Interest growing: Bill Brack answers questions Q: Mr. Brack, could you tell us what this new Historic Formula Atlantic association is all about ? Brack: Well to be honest, we just want to preserve a piece of Canadian motorsport history...
Interest growing: Bill Brack answers questions
Q: Mr. Brack, could you tell us what this new Historic Formula Atlantic association is all about ?
Brack: Well to be honest, we just want to preserve a piece of Canadian motorsport history that we feel played a major role in North American and International open wheel racing. To record and pay due respect to the people that took part in the series throughout the years, as well as give people the opportunity to see these cars racing again, hopefully with some of the original drivers driving the cars.
Q: When did Formula Atlantic Racing start ?
Brack: It started in Europe in the early 70s, then spread to Canada in 1974. The CASC, the governing body of Canadian road racing was the first organization in North America to see the potential of the formula, they decided to use the Atlantic series for the Canadian Driving Championship. Players tobacco were the sponsors and the Championship was the first series to be televised nation wide, making it the foremost popular racing series in North America. People started coming from all over, the USA, Mexico, South America, Europe and Australia to take part.
Q: Who were some of these people ?
Brack: Some of the most recognized names today were Keke Rosberg, who went on to be F1 World Champion, Bobby Rahal who won the Indy 500 and the CART Championship, Danny Sullivan, another CART Champion and F-1 driver, to name a few of the drivers who got their start in the Canadian series. Then there was Gilles, the most famous Canadian who got the opportunity to show off his skills to some of the then current Formula One drivers who took part in the series and pave the way for his own F-1 career.
Q: Formula One drivers raced in the Atlantic series ?
Brack: Oh yes, the annual event at Trois-Rivieres in Quebec attracted the F-1 boys. They would come to Canada to race at Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres for many reasons. The European drivers compared the whole ambience of the race at Trois-Rivieres as the "Monaco of North America," the people, the town and the cuisine all added up to something that was unattainable elsewhere in North America, the great competitive spirit of the racing, in fact the same can be said for the event held their today.
It was at the 1976 race when Allan Jones, Patrick Depailler, Vittorio Brambilla and James Hunt were confronted by the driving style of Gilles Villeneuve, Hunt was so impressed after Gilles had the pole and walked away to win against the best in the world, that he arranged for a drive in the McLaren F-1 team for Gilles at Silverstone, that eventually led to his joining Ferrari.
Q: I understand that The Historic Formula Atlantic Assoc. will be holding its first historic race at Trois-Rivieres this year ?
Brack: Yes we are very thankful that the organizers of Trois-Rivieres also see the historic value of holding the first Historic Atlantic Race at this unique event. I raced in the first Trois-Rivieres Atlantic Race in 1974, driving my Lotus 59/69 and am proud & happy to be able to race the same Lotus some 30 years later at this year's historic event. We also expect to have a number of Historic Atlantic drivers competing this year that also raced at the famed circuit in the past, as well as drivers who now own some of the cars tat will be familiar to many race fans at Trois Rivieres.
Q: When we will see Historic Atlantic at other circuits ?
Brack: We expect to be at a few selected events in the United States and Canada in 2005, possibly with the current Toyota Atlantic Races.
Moderator: Thank you very much Bill, we wish you all the success possible with your event.