CMHF Class of 2022 Induction Gala Report & Gallery

The Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame (CMHF) Induction Gala returned to the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) on Saturday, February 25, after a three-year hiatus.

The gala was the second to be held at the CIAS, in the John Bassett Theatre, but was the first to be held at the show since 2020. The COVID pandemic forced the cancellation of the CIAS in 2021 and 2022, while the CMHF inducted two classes last May, at an alternate venue.

The reunion came at a perfect time, with the CMHF celebrating 30 years at the 50th edition of the CIAS. Emcee Todd Lewis, CIAS General Manager Jason Campbell and CMHF Board Chair Peter Lockhart each made opening remarks before two International Inductees, Wally Dallenbach Sr. and Pfaff Motorsports, were honoured. Dallenbach will be considered a Class of 2021 member.

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The Class of 2022 inductions followed, in alphabetical order, with AIM Autosport, Bruce Biegler and Uli Bieri up first. Biegler, a drag racing photographer, was the only media member in this year’s class and was also the only inductee to accept the honour virtually, from his new home in Australia.

FEL president Chris Bye was noticeably emotional during his speech, but that didn’t stop him from cracking jokes throughout his time on stage. He reflected on his career and those who supported him along the way, including his wife, Cathy. When returning home from their impromptu marriage in Jamaica, the couple received money from their parents.

“I did what any reasonable, responsible, newlywed husband would do to secure the financial future of his new family,” said Bye. “I took every dollar out of those two bags of money and I invested them soundly – oh yes, I did, to those of you who said ‘no I didn’t’ – in a race car.”

Veteran stock car racer Gary Elliott plans to suit up again this season, continuing a pair of historic streaks. He’s competed on 859 consecutive race nights, dating back to 1987, and has been sponsored by Quaker State for 49 years.

Elliott recorded 260 wins in his 2,914 races. He told the audience that people would be surprised to see his team celebrating a top-five finish but explained that winning is not the only metric for success.

“People ask me ‘are you going to win tonight?’ and I say ‘well, I don’t know if I’m going to win, but I know one thing, I’m going to race and that’s what I want to do and that’s what I love doing,’” said Elliott. “So, when we can pass 20 cars in a race, that’s pretty cool; you don’t have to hold a checkered flag to count the victories that you get during a race.”

Long-time CASC executive and Targa Newfoundland organizer Robert Giannou emphasized the importance of supporting amateur motorsports. He noted that the professional level of the sport receives a lot of support but that the next generation of drivers, crew members and officials need to come from somewhere.

“I spent last Monday at Centennial College, touring the place, and they come to Targa Newfoundland every year in support of the teams there,” said Giannou. “We need to set up things like this where young kids can come into the sport, regardless of what their income is or anything else, and be guided through the sport from go karting to whatever (series or level of motorsport) they choose…and I hope you’ll all join me with that effort.”

Stock car racer Derek Lynch was one of the inductees who had a large section of reserved seats at this year’s ceremony. He took a moment to recognize those who came to celebrate the honour with him.

“It’s quite a thing to stand here, (where) every great memory in your life is sitting in rows G and H,” said Lynch. “I’ve got 28 people here tonight, supporting me, and I can’t think of a laugh, a story or a race that one of those people weren’t involved in, so I thank you guys very much for being here, it means a lot, and I’m looking forward to having a good time afterwards.”

Carl Harr, whose efforts were based out of Alberta, told a story about a four-to-five-week racing road trip, where he charged everything to a credit card.

“We got home and I said to my wife, why don’t we go out and have dinner and a movie,” said Harr. “The next morning, I got a phone call from Visa saying they had noticed some unusual activity on my card. I’d spent tens of thousand of dollars, (but) I bought my wife dinner and a movie and it was unusual activity.”

Bob MacDonald, the 11th inductee to take the stage, started by insisting that everyone in the audience stand up and stretch out to get the “blood circulating in your buttocks.”

MacDonald sponsored drivers, major races and grassroots events through his sales role at Sony of Canada, which included the use of the Sony Handycam for in-car television footage. He mentioned that there needed to be a business case in order for Sony to support racing.

“When I learned that the (Players GM series) was going to have a TV package and national television coverage, that’s when the wheels started turning, no pun intended,” said MacDonald, before addressing the lack of laughter in the crowd. “I thought (the joke) was better than that.”

One joke that did catch on came at the expense of Lockhart, in his first year as CMHF Board Chair, who was one of the drivers sponsored by Sony.

The ceremony’s production crew, led by TV producer and CMHF board member Joel Robinson, displayed a photo of Lockhart’s car, resting upside-down on a street course, on the big screen during portions of MacDonald’s speech.

Terry Epp, Dave Lloyd, Dick Midgley and Scott Spencer were also inducted in the Class of 2022.

The ceremony then concluded with the Rising Star Award, presented this year to open wheel racer Mac Clark, who will compete in USF2000 this upcoming season.

Beyond the inductions, cash bar and silent auction, a change to the CMHF nominations process was announced at the gala. Nominations will now be open year-round, with a cut-off at the end of July for the current year’s class of inductees. Further information about nominations will be made available at

Click HERE to view all of the CMHF inductee bios, including those of new Class of 2022 members.