When you love something they say you just can’t stay away, and a pattern can definitely be seen in this week’s Toyo Tires F1600 Driver Profile! Bruce Kitchen has returned from not just one, but two separate hiatus periods in his career and still loves to race as much as he did 40 years ago when he strolled the Mosport paddock with Gilles Villeneuve! Formula cars, GT cars, sports racers – he’s been there and made a highlight reel. Check it out below:
How long have you been racing?
40 years, which includes an 18-year hiatus and a 3-year hiatus.
How long have you raced F1600?
How many race cars have you owned?
Four of my own: a Datsun 1200, Datsun F210, 1978 Lola T440 and my current car an RF92 Van Diemen. I also raced a Mallock sports racer, a ‘96 Van Diemen 2L and a Suzuki Swift GT car that were not owned by me.
What is your # and why did you choose it?
#69. It was Gilles Villeneuve’s number and it is also a significant number associated with my race team.
What other classes have you raced?
Various GT classes, Sports Racer and Formula Libre.
What track raced has been your favourite?
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (better known to us as Mosport) and Mont-Tremblant. We are blessed to have a world class race track that is within easy driving distance of home base. I also really enjoyed the Toronto Indy track the year F1600 raced there.
What track would you love to race around?
Monaco. Basically any track with elevation changes and blind corners.
What is your greatest racing memory?
There have been many during my career but here are a few that stand out: Going through the old pit area at Mosport in 1978 and literally bumping into/meeting my favourite driver, Gilles Villeneuve, who was racing Formula Atlantic at that time; Out-qualifying Richard Spenard during the Road Race of Champions at Mosport for pole position in my Datsun; Being Rookie of the Year in 1978; Being Driver of the year for CRDA which was voted on by the race marshals; Being teammates with Oliver Clubine and Phil Lamont racing the Mallock sports racer. Anyone who knew Oliver knows he was very competitive and a talented racer; More recent memories include wheel-to-wheel racing in F1600 with Mike Lee, Gord Lowe and Glyn Walters, in particular passing Gord successfully on the outside of turn 8; Qualifying 4th overall at Shannonville in the mid 2000’s with the Lola in the rain ahead of several other very fast cars including the #90 of Rick Doktor.
Favourite driver from any generation?
Definitely Gilles Villeneuve. No one exhibited car control under adverse conditions like Gilles. More recently Jarno Trulli and Takuma Sato. I was able to meet Taku when we raced at the Toronto Indy.
Do you plan to be on the grid in 2018?
Yes, we plan on mastering the 92VD this year!