Wednesday, January 16, 2008

research further afield (the fields of Winnipeg)

One thing leads to another. And finding an International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) race in Vancouver, BC, at Hastings Park in 1920, as well as wire reports from the prairies, got me looking beyond the Vancouver newspapers to the prairie newspapers. Lots of races from 1915 through to, well, the mid-1920s and later.

It's been said that the IMCA ran racing in North America 364 days a year. The 365th day was the Indianapolis 500, sanctioned by the American Automobile Association (AAA).

I'm going to post yearly reports of these races, hopefully once a week. Just to get started here's an ad from the Winnipeg Tribune for an early pair of 1915 IMCA races. The promoter was J. Alex Sloan, known to the Winnipeg population as a promoter of a fun fair named "Happyland". It doesn't appear that Louis Disbrow did attend but drivers like Eddie Hearne and Tommy Milton went on to be well known in the AAA.

Here's the box score cobbled from the Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Tribune:

Friday, July 9, 1915, Winnipeg, MB, exhibition grounds, 1/2 mile

--time trials--Eddie Hearne, 38

--3 miles--300 cubic inches--1st, Wild Bill Endicott

--novelty race--tire change--1st, Tommy Milton (Zip)

--mile--Eddie Hearne (Jay Eye See), 1:17 2-5; Johnny Raimey (Case Comet), 1:13 4-5 (track record is 1:13 1-5)

--5 mile Australian pursuit--1st, Raimey

--3 mile--free-for-all--final--Eddie Hearne

Saturday, July 10, 1915, Winnipeg, MB, exhibition grounds, 1/2 mile

--postponed, rain

Monday, July 12, 1915, Winnipeg, MB, exhibition grounds, 1/2 mile

--mile--Johnny Raimey--1:13 1-5 (ties track record)

--3 mile match race--1st, “Wild Bill” Endicott (Belgian Scat); 2nd, Kizer (Mercer)--$250 to winner--ten second handicap start for Kizer

--novelty tire change--Eddie Hearne--16 1-5 seconds (3 2-5 slower than world’s record)

--free for all--final heat--1st, Johnny Raimey; 2nd, Eddie Hearne--winner, $300

--free for all handicap--1st, Milton

--other participants: Kizer (Mercer); Le Cocq (Bullet); Endicott (Scat); Milton (Zip); Hearne (Case); Raimey (Case)

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