This season we have added a selection of drivers from across the country to blog their karting experiences exclusively on CKN. From rookies to veterans, in both Rotax Max and Briggs & Stratton categories, these drivers will go beyond just their results and elaborate on their struggles and successes. If you are interested in becoming a CKN blogger, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing: Alex Da Silva
Hey everyone! My name’s Alex Da Silva, I’m 23, and I’ll be racing in the Briggs Senior class this year! Thanks to CKN, I’ll be doing a little blogging this year, so you guys will get a little insight into my racing!
So a little bit about myself and the racing I’ve done: I love racing. Plain and simple – ‘nuff said type of deal. I first started racing in 2007, when I was 14 years old in Hamilton, in the Arrive and Drive karts. I did well, winning the championship in my first year, eventually moving up to F1-K for the following year. To be honest, I didn’t do too well.. wasn’t prepared, or took it seriously enough really. Not to take away from the fact that I loved it, but I didn’t understand what needed to be done all around, to be fast – preparedness, physically fit etc (I weighed about 40lbs more back then, than I do now). Also, as a driver, I was nowhere near the driver I’ve become now.
Anyway, we had to stop after 2008 due to it being too expensive for my family to continue. Due to circumstances happening in my life from 2008-2015, I did not continue racing. Had to either look after my mom, myself, or the house / bills. Plus, to be honest, I had given up pursuing racing. It wasn’t up until last year, in training for another racing venture (GT Academy, for those who are familiar), that I had decided to join the Arrive and Drive program out at Goodwood! For the first time in 7 years, I was finally back racing, only to have fractured my hand, missing the first 4 races of the year. Luckily though, you are allowed to make up races that you miss, in that series, so I was able to catch up to everyone! I did well last year, getting faster as the year went on, especially since I had to shake off 7 years of rust!
Once again, I ended up winning the championship, and with the help of my buddy Zach Boam, was able to purchase a chassis to run in the Briggs Senior class this year!
Though, it has been a tough start to the year unfortunately. My mom, Joanne Shelley, was hospitalized at the start of November, due to long time health issues, that had eventually caught up to her (She had MS, as well as a few other issues, unfortunately). Unable to move or speak, she hospitalized up until late January, where she could put up the good fight until she literally could not anymore. She passed away January 25th, and it has been the most difficult past few months I’ve ever had – not only having to deal with everything associated with a loved one passing away, but also due to the fact that I had to get everything ready for the start of the race season.. both on the kart side, and my physical side. She loved to watch me race, and is one of the main reasons why I HAD to race this season.
Now, after all my hard work in the off season, it was time to start the season! I’ll describe it as a bit of a roller coaster as of last race! I qualified on pole, won my pre-final, and won the final of my first club race back in 8 years! It was extremely satisfying seeing that all the work I had put in over the winter had paid off! The next race, I had kart issues, leading to a horrible finish, somewhere in the 20’s. After that was a race of mixed weather, and of course, it had to be dry all the way up to our final, when Mother Nature decided that the weekend was too easy for anyone! Being on slicks in the wet wasn’t fun, and eventually lead me to finishing 16th. Come the first CRFKC race last weekend, it was nice to have a decent weekend again! No kart issues, no unexpected weather changes (for me at least!), and a solid finish of 4th.
Now here we are.. up to date, and about to start round 1 of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship! This is definitely my biggest race to date, and I’m very excited to participate! I can’t wait to race up against some of the best in the country, and see, on a selfish note, how I stack up to the best! Plus, who doesn’t love 4-5 days straight of track time?! I’m looking forward to it, and I hope to see you guys and gals out there!
There are some people I would like to thank who have helped me throughout some of these hard times: My family for helping me out through this tough past few months, The Zivkovic family for helping me out in some tough times / being awesome / feeding me at the track, The Boam family for helping me get the kart and getting the season started, Kelly Michaud and Derek Michaud and the KDM guys for helping me with parts / support / engine and keeping us dry last weekend! And all my friends!
Peace everyone, and enjoy the racing!
Alex Da Silva
#792, Briggs & Stratton Senior