Roger Peart

circuit gilles

Inducted 2010

While in school to become an engineer in the UK, Roger Peart’s involvement with motorsport began in 1949 when he worked as a racing mechanic. Moving to Canada, Peart began his own racing career as a rally driver, often behind the wheel of the Volvo factory team.

Moving to circuit racing in 1964, Roger Peart raced on tracks across North America, driving a variety of cars from Mini Coopers to Porsche 911, Formula Ford and several special sports racers.

In 1967, Peart became involved with the organizational end of the sport, acting as Chief Timekeeper, Chief Steward, Chief Scrutineer, Clerk of the Cource and Race Director at events across Canada. This would prove to be Peart’s primary role within the sport moving forward.

Having been Vice-President and then President of Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs (CASC), Peart became President of ASN Canada FIA, which is the governing body for motorsport in Canada under the FIA, the world governing body.

In 1978, Roger Peart designed the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, which remains home to the Canadian Grand Prix. As Clerk of the Course and Race Director for the first ten years that the Canadian GP has been held in Montreal, Peart continues to be the National Steward at the Canadian round of the Formula One World Championship.

Following the creation of the Canadian circuit, Peart became increasingly active in Formula 1 track safety. Peart has served on the FIA Circuits Commission, which is in charge of safety standards at all tracks that host international racing events, since 1978 and has stood as President since 1998.

Roger Peart is also a member of the FIA Safety Commission, which has overall responsibility for motorsport safety and of the FIA Open Cockpit Research Group. This is a “Think Tank” group which focuses on open cockpit safety issues.

Bobby Rahal

Bobby Rahal at 2011 ALMS awards banquet

Bobby Rahal at 2011 ALMS awards banquet


Inducted 2010

Robert “Bobby” Woodward Rahal was born in Medina, Ohio, in 1953, and worked his way up through the racing ranks starting with the SCCA’s feeder series to Formula Atlantic and then onto European Formula Two. In an 18-year career spanning F1, Can-Am, Le Mans/IMSA, and CART, Rahal notched three CART championships, including a win at the 1986 Indy 500, along with wins at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and the 1987 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races.
One of open wheel racing’s most consistent drivers during his career, Rahal started 264 races for five teams and he took 18 poles and scored 24 wins. He collected back-to-back CART championships in 1986 & ’87, and picked up his third in 1992. When Buddy Rice won the 2004 Indy 500, Rahal became only one of a handful of individuals to win the Indy 500 as both a driver and a team owner.
Following his retirement from competitive racing after the 1998 season, Rahal spent time with Jaguar’s F1 effort and in mid-2000, he returned to the U.S. to become the interim boss of CART. Along with late night talk show icon David Letterman, he is a principal in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing where Rahal has overseen the growth of the team from a one-car program to a multi-car, multi-discipline organization. Rahal has been responsible for finding and developing some of the top-young talent in open-wheel racing. Among his current and past protégées are Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, Danica Patrick and Vitor Meira. It also was Bobby Rahal who was responsible for bringing Honda into North American open-wheel racing in the early 90s, an involvement as a manufacturer that has produced eight championships and over 100 victories including three Indy 500 triumphs.
In addition, his team won the 2010 GT team and manufacturers championships in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with BMW, and Rahal is the driving force behind the new HMP Legends of Motorsports historic racing series. Along with his leadership of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, he operates Rahal Automotive Group, a string of car dealerships in Pennsylvania, and is very active in the community through the Bobby Rahal Foundation.

Bobby Rahal Racing Record

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
-1974 SCCA B/Sports Racing National Champion
-1975 Formula Atlantic National Champion (SCCA President’s Cup)
-1981 24 Hours of Daytona winner
-1982 CART Rookie of the Year
-1986 Indianapolis 500 winner
-1986 CART champion
-1986 Driver of the Year
-1987 CART champion
-1987 12 Hours of Sebring winner
-1992 CART champion
-1992 Driver of the Year
-Only driver/owner to win CART championship
-One of three drivers to win three CART/Champ Car championships
-First IndyCar driver to win $1 million in a single season
-First IndyCar driver to surpass $12 million in career earnings
-Recorded IndyCar/CART victories in ten seasons (eight straight)
-Introduced Honda to North American open-wheel racing
-Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2004

