15 Dec CMHF Class of 2021 Inductee Bios
TORONTO, ON – On September 22, 2021, the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame (CMHF) announced that 16 individuals will be honoured as new members. Ten will be inducted in the Competitors / Motorsport Builders / Team Members / Significant Contributors category, with six more to be honoured in the Media category.
Commenting on this year’s nomination and selection process, CMHF chair Dr. Hugh Scully said, “We are very proud to announce this year’s ‘class’ of new inductees. We were very pleased with the quality of the many nominations submitted. I would also like to thank the members of the Independent Selection Committees for their meticulous work, carefully reviewing and scoring the nominations.
“I have had the great pleasure of congratulating each of the future inductees, either personally, or by speaking with members of their families. On behalf of the CMHF, we applaud the contributions of the new members to motorsport in Canada. And we look forward to welcoming them to the Hall. As well, on behalf of the Board, I am happy to name Marco Signoretti as our 2021 ‘Rising Star’ award recipient. His name will be added to the Hall’s group of talented young Canadian drivers.”
The bios for new members in the various categories are:
Competitors/Builders/Team Members/Significant Contributors
John Bondar’s involvement in road racing began as a corner worker from 1982 to 1991, before moving to the driver’s seat, where he raced in sedans, GT and formula cars for more than a decade.
He racked up 77 podiums and three overall championships during that span and later passed along his knowledge as a licensed racing instructor.
Bondar is perhaps best known for his role with sanctioning bodies, where he was president of the Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs – Ontario Region from 2002 to 2006 and established the Canadian Touring Car Championship in 2006, staying on as president through present day.
Most recently, he purchased Shannonville Motorsport Park with business partner Steve Gidman in 2019, with a plan to revitalize the eastern Ontario road course.
Patrick Carpentier raced in several disciplines throughout his career, starting out in karts and the Spenard-David Racing School, before rising through the Formula Atlantic ranks, winning the 1992 Formula Atlantic (Canada) and 1996 Toyota Atlantic Championship titles.
He set a season record for most wins in 1996, with nine victories in 12 events. Carpentier later raced in CART, IndyCar and Champ Car, recording five wins and 24 podiums in 157 starts.
He transitioned to closed wheel competition in the mid-2000s, finishing second overall in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2007, winning a NASCAR Cup Series pole in 2008 and recording five top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Xfinity Series between 2007 and 2008.
Away from the driver’s seat, he joined RDS as a commentator in 2013.
Bertrand Godin raced in a variety of series in the first 12 years of his career. He started out in karts in 1986, was vice-champion in French Formula Ford in 1993 and 1994, raced in eight Indy Lights events between 1995 and 1996, won two races in Formula Atlantic in 1997 and raced in Formula 3000 the following year.
His Formula Atlantic season included a victory on Canadian Grand Prix weekend.
Godin made occasional racing starts in the years that followed before competing in Formula 1600, where he won at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières in 2018 and finished third in the championship in 2019, when he also won at Trois-Rivières.
Away from the driver’s seat, he’s been involved in road safety initiatives in Quebec and broadcasts on RDS, TVA Sports and local radio.
Brian Graham first got involved in motorsports as a driver, including racing in F1600 and F2000, between 1986 and 2008, winning the Ontario Formula Ford Championship in 1992.
His efforts started to shift away from the driver’s seat in 1998, when he formed Brian Graham Racing to prepare race cars for customers, before ultimately purchasing two cars to start his own team in 2007.
Sixteen drivers won rookie of the year and seven drivers won championships for his team.
Graham’s long list of alumni include Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly, Kyle Marcelli, Dalton Kellett, Zacharie Robichon, Scott Hargrove and Megan Gilkes.
Graham also helps the careers of young drivers through the Team Canada Scholarship, which he founded in 2011, providing Canadians with an opportunity to race in the prestigious Formula Ford Festival in England.
