The tour keeps on rocking this week as we quickly shifted our attention from Le Monaco de Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, all the way across the country to Chilliwack, British Columbia for the second and final round of the 2014 Western Canadian Championships.
After a successful opening round a month ago in Regina, Saskatchewan, drivers and teams have made their way across the prairies, through the mountains and into the Greg Moore Raceway in Chilliwack, BC, which is about 90 minutes east of Vancouver.
The beautiful circuit is by far one Canada’s best. Fast and flowing much like a European circuit, GMR has hosted the Canadian Championships in the past and always boasts at least one major race a year. It is also home to the West Coast Kart Club and the Canadian ROK Cup Championship.
But this weekends focus will be on the Rotax Max classes, primarily Rotax Mini-Max, Junior Max and Senior Max where excellent prizes are on the line. Two drivers will be added to the Team Canada roster on Sunday as the class champions in Rotax Junior and Senior will earn invitations to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Valencia, Spain. The Mini-Max champion will punch his ticket to compete against Canada’s best at the ASN Canadian National Championships in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec in two weeks time.
Once again the weekend will feature three complete race days beginning on Friday. With only half the championship completed, there is still plenty to fight for as we expect the championships to come down to the wire. Tire strategy will once again come into play for Rotax Junior and Senior as they have two sets to utilize through the three race days on a track where new rubber makes a major difference.
In Rotax Senior, Regina double-winner Coltin McCaughan (CKN/TonyKart) and local hot shoe Bryce Choquer (BBR/Kosmic) are the front runners for the title. While Choquer is still recovering from the rib injury he sustained in Regina, he appears fit enough to battle for the championship with full intentions on returning to Team Canada and earning another shot at a Grand Finals title. McCaughan has been very impressive as a rookie this year and is riding the momentum of two top-five finishes from the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship event last weekend. Not to be left out, Skylar Dunning (KGK/Kosmic), Garett Britton (Birel), Jordan Redlin (CRG), Tristan Merke (TonyKart) will also try and advance their current positions in the championship while having to deal with the additions of Kris Hoffbeck (Formula K), Derek Wang (FA Kart) and possibly a few more American drivers as they prepare for next weekends Rotax Can-Am Challenge event at Chilliwack.
It’s a three-horse race in Rotax Junior led by Ryan Martin (KGK/TonyKart), who swept two of the race days in Regina. Close behind him, Clay Van Eerd (TonyKart) and Jeff Fulham (KGK/Kosmic) will do their best this weekend to takeover the top step, with Van Eerd coming off a big win in Sunday’s main in Regina. Junior will once again be the largest class of the weekend and aside from the top-three, we expect solid races from Nolan Vogel (BBR/Kosmic), Matthew Taskinen (OverDrive/TonyKart) along with Kellen Ritter and American Sting-Ray Robb (BBR/Kosmic).
In Mini-Max we will see if anyone can upset Carson Vogel (BBR/Kosmic). He swept the entire event in Regina and looks like he is on his way to the Canadian Championships. He will have his hands full with Marco Kacic, who just returned from the SKUSA SuperNationals in California, but it appears that the third place driver in the championship, Griffin Dowler will be absent this weekend. This could open up the podium to drivers like Levi Schmidtke, Austin Torgerson, Tyler Kozma and Wyatt Gulash.
Also on track this weekend will be Micro-Max and Briggs Junior 2. Ryan Dezell, Brad Bachalo and Jason Leung will once again go head-to-head-to-head in Micro-Max, just as they did in round one, while Jessica Dezell has her sister Christina Dezell to compete with this weekend in the Briggs & Stratton category.