Q&A With Russell Boyle
Russell Boyle is an up-and-coming racer from Toronto, Ontario. With numerous wins and championships at the karting level, Russell is currently racing in the Stadium Super Truck Series race this weekend. He sat down with us to chat about how he got his start in racing, his career goals, why Paul Tracy is his hero, and how he plans to race Tracy.
Do you remember the first time you were introduced to the sport of racing?
I believe the first time I was introduced was at the 2003 Toronto Indy. Being my first race and in a stroller, I don't remember much but on that weekend Paul Tracy won the Champ Car race.
How did you get your start as a racer? Most Canadian kids ask their parents for a hockey stick or a soccer ball, but I imagine you asked for a kart?
When I was growing up I was always around racing because of my dad's involvement in IndyCar and being friends with many of the drivers. I started racing first at an indoor track at the age of 5 and then a couple years later I finally ran my first outdoor kart race at Goodwood Kartways at the age of 8. It started from then that I wanted to pursue this sport as a career.
Tell us about your first-ever win.
My first-ever win was back in 2011 on April 16th. It was my second year racing my own kart and it was very exciting to get it out of the way and have my first career win.
You're transitioning from karts to cars. Most drivers would be looking at something like Formula 1600, but you've made the jump into Stadium Super Trucks. How did that opportunity arise?
It all started in 2013 when I first saw the series debut. The trucks had a mix of almost every type of racing and I noticed that it attracted a lot of spectators. In 2014 one driver couldn't make the race that year in Toronto and I was asked by Robby Gordon if I would like to give it a shot. I decided though that I was better off testing for the 2015 Toronto Indy so I could get experience before hand.
Stadium Super Trucks are completely different beasts from karts. What from kart racing prepared you for a powerful front engine truck that sits high off the ground?
The racing is absolutely different and not even being in something like an off-road vehicle in the past makes it brand new to me. The power is insane and hitting the jumps is very hard to describe. It's just a rush.
Is there a particular driver that you idolized growing up?
Paul Tracy, I have known him since the day I was born and he has been a huge part of my racing career both off and on the track.
What about Paul Tracy do you like?
His racing style is what I like the most about him..he is aggressive and takes chances like a real racer does. I have styled my race craft after him, which has helped me and also got me in trouble! He has also been in many forms of racing and has a ton of experience behind him.
Paul races Stadium Super Trucks this year. What's it like racing against your hero?
It's going to be an honour really because of how much I have watched and looked up to him as a mentor and friend, but now I am going to race against him. It will be very exciting to be a part of.
It's the 2016 Stadium Super Truck race on the Streets of Toronto. You're in front of your hometown crowd, it's the last lap, and you're running second to Paul Tracy. Do you wait for somewhere like Turn 3 to make a pass, or do you give him a bit of the infamous 'chrome horn' and move him out of the way to take the lead?
Paul won't lift or give me an easy ride, and he taught me the same so I guess we will all have to see how this goes down. All I know is it will be exciting to be a part of, and there are 10 other guys I need to worry about in the race. Any one of them can win.
Outside of the Stadium Super Trucks, what's the next step for Russell Boyle's career?
Outside of Stadium Super Trucks, I would like to get a few open wheel tests, which we are starting to work on.
Ten years from now you'll be 26 - where do you see yourself racing then?
With hard work and dedication I hope to be the next Canadian IndyCar Champion...that's the goal!
Victor Genova is the host of the Media People Podcast and a freelance racing writer. @VicGenova