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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
“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.”
Mario Andretti is to be inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio, as the International Category honoree of 2012.
Andretti, 73, raced in Canada almost as long as in the United States, while winning worldwide in a sparkling 41-year career.
He’ll be honored during the 19th annual Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies presented by Canadian Tire, September 28th along with Canadian inductees the late Bob Armstrong, Jimmy Carr, John and Sharon Fletcher, Ron Fellows and Tom Walters with fans watching the ceremony and partying with the honorees afterward.
Nobody drove a Formula One car faster than Andretti at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, where he won the pole and recorded the fastest lap in 1977, the final year the Canadian Grand Prix was held at Mosport before moving to Montreal. The classic circuit’s back straight was named the Andretti straight after he was clocked there at 178 miles per hour in a 1967 USAC Indy car race.
On a global scale, Andretti was the first driver to win both the F-1 (1978) and Indy car championships (1965-66-69 and 84).
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 .
On behalf of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, and personally, I write to express sadness and heartfelt condolences to his family and a real sense of loss at the passing of Bob Armstrong on Friday, April 19, 2013. after a courageous battle against cancer. He was an accomplished racing driver, a highly respected teacher and mentor to young drivers and a leader in motorsport safety at all levels,including Formula 1, INDYCAR and NASCAR.
Bob’s dedication to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame was exemplary. As a member of the CMHF Board, his thoughtful, well-considered input to our discussions always resonated well. His leadership, honesty and fairness as Chair of the Inductee Nomination and Selection Committee were always very helpful. Indeed, it was with great pleasure that I talked with Bob recently to inform him that he had been unanimously elected to Honourable Membership in the Hall this year. He was very pleased, proud and appreciative! His devoted wife, Cindy, and his family will be invited to the 2013 Membership Induction Ceremonies in September, where Bob and his contributions to motorsport in Canada will be honoured and remembered.
Hugh E Scully, BA,MD,MSc,FRCS[C],FACS,
Chairman, Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame