Thursday 17th January 1895
Born on this day, John Duff, Canadian racecar driver who won many races and has been inducted in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. He was one of only two Canadians who raced and won on England’s famous Brooklands Motor Course. The other, Kay Petre, is already an honoured member of the CMHF. Duff was the first Canadian to race in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. To date, he is the only Canadian to win the overall classification at Le Mans.
Duff also held over fifty world records for speed and endurance. Those records were sanctioned by the AIACR, the forerunner of today’s FIA. They included both class and absolute records. His achievements helped make the name of the Bentley car company. Duff scored a top-ten finish in his first Indianapolis 500 and a top-three in his first board track race. Those achievements make him one of the preeminent Canadian automobile racers of the first half of the twentieth century.