Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Happy Birthday" Louis-Philippe Dumoulin

February 21, 1979
Louis-Philippe Dumoulin
(Photo; www.flagworld.com)
Born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada.
He is the brother of Jean-François Dumoulin. In 1995, at 16, started as a mechanic for the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School at Circuit Mont-Tremblant.

In 2001 he finished fourth in the Canadian Formula Ford 1600 championship and was crowned the 2002 Canadian Formula Ford 1600 championHe competed in the Grand-Am series from 2004 to 2007. In 2012, he finished second in the GTC class at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012.

He made ​​his debut in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series in 2009 at the Trois-Rivières Grand Prix. In 2011, he was named the NASCAR Canadian Tire series rookie of the year, even though he only competed in eight races. He finished with an impressive two top five and four top 10 finishes.

The following year, he took his first pole in Trois-Rivières and finished 2nd in the race. In 2013, he won his first race on the road course at Mosport. In 2014 he won his first oval race at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon before being crowned the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion.

During the off season competes in the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship.
(Photo; www.redbull.com)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Remembering" Greg Moore

April 22, 1975 - October 31, 1999  
Greg Moore
(Photo; pinterest.com)
Born in New Westminster, BC, Canada.
His early racing career progressed through kart racing, winning the North American Enduro Kart Championships in 1989 and 1990. Moore also played ice hockey while growing up in and around Vancouver. He played on the same peewee team as future NHL star Paul Kariya. Moore first started racing go-karts, and would move up to Formula Ford cars in 1991. He was named the Esso Protec Formula Ford 1600 Rookie of the Year after winning one race and placing fourth in the overall championship. In 1992, he won four races and took four pole positions. He was the USAC Formula 2000 West Champion and Rookie of the Year.

The following year, Moore began racing in the Indy Lights circuit. Despite racing with an under-funded, family-run team, he placed ninth in the 1993 Indy Lights Championship. At the age of 18, Moore became the youngest driver ever to win a CART-sanctioned race when he won the 1994 Indy Lights season-opener at Phoenix. He won three Lights races in 1994 and finished third in the championship.

Moore joined the Player's Forsythe racing team and won the 1995 Indy Lights Championship with a spectacular record-setting season that saw him win 10 of 12 races, including five in a row. Moore's link with British American Tobacco through their Player's brand continued through much of his career. Player's was a popular sponsor in Canadian motorsport until the Canadian Federal Legislation banned tobacco advertising outright in 2003.

In 1996 at the age of 20, Moore graduated to CART when the Player's Forsythe racing team promoted him to the top-level series. His rookie season included a second-place finish at Nazareth, third at Cleveland and fourth in Toronto. Greg finished 9th overall in the championship with 84 points and was runner-up to Alex Zanardi for the Jim Truman Rookie of the Year award.

Moore started the 1997 season well, earning 2nd-place finishes at races in Surfers Paradise and the Rio 500. At the 7th race of the season in Milwaukee, Moore became the youngest driver in Indy-car racing history at that time to win a race. At the age of  22, Moore scored his first CART victory, beating Michael Andretti by less than one second. Seven days later, Moore scored his 2nd career victory in an exciting and dramatic race at Detroit. Starting the final lap in 3rd place, he passed both cars of the PacWest Racing team, when both Maurício Gugelmin and Mark Blundell ran out of fuel in front of him. Moore and his team 7th in the Championship with 111 points.

In 1998, Moore was paired with fellow Canadian Patrick Carpentier, and started the year strongly with three top 5 finishes in the first 4 races. The 5th race of the season at Rio de Janeiro, Moore diced and raced hard against Alex Zanardi, before a dramatic outside pass sealed the win. Later in the season, at Michigan he passed Zanardi and Jimmy Vasser on the last lap to win the US 500 and the Vanderbilt Cup award. Moore finished the year fifth overall with 141 points.

The 1999 season started off very well for Moore, with a win at Homestead, his 5th career and final win in the CART series. He led the championship for the first few races, but an uncompetitive Mercedes engine, and poor results ensured that again he would not win the championship. 

As 1999 was the final year of his contract with Player's-Forsythe racing, he began to look at his options for the coming seasons. In the summer of 1999, Moore announced he had signed a contract to race in 2000 for one of the powerhouse teams, Penske Racing. However, on October 31, 1999, his promising career and his life came to an abrupt end when he was fatally injured in a violent crash on the tenth lap of the CART season finale, the "Marlboro 500", at the California Speedway in Fontana, Calafornia, USA. 

During the weekend before the race, Moore was knocked off his motor scooter by a paddock vehicle and injured his right hand. Unsure that he would be able to race, Player's-Forsythe hired Roberto Moreno as an emergency backup driver. After a medical consultation, and an in-car test, he was allowed to race using a hand brace, starting from the back of the grid because his team had missed qualifying.

