There is so much motorsports news out there, it’s almost enough to make your head spin.
And we’re still a couple of weeks away from what I consider to be the “real” start to the summer racing season and that’s when places like Mosport International Raceway and Toronto Motorsports Park throw open their doors for another year of road, oval and drag racing.
Meantime, here’s a whole bunch of stuff heading into this weekend:
It might be Mother’s Day on Sunday but that isn’t holding back dozens of karters who will be descending on Goodwood Kartways north of Stouffville where the first round of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championships will be held.
The best Canadian kart racers east of Manitoba will be out there and I urge you to take a look if you’re in the neighbourhood.
Admission is free. As of this writing (Thursday), the paddock is almost full and as one of my many far-flung correspondents puts it, it “looks like a scaled-down F1 event.”
(He’s not kidding. Some of the transporters wouldn’t look out of place at an IndyCar or NASCAR Sprint Cup race.)
Oh, talking about NASCAR and F1, they’re both in action this weekend.
TSN will have qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix Saturday at 6:55 a.m. Saturday and the race will go Sunday, also on TSN, at 7:55 a.m.
(Thank goodness they’re back in Europe; no more getting up in the middle of the night. Oh, and don’t forget the Grand Prix of Canada is only five weeks away. Is time flying by, or what?)
Meantime, NASCAR Nationwide Series racing from Darlington is on TSN2 at 7 Friday night and Sprint Cup racing goes Saturday at 7 on TSN.
By the way, at 4 Friday afternoon on TSN2, the excellent ESPN film series “30 for 30” has a profile of the late Tim Richmond, who started out in supermodifieds and went to Indy before carving out a pretty decent NASCAR Winston Cup career. Called Tim Richmond: At The Limit, it could be a PVR candidate.
Now, we didn’t talk about the IZOD IndyCar Series yet, which is quiet this weekend before starting practice next Saturday for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 on May 29th. Qualifying is the weekend of May 21-22 and James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Paul Tracy of Toronto and Alex Tagliani of Montreal are all mind-practicing already.
Of course, the IndyCars will be coming to Toronto the weekend of July 8-10 (and then on to Edmonton) for the Honda Indy races and Honda Canada was proud to announce this week their continuing support for Tracy in both Canadian races.
According to a release, Honda Canada Inc. will sponsor Tracy’s car for the third consecutive year as well as supporting Make-A-Wish Canada. Tracy will drive the No. 8 Make-A-Wish Canada/Dragon Racing/Honda/Dallara/Firestone car.
“At Honda, we believe in ‘The Power of Dreams’ as a way of thinking that drives us forward and is based on the visionary principles of our founder, Soichiro Honda,” said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada.
“In accordance with that philosophy, we are thankful that we can help realize the dreams of Canadian children living with life-threatening medical conditions through our continued association with Paul Tracy and Make-A-Wish Canada.”
There will be many opportunities for fans to donate to Make-A-Wish Canada at both the Honda Indy Toronto and the Edmonton Indy, and Honda Canada will match all donations dollar-for-dollar.
Last year, more than $112,000 was raised and the team is committed to surpassing that amount in 2011.
Meantime, while Tim Hortons announced earlier that it would again sponsor Jeff Lapcevich in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this season, Mopar Parts, Mobil 1 and Exide Batteries will again be on the No. 60 Dodge Challenger of Windsor driving ace Ron Beauchamp Jr.
“We get amazing support from everyone” said Beauchamp. “Mopar is not only our sponsor but they are huge supporters of the series and that helps everyone. Plus the additional backing from Mobile 1 and Exide Batteries is fantastic. It’s a privilege to represent them at the races and all of the other events we have planned again this year.
Joining Beauchamp as crew chief for 2011 is Mike Knott, an experienced veteran of the series.