• Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends

    We love our racing, and through the years, we’ve had the drivers to prove it.
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    We Canadians may not realize it, but our history in motorsport is a distinctive one, especially considering the population gap between us and our neighbours to the south, as well as between us and Europe. We have our fair share of word-class motorsport facilities and the annual Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal draws some of the biggest crowds of all the races on the Formula 1 calendar. We love our racing, and through the years, we’ve had the drivers to prove it.

     

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    • Gilles Villenueve
    1

    Gilles Villeneuve

    We don’t want to pick favorites, but they don’t get much bigger than this. When he was at the top of his game in the 1970s, he was going where no Canadian driver had ever gone before. With 6 overall wins and a second-place finish in the Drivers’ Championship, at the time of his death at Zolder in 1982, he had not just the whole nation in mourning, but all of racing and racers in general. To the point he now has parts of tracks throughout Europe named after him. Photo: By ideogibs
    Also Read: Gilles Villeneuve, Gordon Smiley and me
    • Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends
    2

    Jacques Villeneuve

    It’s no fluke, that last name; Jacques is the son of Gilles, and while he may have had some big shoes to fill, he did so just fine, thank you very much. He managed to do what his dad never could: win an overall Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, which he did in 1997, driving for Williams. After spending time at the wheel for Honda, Sauber, and Renault he also competed at Le Mans for Peugeot. More recently, he helped design the all-new Area 27 motorsports facility in BC’s Okanagan region.
    Also Read: Jacques Villeneuve feels right at home after hitting 217+ mph at Indy
    • Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends
    3

    Greg Moore

    Few Indy Cars have the same allure as did the gorgeous Players Ltd.-sponsored rides of the mid ‘90s. White and blue with gorgeous metallic gold wheels – you could probably see them from space, which is likely what the sponsors would’ve wanted. They also wanted to win, and Moore did so. Not only that, he was charismatic, he was kind and he was young, making his tragic death at the Auto Club Speedway in 1999 all that more painful to bear. This was a driver taken well before his time, and the whole sport felt the ripples started by the passing of this young man from lil’ old New Westminister, BC.
    Also Read: Greg Moore's passion took him right to the top
    • Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends
    4

    James Hinchcliffe

    Much like Moore, Hinchcliffe had all the right tools, enough to draw top sponsorship from big names like GoDaddy.com. More than his pace, he’s truly Canada’s golden boy, all smiles, humour and good looks.  Also like Moore, however, he compelled the country to hold its collective breath when a suspension wishbone smashed through the side of his car and right into his leg, fracturing his pelvis and causing massive blood loss. That didn’t stop Hinchcliffe, though; he’s already back in the car and winning, most recently at the 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
    Also Read: Canada’s Hinchcliffe takes Indy pole
     
    • Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends
    5

    Ron Fellows

    While the Corvette teams have been top of the heap in the GT-class at Le Mans for quite some time, many forget that it was in the hands of a hockey-playing Canadian from Windsor that the impressive streak got started, way back in 2002. The team took the top two spots on the podium that year and since then, Fellows has helped develop the Cadillac LMP program and opened a racing school of his own just outside of Las Vegas. More recently, he became a part owner of Canada’s most famous motorsport facility, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, ON.
    Also Read: Racer Ron Fellows slows it down at the cottage
    • Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends
    6

    Patrick Carpentier

    The man from LaSalle, QC is the most travelled Canadian racer, having spent time in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, the IndyCar Series, Champ Car, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. That’s an impressive resumé, and while he doesn’t have a Drivers’ Championship in any of those series, he does have one in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, which is no small feat.
    Also Read:Patrick Carpentier an all-electric racer?
    • Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends
    7

    Alex Tagliani

    While not quite as well-travelled as fellow Quebecer Carpentier, Tagliani has what Carpentier doesn’t: a win in a top-flite race series, achieved in 2004 at Road America. He also has 5 NASCAR Pinty’s Series wins to his name and won the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award.
    Also Read: Racing Hall of Famer Alex Tagliani on food allergies at Summer of TAG
    • Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends
    8

    Bruno Spengler

    Give Bruno credit; while he may not be competing on Canadian – or even North American – soil, he’s flying the colours on European soil, competing in the Deutsche Touringwagen Meisterschaft (DTM), piloting winged BMWs on world famous circuits such as the Nurburgring, Hockenheim and Zandvoort circuit in The Netherlands. More than just competing, he’s winning, with a drivers’ championship to his name in 2012.
    Also Read: Motorsport: One word for Canadian: Consistency
    • Top 10 Canadian Motorsport Legends
    9

    Paul Tracy

    He may not have quite the laurels as some of the other drivers on this list, but Paul Tracy made up for all that with a commanding personality and never backing down from controversial comments and battles with other drivers, most notably Sébastian Bourdais. He’s also rallied against IndyCar safety standards – most notably poorly-developed catch fencing – and was hugely outspoken after driver Dan Wheldon’s fatal crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011.
    Also Read: The day Paul Tracy won his first Toronto Indy
  • Jason Priestley

    When it comes to actors on the track, the Americans have Patrick Dempsey and we have Jason Priestly, star of Beverly Hills 90210 and more recently, Private Eyes. While he doesn’t compete at quite the level Dempsey does, Priestly is no slouch, with a resumé that includes entries in the SCCA Pro Rally Series, IMSA, and United States Road Racing Championship. He was also a part-owner of IndyCar’s FAZZT Race Team, along with fellow Canadian Carpentier.
    Also Read: Eye Candy: 1968 Dodge Charger "The Utah Beast"

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