We're sure you remember Zahir Rana, the gentleman who piloted a Ferrari Enzo into the Atlantic Ocean during last year's Targa Newfoundland. When the gentleman took his co-pilot and his car for a swim, he happened to be wearing a racing suit once worn by Rubens Barrichello. Back when the Formula One racer drove for Ferrari, the team was sponsored by Marlboro, which meant the cigarette company's logo was plastered all over the the suit. As it turns out, Health Canada takes a dim view of tobacco advertising during any racing event, and despite the fact that Rana had bought the signed suit at a charity auction as a piece of racing history, the government agency took offense to photos from the race depicting Rana in full Marlboro regalia.
According to Wheels.ca, Targa President Bob Giannou found himself on the raw end of phone calls and letters from Health Canada, informing him of "prohibitions regarding the promotion of tobacco products," even if the reference is historical.
Does that mean Canadian officials are going to block the public appearance of the hordes of vintage race cars sponsored by the likes of Rothmans, Marlboro, John Player Special, Camel, Lucky Strike, Kool and Skoal just to name a few? Like it or not, tobacco and racing have a long and storied history together, and attempting to censor that history from the public eye is downright foolish. Good luck, Health Canada.