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End Of March 2018 Report

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End of March 2018 Report

Since my trip to Toronto at the beginning of the month , I’ve been back home in Cornwall,  trying to fight off some pretty bad cold and flu symptoms. It was bad enough for the local hospital to cancel my I.V.I.G transfusions scheduled for 14/15 March.

Not only that, I was forced to miss two racing functions that I had on my agenda. On Friday 23 March, I’d intended to make my usual trip down to the Frontenac Mall in Kingston for the annual race car display, but I wasn’t fit enough to make it. The next day, Saturday 24 March, the Lalonde Pro Stock Team had their Spaghetti Supper Fund Raiser Night in Plantagenet , which was the other event I had to miss.

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The high light of my weekend, was watching the Australian F1 Grand Prix from Melbourne on the TV.  I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night so it was quite easy to lay on the couch watching the 1-30 am live broadcast. Sebastian Vettel was the winner in his Ferrari, after making a  quick pit stop, during a ‘Virtual Safety Car’ Caution.  Something I’ve never seen before .

The Easter Holidays were rapidly approaching  and I was really hoping , that after two weeks of sickness, I’d be well enough for something I had planned for Good Friday (30 March)

Let me Digress,

Back in the summer of 1971, I gave stock car racing a rare miss, on the August Holiday Weekend when I joined my friends on a trip to the Weeley Music Festival (Google it). 1971 was not long after after the world famous Woodstock Festival in the USA, and as you would expect, the UK had to follow.  Weeley was one of the first open air Music Festivals in the UK.

So a Ford Transit van was rented, and about 16 of us from the Dunstable area, all piled in the back and headed for the village of Weeley, close to the coastal resort of Clacton on Sea. I remember roughing it for the weekend, sitting on the grass, watching some great bands, Marc Bolan and T Rex were one of them, but the big one that sticks in my mind, was Rod Stewart and the Faces. They were fantastic.! 

Rod Stewart has come along way since then, and he’s still churning out great music. Seeing him sing live again, has been on my bucket list for many years, and on Good Friday (30 March)  I was able to check that one off.  I was still sick, but had a ticket to see him at the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa, so managed to drag myself along .

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Alas, I was not as close to the stage as I was in 1971, this time I was high up in the nose bleed section,  watching his show . After all these years, he’s still a great performer.

It was a full house, and because I still  wasn’t feeling too good , I opted to leave before the end and beat the rush.

On the Friday morning, prior to the concert, a bit of sad news was coming though on social media from the UK. 

British actor and long time fan of BriSCA stock car racing had passed away. Bill was a familiar face around the tracks during the 1970’s, he sponsored my friend Pete Doran and recorded the famous “Stock Car Racing is Magic” song on 45 rpm vinyl. He had many acting roles over the years, and in recent times, played the lovable rogue, Claude Greengrass in the long running Heartbeat series.

My good friend Phil ‘Bootsie’ Chance with Bill at Coventry
Photo Courtesy of Pete Doran

 

Saturday 31 March was the Awards Night for the Brockville Ontario Speedway, and I was given a ride there by my buddy Ron Morin.

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It was being held as usual at the Brockville Memorial Center.

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We sat with Cornwall Motor Speedway promoter, Raymond Lavergne and the Alex Gagnon racing team.

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Tim Baltz and Jim Bourdon were doing the announcing.

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All of the divisions were present for their various champions to be crowned,  LEFT TO RIGHT  Dylan Kirkland  (Mini Stocks) ,  Brian Comeau (VINTAGE) Dylan Evoy (SPORTSMAN) Luke Whitteker (358 MODIFIED) Alex Gagnon (SPORTSMAN ROOKIE) Tyler Bushey ( STREET STOCK).

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Not only did Whitteker and Evoy win their division championships, they also won their respective Ogilvie Series.

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DSC_0045The presentations and promoter Paul Kirklands speech were all done before 10-00 pm and before long I was being chauffeured back home down the 401 to Cornwall in Rons big Lincoln.