Along with crowning nine new Canadian Champions this past weekend in Mont-Tremblant, the ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships was also the latest chance for Canadian drivers to earn their tickets to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held this year in Valencia, Spain.
Four classes crowned their respective champions with an invitation to join Team Canada as part of the global Rotax event that positions drivers from around the world to represent their country on a world stage. After a successful event last year in New Orleans, USA, the event returns to European soil this November as nearly 300 drivers will participate at a new facility in Valencia, Spain.
In Rotax Junior, Gianfranco Mazzaferro secured his seat by defending the National Championship and will compete for the second year in a row. Mazzaferro qualified for the event last year as a rookie in the category and came just one position short of qualifying for the main event. Mazzaferro joins Western Canadian Champion Clay Van Eerd on the team and a third member will be invited via the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship held in September.
A dominating performance by Zachary Claman DeMelo defended his position at National Champion for a second year in a row and he too will return to the Rotax Grand Finals after competing in New Orleans. DeMelo has been very strong at events around the world and is setting himself up an immediate contender when the Grand Finals gets underway. Bryce Choquer will team up with DeMelo along with a member from the ECKC. With DeMelo already qualified and leading the ECKC, all eyes will be on the runner-up in the championship to join Team Canada.
As a rookie in the Rotax DD2 category, Jeffrey Kingsley is enjoying a stellar season. A relatively easy run in the National Final on Sunday secured his position on Team Canada for the second straight year, although last year he competed as a Junior (and qualified third overall). Ben Cooper qualified via last years SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas, and John Buzza qualified just last week through the Rotax CAN-AM Karting Challenge. One more DD2 driver will join these three through the ECKC as well.
Finally, Francis Mondou will also make his second start at the Rotax Grand Finals courtesy of his victory in Rotax DD2 Masters. Mondou was also a Team Canada member last year in New Orleans and looks like a much more complete driver heading to Spain this year where he will look to improve on his result from last year. Stuart Clark earned his ticket through the SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas last fall and one more driver will qualify through the ECKC finale.
Team Canada’s national tickets will all be confirmed at the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship event on September 19-20 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Canadian drivers also have a chance to qualify through the Rotax Pan American Challenge in Mooresville, North Carolina, USA in October.
As a special invitation, Mini-Max Canadian Champion Alexandre Legare has been invited to Valencia, Spain to take in the experience of the Rotax Grand Finals as a member of Team Canada. Although Legare will not be competing, he will be a member of the team and there to support all of Canada’s driver as they compete for the Grand Finals titles.