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Premier Karting Helps Steer Five Drivers to Rotax Grand Finals

Laplante and Bedard celebrate their wins at the 2023 Canadian Karting Championships (Photo by: Cody Schindel / CKN


Premier Karting Helps Steer Five Drivers to Rotax Grand Finals

Capping off their season in Portugal, Premier Karting put their emphasis on returning to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in 2023. They had just completed their first Grand Finals with Olivier Bedard in Rotax DD2 and instantly were hungry to return to the great event for another opportunity to showcase on the international stage.

Fast forward a year and Premier Karting is set to return to the RMCGF and throughout the season, helped steer five drivers to the event.

It all started in February at the Rotax Winter Trophy. Premier had a small team of drivers down in Florida for the double-header event on back-to-back weekends. As one of the few race teams supporting the events, Premier opened their tent to support the privateer effort of Gianluca Savaglio.

A perfect weekend at the opener by Savaglio in Rotax DD2 built up a solid points lead that he managed in weekend two to earn the championship and Canada’s first driver to qualify.

Antoine Lemieux was another contender throughout the Winter Trophy, scoring a race win in round one but came up just one position short of the title in Mini Max. However many months later he was awarded the ticket when the champion declined the opportunity.

Premier has put a lot of their efforts and focus into their Rotax Max program over the past few seasons and it showed back home in the summer months.

Race wins were earned at the Coupe de Montreal and that brought momentum heading into the Canadian Open at ICAR, the first qualifying event in Canada for the RMCGF.

As a Tony Kart race team, Premier linked up with Ilie Tristan Crisan for the Canadian Open. A member of the official Tony Kart Racing Team in Italy, Crisan just happened to be back home during the Canadian Open week and opted to race.

The competition was stout but Crisan was dominant in the Final to secure the race victory by a large margin and with it, a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals, the third for Premier.

Solid race weekends were also had by Olivier Bedard in both Rotax Senior and Rotax DD2 along with David Laplante in Rotax DD2 Masters set them up nicely in the two-race mini championship for tickets as well.

The focus then shifted to the Canadian Championships at the Hamilton Karting Complex, the second half of the mini championship to award six tickets to the RGF.

Following a strong weekend of competition for Premier in which all four karts under the team tent were in contention to win, both Bedard and Laplante were victorious in Rotax DD2 and DD2 Masters. Celebrating as teammates on their victory laps, both were crowned Canadian Champions and raced their way to tickets to the Grand Finals.

“It’s been a great year for us at Premier,” exclaimed Martin Laplante, team manager. “To have helped a quarter of the drivers on Team Canada this year earn their tickets is a special feeling and I personally am very excited to see them all in Bahrain. Our Rotax program was very strong this year at home and our hard work has shown in the results. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported and helped us this year, we are already hard at work preparing for what will be an exciting 2024 .”

Following the Rotax Grand Finals, Premier will kick off the 2024 calendar in Florida, with a full roster of drivers planning to compete in the Florida Winter Tour and Rotax Winter Trophy.

Spots are still available for anyone wanting to join. For race team inquiries contact Martin and reserve your place today. For OTK chassis and parts please contact

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