As he grew up on the sprawling compound of Britain West Motorsport in Brantford, Ontario, you could easily argue that Connor Clubine’s arrival in the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship Series was preordained. And now, just as BWM founder Oliver Clubine kept an eye on his son David making his way into racing, David will now be the one to keep an eye on Connor doing the same. The 16-year-old third-generation driver is prepping his very own 1991 Van Diemen/Ford for the season ahead and Formula1600.com caught up with him recently.
How long, and what, have you been racing?
I competed in karting for four seasons, mostly at the club level.
Why racing? How did you get into it?
All I’ve ever known is racing. The first time I was at a racetrack was when I was 6 months old! My grandfather started Britain West Motorsport and it has become the family business. I never saw myself doing anything else. It was just a matter of time before I found myself in a car.
Have you driven an F1600 car yet? If yes, what did you think?
Yes, I have driven an F1600 car. I tested a 2001 Van Diemen/Honda several times late last year. I also competed at CASC Celebration of Motorsports event in the Fall. I loved the car. Naturally it was a big step up from a kart and I still have a lot to learn, but I felt comfortable and went quicker than I thought I would.
What is your # and why did you choose it?
I was given the number 6 by a fellow racer in the series. I’m very grateful for this as it was my grandfather’s number when he raced.
What track raced has been your favourite?
I haven’t driven at too many tracks but CTMP is my absolute favourite because it’s the first ‘real’ race track I’ve driven.
What track would you love to race around?
A track I would love to race around would be Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. To be on the same track the Formula 1 cars race around is amazing for any driver.
What is your greatest racing memory, either as a driver or spectator?
My favourite racing memory is my first year going to the Canadian Grand Prix. It was 2013 and our paddock was the furthest from the track, under the bridge, and you still couldn’t have a conversation while the Formula One cars were on track! They still had the V8 engines back then and it was amazing. The difference between the cars in person versus on tv is enormous.
Who is your favourite driver from any generation and why?
I have never had a favourite driver, but I’ve always had a favourite team: Ferrari. I also had the opportunity to meet Sebastien Vettel last year at the Canadian GP while doing a track walk with the BWM team and he was doing the same for Ferrari.
What are your goals for 2020 and beyond?
My goal for this year is to learn and improve as a driver. I don’t have much racing experience when compared to some rookies who have entered the series in the past, so I want to learn as much as possible from the top B-class drivers, which is where I will be competing.
Photo Credit: Richard Coburn of www.CoburnPix.com