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Motorsports hall of fame welcomes three new members

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<p>Photos by Otto So</p><p>Andy Baker (left) and Frank Mancini are the latest members to join the Manitoba Motorsports Hall of Fame. </p>

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<p>Photos by Otto So</p><p>Kim Houde is a fixture on the Manitoba motorcycle scene. He is one of three new members of the Manitoba Motorsports Hall of Fame.</p></p>

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Since 2006, three new members are inducted into the Manitoba Motorsports Hall of Fame every year when Piston Ring’s World of Wheels car show hits town.

Inductees are recognized for their outstanding devotion and contributions to motorsports in Manitoba and come from the ranks of drag racing, oval track racing, motorcycling, fabrication, customizing, the automotive industry and the street rod and hot rod communities.

Special recognition should be given to Don Daley; his dedication to Manitoba’s rich motorsports history is a big reason why the Hall of Fame has been such a tremendous success.

Here are this year’s inductees:

Kim Houde

Kim Houde’s interest in motorcycles began as a toddler when he attended motorcycle events with his father, Ray, a founding member of the Manitoba Motorcycle Club.

By 1973, Houde was the Manitoba flat track champion. In 1979, he was the Canadian National Motocross Champion in the 125cc class — a feat no other Manitoban has since duplicated. Houde was also Manitoba provincial motocross champion in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, he won the Over 50 World Motocross Championship. In his lengthy and successful career he has raced all over Canada and the United States and as far away as Bermuda.

Houde has been a member of the Manitoba Motorcycle Club, Agassiz Racing Club, Canadian Motorcycle Association, Manitoba Motocross Association, Manitoba Oldtimers Motocross Association, Alberta Oldtimers Motocross Association and is a lifetime member of the American Motorcycle Association.

One special event for Houde was participating in the 2016 Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad with his father, Ray, and daughter, Ami, who is also an accomplished motocross racer and professional truck driver in the Monster Jam circuit.

Houde is a fixture and a legend in the Manitoba motorcycle community and continues to race every weekend. In addition to motocross in the summer, he is also an avid motorcycle ice racer.

Frank Mancini

Frank Mancini grew up around automobiles — his father was an auto buff and peaked his interest in cars at an early age. Mancini’s career in the automotive industry began in the 1950s at Consolidated Motors. He went on to work at Inman Motors and Burnell Motors before he and his brothers opened Metro Motors in 1960. Specializing in foreign sports cars, Mancini operated Metro Motors from 1960 until his retirement in 2013.

For all those years Metro Motors was the "go-to" place to get your sports car tuned, rebuilt or repaired. Over the years, Metro Motors was also a dealer for Alfa Romeo, Subaru, Fiat, Lancia, Land Rover, BMW and Lada.

Mancini was a founding member of the Winnipeg Sports Car Club, which was formed in 1952. Mancini was George Chapman’s (MMHOF 2010 inductee) chief mechanic when Chapman was the Canadian Driving Champion in 1966. Mancini also won the Canadian Snap-on Mechanic of the year award in 1966. He is also an accomplished racer. Mancini won several Winnipeg Sports Car Club events and is a former club champion. He was also a longtime member of the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association.

Mancini is known for his wonderful sense of humour and quick wit. He continues to enjoy socializing with his many friends and former customers and still finds time to attend Winnipeg Sports Car Club events.

Andy Baker

Andy Baker’s father, Clarence, was an accomplished snowmobile racer and passed the torch to him at an early age. By the early 1970s, Baker was also a seasoned racer and consistent winner. He won the Canadian Junior Championships in 1972 and 1973. In 1974, he raced Super Modified and won the championship and high point total for all classes. In 1975, he and his dad became the first father-and-son champions — Baker in the 340 Super Modified class and his father in the 340 Super Stock class. In his brilliant career he raced not only provincially but also throughout the United States.

Baker retired from racing after the 1980 season — a year in which he won two Manitoba provincial championships.

His snowmobiling career, however, wouldn’t end there. Since the age of 16, Baker has volunteered annually at the Canadian Power Toboggan Championships in Beausejour. He succeeded his father as president in both 1977 and 1978 and has continued to be a tireless volunteer on the board for the Canadian Power Toboggan Championships for more than 40 years.

Over the years, Baker has belonged to the Manitoba Snowmobile Association, the Manitoba Snowmobile Racing Association, United States Snowmobile Association, Central North American Racing Association, International Snowmobile Racing Association and was part of the Polaris Racing Team in Tyndall. Baker and his wife and sons continue to volunteer at the Canadian Power Toboggan Championships.

He was inducted into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame in 2008, at a ceremony in St Germain, Wis.

willy@freepress.mb.ca

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