Over the weekend of the 2018 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA paid tribute to ASN Canada President Roger Peart who is stepping down from his role as a Formula 1 race steward after 38 years of service.
Roger’s passion for motorsport was ignited at early age when he worked as race mechanic between 1949 and 1953, while he was still at school. After emigrating from the UK to Canada Roger became even more deeply involved in motor sport, this time as a competitor, driving in the Canadian Rally Championship until 1963 and also taking part in numerous ice races. He continued to compete in circuit racing until 1976.
In 1967 he became involved in the organisation of Canadian motor sport and was instrumental in getting the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve onto the F1 calendar. A trained civil engineer, Roger later applied his expertise to the task of designing the Île de Notre Dame circuit that in 1982 was rechristened the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in honour of the F1 legend who died 1982.
His role in motor sport organisation led to him becoming President of the Quebec motor sport sanctioning body and then President of ASN Canada, the country’s FIA-appointed national sporting authority. He became a member of the FIA’s Circuit and in 1991 became the Commission’s President, spending two decades travelling the world to inspect circuits for the FIA.
Commenting on Roger’s 38 years as an FIA stewards, FIA Formula 1 Director Charlie Whiting said: “Throughout his long service as an FIA steward, Roger was an exemplar of the exacting standards the FIA sets for fairness of competition in motorsport. Working at the highest levels of motor sport Roger ensured that the regulations governing our sport were always applied rigorously, consistently, and most importantly fairly. His skills will be missed.”
Regarding Roger’s six decades and more in motor sport, Paul Cooke, Vice-President of ASN Canada said: “Roger and I met at the new Mont Tremblant race circuit when the track opened in 1964. Fifty-four years later we are still working together heading up the FIA sanctioning body for Canada.
“Roger’s quick wit, combined with his dry sense of humour has made him many friends,” he added. “His ability to see a race track from many perspectives has been a welcome approach for track owners, be it at new tracks or where circuits have been upgraded or altered. Roger also has a special place in his heart for vintage cars and was a founding member of the Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada, having owned a 1930 4.5 litre Bentley roadster.
“The Canadian motor sport community is proud of Roger. He has been inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, as well the Trois Rivieres’ Hall of Fame. We are enormously proud of what he accomplished as part of the FIA’s track and safety programmes over the years. Now that he will be travelling less, there will be more time for us with Roger at home in Canada.”