After breaking the news that Richard Boake as been appointed as the new Competition Manager of the MotoMaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship, we were able to capture a few moments of his time to ask him a few questions about his new role, his ambitions for the series and history in the sport of karting.
CKN: Let’s start off with a little information for those who don’t know you. When did you start karting and for how long?
RB: I started karting in 1999. Wrapped up my karting career in 2009 when I ventured into cars, but I have been actively involved in karting in some capacity ever since.
CKN: What were some of your major accomplishments and moments you will remember for the rest of your life?
RB: I would have to say growing up one of the biggest races of the year for our generation of karters was going to Shannonville for the Ontario Grand Nationals. The trophy was a bear and for whatever reason, it was just that one trophy everyone wanted. I always seemed to do pretty well there and I managed to win five of them of my years in karting. I will also always remember being selected by Ron Fellows as one of the 12 drivers to compete in the Sunoco Ultra 94 Shootout. Competing in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2016 was for sure a bucket list race for me too. Finishing third was a pretty good accomplishment and I guess just breaking some track records in various time attack races over the last couple years, at some big events like the Speed Ring and Super Lap Battle.
CKN: You raced in the original Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship. For those who don’t know, or weren’t karting at the time, tell us just how big of a deal it was to compete in that series and the benefits it had for karters looking to graduate further in motorsports.
RB: It was a big deal to race the SRFKC back in the day. It was a National series that drew attention from karters countrywide.
Every year Sunoco, Ron Fellows and ASN Canada would select 12 kart racers (age eligible and turning 16) who were champions in the SRFKC along with a few standouts from the karting season to compete in a 1-day shootout in Formula 2000 cars at the Bridgestone Racing Academy at Mosport. From the 12 drivers at the shootout, 2 would be selected in the shootout to be part of Team Ultra 94 and receive a fully funded season in the Bridgestone racing academy F2000 school racing series.
It was a huge deal because it gave karters an opportunity to advance their career in Motorsport. From the many drivers who went through the program, many of them still compete today in some capacity and a few of them made a professional career for themselves; James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens, Daniel Morad and Kyle Marcelli.
CKN: Your duties with the MotoMaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship will strictly be off track, working as a connection between the racers and the series, as well as representing Ron Fellows and the series partners when they cannot attend races. This role is vital for the series, so what should the competitors know about your influence on the series.
RB: The competitors should know that I’m actively working with partners, organizers, and series directors to constantly improve the level of professionalism and competition within the series. Our goal is to create a sustainable cost-effective series that has the participants best interest in mind.
CKN: You’ve worked with both Trevor Wickens and Daniel DiLeo in the past. How is your relationship with the two guys who you will be working with to host the MRFKC races?
RB: I have a good relationship with both parties. We are all working very hard to try and create a fun, competitive series that gives back to the karting community.
CKN: …and what are some of the common interests you three share when discussing the series?
RB: We’ve talked about three core ideas:
Sustainability – We all want to figure out a formula that keeps the costs down, introduces new karters to the sport, all while still providing a professional competitive racing series that helps mentor kids in the early stages of their racing careers.
Professionalism – Making sure that our sponsors best interests are being looked after. Creating value to their brands. Making sure that the series is being operated in an unbiased manner.
Driver Enhancement – Figuring out a way to bridge the gap between karting and cars.
CKN: Do you have any goals for the MRFKC this season?
RB: My goals are to make sure that the karters are happy with the series and the way it’s running. We as a series would like to see the attendance increase so that we can plan for future growth in years to come.
CKN: Finally, is there anything else the karters should hear from you before we all get to Goodwood for the first round of the MotoMaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship?
RB: Just know that I’m here acting on your behalf with your best interest in mind. I want to make sure that karters have a voice, and the interest of our sponsors are always being looked after. Feel free to come up and chat with me as I’m roaming the paddock on race weekends.
Have some questions of your own that you want to ask Richard Boake? You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.