WINS (Driver 1982 – 98 Owner 1992—present) 1982 – Cleveland, Michigan 1983 – Riverside 1984 – Phoenix, Laguna Seca 1985 – Mid-Ohio, Michigan, Laguna Seca 1986 – Indianapolis, Toronto, Mid-Ohio, Montreal, Michigan, Laguna Seca 1987 – Portland, Meadowlands, Laguna Seca 1988 – Pocono 1989 – Meadowlands 1991 – Meadowlands 1992 – Phoenix, Detroit, New Hampshire, Nazareth 1998 – Laguna Seca 1999 – Laguna Seca 2000 – Homestead 2001 – Motegi, Milwaukee, Portland, Chicago, EuroSpeedway, Laguna Seca 2002 – Fontana 2003 – Milwaukee, Montreal 2004 – Indianapolis, Kansas, Michigan 2008 – Watkins Glen 2009 – Road America, Okayama 2010 – Road America

POLES (Driver 1982 – 98 Owner 1992—present) 1983 – Mid-Ohio, Michigan 1984 – Montreal 1985 – Cleveland, Mid-Ohio, Michigan, Michigan, Montreal, Laguna Seca, Miami 1986 – Elkhart Lake, Phoenix 1987 – Toronto 1990 – Nazareth 1991 – Elkhart Lake 1992 – Milwaukee, New Hampshire, Toronto 1997 – Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca 1998 – Long Beach, Portland, Laguna Seca 1999 – Chicago, Laguna Seca 2001 – Monterrey, Texas, Milwaukee, Portland, Michigan, Elkhart Lake, Rockingham 2002 – Long Beach 2003 – Long Beach 2004 – Homestead, Indianapolis, Portland, Kansas, Nashville, Milwaukee, Kentucky 2005 – Kansas, Kentucky, Chicagoland 2007 – Texas.

Image via Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Jack Christie

Jack's Pic

Inducted 2007

Many people think all the action is on the track but even before competitors load their cars for the trip to the track much has already been done. Dedicated people such as former formula car racer Jack Christie have worked to create and administer racing series, find sponsors, organize tracks and get it done all out of the limelight.

For over 20 years, Jack Christie has filled that role, creating the Canadian Tire Formula 2000 Series, the Nissan Racing program, the Super Beetle Racing series, and the outstanding Rothmans Porsche Turbo Cup which captivated Canadian and European racing fans.
Jack also founded the Canadian Formula Racing Drivers Association improving safety and funding for Canadian racers and co-founded the Canadian Motorsports Sponsors Association that assisted motorsports sponsors in their use of racing as a marketing tool. As well, he was instrumental in running several Canadian drivers in the 24 Hours of LeMans. He built motorsports marketing opportunities for such companies as Canadian Tire, Castrol, Pirelli Tire, Rothmans Canada, Shell Oil and Porsche AG.

Jack was also instrumental in guiding the careers, as a manager, mentor or advisor, to notable drivers such as Scott Goodyear, Ron Fellows, Paul Tracy, and Greg Moore. Quietly, Jack got the job done and helped build and advance the enjoyment of our sport.

Jim O’Donnell

Inducted 2009

Wishing to create a brand identity for his financial firm, Jim O’Donnell took his love of auto racing and merged this love with his business acumen to provide a solid marketing tool in motorsports sponsorship.

O’Donnell worked with Ron and Rob Fellows in the Players GM Series, and then, with the MacKenzie Financial backing, entered into the world of Trans Am racing with Ron Fellows driving for the teams of Jack Roush and Tom Gloy.

Then O’Donnell ramped up his involvement with a foray into Indy car, promoting the MacKenzie name in major centers across North America.

The familiar blue and silver cars were part of the Dick Simon, Ron Hemelgarn, Doug Shearson, and Derrick Walker teams.

Driving the MacKenzie cars included Ludwig Heimrath Jr and then Scott Goodyear, who achieved the greatest success, winning two Indycar events, and placing second in the coveted Indy 500 by only the blink of an eye in the closest one-two Indy 500 finish in history.

