The earliest record of Canadian racing is with speed trials. F.S. Evans drove about 60 km from Hamilton to Toronto within a record time of 3 hours 20 minutes in 1960. Since 1905, Winnipeg Automobile Club has hosted night races on a regular basis for passenger and touring cars.
One of the famously known drivers of Canada, Pete Henderson headed to the USA in the year 1914. He finished second at Des Moines in 1916 as a member of the Prest-o-Lite team. He ranked in the best 10 at Indy in both 1916 and 1920.
Great moments in racing history
Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto became the center for racing for a while. In 1913, it staged a form of car polo. It was in 1917 that Gaston Chevrolet took part in the race and won versus an airplane flying by the famous pilot named Ruth Law. The year 1919 saw Ralph de Palma invited to test-drive the world’s fastest car on Toronto CNE racetrack.
Interest in car racing
From the year 1920 to 1928, several races took place. A total prize amount of $9000 was distributed. However, racing did not see much arousal during this phase. Only after the beginning of the Can-Am racing series and the Canadian Grand Prix for F1 cars did some interest begin in automobile racing. Until then, the races were localized and racetracks were quarter to one-eighth mile strips of dirt tracks. They used cars which were tuned passenger cars also known as the stock cars.
Undying memories in Canadian racing history
Here are some moments of Canadian Grand Prix history that will live forever in the minds of people.
- Gilles Villeneuve’s Canadian Grand Prix win: In 1978, Gilles Villeneuve did the “unthinkable,” and when he won the home Grand Prix. This was his maiden win in his first start at Montreal. Driving for Ferrari, Gilles Villeneuve got the lead when Jean-Pierre who was leading until then had to quit when his Lotus-Cosworth expired with 20 laps to go. This was the first win for a Canadian.
- Villeneuve killed on the track: In 1982, Villeneuve was killed during the qualifying lap of the Belgian Grand Prix. The racecourse in Montreal was renamed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in his honor.
- Longest Grand Prix: The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix became the longest in history when it was delayed for hours by rainstorms. Upon restart, Jenson Button changed his wet tires for slick ones and stormed from the last spot to the first to win the race.
A race is what its drivers make of it and Canada has had some great drivers to date. It hosts one of the legs of the Grand Prix of Formula One championships at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.