Sir Jackie Stewart to be honoured by the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame



Toronto (June 29, 2015) — The Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame will induct three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart as the International Category honouree for 2015. The “Flying Scot” will be honoured during the 21st annual Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Oct. 17, at the Glenn Gould Theatre.

Stewart, 76, burst onto the Formula One scene in 1965 with BRM and immediately impressed with his speed and race craft. He took his maiden World Championship win at the famed Monza Circuit and ended his rookie year third overall in World Championship points behind Formula One legends Jim Clark and Graham Hill. After two seasons with Matra that included his maiden title in 1969, Stewart moved to Tyrrell in 1970, where he stayed for the next four years. He retired in 1973 as reigning three-time World Champion.

“My great friend, the late Professor Sid Watkins {CMHF 2011}, and I worked together with Jackie, the foremost driver advocate, addressing all aspects of motorsport safety. We welcome him back to Canada for a most fitting honor, “said Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Chairman, Dr. Hugh Scully.

While famous for his racing prowess behind the wheel, many Canadians might recognize the animated Scot and his trademark tartan cap from his years of motorsport colour commentary on the U.S. network ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and later on Canadian Grand Prix broadcasts with the CBC and CTV.

“I am very proud,” Stewart said about being this year’s international inductee. “I raced in Canada for the first time in 1967 and I had happy times there. After racing, I came to Canada with ABC for commentary in Toronto (CART) and Montreal (Formula One) and then I worked for CBC and CTV with Brian Williams.”

Fittingly, Stewart’s former Canadian Grand Prix broadcast partner will introduce his old friend at the October gala. Stewart will become the second British driver to be named to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame since the international category was introduced, joining last year’s inductee Nigel Mansell.

The Canadian nominees to be inducted alongside Stewart will be announced in July.

In his nine Formula One seasons, Stewart scored a total of 27 Grand Prix wins, 17 poles and 43 podiums in 99 starts. Racing in Canada, Stewart scored back-to-back wins in the 1971 and 1972 Canadian Grand Prix in a Tyrrell at Mosport International Raceway, now Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In 1971, Stewart arrived at Mosport as that year’s World Champion. He led 51 of 64 laps in a rain- and fog-shortened race to take a 38-second victory over Ronnie Peterson. He lapped all but two cars in collecting his sixth win of 1971.

Stewart returned to Mosport in “72 where he was faultless, winning another Canadian Grand Prix with a 48 second advantage over Peter Revson. Stewart also started from pole at Mosport in 1970 and scored points in two other Canadian Grand Prix with a sixth in 1968 at Mont-Tremblant and a fifth at Mosport in 1973, which turned out to be his last start Formula One. Stewart withdrew from the 1973 season finale at Watkins Glen, N.Y., after his teammate François Cevert died in a horrific accident on Saturday morning.

Competing in an era where Formula One drivers often raced in multiple series, Stewart agreed to drive for the fledgling Carl Haas team in the 1971 Can-Am Championship. Behind the wheel of a tempestuous and unreliable Lola T260, Stewart wrestled pole from the powerful McLaren Team and its drivers Denny Hulme and Peter Revson in his Can-Am debut at Mosport, before a mechanical failure forced him to retire from the lead.

Stewart won the next race at Mont-Tremblant, beating the two McLarens in a head-to-head battle and delivering Carl Haas’s maiden Can-Am victory. The Scotsman’s two triumphs that year helped him finish third overall in the points standings behind champion Revson and runner-up Hulme.

While he was hard to beat on track, Stewart also worked tirelessly off it to improve safety for drivers and fans in an era where death was commonplace. In 11 years of racing in F3, F2 and F1, Stewart watched 57 fellow competitors perish. The cold reality of the 1960s and 1970 was that a driver competing in F1 for five years was more likely to die than retire.

In the first Canadian Grand Prix in 1967 at Mosport, Stewart was the only driver in the field wearing seat belts. While many of his fellow Formula One drivers criticized his efforts as detracting from the gladiator image of the sport, Stewart pushed ahead with his reforms. His work in ensuring the proper medical staff and rescue equipment were on hand at grands prix undoubtedly helped save many lives.

Tickets will go on sale in mid- July through the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s website. Tickets are priced at $85.00 and include attendance at the Ceremonies and post induction reception.