John Graham has made over 185 professional starts in a variety of racing series, including Can-Am, British Formula 2, Indy Lights and the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
He’s made eight starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning his class in 2000, and has made nine starts in the 24 Hours of Daytona, finishing on the class podium in 1998. He’s also competed in the Paris-Dakar Rally.
When Graham was looking for funding to run CART in 1983, he pitched Molson, who said they’d be interested if he could get them a Toronto event.
He called the chairman of CART and arranged meetings between the series and Molson, which ultimately led to the Molson Indy Toronto in 1986.
He also helped organize the Moosehead Grand Prix in Halifax from 1990 to 1995.
Colin Hine has nearly six decades of motorsports experience, ranging from driver, team owner and team manager to engine builder and chassis distributor.
His Colin Hine Racing team finished first in the production class and second overall in the Canadian Rally Championship in 1979 and 1980.
In the Canadian Formula Ford Championship, he won three consecutive titles with Scott Goodyear from 1980 to 1982 and one title with Paul Tracy in 1985.
Hine also ran the Canadian School of Motor Racing at Shannonville Motorsport Park, alongside Goodyear, from 1981 to 1985.
Most recently, he was a technical inspector for IMSA Prototypes, followed by Chief Technical Inspector for both Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, between 2009 and 2019.
Kandy Mitton has collected more than a hundred trophies and plaques since she started drag racing in Atlantic Canada around 1997.
She became the first female driver to win the Atlantic Drag Racing Association (ADRA) championship in 2015, advanced to the quarter finals (going seven rounds) for Team Canada in the NHRA Open at Lebanon Valley Dragway in 2016 and once went on a 34-round win streak between two tracks and three weekends.
Mitton became the first secretary/treasurer for the ADRA in 1998, a role that needed to be split between two people when she stepped away in 2008.
She also had a Rogers TV series, 2FAST4U, for two years, highlighting high schools where students built drag racing cars to compete against each other on the May long weekend.
Howie Scannell, the first of three generations to strap into a driver’s seat, raced stock cars for 44 years.
He started in 1953 in Supermodifieds, before switching to late models in the late-1960s, competing in ASA and NASCAR events south of the border.
He raced at some notable tracks of the day in southern Ontario, such as CNE Speedway, Pinecrest Speedway and Cayuga Motor Speedway, and also raced at tracks still operating, such as Delaware Speedway and Flamboro Speedway.
Scannell was once declared one of the most talented stock car racers in Canada in a Globe and Mail article, following a race at CNE Speedway.
He also won two Flamboro Speedway championships, competing against drivers such as Don Biederman, Earl Ross, Norm Lelliott and Junior Hanley.
Glenn Styres’ contributions to dirt racing include his own Field of Dreams, building Ohsweken Speedway in his front yard, a track that has become a top dirt racing destination in Canada.
He won the North American Sprint Car Promoter of the Year eight times and is a multi-time champion in Southern Ontario Sprints and at Ohsweken Speedway.
Styres has competed in the Chili Bowl Nationals and has been a major sponsor and team owner in the Chili Bowl Nationals and World of Outlaws, including sponsorship of Kyle Larson’s dirt sprint car program.
He is also a role model in the Indigenous community and has a TV series airing on APTN, Friday Night Thunder, which takes viewers inside Ohsweken Speedway.
Bill Zardo Sr.
Bill Zardo Sr. started his racing career at Pinecrest Speedway in 1962, competing at the track until its closure in the mid-1970s, contending alongside Junior Hanley and Don Biederman.
He joined CASCAR in 1981 and became the first CASCAR Super Late Model Series champion. He also won the Flamboro Speedway Late Model title in 1984 and 1986, the Molson Series title in 1984 and Flamboro’s Triple 50s championship in 1987.
Zardo Sr. started racing in the American Canadian Tour in the 1990s, winning the Flexmor Super Late Model title in 1996.
He’s also been a team owner and sponsor for other drivers, including his family of racers, son Billy Zardo, daughter Sharon Zardo (Shepherd), son-in-law Pete Shepherd Jr. and grandsons Lane Zardo, Billy Zardo III, Pete Shepherd III and Scott Nagel.
