Jim Gill couldn’t hide his past forever.
Gill, one of Canada’s top racers from the 1970s, will be honoured at Bowmanville’s Mosport International Raceway next weekend, as part of the Third Annual Motorcycle Racers Reunion.
He says he feels flattered they still remember his racing efforts well enough to make him one of the track’s 11 Masters of Mosport, but that wasn’t always the case. For years, he and his wife hid the evidence of his racing career, in an effort to keep their sons safely away from motorcycles.
But, Gill told the Brockville Recorder and Times that packing away all his trophies and photos didn’t work forever – his sons eventually figured out why their dad was such a popular guy when they attended motorcycle races.
Of course, now that everyone knows about Gill’s fast past, it’s nice to see him recognized; he held the 250cc, 500cc, and open class amateur Canadian roadracing championships as a 17-year-old in 1973, and turned pro the next year, taking the BRIMACO Series national championship at age 21.
He went on to some success in GP racing, tackling tracks like Daytona, Talladega and Road Atlanta, finishing second in his first race and ending up ranking fourth in the world in the 250cc lightweight class.
But despite his success on the track, Gill says the ultimate highlight of his career will be next weekend, when he’s still remembered for his exploits that happened decades ago.