Hall of Fame welcomes Tracy, Carter
AUTO NEWS: CMHF switched from the long-standing format of a black-tie, formal, sit-down dinner to a new, more modern event.
Canada has a reputation for producing hockey players but racing fans are proud that our country has also produced some of the greatest talents the motorsport world has ever seen.
Since its founding in 1993, the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame has been honouring those who have made significant contributions to motor sport in this country. And the Hall is about more than car racing, as inductees include champions in motorcycle, boat and aircraft racing.
For the 2013 induction ceremony, the CMHF switched from the long-standing format of a black-tie, formal, sit-down dinner to a new, more modern event. Held in Toronto?s Glen Gould Theatre, the multimedia-rich presentation was exciting and chock full of emotion.
The highlight of the evening ? for many ? came late when Wheels Editor Norris McDonald, who?s MC?d the ceremony since 2002, led the fund-raising auction bidding which took a surprising turn when International inductee, Mario Andretti, actually offered up for sale the checkered-flag socks he was wearing!
Earlier this week, the CMHF board announced this year?s inductees. Led by the ?Thrill from West Hill,? Paul Tracy, and Toronto-area racer Scott Maxwell, the inductees include sports-car racer Diana Carter and builders John Magill and Wheels? own McDonald.
Nobody needs an introduction to Tracy, whose aggressive style on-track and shoot-from-the-hip attitude off-track have earned him legions of fans. Maxwell is well-known in endurance racing circles as a winner at Le Mans and Daytona.
They called Carter Canada?s raciest blonde, a term that might not be politically correct today but in the early Sixties was an accurate description of a talented and determined woman who built herself a reputation of being a tough competitor in a male-dominated sport.
Living in Etobicoke at the time, Carter began racing in a Volvo 544 and won her first race, a novice event in St. Eugene, Ont. She went on to win the ladies division of the grueling Shell 4000 rally three years in a row beginning in 1963.
Not just a driver, she worked as a reporter and was the circulation director for the popular Canada Track & Traffic magazine. Following her retirement from driving in 1967, Carter maintained her presence in motorsport as a public relations director when Michigan International Speedway and Texas International Speedway were opened.
Earlier this week, in an interview from her home in B.C., she said: ?To be inducted into any Hall of Fame is an extraordinary honour ? especially in your own country. I want to thank everyone who worked on the decision-making committee as well as all others that helped this lifetime achievement come to fruition.?
With a nod to the excitement of last year?s party, Carter added: ?I look forward to seeing a lot of old acquaintances in September and reliving a piece of the past in the history of motorsport in Canada.?
Like many competitors, Toronto lawyer John Magill got his start racing karts before moving on to solo, vintage and endurance car racing. Throughout the 1970s, he was the first karting director of the Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs.
During one of the last 24-hour endurance races at Mosport in the early 1990s, Magill was one of the drivers I crewed for on Kat Teasdale?s team and not only was he a wonderful guy to work with, he was incredibly consistent behind the wheel.
Readers know Norris McDonald as the Editor of Wheels and one of Canada?s best-known motorsport journalists. But many may not be aware that he also owned and raced supermodified racing cars during the 1980s, `primarily at Oswego Speedway in New York, and then announced at race tracks in both the U.S. and Canada. He also did media relations work for Molson Indy races in Toronto and Vancouver, helped out at the Champ Car races in Edmonton and served as chair of the CMHF selection committee for a decade.
His interest in, and knowledge of, all kinds of auto racing has made him the perfect MC for the annual CMHF induction ceremonies.
The Glen Gould theatre will once again be the scene for this year?s induction ceremony, which is being held on Sept. 27 and promises to be even more exciting than last year. The International inductee has yet to be revealed but organizers are promising a major surprise.
Tickets go on sale in early July and can be purchased at cmhf.ca.
- Brands Hatch, England, April 13 -- Team Player's driver Paul Tracy was all smiles after setting the fastest time in Saturday's provisional qualifying session for Monday's London Champ Car Trophy at Brands Hatch. It was the Canadian driver's third consecutive provisional qualifying pole and will start from the front row for the fourth consecutive race this season when he takes the green flag on Monday's 165-lap race For more information see Team Player's press release.