Following an early race restart, on lap nine of the race, Moore lost control of his car in the exit of turn 2 and spun into the infield grass at more than 200 mph. His car hit an access road and was tripped over to strike the infield concrete wall sideways with the top of the car directly facing the wall at unabated speed. Moore was critically injured in the crash and was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The race continued and Adrian Fernandez won. At the pronouncement of Moore's death, the Auto Club Speedway ordered all track flags at half staff. Also, CART ordered that there would be no victory celebrations for either the race, or the newly decided championship. Player's Forsythe racing ordered their other driver, Patrick Carpentier, into the pits and retired Patrick's car mid-race. All other drivers were unaware of Moore's death until the end of the race. At the request of Moore's father, Ric Moore, the CART end-of-season awards banquet continued as scheduled on the following night, although its format was changed out of respect for the families of Moore and Gonzalo Rodríguez, another CART driver who was killed in a crash earlier in the season at Laguna Seca Raceway. Almost 6 laps before Moore's ill-fated lap, driver Richie Hearn had crashed in exactly the same location. The skidmark pattern was nearly identical, both drivers having struck the inside wall. Hearn walked away, and Moore did not. Moreover, a strong northerly wind was blowing that day, creating a cross wind down the backstretch where both incidents occurred.

Moore was a well-liked driver by both racing fans and members of the CART racing community. Makeshift memorials were started at his former high school, Pitt Meadows Secondary School, and at Greg's father's car dealership. The Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in Toronto also had a small memorial with a condolence book for people to sign.

A private memorial service was held on November 3, 1999 at St. Andrews Wesley United Church in downtown Vancouver and was attended by 1,200 family members and close friends, including Dario Franchitti, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, and Jacques Villeneuve. Another public funeral service was held in Greg's hometown of Maple Ridge on November 4, 1999, and was attended by more than 1,500 people. The church was full and consequently a tent with TV screens and speakers was set up outside the church for many others who attended but could not get inside.

Moore's car number 99, was retired by CART as a mark of respect after his death. Also a trophy would be presented annually called the Greg Moore Legacy Award. It is given every year to a driver who best typifies Moore's legacy of outstanding talent on track, as well as displaying a dynamic personality with fans, media, and within the CART community. As Greg was a product of the CART Ladder System, having competed in the Indy Lights Championship from 1993–95 and won the series title in 1995, drivers from The Atlantic Championship series were also eligible for the award. The award was purchased by Bridgestone, which in 2008 began sponsoring the award, giving it to a deserving Indy Lights driver. Moore was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 2000.

Moore was responsible for introducing Dario Franchitti to his future wife, actress Ashley Judd. Moore brought Franchitti to a party hosted by his friend, actor and fellow Vancouver native Jason Priestley. It was at that party that Franchitti met Judd. Franchitti dedicated his win in the Molson Indy Vancouver in 2002 to Moore's memory. When Franchitti won the last IRL race at the Auto Club Speedway in 2005, the Andretti Green Racing team drove their cars to the exit of Turn 2, where Moore had his fatal crash, for their victory celebration. After winning his second IndyCar championship, an emotional Franchitti dedicated his win to Moore ten years on from his death. During pole day for the 2012 Indy 500, fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe raced with Greg's glove giving the fallen driver his first laps at the Brickyard.

Moore is remembered in his hometown. Banners in tribute to him hang in the schools he attended, Meadowridge School and Pitt Meadows Secondary. The Maple Ridge Youth Centre, opened in 2003, was named the Greg Moore Youth Centre in his honour. The McDonald's on the Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge has a trophy case with memorabilia dedicated to Moore. Ridge-Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge also has the Emergency department named after him. There is a Go-Kart track in Chilliwack named "Greg Moore Raceway". His father Ric Moore, an active member of the community, continues his legacy through the Greg Moore Foundation. 

Moore's remains are interred at Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
(Photo; "Greg Moore Headstone" by Esquire232)
A memorial stone is placed beside a tree with writing that briefly discusses his childhood and the incidents surrounding his death. A memorial granite bench is also placed nearby.

In July 2013, Moore was named by Autosport magazine as one of the 50 greatest drivers to have never raced in Formula One.

Dan Proudfoot's book; Greg Moore: A Legacy of Spirit tells the story of this remarkable young athlete. Through photographs and memorabilia that trace the his life and career, we are given a lasting image of a life lived well, but far too short.

If you have any stories or photos of Greg you would like to share, please forward to; fundybayblogger@hotmail.com

Remembering Kathryn "Kat" Teasdale

December 25, 1966 - June 2, 2016
Kathryn "Kat" Teasdale
 Home: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A former downhill ski racer, Kathryn discovered a love for automobile racing when a knee injury sidelined her. She started racing in 1988 in Formula Ford 2000 before moving into SCCA and the Players GM Motorsports Series in Canada. She was the 1993 CASCAR Rookie-of-the-Year. She was also the first woman to race in a NASCAR BUSCH Grand National North series. Kat has been involved with numerous other racing series such as IMSA Endurance, Trans Am, Formula Atlantic, Indy Lights & NASCAR Nationwide Series.

