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Insider Report: Max Papis to drive for Toronto-based Ferrari team


Yesterday afternoon I was fortunate to attend the unveiling of the #61 Ferrari that will be campaigned in the Grand-Am series by 2012 series champions AIM Autosport along with partner R.Ferri Motorsport. Returning driver Jeff Segal will be joined by IndyCar and NASCAR star “Mad” Max Papis. This is a homecoming of sorts, as Papis drove for Remo Ferri years ago in the fabled IMSA GT series at the wheel of a Ferrari 333SP. I will have more details on the team’s plans in this week’s print version of Wheels.

With all the great Canadian driving talent out there, one of my friends, a Canadian racing legend who shall remain nameless, wants to know: Where are the Toronto based drivers in this Toronto based team?

Conquering ‘the Sea of Rock’ on a bike

I am well aware that Wheels readers have a love/hate relationship with bicycles. At one time I was an avid bike rider, but as anyone who has seen me lately can attest, it has been some time since I have ridden regularly, preferring to watch car racing instead. In other words, I get both sides of the fence. Bikes are cool, just don’t expect me to ride to work in a snow storm any time soon.

The Sea of Rock describes a section of mountain in Pinzgau, Austria. Back in the ’70s, a pair of young men attempted to descend it aboard a war era two-wheeler. They failed and a group of hikers hung their bike up in a rocky crag. Recently, Harald Philipp and Tom Oehler set out to finally conquer the descent, which had still never been successfully completed. The sheer rugged beauty of the mountain is enough reason to watch this video. The absolutely MAD skills of the two cyclists is beyond compare.

Help Thornhill Cruisers find a new location so they can keep helping!

Ask anyone who is involved in the car hobby what keeps them involved and the first thing that most will say is “The people”. Sure, the cars may have gotten them into the hobby, or sport depending on your viewpoint, but it is the people that keep them coming back. It goes beyond the common bond of building and nurturing or racing cars. Most folks who are into the car hobby have things pretty good and often work pretty hard to give back to their community. The Thornhill Cruisers give back better than most!

For the past 19 years, the Thornhill Cruisers Car Club has been hosting a weekly cruise in, which supports local charities. To the tune of $200,000 worth of support! All from a bunch of car folks hanging out in a church parking lot once a week! Due to circumstances beyond their control, the club has lost their location for the 2013 cruise season, and are looking for a new place to show off their rides.

I’m hoping that readers can help find a new spot. Organizers are looking for a spot in South York Region that offers space for show cars along with additional parking for spectators, along with a place to buy food close by. If you know of a spot that fits the bill, contact Nate Salter by phone at 905-881-6700 or by email at thornhillcruisers at

SEA OF ROCK from infinite trails on Vimeo.

Leave me alone, I know where I am going – or do I?

Following Kimi Raikkonen’s big Grand Prix win in Abu Dhabi, the Internet lit up with comments, videos and memes dedicated to his arrogant comments to the crew. “Leave me alone. I know what I am doing” isn’t what you usually expect to hear from a racer, but fans cut him slack because he is who he is. Let’s hope that Kimi has been taken down a peg or two after this embarrassing off course excursion on Sunday in Texas at the USGP. It would seem that Kimi gets lost and has to find his way back onto the track.

Remembering Mosport

Just as there are many Torontonians who still call a certain stadium SkyDome, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will forever be Mosport to a great many Canadian racing fans. The renaming of one of the world’s greatest race tracks led automotive photographer and videographer Danny Bailey to create the Remembering Mosport group on Facebook. The rapidly growing group has become an exciting archive of images and videos of the “glory days” of racing at the legendary Grand Prix circuit. Of course what the “glory days” are depends on your age perspective. I tend to think of the late ’60s through to the early ’80s, but Labour Day 2013 promises to be the biggest race weekend of all time at the Bowmanville area track.

Even though the group has only been active for a short time, one can easily lose hours looking through the photos and reading stories.