U.S. Legend Cars International and INEX are based in the United States, but many drivers from around the world have gravitated towards the Legends community to find their need for speed. For Canadian racers, while Legend Car racing is just across the border, it still presents its own set of challenges. Through a journey driven by passion, ambition and love for the sport, Canadian drivers are making waves in the U.S., overcoming budget constraints, logistical hurdles and travel barriers.  

Out of Ontario, 26-year-old Pro Division driver Parker Traves grew up surrounded by the world of racing. From his dad working in motorsports to testing go-karts at a young age, racing has been part of his family's legacy. Traves was introduced to Legend Cars by his friends and after testing it on iRacing, his love for Legends sprung from there.

“I love Legend Cars. I love being competitive and I love to prove that our group up here [in Canada] is just as fast and anytime we come down to the States we can run up front and be competitive too,” Traves said.

Traves loves being able to compete with the high competition across the U.S., but knows that doing so comes with its own set of logistical hurdles that come with traveling across the border. With the paperwork needed to cross the border, managing currency exchange rates and the long travel days, the complexities add up, Traves explained. For Canadian drivers, finding week-long events like Winter Nationals is what gives these drivers a “bang for their buck” and makes the hardships worthwhile.

“It’s a little tricky crossing the border sometimes, we have to make sure we have everything done perfectly,” Traves said. “It’s challenging because we don’t get to race as much as the kids down there who get to race a couple of times a week.”

At 32, Matt Haufe, another Pro Division driver from Ottawa, Canada, shares a similar racing journey with Traves. Haufe began with racing go-karts before upgrading to a Legend Car which opened up many doors for him to travel and compete at a higher level. Haufe noted that while Canada does have dealers for cars and parts, with the high exchange rate and costs of shipping, it is considerably more difficult for Canadian racers like him to compete on a high level.

At the time of publication, the exchange rate stands at $1 American dollar to $1.36 Canadian dollars, which Haufe says can begin to add up with each transaction.

“The biggest challenge is just the exchange rate between the dollars. It’s an unfortunate reality that we face that I don’t think people always think about,” Haufe said. “It really drives up the cost for shipping and everything else.”

While Haufe noted the increasing cost due to exchange rates, he did add that for him living closer to the border allows him to “scoot down there” to pick up items, avoiding the border-crossing fees of shipping, but also emphasized that not everyone has that advantage there.

Another constraint that Haufe highlights is the difficulties of getting sponsorships. He noted that Canadian businesses are not as keen on offering sponsorships as they don’t see the advertising potential within the sport of racing. According to Haufe, racing isn’t as prominent in Canada compared to the U.S.

Despite the setbacks that Haufe faces, he insists that it is all worth it because of his love for the sport and how he has grown, not only a driver but as a person.

“It’s just something that I love. I get to spend every weekend with my dad and that’s something not everyone has, that family support,” Haufe said. “It’s just kind of near and dear to me since I started, it’s taught me a lot of different skills whether it be personal or delayed gratification, hard work and the ability to overcome challenges and setbacks. It lets you look at the bigger picture sometimes.”

Ayden Christensen a Semi-Pro Driver was introduced into the world of racing by his father, and now at 15 years old has made his mark through the Legends community. From Bandoleros to Legend Cars, "It’s just a passion for me and my family," Christensen said.

Christensen said that coordinating travel to the States has to be done for him and his family sometimes up to two months in advance to ensure that everything is in order and ready but after doing it a few times now, it is just part of their normal routine. 

“It was pretty tough [the first few times],” Christensen said. “The first time we went down there was Winter Nationals in 2022 and we’ve gone to every Winter Nationals since then. We like to go for the ones that give us more opportunities to race, like the national events, like how Winter Nationals has a whole week of racing.”

Christensen agreed with Haufe that a big challenge for he encounters is the money component, as well as qualifying for races. According to Christensen, qualifying for races around the U.S. is much different from qualifying in Canada requiring him to adjust for U.S.-based competitions.

With his passion, and family support, Christensen expressed that amongst the challenges, he still cherishes the opportunities to race and wouldn't trade it for anything.

“I just love racing and I like meeting new people when I go travel around, and I love all the competition that it has. It just pushes me,” he said.

While these Canadian drivers face unique challenges ranging from border crossings to financial constraints, their shared love for racing knows no borders. From managing transportation to navigating exchange rates, their stories show the drive of these racers.

To those dreaming of following in their footsteps, they all agree that "seat time is everything." Haufe stated that the only way to grow is to be continuously learning the car. For Christensen, it's all about making each race count, he said.

Canadian racers are not just tackling American tracks but showing what it means to pursue a racing dream. Their experiences serve as a reminder that the passion and love for motor racing presents unique challenges for all, and some more than others.