Bowmanville, Ontario, CANADA — Following a racing accident Saturday during the VARAC Vintage Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park that claimed the life of Jeff Green, 61, of Peoria, Ill., his Formula 5000 race group honored him by driving three laps in a missing man formation on Sunday afternoon.
“After the Saturday accident, the Formula 5000 group was devastated and had no desire to continue racing on Sunday,” said Seb Coppola, president of the Formula 5000 Drivers Association. “Jeff was a friend and a wonderful person, always freely offering his assistance and advice. He brought a considerable amount of racing experience to the group after competing in the Pro Mazda Race Series.”
“We felt the best way to honor Jeff and the race fans who had come to see the races was to do three laps of the race circuit in a missing man formation — a tribute that took place at 1 p.m. Sunday,” Coppola said. “It was a very emotional event with track officials, crews and fans saluting the race car formation.”
Green started racing with the F5000 group in 2016 after buying the 1972 Lola T300 (ex-Jerry Hansen car) in 2015 and doing a complete rebuild. The car, away from the race scene for a number of years after 19 recorded contests, raced at Road America in 2016 and 2017.
On Saturday, Green was competing in an F5000 Revival Series event sanctioned by VARAC when he lost control around corner eight at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and left the track, hitting a tire wall. He was taken to Lakeridge Health Centre in Bowmanville, where he was pronounced dead.
Part of a family with deep ties to the auto industry, Green operated Ford and Chevrolet dealerships in Peoria, IL, after moving there in 1997 from Danville, IL, where he had run dealerships for 18 years. He got his start cleaning cars as a teenager in the Peoria-area town of Monmouth where his father, Ray Green, owned a Chevrolet-Cadillac franchise.