Aside from winning on the track, O’Donnell was also a winner with his clients, providing hospitality at the races, successfully merging business and pleasure.

Wayne Kelly

Inducted 2009

After a successful career racing a Porsche on the 1950s road circuits of Harewood Acres, Green Acres, and Waterford Hills, this Halifax native was instrumental in the development and establishment of the Volkswagen-powered Formula Vee as an affordable and exciting mode of competition.

Known for their quality, attention to detail, and use of aircraft-inspired components, Kelly built two dozen Formula Vee cars.
He raced his own creations, winning the Canadian Formula Vee championship in 1965 and 1968. Others winning with his cars include Brian Robertson and Horst Kroll.

Kelly raced throughout Canada and the US, and campaigned a Chevron Formula B for a time before focusing on an interest in Formula Fords.

With two racers remaining in the 1971 Shoppers World FF Championship, and second place in points, Kelly tragically lost his life while competing during a race at Mosport.

Bill Adam

Bill Adam in the 1977 Trans Am race at Mosport

Inducted 2009

Bill Adam’s parents immigrated to Canada from Scotland when Bill was just a wee-laddy He remembers little of his early life in his birth country and considers himself a proud Canadian and has displayed mat pride at car races around me world.

Growing up in Oakville he took a keen early interest in cars- This was somewhat unusual since his parent had little or no interest in the automobile. Racing became his early obsession and he spent his allowance on all the motor magazines that were available in town at the local store. One day when his mother found him in his room reading the latest issue of Car and Driver-rather than doing schoolwork-his mother ripped up his magazine. An hour later Bill was seen riding his bicycle back to the variety store to get another copy so he could finish the article he was reading. A friend of the family was aware of the interest that Bill had in cars and was also a race Marshall, so he asked if he could take Bill to the first Players 200 at Mosport in June of 1961. For Bill it was an experience that he always will fondly remember and it alsohelped shape his destiny. Little did that kind Marshall know what his offer had in sparking a racing interest in young Adam? At that event Bill covered every inch of the pits and got a first-hand look at the vehicles that he only had previously read and dreamed about. He saw a red car being worked on in the pits and asked the mechanic if it was a Ferrari. Yes it’s a Ferrari kid came the reply. Bill got out his brownie and look a picture of the car. It took a few more allowances before he was able to get the film developed and then matched up the photos with the program. 1 was never so disappointed said Bill recently to find out the car was not a Ferrari but a Triumph Special. Why anyone would want to lie to a kid, he thought. During his racing career he has always made a special effort to spend time talking with kids.
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Alan Labrosse

Alan Labrosse with racer Isabel Tremblay

Inducted 2007

Alan Labrosse burst upon the Canadian motorcycle racing in 1980. Riding as an amateur, he won five Canadian championships that year. In 1981, racing as an expert, he won four national pro titles. Over the next four years, Alan won races in Canada and impressed in the AMA’s Pro Formula 2 Series. In 1985, he was Rookie of the Year in the AMA’s Formula 1 series, the top class in North America, capping the season with an impressive race win at Brainerd. In six years of motorcycle racing, some of Alan’s biggest battles had been with the economics of the sport. Seeing better prospects on four wheels, he jumped to the Canadian F2000 series for 1986. His debut was remarkable. Alan finished second in the overall standings and beat Paul Tracy for Rookie of the Year. He also won the F2000 title at the CASC Runoffs. At the end of the season, Alan’s team owner, Raymond David, offered him a chance to move to the business side of the sport. He accepted. Since then, Alan Labrosse has been an instructor, a racing circuit and racing school manager, the head of two national sanctioning bodies, a motorcycle magazine publisher, a race promoter, a team owner, track owner and the agent for Miguel DuHamel, Pascal Picotte, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, and Andrew Ranger, some of Canada’s finest motorcycle and automobile racers. He has been a success in all of those roles.

As a racer and builder of the sport, Alan Labrosse has made, and continues to make, a remarkable contribution to Canadian motorsport on two wheels and four.

