Steam Whistle Paddock Tour at CHGP – Friday June 17, 2016

Join us for the Steam Whistle Paddock Tour – a social event being held Friday, June 17 at 6:00 pm in the upper paddock at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. All competitors, crew (with a ticket) and volunteers of the Canadian Historic Grand Prix are welcome to attend.

First Whistle Stop – near Corner One, hosted by Tom and Carol Burgess and the MG community. Steam Whistle Pilsner, Black Prince Wines, and chicken wings by Simply BBQ and crudites.

Second Whistle Stop – in the middle paddock, hosted by Move Motorsports and the open wheel community. Steam Whistle Pilsner, Black Prince Wines, Subway sandwiches and chips.

Third Whistle Stop – near the Mock Grid, hosted by the VARAC Board of Directors. Tim Horton’s coffee, cookies and other light desserts.

Looking forward to seeing you on the Tour!

Black Prince WinerySimply BBQ

May 2016 Pit Signals

The May 2016 edition of VARAC Pit Signals by Jeremy Sale has been released!

Click here to download your personal copy.

VARAC Pit Signals

Features this month include:

  • Racing in Australia with Andrew Celovsky
  • Amelia Island and Watkins Glen with David Holmes
  • A Long Lost Volvo by Dave S. Clark
  • BEMC Spring Trophy Races
  • Richard Poxon and Garry Allen at the Ice Races
  • Former BARC racer still has need for V8 Thunder by Perry Mason
  • Memories of Racer Stan Ward, by his wife Linda
  • Van Worsdale’s Birthday… and more!

Can-Am Roars Again at VARAC CHGP June 17-19, 2016

TORONTO, ON (May 20, 2016) – Mosport will echo once again to the powerful sound of four Can-Am cars doing demonstration laps at the Canadian Historic Grand Prix, June 17-19, 2016.

“The Spirit of Mosport” Can-Am cars will include a McLaren M8E, a McLaren M1B (tribute car), a Lola T70 and a Chaparral 1. These fabulous cars will do laps on all three days and fans will also be able to get up close and personal at “The Spirit of Mosport” static display in a large tent on the west side of the upper paddock.

VARAC Can-Am

The Canadian Historic Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious events on the annual vintage and historic racing calendar in North America and it is the largest and most popular event of its kind in Canada, counted as a major spectator event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) since 1999.

Feature Race
This year we are featuring “Flat 6 versus V8 Muscle”, which will be a race between Porsche and American horsepower. Fitting, we have invited well known Porsche driver and 1977 Trans Am Champion Ludwig Heimrath to act as Grand Marshall for the weekend. He will be joined at “Legends of Motorsport” event by another Trans Am Champion, Eppie Wietzes, winner in 1981 driving for Corvette.

Racers from across Canada and the United States will be competing in cars such as Porsche, Formula Ford, MG, Triumph, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Lotus, Mini, Corvette and many more, racing on the world famous Mosport Grand Prix Circuit, one of only three true historic Grand Prix tracks in North America, along with Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec and Watkins Glen in upstate New York.

Fans will enjoy three full days of exciting racing for six groups of cars including Monoposto (single seat open-wheel vintage & historic race cars), Small Bore Vintage & Historic Cars (under 2000 cc), Big Bore Vintage & Historic Cars (over 2000 cc), Wings & Slicks (very fast purpose-built racing cars running on slick tires), G70+ and G90 Cars, (cars dating from 1973 to 1994 including all kinds of Alfas, Corvettes, Porsches, Mustangs) and a host of others.

This year VARAC celebrates our 40th anniversary! The club was founded in 1976 and now has more than 220 members. Approximately 100 of those members are active racing drivers, who compete in vintage and historic racing events across North America and abroad. Our club is made up of racing enthusiasts from all walks of life. If you are interested in historic race cars we invite you to join us, on the track or as non-racing members! As you will see this weekend, VARAC members know how to enjoy their racing!

For more information see event information or contact chgp@varac.ca

2016 BEMC Spring Trophy Races – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

VARAC’s 2016 season started off in style with a strong sportsman grid at the BEMC Spring Trophy Races hosted at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this past weekend.

Luckily Richard Coburn was on hand to capture some on track shots – click the link to see more

 

VARAC by CoburnPix

 

Race Fan Registration Open for 2016 CHGP Events

Registration is now open for the many “race fan” experiences that occur at VARAC’s annual Canadian Historic Grand Prix.   This year’s event is being held June 17-19 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and has so much in store for the fans!