She was passionate in her work with children's charities. Kathryn had a successful event-planning business. In recent years, Kathryn was well recognized internationally as a breeder of Wirehaired Pointing Griffons (hunting dogs). She was extremely loving and dedicated to her dogs.

Kathryn died unexpectedly on Thursday, June 2, 2016 after a long struggle with physical and mental health issues. - See more at: Kathryn (Kat) Teasdale: 'The most determined person I ever met’ where Wheels Editor Norris McDonald reminisces about Kathryn.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Canadian Earl Ross Finishes 11th At "Daytona 500" - February 17, 1974

February 17, 1974
Earl Ross
(Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame Photo)
Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame member Earl Ross finished 11th at the "Daytona 500". The 16th running of the event, was won by Richard Petty  for the fifth time, at Daytona International Raceway in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA.

For more on Earl see Canadian Auto Racing Blog; Earl Ross Tribute Page  

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Canadians Maxwell & Empringham Win DP Class At Daytona - February 2, 2003

February 2, 2003
Multimatic Motorsports teammates, Scott Maxwell and Dave Empringham of Toronto, along with David Brabham of England, drove the  Ford/Multimatic Daytona Prototype to class victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Multimatic goes down in the record books as being the first Motorsports team to win the new Daytona Prototype Class in the 41st running of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. The car was designed and developed completely by Multimatic, starting in 2002.

After setting the pole, the Multimatic Motorsports team remained in contention for the outright victory until very late in the event. The overall win went to The Racers Group Porsche/GT3RS of Kevin Buckler, Michael Schrom, Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister.

Other Canadians in the field were; Scott Goodyear 5th, Ross Bentley 7th, David Shep 15th, Kenny Wilden 30th-engine,  Sylvain Tremblay 31st-crash, Chris Bye 34th-engine,  Robert Julien and Dave Lacey 35th-crash.   
   

Ron Fellows Helps Corvette To "Rolex 24" Victory - February 4, 2001

February  4, 2001

(Photo; kgkiradio.com)
Ron Fellows of Toronto along with teammates Chris Kneifel, Franck Freon, and Johnny O'Connell, topped the 80-car field, giving Corvette Racing their first overall win of the "Rolex 24 at Daytona", Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida.

Certainly not to be lost in the No. 2 Corvette's spectacular victory was No. 3 Corvette driven by Winston Cup legend Dale Earnhardt, along with his son Dale, Jr. and road-racing aces Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins. The group brought their C5-R in for a 4th place overall finish, giving Corvette a 1-2 sweep of GTS class.

"Happy Birthday" Rollie MacDonald "A Maritime Racing Legend" - February 4, 1944

February 4, 1944
Roland (Rollie) MacDonald
(Photo; www.maritimemotorsporthalloffame.com)
"A Maritime Racing Legend"
Born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, Rollie’s love for racing cars and speed has kept him in the racing game for over 40 years. A very popular figure in the world of stock car in the Maritimes, he’s raced on tracks in Canada and the United States against some of the racing world’s toughest competitors, breaking both local and national records and winning numerous races and championships.

As a boy growing up in rural Pictou County, his love for fast cars began when he would race old cars around the fields of the family farm. In 1965, he built his first real race car, a ’55 Pontiac, and started his racing career that year at Mountain Raceway, a dirt track near New Glasgow. From there he went on to race at speedways throughout the Maritime provinces, Quebec and the northeastern United States. He was only injured once, but it was a bad one. He was bedridden for a month in 1977, after hitting the wall while trying for 22 straight victories at his local speedway. 

In 1983 he won the three-province MASCAR championship and was a strong runner in that series for many years afterward. A friend and customer of fellow Maritimer Junior Hanley, MacDonald took a Hanley car to Quebec in 1986 and won the QUASCAR title. MacDonald says his most memorable victory came in 1989 when he won the Nissan 200 International at the newly built Scotia Speedworld near Halifax. In 1994, MacDonald purchased a Busch Grand National car from Jimmy Spencer and raced in the Busch North series. Never content with racing in just one series, he continued to race locally and in selected MASCAR events at the same time. 

In 1998, the successful business as well as sportsman made a major change. He became a part-time driver and a full-time ASA car owner for the late Scott Fraser.
(Photo; www.scottfraseronline.com)
Scott Fraser and Rollie MacDonald pose proudly with the winners trophy at Scotia Speedworld in what would be Scott's last win. For more on Scott Fraser see Canadian Auto Racing Blog; Tribute To Scott Fraser 

Rollie was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall Of Fame in 2004 and the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009.

