Scott Maxwell and Paul Tracy were fierce rivals as rookies, but they’re sharing the checkered flag as both are inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.
Now 50 and 45, respectively, they’re to be honored along with road racer Diana Carter and builders John Magill and Norris McDonald, Sept. 27 in the hall’s 20th annual induction ceremonies, presented by Canadian Tire Corporation.
In contrast with more formal black-tie ceremonies, the fan-friendly Hall of Fame celebration is returning to the Glen Gould Studio in downtown Toronto for a second year.
“It is especially ironic to be inducted with Paul, as we have now come full circle from our early Formula Ford days in the 1980’s, where we cut our teeth as youngsters and established our reputations going head to head against one another” said Maxwell, a class winner in the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans and veteran of the American Le Mans and NASCAR Rolex Grand-Am series who continues racing while operating a highly popular motorsport enthusiasts’ store in downtown Toronto.
Tracy, Indy car champion with seven wins in 2003 and runner-up in the disputed Indianapolis 500 of 2002, said he was blown away by the career-capping honor.
“Throughout my career I have set goals and achieved most of them, but never thought I would be honored in this fashion,” the native of West Hill, Ontario added. “I’m grateful and I look forward to receiving this award in front of the Toronto fans, friends and family where I started racing.”
Diana Carter won her first start in 1962, over a field of 19 males, and over the following five years her Volvos became a presence in sedan racing as she garnered some 40 trophies. Carter topped Janet Guthrie and Denise McCluggage, America’s best-known female racers, driving a Formula V in a race at the Bahamas Speed Week in 1966. Rallying as well, she won the Shell 4000 Coupe des Dames in 1963, ’64 and ’65.
“I’m delighted to have been selected to join such an auspicious list of Canadian motorsport devotees,” said Carter, who lives now in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, but raced primarily at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, then Mosport.
Honored as a builder, John Magill’s own racing fuelled his many efforts developing motorsport in this country. Magill, of Port Credit, On was karting’s Can-Am champion in 1974 and 1976, and in 1979 he became the first national karting director of the Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs, working tirelessly to involve Canadian karters in international competition.
“I feel truly honored to be inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. For more than 25 years I enjoyed incredible opportunities and friendships while indulging my passion for motorsport as a competitor, official and lawyer,” said Magill, who was president of the CASC-Ontario Region and member of the ASN Canada Advisory Board as well as a solo, vintage and endurance racer.
Norris McDonald, the second builder and significant contributor inducted has experienced racing from the driver’s seat (super modifieds, 1982-1989), track announcer’s booth (also at Oswego, NY, Speedway) and too many press box perches to guestimate. Oh yes, he took pictures as well.
The editor of the Toronto Star Wheels section as well as its motorsport columnist, McDonald confesses to being a fan from age seven. And now he gets to introduce himself – having served as emcee of the induction ceremonies since 2002.
“As the first journalist to be inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, I am extremely pleased and proud but also humble,” McDonald said. “And as someone who has served for years as master of ceremonies, it will certainly feel different to be on the other side of the platform.” McDonald now lives in Mississauga, On.
Tickets for this year’s event will go on sale in early July.