“It gives me great pleasure to announce this year’s inductees,” said Dr. Scully. “Each of these gentlemen have made an indelible mark on the Canadian motorsport landscape and will be recognized for their great efforts and success, both in Canada and internationally. We congratulate them all.”
The 2020 inductees are former road racer, driver training advocate and Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame co-founder, Gary Magwood; former Formula 1 driver Allen Berg; driver and high-performance instructor Robin Buck; Canadian Snowcross Racing Association co-founder and NASCAR team owner Ed Hakonson; driver and builder Larry Caruso; Canadian Grand Prix promoter, Normand Legault and international competitor Bruno Spengler.
Gary Magwood was a driving force behind the creation of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 1993, but his career as a race car driver began in 1967 when he campaigned in an under 2 litre sports racer in the Canadian Championship Series. That same year he competed in a 1967 MGB in the 12 hours of Sebring before moving on to manage a CanAm entry for Ecurie Soucy. From 1971-74 he operated his own racing school, the first in Ontario and only the second in Canada. Gary Magwood has also distinguished himself as a journalist, driving school instructor, speaker, conference organizer and advocate for better driver training.
Allen Berg is a retired professional race driver from Calgary, Alberta who qualified for nine starts in Formula 1 with the Italian Osella team. In 1982 he won the Tasman Formula Pacific Series in Australia and New Zealand, and then entered the British Formula 3 series in 1983 where he competed alongside Aryton Senna and Martin Brundle and finished fifth in the driver standings. In 2002 he founded Scuadra Fortia, which competed in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. His experience running his own team gave him a thorough understanding of the business of racing and he has significant experience working as a driver coach and technical consultant. Allan Berg currently owns and operates Allen Berg Racing Schools whose home base is situated at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, California.
Robin Buck the “master of Mosport” is one of Canada’s foremost racing drivers and high-performance driving instructors. He counts over forty-five years of motorsport-related experience and over the course of his driving career captured several championships, top-three finishes and track records in karts, Formula Ford, Formula 2000, Player’s GM Series, Firestone Firehawk, Corvette Challenge, Formula Atlantic, CASCAR Super Series and the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. A current driver coach for competitors in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, NASCAR Pinty’s Series, Ferrari Challenge and Radical Cup he enjoys a stellar reputation for mentoring young drivers and guiding them into a career in motorsports.
Ed Hakonson is the co-founder of the Canadian Snowcross Racing Association (CSRA) and a multi-race winning team owner in Canadian NASCAR racing. He began racing snowmobiles in the late 1960’s and recorded multiple wins in the 250cc class before being recruited by Arctic Cat and becoming one of their first factory backed racers competing in Canada and United States. In 1976, he took his snowmobile and completed one of the longest open water crossings in Canada at the time, an event televised on Wide World of Sports. In 1983 he started his own clothing company Choko Design which became an important supplier of driver branded merchandise and allowed him to sponsor and mentor CASCAR/NASCAR Canada Championship driver Peter Gibbons. A NASCAR team owner since 2001, Ed Hakonson has been a driving force both as an owner and as a builder in the lives of numerous Canadian racers.
Larry Caruso began his driving career in 1960 in karts and over the next three decades competed in drag racing, stock car, motorcycle and road racing, one of the few drivers to compete in such a wide variety of series and vehicles. As early as 1987 he found the time and energy to give back to the sport he loved by mentoring an impressive list of young talent as a driver coach and driving school owner, and with the Porsche Advanced Driver’s School, travelled across Canada to all major road racing facilities, Mont Tremblant, Shannonville, Mosport, Race City and Westwood, British Columbia. Larry Caruso remains active in Canadian motorsport to this day.
Normand Legault is one of Canadian motorsports most renowned promoters. In 1981 and at the age of 25, he became the youngest Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada General Manager a position he held until 1983. He had already begun to negotiate successfully with then president of Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA), Bernie Ecclestone, a relationship that would flourish and grow over the next two and a half decades. It was Ecclestone himself that requested that Legault return to the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada as General Manager in 1989. In 1996 he founded GPF1 and the company was granted by Formula One Management (FOM) the rights to the Montreal race which he promoted through 2008. Normand Legault also promoted the CART series Montreal Molson Indy in 2002, 2003 and 2005; co-promoted the Champ Car Mont-Tremblant race in 2007 and the NASCAR Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007.
Bruno Spengler is an accomplished racing driver who has represented Canada in European racing for over 16 years. He began karting at the age of nine and won his first championship two years later. He moved to cars in 2001 and raced European Formula Renault. In 2002 he dominated the Fran-Am Pro Championship earning six wins en-route to earning the championship. In 2005 he made history as the first non-European to earn a seat in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Series (DTM) racing for Mercedes. His 2012 DTM title which he earned as part of BMW Team Schnitzer, is the last major professional racing championship won by a Canadian. Spengler continues to race DTM for BMW.
Thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian International Auto Show, the induction ceremony will take place at the John W. H. Bassett Theatre in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on February 15. For more information on the 2020 induction ceremony, visit www.cmhf.ca.