PETITCODIAC, NB – Ten new members of the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame will be formally inducted into the hallowed institution this Saturday at the Prince Hotel & Conference Centre in Truro (NS). The Class of 2023 was announced earlier this year, each being recognized for significant accomplishments and/or contributions in Maritime motorsports.
From Nova Scotia
• Darrin & Ann Butcher / Competitor, Builder, Sponsor (Stock Car)
• Franz-Lucas Strackerjan / Builder (Go-Kart)
• Nathalie Richard / Competitor, Builder, Promoter (Rally Racing)
• Donald Best / Competitor, Builder (Tractor & Truck Pulling)
• Linwood Giberson / Competitor, Sponsor (Stock Car)
From New Brunswick
• Roger LeBlanc / Competitor, Recreational (ATV)
• Westmoreland Cycle Club / Builder (Motocross)
• Vincent Vienneau / Competitor, Promoter (Drag Racing)
From Prince Edward Island
• Scott Sinclair / Competitor, Builder (Motorsports)
• Glen Cole / Competitor, Promoter (Stock Car, Drag Racing, Snowmobile)
While tickets are no longer available for the ceremony, it will be streamed live online by Tim’s Corner TV starting at 8 p.m. (AT) on Saturday; a subscription is required to view.
Once the ceremony is completed each member will have a permanent plaque installed in their honour at the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in Petitcodiac. Nominations for 2024 are open and can be made by anyone using the form and directions at www.mmhf.ca/inductees/nominations.
Many thanks to Robby’s Towing, Atlantic Tiltload, and King Racing for their generous support of the 2023 Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Brief bios for each of the members of the Class of 2023 follow (in alphabetic order):
DONALD BEST: Donald is a 14-time Maritime Truck & Tractor Pulling 2wd Modified champion, a 6-time Owner champion in the 2wd Modified Class, and a multi-time winner of the Truck Puller of the Year award. He has built every truck he has driven, competing for 40 years at events all over the Maritimes, Quebec, Maine, and Massachusetts.
DARRIN & ANN BUTCHER: Darrin started setting up cars at just 15 years old and continues as an integral part of sons Cole and Jarrett’s race teams at the shop and at the track. Ann is always working behind the scenes with planning logistics and at-the-track. Besides being directly involved with their team the Butchers have supported racing through sponsorships and as a Director and president for the Maritime League of Legends. Their charitable efforts often intertwine with racing and include Special Olympics and Make A Wish.
GLEN COLE: Glen was a snowmobile champion in the early 70s. He was also an avid drag racer at Raceway Park, running a Dodge Dart. In the 80s he helped in the opening of East River Speedway in PEI.
LINWOOD GIBERSON: Linwood started racing in 1965 at Seabreeze Raceway (Lawrencetown, NS – just outside Halifax), then a dirt track – winning the championship there in 1968. In 1969 he was the Modified class champion at Halifax Dartmouth International Speedway. He stopped racing in 1970 due to a back injury but has continued contributing to motorsports through sponsorship.
ROGER LEBLANC: In 2015 he set a new world record for the longest wheelie on an ATV – 11.8 km. He holds numerous other Guinness World records, including the most people on an ATV wheelie, longest triple ATV wheelie, longest tandem triple ATV wheelie, and longest wheelie on a UTV.
NATHALIE RICHARD: She is the most decorated North American rally co-driver, was inducted in the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2020, and is a 10x North American champion, 5x Canadian champion, 3x US champion. Nathalie is an executive and founding member of Women in Motorsports Canada and has hosted TSN/RDS broadcasts of Canadian Rally championship events.
Her racing career started in 1999 and spans over two decades, mostly competing with her brother, Pat until he retired in 2014 for health reasons. Nathalie continued driving after that at major rally events worldwide with various co-drivers.
SCOTT SINCLAIR: Scott started his motorsports journey as a child growing up on a farm – building cars and fixing any machinery that needed fixing. He’s owned close to 70 cars and is still adding to that number. His first foray into motorsports was drag racing then moved to motorcycles.
At just 20 years old he worked in San Diego on Ferrari cars for the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. He has built numerous race cars. He has done motorsports photography for several years and his work has been featured in trade magazines. He is the PEI Director for the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Over the past several years he’s been involved in auto-crossing, co-building a Lotus 7 replica, and with it winning several club and Maritime championships, and three Canadian championships. In 2019 he experienced the thrill of a lifetime as a team member at the Daytona 24-hour race, receiving the Spirit of Daytona Award for perseverance.
FRANZ-LUCAS STRACKERJAN: He started the first indoor go-kart facility east of Montreal in 1997, while in his first year studying mechanical engineering at Dalhousie University. Since then he has sponsored many successful events, and race teams and provided an opportunity for many to become acquainted with motorsports.
He is a co-founder of the Atlantic Racing Team and has raced in Formula Ford, F2000, F Renault 2000, and with the Marcos Factory team, internationally. Since 2004 he has worked with the Formula BMW USA group as a team engineer, since 2007 with the Indy Pro Series, and is actively involved in AFRA and ASCC, still racing whenever he can at AMP in open wheel classes.
VINCENT VIENNEAU: From his youngest years he has been building and racing everything from soap box derby cars to high-powered machines. He’s been a competitor crew chief, and promoter for drag racing, stock car racing, and for car shows.
WESTMORELAND CYCLE CLUB: Founded in 1976 to operate motocross races in the Moncton area, building a motocross track behind the famed River Glade Speedway.
Founding members included Gordon Close, Leslie Dryden, Douglas Folkins, Donald Fraser, James Leaman, and Harry Lord. With the help of Marilyn Bastedo, they learned how to organize and operate motocross racing.
To learn more about the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame (MMHF) please visit the MMHF museum in Petitcodiac or online at www.mmhf.ca.
From Joan Roué / Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame