Before we get going, I want to say a few words about the late Rudy Bartling, who died last week.
Rudy was among a group of motorsport aficionados who emigrated to Canada from Germany about 10 years after the end of the Second World War. Like many of that crowd who worked for Volkswagen Canada and other German-owned enterprises – Ludwig Heimrath, Klaus Bartels, Horst Kroll, Horst Petermann, Fritz Hockreuter – Rudy raced primarily at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (nee Mosport) but enjoyed taking winter vacations in Florida where he raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring (18 times) and the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Rudy liked to credit members of the Deutscher Automobil Club (DAC) for giving him a driving career. “All the race cars I drove belonged to DAC members who could afford to own them, and they gave me the opportunity to drive them,” he told me once in an interview.
“For instance, Ray Brezinka provided me with cars for years and years. So did Klaus Bartels, Harry Bytzek and Roman Pechmann. Fritz (Hochreuter), he was No. 1. We were two bachelors living together and he brought over (to Canada from Germany) one of the first Porsche 911s in 1968. It was eligible for SCCA Trans-Am racing (which had two classes in those days) so we went racing in the Trans-Am.”
When Rudy was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame – Class of 2011 – the Hall wrote this about him:
“He had 20 years of racing behind him in 1981, but he had another 20 to go. Rudy Bartling has been described as Canada’s most experienced endurance racer, and Sebring was his second home, as he started that Florida endurance classic 18 times, the most of any Canadian driver and seventh among all drivers.
Bartling hired himself out to various racing teams throughout his career, driving a series of Porsches not only at Sebring, but in such major venues as the IMSA Camel GT races, the BF Goodrich Sundown Grand Prix and the Molyslip Endurance Series.
He began racing in the early 1960s and was the 1962 under two-liter Canadian champion with his Porsche Carrera. After numerous victories including the Oak Cup at Mosport, he placed fourth in the 1968 Road America race with co-driver Ludwig Heimrath in a McLaren Elva.
In his first appearance at Sebring, he placed seventh overall, and took four top-ten finishes at the ex-airport road course, his best placing a sixth overall in 1977.
During his career, Bartling proved he could work on cars successfully as well as drive them. He turned the wrenches for noted California Porsche racer Vasek Polak, first in 1965, and again in 1973 with the Porsche 917 Turbo that was driven by Jody Scheckter.
He continued to race in endurance contests throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, driving with Klaus Bytzek, and the team won four of five Molyslip races in 1997 to win this championship. Also, in the same year he was campaigning a Porsche 911 of his own, placing third in the Canada GT Challenge Cup.
Bartling’s success as a racer is only a part of his career. Along with his mechanical skills, the respect from his fellow racers and teams mark his achievements in the world of Canadian motorsport.”
One last thing. Rudy raced for years and years and never suffered an injury. No sheet time, as they say. Then, a few years ago, while walking around CTMP, he stumbled on a tree root and suffered an injury that required medical treatment. You can never be too careful.
R.I.P., Rudy. You made us proud.
Daniel Ricciardo, who spoke Italian to the crowd after winning the Grand Prix of Italy Sunday, led McLaren to a one-two finish with teammate Lando Norris riding shotgun en route to finishing second. Mercedes soon-to-be-ex-driver Valtteri Bottas came from the back of the pack to finish third.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton had a huge crash that eliminated both championship front-runners. It looked to me to be just one of them racin’ deals but the stewards, who just can’t seem to help themselves and have to get involved in everything (“Look at us!” “We’re so important!” ) handed Max a three-position penalty to be served at the next race.
One thing, though: thank God for the halo or else Lewis could have been in serious trouble with Max’s car landing on Lewis’s cockpit. For a complete story, please click here
This report was provided by Davey Segal for NASCAR Canada.
While rain forced the postponement Sunday of the second of twin-125 races at the Hamilton-area Flamboro Speedway, the QwickWick 125, it didn’t rain on Andrew Ranger’s parade.
The three-time NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion took the lead from polesitter Treyten Lapcevich on the opening lap of the first race, the MotoMaster 125, and never looked back, leading all but 15 of 125 circuits en route to his 29th career series victory and his first this season.
The win was also the first for Rick Ware Racing in the series and, overall, in NASCAR. The team has fielded entries in the Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series for decades. It also came in Ranger’s first-ever trip to Flamboro, as he did not compete in the 2020 Pinty’s FanCave Challenge.
D.J. Kennington backed up his two top-five finishes last year with a runner-up result, while Brett Taylor did the same in third. Championship points leader Alex Tagliani finished fourth (it was his third straight Flamboro top 10) with Pete Shepherd III earning his first top-five of the season.
Brandon Watson (first-ever start), L.P. Dumoulin, Alex Guenette, Lapcevich (who rebounded from a flat tire on Lap 16), and Donald Theetge rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Entering the race third in the standings, Kevin Lacroix spun on Lap 10 and was unable to recover, ultimately finishing last, 57 laps down. A winner last week at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Marc-Antoine Camirand finished 15th, eight laps off the pace.
