Rudy Bartling

At Mosport in 1967

Inducted 2011

He had 20 years of racing behind him in 1981, but he had another 20 to go. Rudy Bartling has been described as Canada’s most experienced endurance racer, and Sebring was his second home, as he started that Florida endurance classic 17 times, between 1972 and 1996, the most of any Canadian driver and fifth among all drivers.

Bartling hired himself out for various racing teams throughout his career, driving a series of Porsches not only at Sebring, but in such major venues as the IMSA Camel GT races, the BF Goodrich Sundown Grand Prix, and the Molyslip Endurance Series.

He began racing in the early 1960s, and was the 1962 under two-liter Canadian champion with his Porsche Carrera. After numerous victories including the Oak Cup at Mosport, he placed fourth in the 1968 Road America race with co-driver Ludwig Heimrath in a McLaren Elva.

In his first appearance at Sebring, he placed seventh overall, and took four top-ten finishes at the ex-airport road course, his best placing a sixth overall in 1977.

During his career, Bartling proved he could work on cars successfully as well as drive them. He turned the wrenches for noted California Porsche racer Vasek Polak, first in 1965, and again in 1973 with the Porsche 917 Turbo that was driven by Jody Scheckter.

He continued to race in endurance contests throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, driving with Klaus Bytzek, and the team won four of five Molyslip races in 1997 to win this championship. Also in the same year he was campaigning a Porsche 911 of his own, placing third in the Canada GT Challenge Cup.

Bartling’s success as a racer is only a part of his career. Along with his mechanical skills, the respect from his fellow racers and teams mark his achievements in the world of Canadian motorsport.

Image by Jerry Melton via Etceterini

Jacques Duval

Inducted 2011

As road racing became big in Quebec, Jacques Duval was its biggest star prior to the Villeneuve era. He began at the St. Eugene, Ontario airport circuit in an Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce. By the time the Mont-Tremblant road racing circuit opened in the fall of 1964, he was winning in one Porsche after another.

For four consecutive years, 1963-1966, Duval won the Sterling Moss Trophy as the outstanding sports car driver of Quebec while racing against the likes of Roger Peart (long-time head of Canadian racing through CASC and ASN), Jacques Bienvenue, Tom Graham and John Sambrook. Victory in the inaugural Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in 1967 in his Porsche 906 ahead of Rudy Bartling in another 906 and Serge Adam in a Sunbeam Tiger confirmed his prominence.

Canada’s Centennial year was among his best. At the first Grand Prix of Canada at Mosport, he dominated his class ahead of Craig Hill’s Triumph GT6 for 9th overall in the support race won by John Cordts’s McLaren. That year he collected wins both at Mosport and Mont-Tremblant. Notably, he was second to noted American Chuck Dietrich in an Elva BMW in a six-hour race at Trembland and traveled to Riverside, CA, hoping to add to his points in the Doug Revson Trophy series. On the unfamiliar California track, he finished behind Joe Buzzetta, Scooter Patrick and Monte Shelton, all of them ranking American racers. But it was with Hall-of-Famer Horst Kroll as co-driver that Duval’s international stature blossomed.

In 1966, Kroll and Duval finished second in class in the 12 Hours of Sebring in Duval’s Porsche 904 GTS behind class winners George Follmer and Peter Gregg in another 904 GTS, and 16th overall.

Returning in 1968, Duval/kroll drove a 911S to 9th overall, third in class behind Alan Johnson and Gregg Loomis.

In 1971 he was the first Canadian to win his class in the 24 Hours of Daytona, taking 7th overall. With co-drivers George Nicholas, a Canadian, and American Bob Bailey, the Sunoco 914-6 finished eight laps head of the second GT2 car, another 914-6 driven by among others Erwin Kremer. Pedro Rodriguez and Jackie Oliver won overall in a Porsche 917K, as Ferrari 512s and a pair of racing Corvettes completed the top six finishers ahead of Duval in the overall results.

Among other successes, Duval drove a 911 to 7th in a Trans-Am event at Tremblant in 1968 behind such ponycar stars as Mark Donohue and George Follmer, Sam Posey and Craig Fisher. That year Duval also won a six-hour Tremblant race partnered with Quebecer Jean-Guy Ostiguy. He also co-drove a 906 in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, England. Originally his teammate was to be world champion Jimmy Clark, but the Scotsman opted to race in a Formula Two event at Hockenheim, where he died in a solo crash. Duval and co-driver Mario Cabral, a -1 part-timer, finished 19th in the outdated 906, while Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman won in a Ford GT40.

Duval remained prominent as a track announcer in the early years of Montreal’s Canadian Grand Prix.

He continued racing occasionally, winning at St. Eustache as Jacques Bienvenue’s teammate in 1978 in the latter’s Carrera, and in recent years runs for fun with his son, Francois, as co-driver in Quebec vintage events.

Image via La Presse

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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Ludwig Heimrath

Ludwig Heimrath and Paul Cooke celebrate a victory for Comstock in 1966

Inducted 2000

One of the most famous names in Canadian auto racing, Heimrath won the Canadian Sports Car Racing Championship (later known as the Canadian Driving Championship) in 1961 (the first year the title was awarded) and in 1964. He was first runner-up in ’62, ’63 and ’65 — a pretty impressive record. He was the second Canadian to race in Formula 1 (Peter Ryan was the first), when he entered the U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1963. He won the SCCA Trans-Am championship twice – in 1977. He was an expert long-distance racer and teamed up with such champions as Johnny Rutherford and Craig Hill in entering the Sebring 12 hours, the 24 Hours of Daytona, although he never won any of those races. He was a USAC Indycar competitor in ’68 and ’69 and raced in the Canadian and Continental Formula A division (he bought his car from George Eaton) in 1970. Not to be confused with his son, Ludwig Jr. who was good enough to race in the CART series, Heimrath Sr. is still active today, driving in endurance races.

Image via Chuck Brandt

Francis Bradley

Bradley behind the wheel of the Porsche RS60 at Watkins Glen in 1960

Inducted 1995

Sportswriters called Francis Bradley “Canada’s fastest bus driver”. Bradley, however, was not driving like a bus jockey in 1962 when he won the Canadian Driving Championship in a Lotus 19. Bradley started racing in 1955 and moved up very quickly from racing his own Volkswagen to sponsored rides, in the Eglinton / Caledonia Motors Porsche 550 Spyder and then the Miss Whiz Lola-Climax, the car he raced in the first Player’s 200 in 1961.

Image via BARC Boys