As the 2021 season approaches for the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship, today we begin featuring the next rookie class in Canada’s most competitive open-wheel racing series. As always, in the coming weeks we will introduce and highlight those scheduled to be in the field, so keep an eye here as we begin to form the grid!
The first rookie to the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship this year is another that is no rookie to racing at all. In fact, he comes to the series with a range of experience in both modern and vintage race cars. Brad Baker, brother of current series’ competitor Dean and uncle to Sam, will be expanding the Baker Racing stable with another Spectrum/Honda when the season begins at Shannonville Motorsport Park. Just as his brother did last season, Brad comes to F1600 having last competed in the IMSA spec LMP3 class and having raced at some of SportsCar racing’s most prestigious tracks: Daytona, Sebring and our very own Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to name three! He also has a passion for vintage racing, and among other outings his last season was highlighted by guiding a 1969 Brabham BT30 Formula 2 car around Mont Tremblant during the Sommet des Legandes event. He also started his career racing in vintage cars, and has seen many cars and tracks in between. Formula1600.com recently caught up with Baker to fill in some of the gaps.
How long, and what, have you been racing?
I started racing vintage cars when I was 16 and have raced, here and there, when I had time and money, ever since.
Why racing? How did you get into it?
My Dad raced and he helped me get started.
Have you driven an F1600 car before this season?
I used to drive a 1970 Titan F1600 – a long time ago!
What is your number and why did you choose it?
My number is 17. It’s my wife’s birth date and she reminds me of it every time I select a race number! This is the first time I have ever used it. Let’s hope it brings me some luck but if it doesn’t I can blame her!
What track raced has been your favourite? Why?
I like Mosport but my favourite track is Sebring. The bumps make it very challenging and it is a super-physical track. And what Canadian doesn’t want to race in the winter months?!
What is your greatest racing memory, either as a driver or spectator?
Watching Ayrton Senna in the Detroit and Montreal GPs.
Who is your favourite driver from any generation and why?
I can’t decide on just one so they have to be Tazio Nuvolari, Gilles Villeneuve and Aryton Senna. Each of these guys raced outside of themselves in ways that are nearly impossible for most racers.
As you’re not a professional driver, how do you spend your days?
I work at a company called Kerr Industries and we do specialized work for many automotive OE’s, police and the military across North America.
What are your goals for racing in 2021 and beyond?
I race just to have fun with my family. I’ll be happy to just make it to the end of the race!