Heading back to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals for a second straight year, Courtice, Ontario’s Tyler Kashak is motivated to build on his seventh place effort. Topping Team Canada’s effort a year ago was a bit shocking for a driver making his first start against the worlds best Rotax racers, but Kashak kept a cool head all week long and it culminated in the Grand Final.
Now with a second opportunity, Kashak is excited to use his experience to his benefit.
“Last year I was very fortunate to keep a clean nose and made it into the top five for the majority of the final only to end up seventh. That experience gave me a boost of confidence and proved anything could be possible. I aim for another top-ten performance, everything else is gravy.”
“If there is one thing I learned from last year’s Rotax Grand Final it was to remain calm and do not get intimidated by the magnitude of the event.”
Acting like a veteran on track, Kashak is very outgoing off track. He is also very grateful to living out his childhood dreams.
“It is an honour to qualify for Team Canada once again. I can recall as a young driver it was always my dream to represent our country at the world stage and now that I’m living it I couldn’t be more excited.”
Racing all season with his three teammates on Team Canada in Rotax DD2 this season, Kashak, who qualified through the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, will have the advantage of leaning on the shoulders if needed, but ultimately he knows that his race is about him first.
“I have the priviledge of racing the other drivers on the team quite often during the Canadian season but this is different. I want to represent my country the best I can on the world stage and I can’t let other rivalries cloud my vision. They are my teammates now and I expect a certain level of comradery however on the track I have one goal in mind and that is becoming World Champion. After coming close last year I know I have the potential to grab a podium finish for Canada and that is what I intend to do.”
On top of everything in racing, Kashak is also a full time student at McMaster University, studying Engineering Physics. Luckily, the Fall break fell just before the Grand Finals, allowing Kashak and his family to travel to Italy a week early and enjoy the opportunity for a small vacation before the big race gets underway. Checking out the Ferrari Museum among other tourist sights throughout the country, Kashak is anxiously excited to get things underway at the Sarno International Circuit.
He also offered some words of wisdom for his fellow Team Canada drivers.
“Upon arrival everything will seem quite daunting and you feel like there isn’t much you can do against these other international stars. Just remember that you are there for a reason as you are a champion yourself.”
The Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals runs from October 16 to 22 in Sarno, Italy. Team Canada has qualified 17 drivers to compete in the event and CKN is the official media partner for Team Canada covering every aspect of the event. Tune in often as we preview members of the team travelling to Italy.