Richard Spenard

Inducted 2001

Richard Spenard has been a very active and successful competitor at the senior level of Canadian and international motor racing for more than 25 years. In fact, he tops the list for the most wins in Canadian road-racing history. He won his first championship title in 1974 with eight victories in 10 races at the Jim Russell Racing School series at Mont Tremblant. He raced Formula Atlantic in Canada and the United States and was a teammate of Gilles Villeneuve in 1977. Not content with pavement, Richard also won the Quebec Ice Series championship that year. Richard won Canadian championships, year-after-year, from the late ’70s onward in Production GT racing, Formula 2000, the Players GM series and the Porsche Turbo Cup series. In 1986, a banner year, he recorded 12 wins in 24 starts in three different series (F2000, Porsche and GM), including four wins in the Players series, six wins and two poles in Formula 2000 and two wins and four poles in the Porsche Turbo Cup. He holds the record for most wins, poles and earnings in both the Porsche and GM series. Richard has also raced in European Formula 3, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona and has recorded victories and poles in Trans-Am, IMSA and North American Endurance racing. But the Quebec native is known for more than being a great racing driver. He is also one of the finest racing instructors in North America. He started teaching initially at the Jim Russell school at Riverside and Laguna Seca raceways in California. In 1985, he founded the Spenard-David racing school at Shannonville, Ont. He was the first teacher for such Canadian stars as World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, the late Greg Moore, Patrick Carpentier, David Empringham, Ron Fellows and Trevor Siebert. He was employed for a number of years as the driving coach for the Player’s-Forsythe CART team (Carpentier and Tagliani) and was director of the Player’s driver development program during its existence. Although Richard doesn’t drive as often these days, he’s still fast. Who among us will ever forget his win in the Motorola Cup race at the 1998 Molson Indy when he drove to victory all the way from the back of the pack. Or the Enduro race, also at the Molson Indy, when – not even entered until the night before the race and not having any practice time whatsoever, he started last – and won. A man who freely admits that his timing for success in racing’s upper echelons was never the best, Richard Spenard was nevertheless one of the greatest racing talents ever to come out of this country. He has been a marvelous ambassador for Canadian motorsport and is most worthy of induction into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.

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