F1 engines roar again at Mosport: McDonald

Fifty years ago, in 1967, Formula One cars roared to life for the first time on Canadian soil at Mosport Park north of Bowmanville, now Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The legends of the day were behind the wheels – Chris Amon in his Ferrari, Graham Hill and Jimmy Clark in their Lotuses, Jochen Rindt in a Cooper, Jackie Stewart in a BRM – as was a young David Hobbs, still going strong today as a television analyst.Several days ago, F1 cars roared to life again at the oldest, continuously operating road-racing circuit in Canada but this time the drivers were not the racing elite of days gone by but gentlemen competing in the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship.Of all the cars, the Ferrari 312 T4 (ex-Gilles Villeneuve) attracted most of the attention. Driven by Californian Danny Baker (I had dinner with him in Montreal last Saturday night), it was competitive but didn’t make it to the podium.The large crowd on hand saw Greg Thornton in the ex-Elio de Angelis Lotus 91 win both races held on Saturday. Sixteen cars in all took to the circuit, including a Shadow DN8 driven by Dean Baker of Bowmanville.Article Continued BelowThe Masters Historic Championship was part of the annual VARAC (Vintage Auto Racing Association of Canada) weekend and the drivers of the F1 cars put on a great show.You have to wonder, though: just how many old F1 cars are there? And how many were really race cars and how many were spares? Are some of them copies? I’m told that there are cars out there (I’m not saying there were any of these at CTMP) that have an original part – a steering wheel, say; or a cockpit seat – but the rest of it is a copy. But because of that one original bit, it can be called the real thing.Whatever, those cars looked really good at Old Mosport.