Robin Edwardes

robin edwardes

Inducted 2011

The sport of rallying would not be where it is today without the involvement of Robin Edwardes.

Not only did he compete in road rallies for over 50 years, he was also instrumental in the rules and procedures which make up the sport, along with setting standards for licenses with the CASC.

Born in England in 1930, Edwards was an athlete during his early years, and also received his honors mathematics degree from King’s College in London before taking employment as a rocket scientist with the Napier motorcar firm.

He and his family immigrated to Canada, and he worked for Canadair (Bombardier) in Montreal, and then Northern Electric, working on projects ranging from turbo compound diesels to rocket engines for the aircraft and aerospace industries.

In the late 1950s he joined the Canadian Automobile Club, and through the Sports Car Club of Montreal, began to compete in rally and economy events. It was during this time he achieved a milestone event, recording 90 miles per gallon, that’s gallon, not liter, in 1959 with a Renault Dauphine.

With his appetite whetted, Edwardes took to rallying in earnest, and competed throughout Canada and the US in RAC and FIA-sanctioned events.

Over the next several decades he navigated or co-drove for over 100, including the Ford Works drivers Henry Taylor and Roger Clark, John Buffum and Eric Jones of the US, and prominent Canadians such as Walter Boyce, Jean Paul Perusse, and Randy Black. Some of his vehicles included Lotus, Simca, Toyota, Volvo, SAAB, VW, and Jeep.
Highlights during this time include a first in class in the 1962 and 1966 Shell 4000, Quebec Regional Champion Navigator titles in 1960, 1963, and 1965, and four firsts in the Rallye des Neiges.

But the competition side is only half his story.

Edwards was vice-president of the CASC from 1975 to 1977, and brought forth many changes to the sport of rallying, including recovery points, timing methods, and scoring procedures. He was also the national scorer, and issued the CASC rally press releases.

Although he retired from his day job in 1998, Edwardes continues to work within the Canadian rally community in organization, administration, and getting into that right side seat in competition.

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.

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.

Ted Powell

Ted Powell, centre, at the MCO 50th anniversary

Inducted 2006

Born in Quebec City, Ted Powell’s love affair with motorsport began at an early age and after obtaining his electrical engineering degree in England, he and a friend entered a hill climb in a Fraser Nash and finished second. After the Second World War, Ted returned to Canada (by way of Malaya with the British Colonial Service) where he joined the Department of Transport and the Ottawa Light Car Club (later the MCO). At Mosport in 1962, Ted watched an exhibition race featuring a field of new Mini Coopers and starring many of the top drivers of the day. Grand Prix pilot Innis Ireland rolled the one he was driving and Ted promptly purchased it. Displaying his No. 30, that Mini became his stepping-stone to circuit racing, which he attacked with a passion. When not racing himself, he volunteered to help other teams and he devoted a considerable amount of time to the administrative and regulatory side of the sport. In all, Ted raced for 10 years, entering 123 road races (he won five regional championships), 12 ice races, 15 rallies and 15 solo events. He was president of the MCO, president of the CASC Quebec Region and vice-president of CASC-National. He organized national races and a stage of the Shell 4000 rally. His experience, logic and diplomacy was very much in demand during the creation of the CASC Pro-Racing Division – the forerunner of today’s ASN Canada. When he retired from competition, he served as race steward for the Rothmans Porsche Cup in 1987-’88 and the Formula 2000 pro racing series in 1989. He also pitched in at club events as a scrutineer, marshal, judge-of-fact and race instructor. He died in 2001.

Ross de St Croix

Inducted 1994

Winning the 1967 Canadian Championship was the personal centennial project of Eustace Sousy. He bought a McLaren and, wisely, picked Ross de St Croix to drive it. Ross enjoyed great success in every car he ever drove, from MG’s to the ex-Miss Whiz Lola. But he also contributed greatly to the sport as the President of the Canadian Automobile Sports Club (CASC) and President of the Montreal Motor Racing Club.

Photo by Lionel Birmbaum via Racing Sports Cars

George Chapman

Inducted 1994

George Chapman was the Canadian Driving Champion in 1966, driving a Lotus 23B. In the dozen years he raced, George contributed a lot as a competitor, but he probably contributed more after he retired and took on the posts as President and Vice-President of the Canadian Automobile Sport Club (CASC). He filled those rolls admirably, and motorsport in Canada benefited from his leadership.