Welcome to CKN Chatter, where CanadianKartingNews.com sits down with go-karters from across our nation and around the world. This weekly feature will see a different kart racer interviewed by CKN each week, with quick and simple questions about their karting past, present and future.
This week, CKN touches base with the 2012 ASN Canadian National Briggs & Stratton Champion Gerald Caseley, from Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Caseley has been racing karts for fourteen years, racking up 9 Maritimes Championships in the process, and currently is in his fourth year at the University of PEI with aspirations to become a lawyer.
Name: Gerald Caseley
Hometown: Summerside, PEI
Years Racing: 14
Chassis Raced (to date): CRG
Favourite Track: Thetford Mines
Supporters: First and foremost my family has always been extremely supportive in my karting aspirations and development. They’ve taught me great morals and standards growing up that improved my karting and life significantly. This includes Gerald Sr. (Dad), Marie (Mom), and Brittany (Sister). Secondly I am very appreciative to Michael Dobbelsteyn, his family and the rest of PSL Atlantic. They provided me with great opportunities to further myself in racing. As a result, I’ve learned very much about not only racing but also in business and life in general; such knowledge that I will apply to my everyday life.
Accomplishments: 2012 ASN Canadian National Briggs & Stratton Champion, 9-time Maritimes Champion
Education Aspirations/Job: I am currently in my fourth year of business at the University of PEI. This fall I will apply to various law schools with the aspiration of becoming a lawyer. Keeping my doors open I will also be applying for the MBA program at Dalhousie University, with the aspirations of entering a marketing position.
To start, can you quickly recap your 2012 ASN Canadian Karting Championships?
The 2012 ASN Canadian Karting Championship was a great experience because of the wonderful location, competition, facility, and the people involved with the event. The practice days went well; knowing that in four-cycle racing it was really going to come down to the final race on Sunday. Qualifying to the final race facilitated close competition and fun racing. The only adversity to overcome happened during the second heat when the motor wouldn’t start on the grid. During that race I lost 3rd place on the gird to start the race in last place. Luckily, making my way through the pack to 10th still earned me the 5th position for the pre-final. Going into the final race my personal strategy was to place myself in the 2nd or 3rd position for the final lap. I knew that the four competitors I was racing against in the lead pack lacked neither technical nor strategic racing skill. The last part of the final lap I started to become anxious, as no one had made a move yet. When JF Lafontaine made his move in turn 13, I knew this was my opportunity. As they went through turn 13 I noticed that both racer had lost a significant amount of momentum and recognized that this was my chance to move to the inside, taking the preferred line coming to the checkered flag. Being on the inside of Lafontaine and Szigeti in a three wide situation, I knew that eliminated the ability for the drivers to team up together. Luckily, Buzzard chose to help me down the straightaway, without his help the pass would have been very risky. Coming across the line in first place was an extravagant feeling knowing the skill of my competitors.
What is your most memorable karting moment?
My most memorable moment will probably be the Canadian Karting Nationals of 2012 because of the results. Competing with this moment would have to be the 2010 Las Vegas Supernatoinals with the Mike Dobbelsteyn and the PSL Atlantic Team. The reason for this was the large-scale competition in an exciting city like Las Vegas. Going into the race the expectations were unable to be determined as we had never been involved in a race of this nature. There were 80 karts in the class and only 40 of those karts made the race. This made the successes of the weekend to be magnified. Qualifying 13th and starting each heat race in the 5th position in a field with such racers as Dan Weldon, David Sera, etc. was exciting and motivating. Although, the final result was a pre first corner incident the racing, city, and great people involved in the experience made it one of a lifetime for me.
First trophy ever won? Do you still have it?
The first trophy I have ever won was the 8th club race in the Moncton karting club schedule in 1998; I had won a club event and was very happy. The trophy is currently displayed by Gerald Senior in the karting shop, located in Summerside, PE.
How did you get started in karting?
At 8 years old I began karting because my father had done it in his early 20’s and thought it would be a great bonding experience for us.
What is your favourite thing about racing?
My favorite thing about racing is the competitive nature that is involved. It is a unique sense of competition because each individual on the track is competing for one spot. It drives anyone with a competitive nature to excel. Another aspect of the competition that is so appealing is that on the track competitors are categorized in two different groups, the enemies that are respected and those that are not. Regardless of the actions on track racers always seem to be able to have fun with one another when they leave the track in various recreational activities.
Who is your favourite person to race against and why?
My favorite person to race against is Nathan Kelly. Growing up we have always raced against one another, whether it be in four-cycle, Rotax, or even rentals in the rain. We have always had and will always have a healthy dynamic of competition that pushes each other to perform at our best. This competition attribute to much of my karting development.
If there is someone from another generation you could race against, who would it be and why?
If I could race anyone from previous generation it would be David Fore, I respect his accomplishments and would like the chance to beat someone of such high ranking in the sport.
When you look at karting from a fan/spectator point of view, what do you see?
When looking at it from a spectator point of view, I feel it is an undervalued form of motorsports. The entertainment value is high because of the various skill level, accident intensive starts, and personalities involved. I think karting as a sport is working hard to improve this and are doing a great job, especially with the partnership of Canadian Tire and the TSN time slots.
What is your current perspective on Canadian Karting and how do you think we could improve it?
Canadian Karting is in good shape in my opinion. The quality of drivers that the program is producing is undeniably impressive. With the number of world champions that participate in the races in this nation, it is easy to say that our countries development is great. Promotion and coverage is easily at an all time high and I believe this is causing a drastic improvement in regards to introducing people to the sport and improving the sports perception. The Rotax program is a great concept and now that four cycle is developing a similar concept I believe numbers will grow in that class for years to come. I am proud of the state of karting in Canada.
If you could win one race, and only one race, then retire, what would it be and why?
The race I would most like to win would be the World Finals in the Rotax Senior or DD2 divisions. This race facilitates great competition and as a result is a prestigious event. The event is always held at great tracks in interesting parts of the world, and to just be a part of such event would be a privilege but to win would be amazing.
If you could choose one, would you choose a chassis tuner, engine tuner and driver coach?
I would choose a chassis tuner. I believe that a chassis tuner would be the best of the three because they have the knowledge in how the chassis is working and usually what it takes driving wise to make it work. So I feel that the chassis tuner would provide a broader benefit. Motors, carbs, etc., vary, however theoretically they are to be the similar. Also a chassis tuner would notice motor performance and drive while they are watching the chassis. I feel the practicality associate with a chassis tuner exceeds the other two positions. With the amount of chassis available and different parts for them it is essential to have a good knowledge of chassis available options.
What is something karting people don’t know about you?
This year I am graduating university with a degree in Business and a special interest in marketing and will be in search of a job in April next spring. If anyone is aware of any opportunities for an eager business graduate let me know.