David Holmes Makes News In The ObserverXtra

A passion for MGs … and speed

Excerpt by Scott Barber from the ObserverXtra

There’s a thunderous roar as David Holmes revs the engine of his iris blue 1959 MGA Twin Cam.

Pumping out 140 horsepower and weighing just 1,600 pounds, the speedy import once owned by legendary Canadian vintage racer Dick Baker can reach speeds upwards of 145 miles per hour.

After being purchased last spring from Baker’s sons, the rare British sports car became the fourth racing certified vehicle in Holmes’ ever-growing fleet. Now, with some minor tuning and a test-ride at the track in Grand Bend out of the way, the longtime Elmira resident is ready to put the car back in the race.

Read the full article from the ObserverXtra here…

VARAC Racers Head to CTMP for BEMC Indian Summer Trophy Races


TORONTO, ON (Sept 7, 2015) – The Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada will be competing this coming weekend, Sept 12 and 13, 2015 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport) for the 61st Annual BEMC Indian Summer Trophy Races.

“This is your opportunity to come and find out all about Vintage Racing” says VARAC Membership Director Ivan Samila. “There will be VARAC grids for Vintage/Historic and Classic (G70+, G90). This event also hosts the 7th round of the CASC-OR Regional Race Championship and the final race of the Toyo Tire F1600 Championship. Other race groups will include a 3 Hour Enduro for GT cars, GT Sprints as well as Formula Libre and F4. It promises to be an exciting weekend, full of action. Come out and join us!”

Founded in 1928 as a motorcycle racing club, the British Empire Motor Club has organized more motorsports events than any other club in Canada! Back in 1958, the members – on a huge gamble – took an option on a piece of property north of Bowmanville and put on the first competitive event, a motorcycle scramble, on May 24, 1959, at what became Mosport Park, more recently CTMP. The club, with partners, operated Mosport until 1966 when it was sold to private interests. The club celebrates its 87th anniversary this year.

The first winner of the famous Indian Summer Trophy was Fred Hayes in a Triumph back in 1955. Other winners include names like Denis Coad, Francis Bradley, Peter Ryan, John Cannon, Peter Lerch, Ludwig Heimrath and Gary Magwood. As the VARAC championship season begins to wind down this will be the second last Ontario race of 2015, with valuable points for Vintage Historic and Classic race cars.

For more information please contact



2015 MCO Ted Powell Races – Calabogie Motorsports Park

VARAC had a great weekend of racing at Calabogie Motorsports Park on August 22&23, 2015 as part of the MCO Ted Powell Races.

Check out our photos!

VARAC Racers Head to Calabogie for MCO Ted Powell Memorial Races

TORONTO, ON (August 14, 2015) – The Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada will be competing August 22, 23 at Calabogie Motorsports Park, a world class, 5.05 km long race track facility with all the challenges of elevation, camber changes and 20 challenging turns. Calabogie has quickly built a great reputation for exciting racing.

The VARAC grid will include Vintage/Historic and Classic (G70+, G90) and will be a Points Race for the club championship. Other grids will include: GT Sprints, F1600, GT Challenge/Quebec Super Production, F1200, RADICAL/Formula Libre.

VARAC vice president Ted Michalos says “Calabogie is known as a great track to race on, it’s challenging with 20 corners to master. It is a real driver’s circuit and also has good spectator vantage points.”

Created in 1949 as the Ottawa Light Car Club, MCO has grown to become the largest Motorsport club in Ontario with nearly 400 members. The Ted Powell Memorial races are named after Canadian racer Ted Powell.

Ted was at Mosport for a camping weekend with his son, John. They watched Innes Ireland, the Team Lotus Formula 1 driver; roll a Mini Cooper in a celebrity race. Ted bought the Mini and fixed it up, campaigning it with Ireland’s number (30), which he took for his own. He dominated his class at the Mosport, Mont-Tremblant and Trois-Rivières tracks.

Ted was a Canadian national racing champion in the late 1960s and early ’70s and was inducted into the
Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 2007.

For more information on VARAC at the calabogie event please contact

August 2015 Pit Signals

The August 2015 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:

  • Andrew Celovsky’s tales of The Pittsburgh Grand Prix
  • Brits on The Lake by Bob DeShane
  • The Collier Cup at Watkins Glen
  • Jim Holody Awarded the “MG Collier Cup”
  • Alfas at the Glen w/ Christopher Creighton
  • PIRC by Joe Lightfoot
  • HMSA at Mont Tremblant
  • Waterford Hills Report by Jeremy Sale
  • Classifieds and More!

VARAC Member Amyot Bachand at PVGP Historics

Recently VARAC member Amyot Bachand raced to double weekend of the PVGP Historics at PittRace and Schenley Park. Here is his wonderful account of the experience…

2 fabulous race weekends. Yes it is 12 hour drive, but it was worth it.

Beaver run as it was formely named is now Pittsburg International Race Complex. The new owners have added a North track and joined the old and new together to make it 2.8 miles long: 18 corners, 2 long straightaways and a corkscrew, and there is a corner(15) that reminds me of corner 1 at Mosport which sets you up for a long straightaway.

