Ralf Schumacher may have been the winner of the Formula One Grand Prix of Canada, but he wasn’t the only winner.
Take Craig Frappier, for example. As the winner of the “Jobber News Wants To Send You To The Grand Prix” contest, he was treated to a pair of silver tickets overlooking the hairpin, as well as transportation to and from the track as well as a special dinner etc., etc., all thoughtfully provided by prize sponsor Castrol North America.
“It was just awesome,” says Frappier. “It was my first time to an F1 race and I was really impressed by their speed and how they can drop 200 kph in such a short distance and then accelerate so fast. It blew my mind.”
An added bonus for Frappier and the many other guests of Castrol was the fact that the BMW.WillamsF1 team, of which the oil company is a technical sponsor, took the historic win as Ralf Schumacher bested his elder brother Michael’s Ferrari, the first time brothers had stood on the top two steps of the podium.
Relieved as much as elated was Mika Hakkinen, who started eighth on the grid but forged ahead for a third place result, behind the two Schumacher brothers. “Lucky there’s not three! Then there would be a problem,” laughed Hakkinen at the post-race press conference.
Lone Canadian F1 pilot Jacques Villeneuve probably wishes he never made the trip. He ended his race early and was well on his way home to Monaco by the time the race ended.
There are a lot of festivities besides the race, which serves as a reason for many businesses inside and outside of the aftermarket to celebrate and entertain. Castrol treated its guests to a night of magic; those lucky enough to attend the Mercedes-Benz cocktail reception and ball got magic, rock and roll, and the chance to bid on racing memorabilia like a Mika Hakkinen helmet signed by himself and McLaren teammate David Coulthard.
If you’re looking for a tip for next year, consider that tables for the ball go for about $10,000, which coincidentally was the winning bid for the helmet.
Aftermarket notables I ran into on the track–literally, as I strolled on the tarmac after the race–included Permatex Canada’s Rob Whittaker with Faruq Varachia, of Acklands-Grainger, and Lordco alumni Ed and Marlyn Coates, Doug and Lornie Coates, and Bob Coleman, as well as Lyman’s Agencies principal Ken Morrison, who were there supporting the efforts of Team McLaren, for which former Permatex corporate alumnus Loctite is a technical sponsor.
There were a great many others there, of course, and it provided some interesting discussions over dinner, notably at the Castrol event where I sat with Rene Primeau and Magella Boutin of Carquest.
The next visit for the Formula 1 circus to North America is in September, when the series visits the Indianapolis Speedway for the U.S. Grand Prix. Be on the lookout for contest details in Jobber News and at www.autoserviceworld.com. You could be there.