The Celebration portion of the Vintage Road Racing Association’s 1967 Canadian Grand Prix 50th Anniversary Celebration was in full swing this morning at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, starting with a five lap demonstration race complete with standing start, showcasing the machines from the era of the Mosport FIM World round half a century ago.
With the race complete, the famous ten turn, 4 kilometer venue, unchanged in layout from the sole Canadian World round fifty years ago, was turned over to a variety of famous racers and important machines.
Team Obsolete from the U.S. had their central racer Dave Roper as well as Michelle Duff aboard classic some of the Team’s classic-era British singles. Canadian Duff, a 1960s works Yamaha G.P. racer, used an Arter Matchless G50. This bike was very similar to the machine she raced to place third behind Hailwood (Honda) and soon-to-be-crowned World Champ Agostini (MV Agusta) fifty years ago in the Feature 500cc event, while Roper was on an ex-Duff, Surtees-Special AJS.
Multi-time world Champ Phil Read took to the track on a newer race bike, a TZ250 two-stroke Yamaha that currently leads the VRRA Series in the hands of owner Eddie Brunet. 1960s ace Rod Gould, another ex-works Yamaha rider, demonstrated an early 1970s Yamaha two-stroke twin racer.
Among the famous racers on hand but not riding was Yvon Duhamel, a top Canadian at Mosport for the G.P. in 1967 for Yamaha Motor Canada (then Deeley) and a 1970s legend aboard Kawasaki triple equipment. “Why-von” is also the father of top American Superbike competitor Miguel Duhamel.
Another 1970s Canadian fast guy on hand to visit is Jim Allen, who as a young racer competed in the 125cc Grand Prix class back in 1967 aboard a bored-out 80cc Suzuki! Allen went on to considerable success on Yamaha equipment, especially the 1970s four-cylinder TZ750 rocket.
Two of the famous four-cylinder, in-line two-strokes TZ750s took to the track for demonstration, one piloted by former World Champ and 1970s Mosport star Steve Baker. Baker, from just across the B.C. border in Bellingham, Washington, rode for Yamaha Motor Canada in the 1970s. His bike is owned by Fran Hall of Detroit who built the bike for competing at the Phillip Island Australia International Challenge Races in January of 2018. CMR Racing Products Inc of Trenton Ontario owned by Denis Curtis built the complete chassis and fuel tank kit. Nick Ienatsch's bike is a Spondon-framed TZ750 owned by Rusty Bigley of Pennsylvania, who is the TZ750 engine builder of both bikes.
The afternoon-s Schedule includes a range of events for the wide variety of VRRA classes, prior to a full day’s competition on Sunday in the HB Cycle-backed Vintage Classic event.
Saturday, 12 August 2017 13:06 Published in News
VRRA 1967 Canadian Grand Prix 50th Anniversary Celebration Gets Underway at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
The Vintage Road Racing Association’s 1967 Canadian Grand Prix 50th Anniversary Celebration kicked of at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Friday with practice and the traditional Two Hour Endurance race. Using the same 4.03-kilometer-long venue that hosted Canada’s only motorcycle Grand Prix (now MotoGP) event back in our 100th Anniversary year, an impressive entry was on hand in preparation for tomorrow’s big anniversary celebration.
The Two Hour started with 33 bikes taking the waved Canadian Flag, but a red flag soon forced a lengthy delay for track clean-up. When the race got back underway, a good dice developed between the Joe Bar Racing Yamaha FZR600 of Eddie Brunet and Daniel Rinfret and the similar Team Ludicrous Speed FZR600 of race starter Kirby Crosby and Darrell “Boom Boom” Cooney.
Cooney was almost a lap down after their Pit Stop, but when Brunet took over the Joe Bar entry the two Lightweight Grand Prix stars staged a lengthy battle before Cooney managed to pulled away, Ludicrous Speed eventually completing 53 laps overall to beat the Joe Bar group by just 23 seconds.
Third overall, one lap down, belonged to the HB Cycle backed Yamaha FZR600 of Phil Hodgson, Jason Covello and Doug Andrich. HB are one of the major supporters of Canadian Vintage competition, and their podium result meant that Middleweight category machinery earned the overall top three in the Two Hour, too.
Yamaha FZR600s were the top Production bikes in Canadian National Pro and Amateur 600cc Sport Bike class events for street-based machines in 1989, and remained successful against the developing Honda competition into the early 1990s.
Tomorrow’s activities centre on demonstration on-track in support of the 50th Anniversary of the sole Canadian Grand Prix, with a celebration event in the evening featuring many of the racers from the event held back on Saturday, September 30, 1967. Saturday afternoon includes a busy selection of events, with a full VRRA program on Sunday.
The Grand Prix races fifty years ago included classes for the 500cc, 250cc and 125cc World Championships, as well as a 250cc Junior Event for local racers. Among the stars who raced at "old Mosport" on that cool afternoon were Mike "the bike" Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Bill Ivy and Phip Read. Mike Duff annd Yvon Duhamel lead the strong Canadian contingent.
Friday, 11 August 2017 19:23 Published in News
February 4, 2014- The GLORY DAYS Celebration of Speed will showcase its upcoming event at the Annual Canadian Motorsport Expo Powered by Inside Track Motorsport News, taking place February 7 to 9 at the International Centre, adjacent to Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 08:05 Published in News
The GLORY DAYS Event will be presented in the spirit and style of the phenomenally successful Goodwood Festival of Speed which was first launched in 1995 and has become so popular that it is now the world's largest automotive event with over 180,000 attending in 2013.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:26 Published in News