Victoria Day Long Weekend BLOG  24th May 2023

This weeks BLOG is a bit longer than usual, with quite a bit of stuff going on.

I will start on Thursday 18th of May , when the last Blog was posted.

As regular readers will know, last year I became the proud owner of a 1978 Ford Thunderbird.  I’ve always wanted this particular model, since my 1970’s trips to the Baarlo Auto Speedway in the Netherlands. The late Jac Van Claes, the promoter  imported one to Europe  to use as the Pace/Starter Car.

I fell in love with it, the first time I saw it.

During the early 1990’s and prior to my emigration from England to Canada in 1994, I became involved with the UK American Car scene . I’d got disillusioned with the way my beloved BriSCA F1 stock car racing was going and found other interests.

I bought a 1977  Chrysler Cordoba , which was the nearest thing I could get,  looks wise  to a 78 Thunderbird.

We did a lot of Classic American Car shows  and Rally’s before emigrating.

Turn the clock forward to May of 2022, when I took a family trip back to the Netherlands.

We met up with my old buddy Willem Boschma in Friesland , where his daughter Elsje has a lovely old 1972 Ford Gran Torino Wagon.

Of course , while I was there , and doing site seeing tours, I chose to ride with her.

This got me thinking, I should get another ‘oldie’ to cruise around in .

I saw a 1986 Pontiac Parisienne that I liked and was thinking of buying it, when a 1978 Ford Thunderbird came up for sale on ‘Market Place ‘

It was two and a half hours away in Napanee, so I got down there as soon as I could.  It was in great shape and I agreed with the seller to buy it for his asking price, if he paid and got it through the Safety Test.

It was a done deal and a few weeks later it was mine.

By now it was late summer but still managed to have some fun with it before winter.

A new roof was put on my garage and I was able put it into hibernation,

It was out of the garage in mid March and now I’m starting to enjoy a year of cruising.

On Thursday night I joined the Cornwall Old Car Club and accompanied some of the members,  to my first show, being staged by another club in nearby Alexandria .

Friday the 19th of May was the start of the long weekend, and race-day at the Mohawk International Raceway, so I was back to driving my Chev Impala.

I was over there nice and early in time to grab a Jreck Sub, next to Twinleaf before heading down the road to the track.

The weather forecast for the Victoria Holiday Weekend , was good for Friday, with rain almost everywhere on Saturday.  Sunday and Monday were supposed to be good.

The meteorologists ,  were a bit off, for Friday , and we endured a bit of drizzle and under the threat of rain all night. (the nearby Can Am Speedway got rained out).

The M.I.R program, consisted of Modifieds, Sportsman , Rookie Sportsman, Pro Stocks and Bandits.

The racing was hurried along , to beat Mother Nature.

No intermission, just go, go, go.

The racing was good with Chris Raabe 01 , winning the main event for the Modifieds, with the previous weeks winner Johnathon Ferguson following him home for second.


The Sportsman feature gave Plattsburgh’s , Nick Heywood # 29 the win. I think its his first win at the M.I.R

The Pro Stock feature concluded the night for me, with a win for Marc Lalonde

Prior to the features for the main divisions, Terry Green was the Bandit winner and Dustin Woods won the Rookie Sportsman.

The on coming rain had been beaten , and I was back home in my place before 11-15.

I awoke Saturday morning to an overcast day in the city of Cornwall and it stayed like that until the rain began later in the day. The weather forecasters got it right on this occasion. 

My first choice of Saturday track, was going to be the Brockville Ontario Speedway, but this was an early cancelation, closely followed by my ‘back up’ destinations of Autodrome Drummond and the Airborne Speedway.

This meant a Saturday night of TV , watching the Carolina Hurricanes get beaten by the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup play off rounds.

Sunday started off with a bit of light drizzle , but by mid morning the sun was out , ready for the Cornwall Motor Speedway season opener.

I had some great news around lunch time that my buddy , Ron Morin, had just been discharged from the Cornwall Hospital after being unwell for several weeks. This was the best medicine possible , for him to be at the opening night of the track that he formerly owned.

Before the races , I met up with my friend Chanty and her dad ‘Tech man Ted’ Lesage. Ted was was busy with his team, checking the race cars.

We had plenty of time to reconnect with friends after the long winter.

I chatted to Lee Ladouceur who’s son, Trey was embarking on his first season of Sportsman racing after serving his ‘apprenticeship’ in the Karts.

Prior too the racing the photographers had a meeting, regarding the new “11-00 pm Curfew” that the track now has in place. We are trying to limit the time spent on Victory Lane ceremonies.

While this was taking place, it began to rain, making the curfew situation even worse. It didn’t last long, but long enough to delay the start time by about an hour. Once things got under way, I took my place next to Ron on the pit tower , so I could get some hot lap pictures.

I then moved to the middle.

The program consisted of extended lap races for all the major divisions, so the challenge to get things done quickly became more difficult. All the Victory Lane ceremonies were postponed until the end of the night when racing was over.

The first of the features was for the Rookie Sportsman which was won by Daphne Hebert, the daughter of Modified pilot, David

The 75 Lap Modified Feature was next , which was dominated and won, by Steve Bernard .

The Sportsman feature followed, with Cedric Gauvreau taking the checkers in this one.

It was then the turn of the Pro Stocks for their big race. It was Marc Lalonde who took this, making it his second feature win of the weekend.

The last race of the night was for the Mini Stocks , that took place around the curfew time, and was won by James Clarke.

If  Mother Nature hadn’t interfered , we would of got done a lot earlier .

The Holiday Monday was a nice and sunny one, which gave me the chance to attend the Morrisburg ‘Cruise In’ , for the first time. It’s held on Monday nights through out the summer on the waterfront of the St Lawrence. It’s a lovely spot for a car show, and there were about 60 cool rides in attendance.

On Tuesday the 23rd of May I had some lovely signed photos arrive in the  mail. 

You may remember, on the weekly BLOG for the 26th of April, I mentioned that I’d been contacted by former F1 Grand Prix driver, Derek Warwick. I was able to locate some old pictures for him from his stock car days for a book he is writing.

He was very grateful for my help and sent me some photos of the various F1 cars he raced.

Here’s one , from 1990 when he raced for the CAMEL LOTUS Team 

While on the subject of F1 Grand Prix.

Its time for one of my favorite races, with the Monaco Grand Prix   coming up this weekend.

My # 1 ‘bucket list ‘,  is the The Monaco Grand Prix.

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