Photo credit: Sutton Images via ESPN.

George Daszkowski: Passionate protector of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s archives



This tribute to George Daszkowski was written by CMHF inductee Norris McDonald and originally appeared online at the Toronto Star.

Photo credit: Russell Purcell

Gary Grant reported in last Saturday’s Toronto Star Wheels the passing of Paul Bryan, a long-time volunteer marshal who was a friend and mentor to many of the marshals working to keep racers and racing safe these days.

Now the motorsport community has lost another giant with the news that George Daszkowski (above) died at the weekend following a lengthy battle with cancer.

When I think of George and racing, I think of passion. He was passionate about the past and the present. He was not too optimistic about the future, though, but we’ll come back to that.

The passion that I speak of centred around the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, particularly the archives. Although he was a walking encyclopedia of racing knowledge, he believed strongly in the storing, filing and indexing/cross-referencing of photographs and documents in order to create and maintain a historical record of the sport.

“You watch,” he told me once when we met for dinner at Snug Harbour, a restaurant in his beloved Port Credit. “If the archives are not nurtured and preserved, they will be lost. People can say not to worry about it but if there isn’t constant attention, things can go missing. When something’s gone, that’s it: it’s gone.”

It bothered him that not all associated with the Hall shared his vision.

[Read more…]

CMHF Inductee Dale Armstrong passes


Dale Armstrong, a highly-respected crew chief that helped drag racing legend Kenny Bernstein win five of his six NHRA championships and also had a successful driving career himself in the
1970s, has passed away at the age of 73.

Armstrong was inducted in to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 1995

The NHRA reports that he was suffering from complications of sarcoidosis before his death on Friday at his home in California.

Armstrong won the 1975 NHRA Pro Comp title, and a year later claimed the IHRA title. He was also a multi-time winner in the sport’s most important race, the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis (1974, 1975, 1977).

After closing his driving career in 1981, Armstrong became a crew chief for Bernstein’s Funny Car outfit in 1982. Eventually, the duo helped power one of the NHRA’s top dynasties as Bernstein’s Budweiser King won four consecutive Funny Car crowns from 1985-1988.
[Read more…]

Thank You for making this year’s inductions a success!

This year's inductees post for photos before the ceremony.

This year’s inductees post for photos before the ceremony.

The Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame would like to thank everyone for making this year’s induction ceremony a grand success! See you again next year!

CMHF to induct Carter, Magill, Maxwell, McDonald and Tracy


Scott Maxwell and Paul Tracy were fierce rivals as rookies, but they’re sharing the checkered flag as both are inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.
Now 50 and 45 respectively, they’re to be honored along with road racer Diana Carter and builders John Magill and Norris McDonald, Sept. 27 in the hall’s 20th annual induction ceremonies, presented by Canadian Tire Corporation.

Having accelerated away from more formal black-tie ceremonies, the fan-friendly Hall of Fame celebration is returning to the Glen Gould Studio in downtown Toronto for a second year.
“It is especially ironic to be inducted with Paul, as we have now come full circle from our early Formula Ford days in the 1980’s, where we cut our teeth as youngsters and established our reputations going head to head against one another” said Maxwell,” a class winner in the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans and veteran of the American Le Mans and NASCAR Rolex Grand-Am series who continues racing while operating a highly popular motorsport enthusiasts’ store in downtown Toronto.
[Read more…]

2014 CMHF Celebration of Speed in pictures

CMHOF14 0607-X2

Easter Monday couldn’t have provided better weather for the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s annual charity track day at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. I was excited to join Canadian racing legends Bill Brack and Ludwig Heimrath on track, representing Wheels at the event at the helm of a stunning new Jaguar F-Type V8S roadster. 300 excited guests queued up to buy tickets to go for a ride in supercars like an Audi R8, Porsche 911 Turbo, along with Corvettes, a fleet of Scion FR-S and even an MG TC that once belonged to Hamilton driver Tommy Hoan, who began racing the tiny car in 1950. From 9 am until the end of the day, there was a line of Jaguar fans waiting for a fast tour of the historic circuit. 34 drivers came out to take part in the lapping day with a surprisingly high number of first time drivers. Gary Grant from the Toronto Star Wheels.

