Another Toyo Tires F1600 Championship driver profile this week that builds on themes we have seen to date! Racing was already well established in his family when Andrew Mason got behind the wheel as a youngster, and the transition from karting to F1600 formula cars was a natural step to take. He’s one of very few that have swept the route to a class championship though, and even with a young family he keeps finding a way to make it back to the grid each year!
How long have you been racing?
24 years. At the age of 14, I received my first sponsorship from the late Jack Anderson, who gave me enough money to purchase a go-kart to follow in my father’s footsteps. My Dad had straightened Jack’s Sprite chassis between two trees at Mid-Ohio one race weekend. That was likely his way of returning the favour.
How long have you raced F1600?
11 years. The past six years have been very sporadic since our first daughter was born. The main highlights thus far have been:
– Winning all 12 races and the B Class Championship in 2009.
– Earning an Indy Lights test after placing 3rd in the Overall Championship.
– Meeting so many competitors, that have made racing so enjoyable.
– Countless safe wheel-to-wheel battles.
How many race cars have you owned?
One, a 1990 Van Diemen RF90. Our 1959 Austin Healey Sprite and 1970 Hawke Formula Ford both belonged to my father.
What is your # and why did you choose it?
32. It came on the Hawke from Dean Wivel, and I’m not sure why he chose it. My karting number, 03, was already taken by a non-active driver that wouldn’t release it.
What other classes have you raced?
FFB, FFC, Solo 1 A in cars; Sr. Heavy and Sr. Medium in 4-Stroke karting.
What track raced has been your favourite?
Calabogie. No other track has tested my love of racing more than this track. One year I was able to qualify off-pole to Stefan Rzadzinski, pass him off the start, and lead overall for the majority of the race. It was a great feeling, until it ended quite abruptly with me flying sideways through the air. Great onboard footage from the other cars showed just how high and sideways I got. Another year, a crash put a suspension arm through both of my legs! Without fail, we were back at that track the next year, claiming a track record for the B Class on the long track. Most people say you can’t pass there because it is so narrow, which makes it a great challenge. The flowing nature of most of the corners, and the scenery, make it worth the drive there.
What track would you love to race around?
Bathurst (Mt. Panorama). I’m still trying to figure out the logistics of making that happen without re-mortgaging the house!
What is your greatest racing memory?
Winning a Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship race at Goodwood against most of the best guys around at the time.
Favourite driver from any generation?
Bob Mason. I have never enjoyed spectating any other driver more.
Do you plan to be on the grid in 2018?
Yes. We are already pre-registered for the Varac Vintage Grand Prix Weekend, and will try to do the last two races as well.
Driver/Car Pictures by Richard Coburn