Decorated Military Leader and Long-Time Race Car Driver a 2017 Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Inductee
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) has announced retired Major-General Lewis MacKenzie as the Grand Marshal for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, July 6-9. CTMP is set to host Canada’s biggest sports car race weekend of the year featuring the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with its exotic prototype and GT race cars, in their only Canadian stop.
Lewis MacKenzie is well-known for his 36-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces that included nine years in Germany with NATO forces as well as nine peacekeeping tours of duty in the Gaza Strip, Cyprus, Cairo, Vietnam, Central America and Sarajevo. In 1990, Mr. MacKenzie was appointed commander of the United Nation’s Observer mission in Central America and two years later he was assigned to the United Nation’s Protection Force in Yugoslavia. In May of that year he created and assumed command of Sector Sarajevo tasked with re-opening the Sarajevo airport for the delivery of humanitarian aid during the Bosnian civil war. In 2002 and 2006 respectively he was invested with the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada for his humanitarian work in Africa.
MacKenzie is also a motorsports enthusiast and has been an active race car driver for more than four decades winning several championships including Formula Ford titles, as well as a class win in the prestigious Targa Newfoundland. When he’s not behind the wheel, MacKenzie also looks to help others get into racing, assisting competitors in raising funds for their careers, and in 2010 he helped train two amputee Afghan veteran soldiers race in the Targa Newfoundland. For his contributions to the Canadian motorsports community, MacKenzie will be inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame on Oct. 14th.
“In 1960, I joined the military to buy a sports car!,” said MacKenzie, “and 57 years later my motto is, grow old, not up – keep racing. It’s amazing how my military career and my love for motorsport has intertwined over the years. I’m honored to have been asked to be the Grand Marshal for the weekend at CTMP.”
“As we celebrate Canada’s 150th, it’s important we shine a spotlight on Canadians who have made tremendous contributions both on the world-stage and at home and Mr. MacKenzie has done so in abundance,” said Myles Brandt, President and General Manager, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “Given the unique blend of achievements in peace keeping and humanitarian efforts as well as in the motorsports arena, we are obviously honoured to have him as our Grand Marshal.”
The weekend will feature a world-class, international field of drivers representing over 15 countries piloting race cars from prestigious marques including Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Lexus, and Porsche. The star-studded entry list for the weekend includes Toronto’s Daniel Morad, who was part of the GTD-class winning Porsche team at the Rolex 24 earlier this year, as well as over 20 full-time IMSA drivers and four teams, including Corvette Racing and Chip Ganassi’s Ford GT team, that recently competed at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.
There are Car Corrals for some of the top marques including Corvette, BMW, Porsche and Mazda as well as the CTMP Marketplace (featuring a variety of vendors and interactive displays), the CTMP Merchandise Trailer (selling official merchandise) and the Pinty’s Trackside Grill, open all day to help feed hungry race fans.
Many fan-friendly activities are scheduled for the weekend including the popular WeatherTech SportsCar Series Open Grid Walk on Sunday where spectators are allowed to gather in pit lane moments before the green flag drops, along with all the cars, drivers and crews.
Fans are encouraged to bring their Sharpies, autograph book, and camera because there will be excellent opportunities to meet and speak with the drivers.
For more information on the weekend, please visit www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com