For more images, visit Vic Henderson.

Watch the 2013 Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductions



Earlier this fall in a sold-out ceremony at the Glen Gould theatre, the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inducted six new members. Wheels editor Norris McDonald was the emcee of the event, which was presented for the first time by new partner Canadian Tire. Six Canadians, including racer and administrator Bob Armstrong, sprint car racer and team manager Jimmy Carr, track owners Sharon and John Fletcher and racing superstar Ron Fellows were inducted. Formula 1 and Indycar legend Mario Andretti was inducted into the International category.

If you were not fortunate enough to be on hand for the emotional evening, you can now watch the entire ceremony below.

Canadian auto racing legend, CMHF Inductee, Wallie Branston dies


One of Canadian motorsport’s pioneer racers who went on to become a famous race official and continued throughout his life to be an all-’round booster of the sport, Wallie Branston, has died at age 90.

An energetic and vigorous man until just a few years ago, Branston had been in ill health recently and that old heart — the heart of a lion — gave out on him Thursday morning.

I have had few heroes in my time but Wallie was one of them. I’ll tell you why: he was national sales manager for Subaru Canada when he was 79. He’d just overseen an expansion of the company’s national dealer network when he was asked to retire. As someone who’s working well past “normal” retirement age, I can tell you that Wallie was my kinda guy.

He lived, ate and breathed automobiles and he did everything – everything – in racing. His amazing contributions were recognized in 1997 when he was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.

He was one of a half-dozen original stock car racers in the Toronto area. He was one of the first stock car racers in Canada to have major sponsorship. He raced on both dirt, pavement, road courses and ovals. He was a performer in an automobile thrill show that scared the living daylights out of the people watching. He raced sports cars and was a rally driver. When Mosport opened in 1961, Branston was the flagman/starter and he did that job for 15 years.

You can’t have a more complete automotive career than that.
[Read more…]

A night to remember for the latest inductees into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame

2013 inductees

2013 inductees

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

Inside Track to produce the Official program for the CMHF Induction Ceremony

CMHF 2012 Perry Blocher (Medium)

TORONTO, ON – The Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame will hold its 19th Gala Induction Ceremony on Saturday, September 28 in the CBC Toronto Building’s Glenn Gould Theatre.

For the first time ever, Inside Track Communications – the publishers of Inside Track Motorsport News – is partnering with the CMHF to produce the Official Induction Ceremony Gala Program for the event.

The Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony presented by Canadian Tire will honour new inductees the late Bob Armstrong, Jimmy Carr, Ron Fellows, Tom Walters, and John & Sharon Fletcher. Legendary racer Mario Andretti will be inducted in the International category.
The Gala Induction Ceremony Program will include features on the history and future of the Hall, biographies on the new inductees, a listing of past inductees, Gala details and more. The Official CMHF Gala Induction Ceremony Program will be distributed at the Gala and will be included with mailed subscriber copies of Inside Track Motorsport News. It will also be available as a free electronic flipbook on the CMHF and Inside Track Motorsport News websites.

 Legendary racer Mario Andretti will be in attendance at the 2013 Gala Induction Ceremony on September 28 in Toronto to be inducted in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s International category (Photo courtesy Gary Grant).

Legendary racer Mario Andretti will be in attendance at the 2013 Gala Induction Ceremony on September 28 in Toronto to be inducted in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s International category (Photo courtesy Gary Grant).

“We are pleased to be working with Inside Track to produce a comprehensive, informative and entertaining program to celebrate this year’s Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Gala Induction Ceremony,” said Sid Priddle, on behalf of the CMHF. “For the first time in the Hall’s history, we’ll have a substantial, widely distributed program that celebrates the new and current inductees, in addition to educating Canadian racing fans about the past and future of our Hall of Fame.”

Speaking on behalf of Inside Track, Co-Publisher David Weber said, “We’re extremely excited to be producing the Official Program for this year’s Gala Induction Ceremony. The Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame is very important to preserving and promoting Canada’s racing heritage and we’re looking forward to working with the Hall to produce a high-quality collector’s item celebrating this historic Gala. By sending it to our subscribers – in addition to distributing it at the Gala – it will be something that all Canadian racing enthusiasts can enjoy while learning about the Hall and its inductees.”