As one of the few karting manufacturers from outside of Europe to be successful and survive the ever challenging North American karting marketplace, Margay Karts has really built a great all around brand. Putting their customers first and focusing on small victories instead of chasing the biggest titles across the nation, they’ve still earned some of North America’s most prestigious trophies.
In Canada, Margay Karts have entrusted Ottawa’s Paul Lalonde to manage the promotion, distribution and racing operations of the brand. Slowly building up a presence in Ontario and Quebec over the past three years, Lalonde’s Quyon Karting Team has shown great pace in the Briggs & Stratton LO206 classes with team members and customers including the likes of Charlotte Lalonde, James Dunn and Michel Forget.
Over these past three years Margay Karts has noticed how important the Canadian marketplace is to the brand, given the solid foundation of 4-cycle racers and earlier this summer they even deployed their very own Greg Dingess to Mosport Kartways for the third round of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship. Working closely with Quyon Karting, Dingess helped advance Lalonde to the front of a very impressive field of Briggs & Stratton Seniors, qualifying on the pole-position on Sunday.
We caught up with Greg to ask him a few questions about the ECKC, Quyon Karting and the Margay brand itself.
Overall, what were your impressions of the ECKC event at Mosport, from both a first time spectator to the series as well as an industry expert point of view?
Mosport is a first class facility, and the ECKC team did an excellent job putting on a great event. The organization has a solid infrastructure, which you don’t see at similar regional events in the States. There was a sophisticated tech area and professional corner workers and grid marshals, which were all great to see. Overall, I think it was a very well run event with an outstanding turnout.
You have been working with Le Circuit Quyon for the past three seasons, how has that been working out?
Paul and the LCQ team are dedicated and have tremendous passion for the sport, so it’s been a huge success. As a manufacturer, it’s a huge advantage to have teams we can rely on in terms of data analysis and in the development of the product. LCQ runs a great facility in Quyon and a great arrive & drive program at all of the major races. Business aside, they know that karting is supposed to be fun. I’ve been a part of a lot of arrive & drive programs, and LCQ definitely has the mix between racing and enjoyment dialed in.
The Margay brand has continued a lot of its focus to the four-cycle echelons of our sport. Has the resurgence of four-cycle racing in Canada helped steer more interest from Margay to the country, whereas we might see more representation from the brand at future Canadian events?
Margay has a diverse chassis line up, covering everything from a high end TaG package to a dirt oval kart. The inception and successful adoption of the LO206 program in Canada has created a sustainable and passionate market for karting in the years to come. Combine the platform for growth in Canada, our partnership with LCQ and our 50+ years of passion and experience and the result in our continued focus in the market and factory support and representation at the big events.
While our Briggs & Stratton programs are very strong, would you see the potential to introduce an entry-level program like the IGNITE program you guys currently offer in the USA?
I think every club in both Canada and the US could see additional growth with the implementation of the Ignite program. The goal of the program is to create a spec series, where new racers can learn to develop their skills without any additional variables and at a cost that is actually affordable. Every driver is on the same chassis which eliminates the equipment variable, the same LO206 engine which eliminates the power variable and the same Bridgestone YDS hard compound tire which eliminates the cost variable. Winning a race is solely dependent on tuning and driving and there is no avenue in which spending additional money is an advantage. It is karting in the simplest, most accessible form.
Can you tell us a little more about the IGNITE Challenge happening at the Rock Island Grand Prix this year?
The Ignite Shootout is the implementation of our Ignite program into the biggest street race in the US. The Ignite Shootout will feature our same spec package program for both existing Ignite customers around the country and arrive and drive customers. We get inquiries every year from people who want to be a part of this event, and our arrive and drive Ignite program allows those customers the opportunity. We are also having MavTV shoot the event for their ‘Motorsports Road Trip’ series to be televised later this year.
With the ASN Canadian National Championships back at Mosport this week, Greg has returned to help the team out as they chase after the prestigious Canadian National title in three of the toughest categories in the country.
For more information about Le Circuit Quyon or Margay Canada, be sure to contact Paul Lalonde at (613) 748-7870 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit http://lecircuitquyon.com for more track information.