I did not take me long to adapt to this track. I was told that Beaver run was meant for small bore like my Midget, but even with long track it is perfect. Yes more power would be fine, but where it lacks, work into turn makes it for the lack of speed. So there is a lot of space for mid and big bore. The owners are racers.

Facilities are great, personnel is totally devoted. Track time was very good. Since this was a first event with the full track, they had to forfeit the enduro. But it was very good track time. It is a fast track for a small bore yet technical. You don’t have time to relax: just a few seconds in the long straight to look at your gauges and lot of space to be two in a turn if your fellow driver gives you some space.

I found it safe, fast and had a really good time. My best lap time was 2:21:273. The apexes are easy to find (they left the cones to help us out since on the new part they not done the rumbles yet. So if you concentrate on your lines, which, in most cases are traditional, you adapt quickly and have fun.

VARAC at PVGP Historics

Schenley Park Historic Grand Prix

This was my second time at Schenley Park. First one in 2012.

Schenley Park is a place where you have to trust entirely the corner workers and where you have to adapt your racelines. There is no escape, no way out. You have to keep your car on the track and the pavement varies from one section to another.

This year I had a great time despite misfortunes. Again, Vintage racers are the best gang I ever saw and the mutual assistance is outstanding.

Last Sunday, I finished first in Group 2 race, starting second from last from the grid.

I had told the chief organiser that I would try to win this race Sunday morning, but he told me politely that he did not like those kinds of statements. I reassured him that I would race with safety first (MG motto) in mind than race with my head not my feet…I kept my word.

But I had 2 aces in my back pocket: 2 friend’s mechanic who replaced my MG Midget head gasket that broke during the British cars race Saturday at lunch. They worked until 7pm. We had to skip dinner. The head gasket was a gift from Andrew Moore (#79 – group 3). So I missed qualifications Saturday PM. Then at Sunday practice I restudied the track… I had walked it with my friends on Friday pm. It is a must. Since I had race at Schenley in 2012, I remembered how important it is to know the tarmac we race on there.

The 2 aces: maybe 3. First, I know my car and trust it: we blend together. We have been together for 6 years. Second, excellent brakes, new this year, which allowed me to brake very late, then the third one, the most important, the corner workers. They are your eyes on this track since there so many blind turns. In 2012, I had noticed your critical importance especially in turns 10 to 13 and in the serpentine.

Track conditions obliged me to change racing lines. I decided to use unorthodox race lines in the serpentine to avoid bumps and choose also to skim past the wall from 11 to 13th. I also liked the hay bale chicane which, with a hard braking, a twist of the steering, you can get through in a jiffy to be able to get on the bridge at full throttle. Mind you, with a 998cc, even race prepared, you have limited speed. Working on your lines and braking in the right sequences is some of the secrets.

My tribute to guys and girls corner workers comes from the fact that I totally concentrated on my lines, keeping my car under control and working to  keep the rear tires on the pavement for the best traction possible considering that I do not have a locked differential.  I knew that if something came up as it did in other practices and races, they would signal it fast and safely. That is why, with the help of my fellow racers, who kindly let me go through when I was approaching fast, I was able to win this race. There is no way out, no escape on this park.  So to run as I did, I had to trust the corner workers entirely, race with my eyes and head and push. I remember that from 11 to 13th, I always had my eyes and mind ready and on the lookout. They are on top.

I did expect to run between 2:34 and 2:32, perhaps 2:31 but never expected to have a really hot lap as I did: 2:29:783. I was trying like hell to reach Alain Raymond in his Abarth: it took me a good 4 laps to get at him, traffic helping, and in corner 9, I just dove in, because we got slowed down by a neat and funny blue Dyna. Sadly Alain’s Abarth let him down after. I could not have done this without the corner workers.

Both weekends are fantastic and there is lot of things to do in Pittsburg, showcars every night, activities. You don’t get bored. Yes it is a bit costly, but worth it. Winning is the cherry on the cake, and it tastes so good. My second win in 6 years with my MG Midget. It does not come often, so I will savor it….


VARAC Classic Cars to Race BARC This Weekend

TORONTO, ON (July 28, 2015.) – The Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada will be competing this weekend, Aug 1 – 2, 2015 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario in the BARC Canadian Touring Trophy Races. This is the fifth event in the 2015 CASC-OR Race Ontario Championship and third event in the VARAC Classic Drivers Challenge.

The test day is Friday July 31, then the racing and fun begins Saturday and Sunday August 1 and 2. This event at CTMP is a points paying race for VARAC Classic cars (Group 70+ and Group 90).

“The new race class of Group 90+ was added in 2015.” says Del Bruce, VARAC’s President and Race Director. “We have expanded the eligible age of historic race cars to include the racing period of 1990 to 1994. We believe this is a very positive move in response to the interest in newer cars. We hope to see a good number of these cars joining us at BARC and in the future”.

The British Automobile Racing Club – Ontario Centre (BARC-OC) was founded in 1959 by a group of motorsports enthusiasts in the Toronto area. BARC-OC is the only chapter of BARC outside the UK. Mosport (CTMP) is an iconic, world famous race track, both technically demanding with challenging corners and impressive elevation changes.

In addition to the VARAC cars there will be lots of other classes and fantastic races, and the weather looks extremely promising. We look forward to a great weekend of racing!

Photo by Peter Viccary