Racing is in the blood of the Dowler family. From Go-Karts to Stock Cars, the Dowlers are a very busy family, possibly found at a race track more than home some summers.
This weekend, brothers Griffin and Noel will compete in the opening round of the Max Karting Group Rotax Canada Final in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with their eyes on the big prize; an invitation to join Team Canada at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.
For youngest brother Griffin, he is aiming to become a member of Team Canada for the fourth time. He first competed in the 2013 Grand Finals as a Mini Max in the USA, followed up by trips to Italy in 2019 and Bahrain in 2021 as a Senior Max driver.
Oldest brother Noel has also earned his way onto Team Canada twice, competing alongside Griff in 2019 and 2021 in the Rotax DD2 division.
Both have used qualifiers in Western Canada to score their spots in the big event, which draws nearly 400 competitors from around the world to compete on equal equipment provided at the event for single-race use.
The pair are supported trackside by middle brother Adam, who not only helps turn the wrenches for the race team but also gets his racing fix competing alongside Noel in the Avion RS1 Cup, a travelling stock car series in Western Canada.
This weekend is the first of two qualifying races for Canada’s western racers to qualify, with six invitations up for grabs. Following the race in Saskatoon this Canada Day long weekend, round two will be held at the Dowler’s home track in Warburg, Alberta at the end of July. While it may seem like a home track advantage, the competition this year is potentially the strongest it’s been for more than a decade and the brothers aren’t taking their competitors lightly as they aim for two more Grand Finals invites.
With that being said, the uniqueness and equal-opportunity race that is the Grand Finals is what keeps the brothers coming back year after year, with hopes of winning their way to the Grand Finals, which this year will be held in Portugal.
“The Grand Finals is more than just a race, it’s an ideal that we all strive towards. Being part of Team Canada is a great honour that few have the opportunity to attest to. Having the ability to experience the raw talent offered at the Grand Finals is a truly special experience that pushes me to defend and maintain my Team Canada membership,” said Griffin Dowler when reached by CKN.
“Now being a member of Team Canada on three separate occasions with each event held on different continents I have also had the pleasure of exploring the world and its many cultures. Additionally, the Grand Finals opens your eyes to the high calibre drivers that are bred by the Rotax Max Challenge program across the world.”
Travelling from Alberta to Saskatchewan, Apollo Motorsports has a small team of racers competing alongside the Dowler brothers, who are pulling double-duty this weekend competing in both Rotax Senior and Rotax DD2. Devon Gellings will race in Rotax Senior in her second full season of Rotax competition. Rob Kozakowski, who was also a Team Canada driver in Bahrain last year competing in DD2 Masters, looks for his chance to qualify as well. Rob’s daughter Everleigh will race in Rotax Micro Max this weekend, now in her second full season of Rotax competition, while American driver Derek Wang, a former winner of the Rotax Grand Finals joins the team for the weekend as well.
Needless to say, the Apollo Motorsports race team is stacked full of talent this weekend and hungry to win their way back to the Grand Finals.
Racing begins on Saturday at Martensville Speedway and concludes on Sunday.