If he didn’t already have the eyes of the paddock by being a home track ace last week at the Canadian National Karting Championships, Goodwood Kartways/IPK North America driver Tyler Kashak had certainly drawn them by midday Friday. Hitting the track for Rotax Senior qualifying, the rookie Senior took pole position by a scant 0.004 seconds, and never crossed lower than third from that point on, winning the second heat and ultimately reaching the National podium.
“The week was fantastic,” Kashak said of his National run. “We had some setbacks and troubles along the way, but with hard work and determination we pulled off a spectacular result. I knew I had great pace heading into qualifying and top-three was entirely possible, but I didn’t realize I was on pole until I came off the track and saw my team hanging over the fence! It was a great feeling and I almost couldn’t believe it happened.”
Kashak then continued to roll from there, crossing third in the first heat, winning the second and crossing third once again in heat three to qualify on the front row for the National Prefinal Sunday morning. There again he crossed third, the same position he became isolated in during the Final after dicing through the early stages – a curse as much as a blessing according to the IPK/OK1 driver.
“It was definitely a confidence booster placing in the top three in all of the heats and the Prefinal, and I knew that by staying consistent I could find the podium in the Final as well,” Kashak recalled. “I wanted that podium spot very badly, but to be honest I didn’t even take into account that I became isolated in third initially. I still pushed hard as I always do and ensured I didn’t make any mistakes as that would have led to me getting caught by the rest of the field. Though when I found myself all alone lap after lap I was very tense and the rest of the race took very long to pass. When it was over it was such a relief and it was a great feeling coming off the track and stepping on the podium!”
As always, it takes a dedicated support system to help produce a great drive, and especially one that leads to the top three among Canada’s best. Kashak certainly has his, a point that was made clear in closing.
“I really want to thank my dad especially, as without him none of it could have been possible,” he said. “I also want to thank everyone at IPK North America: Thanks to Nigel at HRS Engines; Marco, Dan and Frank Di Leo; Josh Hart and everyone else under the tent. It was a great week and I just couldn’t be any happier.”
* Team Facts: IPK North America is based at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, where drivers can progress from turning rental kart laps to world championships. The IPK North America race team represents the facility at National and International Championships like the Florida Winter Tour, Pan-American Rotax Max Challenge, Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and Canadian National Championships.
It has also had drivers contest SKUSA SuperNationals, the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup, the Rotax European Championship, the Rotax International Open Championship and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. IPK North America operates in conjunction with IPK in Verona, HRS Racing Engines, IMAF Racing Seats and Intremax.