150 Neighbours

Commemorating Canada's 150th Anniversary in Scarborough

Paul Tracy – “The Thrill From West Hill”

Scarborough native and professional auto racing champion Paul Tracy got his start racing go-karts at Goodwood Kartways. His Ireland-born father was a former racer who had made his mark in Toronto construction, painting the CN Tower. Even at age five, Paul was competing in kart races in eastern Canada and the northern United States, and as a youth vied for international championships in France and Germany. At 16, he moved up to Formula Ford, winning the Canadian national championship in his inaugural season, the youngest winner ever. He went on to win the last-ever Can-Am Series race when he was 17, making him the youngest winner in the history of that championship. Paul had not yet graduated from Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate.

In a ranking-oriented sport, Paul drove hard to advance through Formula Ford 2000, Formula Atlantic and Indy Lights, winning the Indy Lights title in 1990. He made his CART debut in 1991 and went on to the Champ World Car Series and Indy Car Series. He took the checkered flag with 31 Indy car victories and the 2003 CART Indy car championship, finishing third in championship standings three times (1993-94 and 1999). Paul is the only Canadian to have won Toronto’s Honda Indy, and he did it twice.

Known for his speed and aggressive style, he also picked up the nickname “Thrill from West Hill” along the way. In 2013, Paul was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. Now based in Arizona and no longer driving professionally, he has been a commentator on Indy Car Series racing for the NBC Sports Channel and owns Black Label Baggers, a custom motorcycle parts company.

Photo originally posted at Alchetron

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