Canadian grassroots racing programs need your support this July

Into racing? Here’s how to support it locally, from celebrating veterans to giving young talent a shot.

By Stephanie Wallcraft Wheels.ca

Jul 7, 2022 4 min. read

Article was updated a year ago

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The Canadian racing season is officially in full swing, giving competitors and fans alike the chance to get back trackside. For many of us, this summer marks the first time we’ve been able to get fully immersed in live motorsport since the summer of 2019, especially as some of the most important international racing series in the world return such as Formula 1, IndyCar, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Everyone who races cars and works in those paddocks got a start somewhere, which is why motorsport initiatives on a local level are critical to the overall health of the sport.

To that end, several Canadian organizations are holding fundraisers over the coming weeks. One aspires to give aspiring Canadian racers a shot at turning motorsport into a career, while another honours the contributions made by the sport’s most dedicated veterans.

Here are two ways you can support grassroots Canadian motorsport this July.

Celebration of Speed – Monday, July 11

The Celebration of Speed returns to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s Driver Development Track next Monday, July 11, to raise funds for the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.Cajse

This year’s Celebration marks the 10th time the event has been held and its first running since 2019. Spectators are welcome and track day access is available, but the ride-alongs are the main attraction.

For $125, riders 10 and older will be matched with a car and qualified driver who will take them on four three-lap rides in the vehicles of their choice. The cars won’t race each other and the laps won’t be timed, but there will be plenty of adrenaline-pumping speed to enjoy. In previous years, the event has attracted an impressive fleet of exotics from brands such as Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and McLaren, as well as Chevrolet Corvettes, Ford Mustangs, and more. This time around, approximately 30 similar vehicles are expected to be on hand.

celebration of speed canadian tire motorsports park

celebration of speed canadian tire motorsports park

Plus, a limited number of special ride-alongs are available: three-lap rides are being offered in the Pfaff Motorsports Plaid Porsche 935, piloted by talented Canadian racer Zach Vanier. These tickets cost $100 each.

Proceeds will go toward funding the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, which commemorates the achievements of people and institutions who have made significant contributions and accomplishments within Canadian motorsport.

For tickets and more information, visit the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame website.

Arrow McLaren SP VIP Suite Access – Friday, July 15

On the following weekend, the Honda Indy Toronto rolls back into Exhibition Place for the first time in three years.

That Friday, fans can take part in a special VIP experience hosted by the Team Canada Scholarship with support from the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team.

For a minimum donation of $10,000, up to 20 guests will receive trackside VIP suite access and tickets for the Arrow Club 5 hospitality suite for an exclusive meet-and-greet session with Canadian IndyCar drivers Dalton Kellett and Devlin DeFrancesco. This session will be hosted by IndyCar driver and NBC Sports commentator, James Hinchcliffe. Pit and garage tours, in addition to swag bags, are also included.

Formula Ford festival brands hatch

Chase Pelletier Formula Ford

Proceeds will go toward the Team Canada Scholarship, a program for which Hinchcliffe is an ambassador. The scholarship gives up-and-coming Canadian racers an opportunity to compete against aspiring racers from around the world at the annual Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy races at Brands Hatch in the United Kingdom. The program was founded and is facilitated by veteran Canadian Formula 1600 team owner Brian Graham.

With sponsorship from Ontario Honda Dealers, Friday’s track activities at the Honda Indy Toronto are accessible free of charge, and the headlining NASCAR Pinty’s Series race that afternoon will make this a great day to be at the track. Opting for this additional VIP access could make the day even more memorable. If you’re interested in supporting the Team Canada Scholarship but can’t make it yourself, consider turning it into a donation: at least one benefactor has chosen to give this experience away to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which will turn this into a very special day for a child with a terminal illness and their loved ones.

Making a $10,000 donation at the Team Canada Scholarship website, along with providing some contact information, will kick off the process. Find more details here.




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