We’ve learned of many racing fathers and sons through our Toyo Tires F1600 Championship Driver Profiles, but have only found one father that raced his son in the series recently – this week’s man on the page, Stephen Adams. In fact, he’s raced sons from many families, as he made his first start in 1986, eight years before his own son was born! While that could lead many to question his true age, there is no questioning his love for tinkering in his race shop, nor his passion for racing and race engineering in general.
How long have you been racing?
I started racing Honda Civics in the Honda/BFGoodrich Series in 1981. Sheesh… that’s ages ago!
How long have you raced F1600?
I have been racing FFs, on and off, since 1988. Actually, I did a one-off weekend in Danny Burritt’s Zink Z-10 in 1986!
How many race cars have you owned?
8… or 9? Does it count as one or two if you own the same car twice with a 25 year span between ownership?
1978 Honda/BFGoodrich Civic
1981 Honda/Michelin Civic
19?? Walker/Harrier Formula 4
1980 Lola 540E FF1600
1988 Van Diemen FF1600
1991 Van Diemen FF1600 (only brand new race car I’ve ever owned… and still my favourite)
1989 Reynard FF2000 (2 weeks after I bought this car the Canadian F2000 Series was cancelled, so I converted it into a FF1600 car)
1992 Van Diemen FF1600 (our current car)
1980 Lola 540E…again!
What is your # and why did you choose it?
#59. In 1985 I drove for Bill Vallis in FVee/1200 and this was the lowest number that he was able to secure for formula cars back then. When I started racing on my own in 1988, Bill let me use the number for the next few years. When I started racing again in 2009 I was able to get the number again. It has become our family number as our son Michael runs under that number as well – except when we are on the track at the same time – then it’s mine!
What other classes have you raced?
Honda Series 1981-1983
Formula 4 1984
Formula V/1200 1985-1987
Formula F1600 1988-1992
Formula 2000 (one race) – 1991
Firestone Firehawk Endurance Series with Mazda Canada 1992
Formula Atlantic (one race) – 1992
Firestone Firehawk Endurance Series with Mutimatic Motorsports/Ford of Canada Mustang with Scott Maxwell 1995
Back to FF1600 in 2009
What track raced has been your favourite?
Although Mosport is my home track, and I’ve raced it a long time in many different cars, I actually haven’t driven on that many different tracks. Mont-Tremblant is a track that I really enjoyed back in the day, now with the new asphalt it must be brilliant. I’d love to race it again.
What track would you love to race around?
I know a lot of people say Spa and ‘The Ring’, and they would be fantastic, but having been to Brands Hatch and Oulton Park I would love to drive those two tracks. Mount Panarama/Bathurst looks like a hoot as well.
Greatest racing memory?
As a driver – 1991. Started dead last, 38th, in a 15 lap FF race at the end of the year at Mont-Tremblant in Ken Robins’ 1988 Van Diemen. Finished 3rd.
As a Crew Chief/Mechanic/Dad – 2015 GP Trois-Rivieres, when our son Michael won the pole and both races on his first visit to the track. That was emotional for many reasons, one of them being that I had won there 24 years earlier the same way.
Favourite driver from any generation?
When I was a kid, and went to the track with my parents, I was a huge fan of Bill Brack. I also truly admire legends Bruce McLaren and Dan Gurney, who could design, build and drive the wheels off their own cars.
Do you plan to be on the grid in 2018?
Our team, Flagship Racing Services will have Kieran Murphy (who was profiled earlier) on the grid. As for me… although the ’92 is ready to go I’m working my backside off trying to make it happen for the Lola as well. I should be at a race or two.
Photos by Michael Haley