Philippe Brasseur created Pole-Position Magazine in 1990, which has become the only motorsport magazine from Quebec.
He has also been involved in broadcasts, first with TQS network from 1997 to 2000, then as analyst and host for RDS since 2006, covering NASCAR, DTM, Nissan Micra Cup and the Canadian Rally Championship.
His other roles include being a track announcer at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières since 2002 and producing editorial content for the Nissan Micra Cup since 2015. Brasseur is the only Canadian journalist to cover the 24 Hours of Le Mans, consecutively, for over 30 years.
With racing experience in the past, he is also the creator and organizer of the 4 Hours Pole-Position, an annual karting competition bringing together roughly 60 drivers from Ontario and Quebec.
Clare Dear’s early motorsports reporting helped launch a long career. His weekly column in university led to invitations to major events, which helped him land a staff position with the London Free Press, where he spent nearly 30 years.
He has also filed for the Canadian Press, National Post, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and multiple motorsports publications, covering a variety of events from the grassroots to international level, in various forms of racing.
Dear spent five terms as president of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and was media relations official for CASCAR during its development to a national series.
His public awareness tour also helped introduce junior late model racing to the country, leading to a weekly division in the Delaware Speedway infield.
Gerry Frechette has covered nearly all forms of racing in Western Canada during his career, starting in the late-1980s, working for publications in British Columbia, such as Motorsport West magazine and Western Driver.
He covered races through writing and photography for competing publications, Performance Racing News and Formula Magazine, and also worked for Inside Track Motorsport News.
Frechette captured a famous photo sequence of Rob Fellows’ crash in the Player’s/GM series at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in 1991. He’s also covered major racing events, including the Indy Toronto, Grand Prix of Long Beach, Canadian Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He’s a 30-year member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and was also invited by developers to photograph the construction of the Area 27 road course from 2013 to 2017.
James (Jim) Martyn
James (Jim) Martyn started his career in radio before merging that experience with motorsports, when he volunteered to assist the Mosport Park track announcer with calling a 24-hour race in 1987.
That led to his official involvement with the legendary track, now Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the following weekend. He held the role of PA announcer until his death in October 2019.
Martyn was the PA announcer for the American Le Mans Series from 1997 to 2010 and was part of the broadcast of the inaugural Petit Le Mans, the second major sporting event to be available via internet for worldwide reach.
He was also the voice used as background commentary in the Sports Car GT video game in 1999 and was part of Motorsport Radio on Sportsnet 590 and Car Guys on Global TV.
Frank Orr covered sports for more than four decades, mostly with the Toronto Star, which he joined in 1961.
He was best known for his hockey coverage at Canada’s largest daily newspaper, which helped give his racing coverage more eyes and add more credibility to motorsports within the sports media landscape.
He started covering racing in the mid-1960s, including the lead-up to the inaugural Formula 1 race in Canada in 1967. Orr covered up-and-coming drivers in series like Player’s/GM and Rothmans-Porsche, while providing a Canadian perspective to major events like the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500.
He also wrote at least three motorsport books, covered the inaugural Molson Indy Toronto in 1986 and wrote a motorsports column for the Star’s Wheels section in the early 1990s.
Allan de la Plante
Allan de la Plante is probably best known for his role of official photographer for racing legend Gilles Villeneuve.
He first crossed paths with Villeneuve at a Formula Ford race at Mosport Park in 1973 and would later follow the driver around the world on the Formula 1 circuit, until Gilles’ death in a crash in May 1982.
De la Plante released a photographic essay titled “Villeneuve” that fall. De la Plante’s other notable photographs include “Four into Four,” taken at Mosport in 1976.
His photographs were also used as a base for two commemorative stamps, in memory of Villeneuve, released by Canada Post in 1997.
His photographic essay was re-released as “Villeneuve: A Racing Legend” in 1995, winning a bronze medal in New Media magazine’s Invision awards in 1996.
Bios by Bryce Turner