It may not seem like it after the weekend of weather we’ve just endured, but the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship season is fast approaching. In just over three weeks teams and drivers will be rolling into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and once again Michael McGregor will be among them. He regularly made the trek for 22 years beginning in 1975, then after a hiatus nearly equally as long, returned to action four years ago pedalling the exact same Lola! It’s one among an impressive collection of vintage racers his family has owned, and the one he’ll line up in the Spring Trophy Races this time next month!
How long have you been racing?
1975 to 1997 then 2014 to now. I get my love of the automobile quite naturally through my father, Jim. Dad was an avid collector of Studebakers and he and I spent many hours together working on them. I obtained my racing licence in 1975 and drove a variety of Formula Fords in both CASC and SCCA events, mainly through John Powell Motorsports. Formula Ford racing was becoming cost prohibitive for me and being a Toronto Police Officer I was finding it very difficult to get specific weekends off to go racing. So in 1981 I dropped Formula Fords and began running different sedans and vintage cars in both Canada and the United States. It was at this same time my father stopped collecting cars in favour of racing them. He and his good friend Oliver Clubine restored a Lotus 11 which he raced for many years until his untimely death. VARAC was kind enough to name an annual award after my late father. In 1983 I had the privilege of winning the Canadian Vintage title. I hung up my helmet in 1997 never really expecting to climb into a race car again. However, in 2014 my good friends Bruce Kitchen and Julie McLeod made me an offer I could not refuse and my lovely wife JoAnne said, “it is now or never, you are getting older.” I was able to once again drive a race car and an actual race car I had previously driven in 1978.
How long have you raced F1600?
1975 to 1981 then 2014 to now.
How many race cars have you owned?
Our family’s little race team was called LM Racing. Over the years its stable of cars has included a Titan k6, Elva Formula Jr., Lola T-440, Bug eye Sprite, TR3 and a Lotus 11.
What is your # and why did you choose it?
50, it was my father’s original racing number.
What other classes have you raced?
H- Production, Libre and a variety of Vintage classes.
What track raced has been your favourite?
Mosport of course.
What track would you love to race around?
Laguna Seca – would love to drive the corkscrew.
What is your greatest racing memory?
Any race my father and I drove in together.
Favourite driver from any generation?
Split between Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve. I had the privilege of watching both of these men drive in virtually any and all classes of cars they raced. They both did their best to usurp the stick-and-ball mentality most Canadian sports fans seem to have and replace it with motorsports.
Do you plan to be on the grid in 2018?
Yes, the races at Mosport.
Car Photos by Richard Coburn