Thanks to some delicate time management from Greg McIsaac from Junction Communications working the Media at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, I got to spend some lengthy, quality interview time with a couple of major motorsport players this week.
You’ll hear their sound in coming weeks across The Raceline Radio Network.
We don’t get that many chances to interview F-1 big wigs outside a paddock, but what a treat to sit down with F-1’s Director of Motorsport and Technical Director Ross Brawn before he settled in with a cup of tea.
A lovely classic Englishman to the core and an OMB, Officer of The British Empire recipient!
I have been a huge fan of the man and his accomplishments in the World Championship, especially his domination with Michael Schumacher at Benetton and Ferrari.
He comes from the competition/team side to run Formula One on the administration side, and I suggested to Ross it will be hard for teams to “pull the wool over his eyes”, as he’s been there and seen it all managing the best F-1 teams in the world.
He chuckled at the notion.
One of the best brains in F-1 history who laughs and smiles easily with genuine charm and engagement.
A very decent bloke as they say.
Safe to say the future of F-1 is on very sound footing under his management.
I’m an even bigger fan now.
“Lone Star J.R”, Johnny Rutherford is another one of my favourites, a dashing Texan who won the Indianapolis 500 three times, two for McLaren.
So it was fabulous to be able to grab a few minutes with Johnny in the middle of the extremely impressive McLaren display, part of the Auto Exotica area on the 100 level in the North building of the Auto Show at The Metro Toronto Convention Center.
As I often do with legends of John’s era who developed their talent on dirt tracks in midgets and champcars, we talked about those days barn-storming around clay ovals in The States and Canada.
Rutherford mentioned running a midget race at the old CNE Stadium in Toronto, then driving all night to get to Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania for a run on their famous dirt oval, famous for turn-two, known as “Puke Hollow.”
Puke Hollow got its name from the jostling drivers would get driving over the ruts that would develop in that turn, thinking they were rough enough to make drivers nauseous.
Langhorne was a tough place and several drivers never made it out of the place alive.
But only old war horses like Johnny Rutherford and old journalists like yours truly could talk about and appreciate and understand the emotion around old dirt track tales like these!
Two great interviews for The Raceline Radio Network from our friends at The Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, on now through February 23rd at The Metro Toronto Convention Center.
I can’t wait to see who they bring in next year!