up the wins. The Bradford, Ontario native has shown no indication of slowing down, picking up a win at Sunset in typical fashion against younger but strong competitors such as Billy Zardo, Andy Kamrath, and Jason Witty in his Mustang-bodied Late Model earlier this year to add to his total of several feature victories.
When not competing, Walters is heavily involved in programs to help special needs athletes the opportunity to stay active and socialize in the community, working with such groups as the Ontario South Simcoe Special Olympic Athletes and Project Track Champion.

A passionate individual about his racing, Walters is thankful for the dedication of family, friends, and sponsors to allow him to race over the years, and plans on continuing to race as long possible.

Michael Andretti

GG_andretti

Inducted 2011

He was born into one of the most prominent racing families, and he continued with his family’s tradition of success, both on and off the track in motorsport.

And for this success, Michael Andretti has been inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame as the 2012 International Category recipient.

A Pennsylvania native, Andretti never lived in the shadow of his iconic racing father Mario, proving he could drive his own race, and was a dominate racer in the PPG/CART IndyCar era. He won a record-setting 42 races in the open-wheel series, including a seven at the former Molson Indy between 1989 and 2001, another record he still maintains.

Starting in Formula Vee and Atlantic cars, the younger Andretti also competed at Le Mans before joining up with Kraco Racing in 1983. The next year he found racing in Canada to his liking, placing third at Sanair in Quebec.

He raced in the first three Molson Indy events in Toronto, starting in 1986 and with limited success, but after signing on with Newman/Hass, the team was a strong contender, placing in the top five all but three times from 1989 to 2000. He also had a stint at Formula One racing in a McLaren, which did not enhance his career at all.

After retiring from behind the wheel in 2003, Andretti became the major shareholder in the former Green Team, and changed the name to Andretti Green. As a team owner with drivers such as Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, and Danica Patrick, he was successful, winning the IZOD IndyCar championship in 2004 and 2005, including the famous Indianapolis 500 in 2005.

Not content to stay behind the wall watching his team race, Andretti donned the driving gloves once again to compete, and drove in 2006 and 2007 with a third at Indy before taking up his place as team leader once again. He also watched the budding career of his son Marco, who has become an IndyCar star in his own right for the past several years under the tutelage of his father.

In 2009 the team’s name was changed again to Andretti Autosport, a year after he purchased the assets of the Toronto Indy, keeping this important race on the IndyCar schedule.

Andretti, who is Chairman, President, and CEO of Andretti Autosport, has property in Indianapolis and Florida, but retains a fondness for Canada.

“I’m extremely honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame,” he said recently. “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.”

And in keeping with the Canadian theme, Andretti signed one of the series’ rising stars, James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, to drive one of the team Chevy Dallaras in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season.

Image courtesy of Gary Grant.

Robin Edwardes

robin edwardes

Inducted 2011

The sport of rallying would not be where it is today without the involvement of Robin Edwardes.

Not only did he compete in road rallies for over 50 years, he was also instrumental in the rules and procedures which make up the sport, along with setting standards for licenses with the CASC.

Born in England in 1930, Edwards was an athlete during his early years, and also received his honors mathematics degree from King’s College in London before taking employment as a rocket scientist with the Napier motorcar firm.

He and his family immigrated to Canada, and he worked for Canadair (Bombardier) in Montreal, and then Northern Electric, working on projects ranging from turbo compound diesels to rocket engines for the aircraft and aerospace industries.

In the late 1950s he joined the Canadian Automobile Club, and through the Sports Car Club of Montreal, began to compete in rally and economy events. It was during this time he achieved a milestone event, recording 90 miles per gallon, that’s gallon, not liter, in 1959 with a Renault Dauphine.

With his appetite whetted, Edwardes took to rallying in earnest, and competed throughout Canada and the US in RAC and FIA-sanctioned events.

Over the next several decades he navigated or co-drove for over 100, including the Ford Works drivers Henry Taylor and Roger Clark, John Buffum and Eric Jones of the US, and prominent Canadians such as Walter Boyce, Jean Paul Perusse, and Randy Black. Some of his vehicles included Lotus, Simca, Toyota, Volvo, SAAB, VW, and Jeep.
Highlights during this time include a first in class in the 1962 and 1966 Shell 4000, Quebec Regional Champion Navigator titles in 1960, 1963, and 1965, and four firsts in the Rallye des Neiges.

But the competition side is only half his story.

Edwards was vice-president of the CASC from 1975 to 1977, and brought forth many changes to the sport of rallying, including recovery points, timing methods, and scoring procedures. He was also the national scorer, and issued the CASC rally press releases.

Although he retired from his day job in 1998, Edwardes continues to work within the Canadian rally community in organization, administration, and getting into that right side seat in competition.