Sign Up Now for:

  • Track Touring Sessions: Twice on Saturday and Sunday. Sign up now to receive early-bird pricing.
  • Legends of Motorsport: Meet and mix with Canada’s greatest all-time racing legends like Bill Brack, Eppie Wietzes, Ludwig Heimrath, Gary Magwood and more! The session will take place Sunday morning at 10:30 in the “New Tower” building. Toronto Star Wheels Editor, Norris McDonald will MC the gathering and interview the drivers. Bring your cameras and autograph books. Don’t miss out on this!
  • Field of Dreams Car & Motorcycle Show: Join the Field of Dreams Car & Motorcycle Show! It is free with your SPECIAL RATE gate pass. Just show the GATE attendant that you have registered for the car show and get a reduced rate pass.
  • Field of Dreams On-Track Parade: Join in Canada’s largest race day on-track parade! The parade makes up to two laps of the course (depending on available time). A favourite of our guests for years.

More information on the CHGP including race registration is available here.

The V.A.Y Special Rides Again

Some recollections by Gary Magwood with Jeremy Sale

While wasting time on the world wide web the other day I saw some chatter about the quirky “V.A.Y. Special”, which had appeared on Bring A Trailer.com. Some VARAC members may remember Mike Rosen racing the car with VARAC at Mosport. I knew that it had gone on to the Excited States and I have seen various ads for it since. On asking Gary Magwood about it he said, “Actually, I know quite a lot about the VAY Special. I bought it in the early 60s. It was built by Vic Yachuk (hence V.A.Y.) to compete in the recently established Canada Class (an attempt to allow home builders to build and race cars utilizing production components).”

VAY Special 1964

We asked Gary where he had acquired the car…

“I found the car behind an old gas station on Dundas West in the winter of 1963. A guy had bought it a year earlier but whacked it a couple of times and lost interest. The trailer that came with the car was just two lengths of highway guardrail welded to an axle/hitch assembly… very primitive but it worked really well!”

So now you had a car to restore and a race license to obtain…

“Yes, I rented a garage in behind a motorcycle gang’s house in Etobicoke, I shared it with two Brits who were converting a DKW-­‐ powered Canada Class single seater into a sports racer. They also had a modified Austin A-­‐35 that we all used to get our CASC licenses! Unfortunately the damn thing was so slow going up the back straight at Mosport, we almost had to downshift going up the rise to corner 8! The only consolation was that Graham Hill had raced one in his early years!”

So what was the VAY like when you got it out on the track, Gary?

“When I first raced the VAY in 1964 it had the original bodywork and an Alta overhead converted Morris Minor engine. The engine preUy much self-­‐destructed every weekend, to the point where Bob Hanna’s Autosport dealership ran out of Alta parts!”

“Anyway, realizing the VAY’s power unit needed upgrading and that the bodywork was quite primitive, I undertook to rectify both problems. Getting married generated enough cash (a story unto itself!) to purchase a Sprite engine and gearbox. I even signed up for a welding course to learn how to braze steel tubing. I removed all the crude sheet metal fenders and other “lumpy” bits. The resulting, self-­‐ designed cleaner bodywork was aluminum, riveted to a new fabricated frame, the “core” centre section was left alone. (Above) The result was definitely lighter and more powerful.”

VAY Special

How long did you have the VAY, Gary?

“I raced the VAY for two years: the first year with the original Alta overhead conversion for the flat head Morris Minor engine and body configuration; the second year with a 998cc Sprite engine and tranny in my “flying shingle” design. It was a very stable and fun car to drive, but by the time I had the new engine and bodywork, Canada Class designers/builders had realized that single seaters could be built to the CC specs. That made all the two seaters obsolete in short order and needless to say, earning any points in CC races was now a pipe dream. “

VAY Special

“However, I did wire it and mounted lights to enter the 6 hour Sundown GP at Mosport in 1965. (See photo above) After a few minor dramas the now re-named BS&T (Blood Sweat and Tears) Special finished the race. I later sold the car to Bill Bovenizer. That’s how I recall it anyway…” Gary .

PS. Bill Bovenizer ran the car in 1967 and then sold it to acquire a Lotus 51.

PPS. Pit Signals contacted the new owner, Dave Gibson, a 944 Racer for the past seven years, competing with the 44 Cup series and winner of three championships with NASA Mid-­‐Atlantic in the German Touring Series. He plans on shaking the VAY down early spring at VIR or Summit Point and hopes to be ready for a Pittsburgh and Indy trip by June. He says “he is truly honoured to be the current caretaker of a piece of Canadian Motor sports history.”

Main Photo Credit: Bob Harrington

January 2016 Pit Signals

The January 2016 edition of VARAC Pit Signals by Jeremy Sale has been released!

Click here to download your personal copy.

VARAC Pit Signals

Features this month include:

  • The Dick Baker MGA
  • The 2016 Canadian Historic Grand Prix – Flat 6s vs V8s
  • Dunlop Vintage Race Tires Are Back
  • The V.A.Y. Special Rides Again…
  • A Real Life “Hot Wheels”
  • Canadian Motorsport Flashback
  • At The Turkey Bowl
  • The Birth of the Cam Am Series
  • Bob Polak, Willy Goebbels, Bill Pickthorne, Mystery Photos, Classifieds and More!