Vancouver Indy honours Moore

Courage. A single word that speaks volumes.

It's the lasting eulogy Greg Moore's father wants fans and fellow drivers to remember about his son at this year's Molson Indy CART race in Vancouver.

"He had a lot of courage," Ric Moore said on Wednesday, the emotion in his voice wavering between a father's pride and a parent's sorrow over a lost son.

"It was his favourite song by the (Tragically) Hip. He obviously had to have a lot of courage to do all the things he did."

The words courage, Greg Moore No. 99, will be written on the track in large white block letters across start-finish line at the Sept. 3 Molson Indy.

It will be one of the many tributes for the Maple Ridge, B.C., resident who died in a crash during a race at Fontana, Calif., last October at age 24.

Starting this year, a custom made trophy will be presented in Moore's honour to the pole winner following Saturday's qualifying.

There will also be a special musical and video tribute to Moore prior to Sunday's race.

In 1997, Moore became the youngest winner in CART history (at 22 years one month and 10 days) when he won the Milwaukee Mile.

He won again the following week at the Detroit Grand Prix, establishing himself as one of the top drivers on the circuit.

Championship Auto Racing Teams will retire Moore's No. 99 before the race. It's only the second number CART has retired, after A. J. Foyt's No. 14.

Proceeds from a celebrity golf tournament, the sale of a 144-page photo book on Moore's life and career and from an evening gala will also go to the Greg Moore Foundation.

Ric Moore said the foundation will support scholarships for young people to pursue post-secondary education, give money to five health charities and hand out funds to amateur athletes.

"The purpose of the foundation will be to continue his name," said Moore, returning for the first time since his son's death to the location of the Vancouver race.

For Moore, seeing his son's name written on the track and overseeing the foundation's many activities, is a double-edged sword.

It's a constant reminder of what Greg accomplished in a short life and the emptiness his loss has left.

"Everybody has loses," Moore said, a hitch in his voice.

"I'm certainty not the only parent that's lost a child. Because of his popularity and his job and his fame, you never get away from it. You have your personal loss and then you have your public loss.

"I know, every time we kind of get sad, I know he'd be damn mad if we weren't smiling."

Moore admitted attending this year's race won't be easy.

"I don't even want to think about it now."

He offered a weak smile when asked if the Molson Indy's participation in the foundation is part of a healing process.

"I don't think you ever heal," he said.

"I think you get to accept it and that's all you can do. When you lose a part of your life that's gone for ever, coming back to the thing he loves so much is hard.

"Healing I guess is just a matter of time. Miles and time."

By Jim Morris