Shortly after the conclusion of the first race, rain began, forcing the postponement of the second race. A decision has yet to be made on whether to reschedule it.
Tagliani maintains the championship lead over Dumoulin by 11 points. Next on the schedule for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series is the Pinty’s Fall Brawl on Sun., Sept. 26 at Delaware Speedway outside London, Ont.
Saturday night at Richmond, Va., eventual winner Martin Truex Jr. survived a first-tap penalty for jumping the start but came back through the field to win the second Cup playoff race and reserve himself a spot in the second round. Denny Hamlin finished second and Christopher Bell was third. For a complete story, please click here.
Alex Palou won his series-best third victory of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season at Portland Sunday, with Alexander Rossi second and Scott Dixon third. Palou leads the standings by 25 points over Pato O’Ward and 34 over defending champion Josef Newgarden, with two races remaining.
As usual, there was a huge crash at the first corner. Maybe they should start that Portland race in single file. The carnage eliminated one car, James Hinchcliffe’s. If Hinch didn’t have back luck, he wouldn’t have any luck at all.
Jack Hawkins might have finished fourth but he’s going to kill somebody one of these days. His blocking is deplorable. If IndyCar won’t do anything, I suggest a delegation of drivers take him aside and tell him that the next time he cuts somebody off the way he’s inclined to do, they will reconvene and slap him around. He will likely laugh at them until it happens and he’s walking around with two black eyes. . . . . . Another offshore pilot nobody has heard of, Callum Ilott, made his first start at Portland. Can anybody tell me why these guys are even given a chance when there are drivers like Ricky Taylor and Kyle Larson around? How about somebody giving A.J. Allmendinger another shot? I can hear people saying that those guys are already professional drivers and won’t bring money to secure a seat and I say the revolution has to start soon. Talent has to yank those seats back from drivers who buy them. Here’s an example: I guarantee there are going to be screams when Michael Andretti announces the name of the driver who is going to take over James Hinchcliffe’s place in the team. Screams. Guaranteed. For a complete story on the IndyCar race, please click here.
Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque (Acura) won the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship DPi race Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen were second (Cadillac) and Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr were third (Cadillac). In the GT Le Mans class, Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy were first in a Corvette. Teammates Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia were second while Cooper MacNeil and Matt Campbell were third in a Porsche. Earlier Kyle Marcelli of Barrie, who finished third in a NASCAR Pinty’s Series stock car race last Sunday, teamed with Danny Formal to win the second Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America race of the weekend. It was the team’s third win in the last four races. For stories on each race, please click here.
On Friday night at Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Jordan Poirier won the Knights of Thunder 360 sprint car A-Main, with Ryan Turner second and Josh Hansen third. The Action Sprint Tour Main was won by Jacob Dykstra (does he ever lose?), with Lucas Smith second and Nick Sheridan third.
The Sportsman 50-lap feature was won by Cody McPherson and he was followed home by Brad Rouse and James Michael Friesen. Pete Reid was the Thunder Stock feature winner with Dave Bailey second and Ken Sargent third. In Mini Stock, Tyler Lafantasie finished first, with Ken Hair second and Craig Vlasic third.
At Sunset Speedway in Innisfil Saturday night, the APC 100-lap Late Model race was won by J.R. Fitzpatrick with Dale Shaw second and Paul Howse third. The Super Stock 50 lap-feature went to Lane Zardo, who was followed past the checkers by Dwayne Baker and Ethan Constable. Matt Boyes won the Mini Stock feature.
Saturday night at Merrittville Speedway near Thorold, Jordan Poirier made it two in a row in Knights of Thunder 360 sprint car action, with Liam Martin second and Mikey Kruchka third. In Central Fab./Glo & Go Mini Stocks, Anthony Kelly was the winner, Kenny Hair finished second and Austin Werstroh was third. Dave Bailey won the Hoosier Stocks feature, with Kraig Handley second and Chris Hale third. Tyler Winger was first in Modified Lites with Brent Begolo second and Sean Idtody third. In the DIRTcar Sportsman feature, Brad Rouse was the winner, with Ryan Ferri second and Cody Mcpherson third. Finally, in V6, Dustin Duga was the winner, Jordan Fidler was second and James Small was third. Sunday, in the Merrittville Wreckfest 100, Billy Bleich was the first survivor, Sean Idtody was second and Brandon Hendrick was third.
Saturday night at Brighton Speedway, Jordan Pickell won the Stingers feature, with Megan Golden second and Mike Beaudrie third. Traveil McLean was first in the Mini Stocks main with Cole Abrams second and Matthew Moore third. The night’s headliner, the Late Models, went to Brandon Mowat with Adam Turner second and Charlie Sandercock third.
And finally . . .
Jerome Mailloux and Philippe Poirier won the Rally Defi Petite Nation, the third round of the Eastern Canadian Rally Championship, held in the Montpellier Region (Outaouais) of Quebec.
And . . .
Pfaff (Pfaff BMW, Pfaff Audi, etc.) the Canadian dealership group, has been sold to U.S.-based Lithia Motors. However, the sale does not include the racing teams. Hallelujah.