Image via Dany Flageole

Lorne Leibel

Lorne Leibel in his Ferrari 365 GTB/4 at Lime Rock in 2011

Inducted 2006

Lorne Liebel, born in Toronto in 1951, was fascinated with boats from an early age. In 1976, he represented Canada in the Olympics, sailing in the Tempest class with his cousin. After the Games, Lorne focused his attention on developing his career as a homebuilder. Six years later, during a visit to a friend’s cottage, he was offered a ride in a high speed offshore powerboat. In Lorne’s words, “To say I was hooked would be an understatement!” He first purchased a 30-foot performance boat, then a faster 38-foot “Cigarette.” After that, it was off to Miami, the hotbed of performance boating and offshore racing. He eventually purchased a 41-foot, three-man, offshore racing machine from Japan and set about building a team. In 1986, he won the American Power Boat Association’s rookie-of-the-year award and was named Canadian Yachtsman of the Year (Powerboat) that same year. In 1993, he won the U.S. National Championship and in 2001 earned the title of Superboat World Champion. Offshore powerboat racing is a very demanding sport. The combination of high speed and large waves result in very harsh conditions for the participants. Lorne’s career has been free of major crashes and injury but the constant pounding took its toll on his back and legs. Lorne began to consider retirement but one goal remained and that was to be the first to move the A.P.B.A. speed record over 200 miles an hour and leave the sport with a milestone that would be a legacy of his career. In 2003, Lorne won his second Word Superboat Championship, set an official A.P.B.A. World Speed Record of 177 mph and ripped off a single run of 201 mph. In retirement, Lorne is involved in vintage car racing and collecting.

Image via Motorsport.com

John Duff

Frank Clement, W.O. Bentley and John Duff

Inducted 2006

John Duff was born to Canadian parents in China in 1895. At a young age, he was sent to their hometown of Hamilton, Ont., where he stayed till he was 16 before returning to China. After the First World War, in which he was wounded while fighting for England, he learned to drive. A year later, in 1920, he started to race. Over the next six years, he became one of only two Canadians who raced and won on England’s famous Brooklands Motor Course (Kay Petre, an honourable member of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, is the other). He also was overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and scored a top ten finish in the Indianapolis 500. Although other Canadians have since scored class victories at Le Mans, John Duff remains the only Canadian to win the race. And to finish in the top ten in his first attempt during the early, ultra-dangerous days at Indy, was similarly remarkable. John also set more than 50 speed and endurance records. In his day, endurance and speed records over distances of 1,000 or 2,000 miles, for 12 hours or 24 hours, were considered astounding achievements and received big play in the press. His greatest successes came while driving Bentleys. He was a Bentley dealer and delighted in racing the cars to victory. His race wins and speed records were responsible, in large part, for establishing the name and reputation of Bentley cars as reliable sports/touring machines. An accident forced his retirement from racing and he settled in California, teaching swordsmanship to many of the movie stars of that time. An enthusiastic equestrian, he was killed in a riding accident in England in 1958.

Harold Wilson

Inducted 2005

Harold Wilson, the first Canadian to win a world championship in any form of motorsport, won his first speedboat race when he was 15 in the 1926 Muskoka Lakes Regatta. In 1934, Wilson won his first world championship event. Driving the Muskoka-built Little Miss Canada III with his future wife, Lorna Reid, beside him as riding mechanic, he won the 225 c.i. Class race at the Canadian National Exhibition. He successfully defended his title in 1935. In 1939, the International Motor Yachting Union organized a world championship race in Washington, D.C., for the 7 Litre Class. Wilson defeated the U.S. entry, Notre Dame, to win the President’s Cup and become World Champion. After the war, the American Power Boat Association declared the Gold Cup Class for unlimited hydroplanes as its top class. Wilson installed a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine in Miss Canada III. In 1946, he set a class speed record of 119.009 mph at Picton, Ont., and won the Silver Cup at Detroit. In 1947, Wilson set a North American speed record of 138.865 mph with his powerful Miss Canada IV. He retired from boat racing in 1950 and went rally driving – he finished second the first two years of the Canadian Winter Rally, and second-in-class in the Shell 4000 cross-Canada rally. He was president of the CASC from 1957-’59, and served on Mosport’s founding Board of Directors.