By Max Preston.
Goodwood Kartways has enjoyed a long and storied history throughout its 50+ year existence. Being the starting point for numerous professional drivers, many young Canadian racers are also looking to jumpstart their careers by competing and winning on the same circuits that many of their heroes have driven. Mosport, is equally as legendary in the Canadian motorsports scene. Providing one of the most unique karting circuits in North America, Mosport has also seen its fair share of international drivers flocking to the circuit to conquer the dramatic elevation changes and enormous long sweeping corners.
Goodwood Kartways is owned and operated by the Di Leo family. A family that most in Canadian Motorsports associate with their on-track achievements of the past. Today Daniel, Stefanie and Marco are most active within the business side of the sport. Individually they share the responsibility of co-managing separate aspects of the operation, but together they are equal parts of transforming Goodwood Kartways into one of the most successful and well-known karting circuits in Canada. Countless hours have been invested in building a foundation for aspiring racers of all ages to be introduced to the sport of karting. From there, skills are developed through unique karting programs and karters then choose to pursue their careers down a path that is ideal for them. Whether you are a hobby karter or pursuing the top echelons of Canadian Motorsports, Goodwood Kartways has a program for you.
The Di Leo’s involvement in the karting community continues to grow. Having just recently announced the acquisition of Mosport Kartways, programs are already taking shape in hopes of creating a structure that should excite most. One of those programs is the introduction of the new Inter-Club Challenge; a racing series aimed at providing a well attended, competitive racing experience for the everyday club-racer. With planning well underway, Goodwood and Mosport Kartways look to combined their resources offering an experience like no other for the grassroots club racer.
“The goal is to enhance the relationship between the two clubs while looking to attract visiting karters from across the province in hopes of creating a Regional type atmosphere tailored to the average club racer” Comments Daniel Di Leo.
“Our model includes taking two healthy clubs, utilizing four successful events that have traditionally been offered on the Club schedules, and then look to raise the profile of those specific events by creating a prize package that will excite all karters while building a sense of creditability for years to come.”
TRAK and MIKA are two of the most popular karting clubs in Ontario. Together, they are both committed to providing an organized and professional atmosphere that drivers can return to year after year. The Inter-Club Challenge will see this same ideology at the core of its model, while positioning itself as a low-cost alternative to the National karting scene. This new program looks to bridge the gap from your typical week-to-week club race to high profile events as offered by the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship.
Competitors can look forward to full grids while competing at the highly popular Goodwood facility, as well as the opportunity to race on the brand new and improved Mosport Kartways. With the introduction of a new Multi-Facility Club Membership at a very attractive price, both tracks will be available for club racing through a well thought out schedule that avoids date conflicts between the individual clubs as well as the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and of course the ASN Canada FIA Canadian National Championships. Track renovations at Mosport Kartways include a complete re-surfacing, over 900 feet of linear curbing, as well as an all-new three-turn complex and administration building that includes a full service kart shop, race control, permanent washrooms and more. Still to come to Mosport before the start of the racing season is the addition of hospitality suites, permanent grandstands and karting specific barriers as well as other improvements.
With all the excitement surrounding Mosport and Goodwood, it is shaping up to be an exciting year for all those involved. Both facilities have high hopes for the upcoming year but re-inventing the wheel isn’t the main focus for the new series; the main appeal lies with enhancing the racing experience for local club members. Simply put, the Inter-Club series will provide high level racing at club level pricing. Literally club level pricing, the same fee you would pay at a regular club event. This will aid in preparing the average club racer for entering bigger events in the future, if and when they are ready to do so.
“Karters want this, teams have been very supportive and as the promoter of the series, we feel that it completes the hierarchy of karting in Ontario.” Admits Daniel.
“Looking at the big picture, the ladder now includes; Entry Level Arrive and Drive Programs, which will feed Club Racing programs. Club Level racing that includes access to the New Regional Inter-Club Championship and of course our National Championship, which includes the ECKC and the ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships.”
Making the jump to National level racing can prove to be a steep learning curve and traditionally Regional racing has provided a stepping stone to the highest levels of karting the country has to offer. Lasting memories of the Ron Fellows Karting Championship still linger in the paddock and are often described as the hay day of karting in Ontario. The vision at Goodwood and now Mosport reflect the hay days of the past. A time when Ontario Regional Kart racing was healthy and well organized series’ offered the karting community options to explore the sport of karting at a reasonable cost. The schedule for the new series is as follows:
• May 16. Goodwood Kartways (Long Track – Pre-ECKC Event)
• July 12th. Mosport (Long Track – Pre-ECKC Event)
• August 16th, Mosport (Long Track – Pra-Nationals Event)
• Sept 12th, Goodwood (Long Track – Annual Night Race)
With the introduction of the new series, organizers are proud to announce the involvement of Canadian Motorsport alumni Ron Fellows.
“Ron’s involvement within the Karting community is un-rivaled. From the successful years of the Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship to his more recent roll of supporting Team Canada at the Rotax Grand Finals for numerous years, Ron’s dedication to grass roots motorsports is second to none. We are thrilled to have Ron’s support and look forward to creating a platform for long term success.” Explained Di Leo.
Accessibility and competitiveness is the main attraction that drivers look for in any event. The Inter-Club Challenge is committed to utilizing and building upon this by streamlining the progression latter for the newer competitors, and guiding the drivers towards the next step in their careers. Track and facility improvements to Mosport Kartways, dedicated support and a solid foundation at Goodwood Kartways, and the involvement from Ron Fellows means that the drivers and teams are in for a tremendous 2015-karting season.