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

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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.

2014 CMHF Celebration of Speed in pictures

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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

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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 Motorsport Hall of Fame announces 2013 inductees

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 .

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CMHF Unveils New Website

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Welcome to the new look for the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s website.

We believe you will find this site easy to navigate as you go through the history of the past in Canadian Motorsport including the stories behind all of our honourable inductees.

Thanks to the development efforts of highly respected freelance journalist, Gary Grant, we are able to bring you this new look. Gary is also responsible for the creation of our Facebook page.

As in any new project, our website is a work in progress as we will continue to improve various aspects with your feedback

This is a fluid archive type of project that will allow CMHF to present Canadian racing history online . Digital submissions will be uploaded and shared with our followers in a timely fashion . It is our aim to keep the site informative and current.

We look forward to your feedback . Just click on contact and submit your comments /questions.

Thanks for joining us in this new initiative.