"Happy Birthday" Richard Spenard

February 4, 1954
Richard Spenard
(Photo; area27.ca)
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Richard raced in many categories of cars and series, with numerous victories and championships. He has competed in Formula Atlantic, Formula 2000, Formula 3, Porsche Turbo Cup, Trans Am, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona.

He won the 1974 Jim Russell Racing School Championship at Circuit Mont-Tremblant. In 1977 he competed in Formula Atlantic. His teammate was none-other than Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame legend Gilles Villeneuve. Spenard also won the 1977 Quebec Ice Racing Championship. In 1986, he had 12 victories in 24 starts in three different series, Formula 2000, Porsche Turbo Cup and the Players GM Series, and won the 1986 Canadian Formula 2000 Championship. From 1986 to 1990, in 37 starts he won 18 races in the Canadian Porsche Turbo Cup series on way to Championships in 1987, 1989 and 1990.

Richard worked as an instructor at the Jim Russell Racing School at Riverside International Raceway and Laguna Seca in California, before founding his own Spenard-David Racing School in 1985 at Shannonville, Ontario. Among his students, the 1997 Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve, the late Greg Moore, Patrick Carpentier and Ron Fellows.

Richard was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2001 .

Thursday, February 02, 2017

"Late Canadian Sports Car Racer" Greg Wilkins Born - February 2, 1956

February 2, 1956 - December 16, 2009
 Greg Wilkins
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
 Wilkins was an avid motor sports enthusiast. In 2004, along with his son Mark, they competed and placed 3rd in their class at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona at the Daytona International Speedway. The pair also travelled to Germany where they completed 5 laps at the Nürburgring race course. Wilkins was diagnosed with brain cancer in March 2008. He died in Toronto, Ontario Canada on Dec 16, 2009 at the age of 53.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Villeneuve A Racing Legend" By Allan de la Plante

Gilles Villeneuve was perhaps the fastest Formula 1 Driver to ever hit a race track. His many fans, all these 31 years later, seem to think so. Villeneuve A Racing Legend is a celebration of Gilles racing life and a tribute to his many fans. Villeneuve A Racing Legend will take you on a visual journey into this romantic time in Formula One where triumph and tragedy are but the flick of an eye apart. Many videos and slideshows bring Gilles back to us and let him in many cases tell the story.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tribute to Earl Ross

September 4, 1941 - September 18th, 2014 
Earl Ross
(Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame Photo)
Born in Fortune, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame and  Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame member, and the only Canadian to have won a NASCAR Cup Series race, Earl started his racing career in the late 1960's, driving hobby cars, then he began racing a late model stock car for the McKichan brothers at Delaware Speedway.

He was known for being one of only four non-American drivers to have won a NASCAR Cup Series race (the others being Juan Pablo Montoya, Mario Andretti, and Marcos Ambrose). Ross' only NASCAR win came at Martinsville Speedway on September 29, 1974 during the Old Dominion 500. His car was owned by the legendary Junior Johnson and sponsored by the Canadian-owned Carling-O’Keefe Breweries. After qualifying 11th, Ross beat Buddy Baker to the line by more than a lap, thus making him the first and still the only Canadian to have ever won a Winston Cup event. Ron Fellows however has wins in the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. At that time, Earl was the first rookie to win a Grand National race since Richard Petty accomplished the feat several years earlier.

The win was the push needed for Ross, who could only afford to run a partial schedule, win the Winston Cup "Rookie of the Year" in 1974. After competing in only 2 events in '75 and '76, Ross retired from NASCAR racing. He recorded 1 win, 5 top-5's and 10 top 10's in 26 races.

Ross competed in a number of regional racing series throughout the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, including time on the ASA circuit (Bob Senneker, Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace and Alan Kulwicki were competing at the same time) and CASCAR Super Series (which later became the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series) against Canadian legends like Don Thomson Jr. He also participated in regular Friday night racing at Delaware Speedway before his ultimate retirement in the late 1990s.

Earl Ross died on Thursday, September 18th, 2014, at his home in Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada. He was the age of 73.

In a statement released in Daytona Beach, NASCAR paid tribute to the Canadian.
“NASCAR extends its condolences to the family and friends of Earl Ross, a true racer whose considerable on-track success helped grow the sport internationally."

“Ross was the first Canadian driver to win a race in what is today known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and he did it at one of NASCAR’s most historic tracks for one of NASCAR's most historic owners. His 1974 win at Martinsville for Junior Johnson helped lay the foundation for the sport's tremendous growth in Canada, and beyond.”

Earl Ross was inducted into the the P.E.I. Sports Hall Of Fame in 2008, the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2011

For more check out; Norris McDonald on Earl Ross at wheels.ca