There is one last chance for racers in North America to Qualify for the hottest ticket in the karting world, the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, taking place in Bahrain this December.
Following the Canadian Open, Canadian Championships, Canada Final and a couple of international opportunities, Team Canada currently has 16 drivers on their roster for the RGF and a handful more are taking to the track this weekend in New Castle, Indiana for the US Trophy Final in hopes of joining the team.
The US Trophy Final will award 12 tickets this weekend, with seven of them open to all competitors.
In Rotax Mini Max, where two open tickets are up for grabs and 18 drivers are entered, we have a good feeling about our three drivers competing.
Rayan Ghandour has been very close this summer to a ticket, finishing third at the Canadian Open, and arrives after a weekend of confidence-boosting in the UK at the Rotax Euro Trophy. A driver very much in the mix at the Canadian Championship was Decklan Deonarine who will be in New Castle while his brother Mayer will be in Mont-Tremblant this weekend. Decklan has international experience under his belt and is surely aiming for his first opportunity to be on Team Canada at the Rotax Grand Finals. Finally, Jeremy St-Cyr has flown a little under the radar this season but could catch the field a little off guard in New Castle.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on these three this weekend to see if any can join our already superb Mini Max lineup for Bahrain.
There are four Canadians in the 29-driver Junior Max division this weekend with one open ticket available.
Looking at the overall entry list, our four Canucks have a good chance to secure a ticket. Nathan Dupuis and Ty Fisher were teammates all winter in Florida and will be back mixing it up in Junior while Sterling Mackenzie and Jasper Wang will make their first major starts outside of Canada. Fisher, Mackenzie and Wang were all in contention at the Canada Final races this year and there will be a number of familiar American faces from that series competing this weekend.
With a grid full of drivers on the cusp of a breakout major victory, we’re expecting this race to come right down to the wire.
*Update, Lucas Deslongchamps was registered to race but has decided not to.
With no Rotax DD2 at the US Trophy Final, there are four tickets up for grabs in Senior Max, and that has drawn 33 drivers to Indiana for the weekend. Try not to get confused. Two tickets will be awarded to compete Rotax Senior and Two tickets will be awarded to compete in Rotax DD2 with one of each reserved for drivers who raced in the US Trophy Series events this year.
Timothy Pernod and Matthew Taskinen (DD2) have already secured their spots on Team Canada but like Deslongchamps, will use the race for some added international racing.
Griffin Dowler is eligible for the reserved tickets, so that means he just needed to finish in the top four this weekend to lock down another trip to the worlds for the driver from Alberta.
Making the long trek from British Columbia with BBR Karting, Ian Qiu and Ziming Wang are aiming to return to the Grand Finals for their second time.
Senior Max is packed full of talent this weekend and it will be interesting to see who can come out on top. The likes of Ryan Norberg, Josh Bethune, Oliver Hodgson, Race Liberante, Frankie Mossman, Diego Ramos, Chase Jones and Cooper O’Clair are just a few of the standouts on the list with only Hodgson having secured a ticket so far this year.
We just wish we could be there this weekend to see who stands atop the podium.
There will also be Micro Max and Masters Max taking to the track this weekend, but sadly, we have no Canadians competing in those categories this weekend.