When his boss Scott Tonelli started racing at Flamboro Speedway in 2021, it sparked an interest in motorsports for Ethan Fleet.
“I loved the adrenaline I got just from watching,” Fleet told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “I knew from that day forward I needed to get a car. I meet Mike and Tim Norris who let me come into their pits to learn and experience that it would be like to race. They helped me get a Pro Challenge Car at the end of that season and here we are, loving every minute I get to spend at the race track.”
Competing in the Ontario Pro Challenge Series this past season, Fleet picked up six top-five finishes and 18 top-10 finishes.
“I was happy with how far I have come this season,” he commented. “With it being my first year ever racing, I think that I showed great improvements from the start of the year until my last race.”
The improve was evident, as noticed by four consecutive top-five’s mid-season, leading up to his favourite moment of 2022 in an “uplifting moment” leading 13 laps in the final feature of the season.
The decision to go Pro Challenge Racing is something Fleet has no regrets over, having grown a lot of great friendships with “how welcoming they were, how much they wanted to help me learn and lending hand out for any question or concerns I had.” It’s why he still sees himself in competing in the series five years down the road, alongside trying out other cars to continue learning and becoming “a better all around driver.”
As he gets ready to chase his first checkered flag in 2023, he says it will be critical to “get better at driving with someone beside me, not to just give them the line; make them work for it.”
With how his racing beginnings started from the influence of Tonelli to the Norris father-son duo, it’s no surprise to see Fleet considers Mike Norris a racing hero of his.
“I think that Mike Norris would be someone that I really look up to and want to be like,” he said. “A clean driver, who is very fast and is always wanting to help other people get faster to have more competition out on the track.”