Brian Stewart has been a motorsport leader in this country for more about 40 years, give or take a year or two.
He started out as a mechanic, became a racing driver quite by accident (it’s a long story but let me say he was very good and he experienced some success) and then settled down to mentor aspiring racing drivers and prepare cars for them to race.
The list of people he’s turned into champions (they had the raw talent; he helped smooth out the rough spots) is truly mind-boggling: Paul Tracy, Cristiano Da Matta, Gualter Salles, Brian Herta and on and on.
His first international-calibre driver, back in the late 1980s, was Irishman Tommy Byrne, who has complimentary things to say about him (he calls Stewart a "natural winner") in his book, "Crashed and Byrned."
Championship after championship followed.
I talk to "Stewie" just about every day. He’s a character – he has a million stories – and although he likes to talk tough, he has a good heart.
He also has excellent observations on the state of racing in the world today, some of which I steal. . .
In any event, Stewart is also heavily involved in karting as a supporter and sponsor. "Racing’s given a lot to me," he says, "and this is one way I can give back."
The Brian Stewart Karting Championship (its mission statement is short and to the point: "to present the most professional regional karting series in North America at an affordable cost") kicks off the 2010 championship season this coming weekend at the 3-S Go-Karts facility in Sutton.
Stewart will be on hand throughout the weekend, cheering on the karters and talking about racing. He’ll also present the trophies and the cheques to the top three finishers in each of the six classes.
To raise the profile of the karting series, and to raise some much-needed funding, Stewart is also planning a "Brian Stewart Racing Golf Tournament" at the exclusive Briars Golf & Country Club at Jackson’s Point on Thurs., July 14.
A post-tournament dinner and awards presentation is scheduled for the Lionshead Resort and Yacht Club just down the road from the Briars.
For prices and other details about the golf tournament, go to Brian Stewart Racing
And if you should happen to be in the vicinity of 3-S Go-Karts on the weekend, drop in and take a look at the next generation of Canadian motor racing talent.