Three gentlemen have been hard at work since October of 2017 to build and prepare the new Western Canadian Karting Championship. Taking the lead and putting rubber on the asphalt has been Blake Choquer, a Rotax Grand Finals champion mechanic, Scott Campbell, the 2010 Rotax Grand Finals DD2 Masters Champion, and Scott Sinclair, race team owner of SKZ Motorsports. Each hailing from a different Western Canadian province, the three have had to communicate mainly by email and telephone in order to get their ducks in a row but after many months of hard work, almost everything in line for the first round of the championship, being held in Strathmore, Alberta on May 25-27.
Just recently the entry window closed for drivers hoping to qualify for the Rotax Max Challenge and to represent Team Canada in Mini Max, Junior Max or Senior Max, with a total of 26 drivers committing to lease an engine from the series and to race on equal Rotax Max powerplants at all three rounds. Looking to race Briggs 206? Don’t worry, the series offers it too, and they’re exoecting large numbers
The series has informed CKN that a few positions are still left if any drivers want to make a last-second entry into at least the first round of the championship to see how they fair. But don’t delay if you are interested as your registation is due ASAP! Click here.
In our quick chat conversation with Choquer (BC), Campbell (SC) and Sinclair (SS), the three answer a few questions we fired over to them to see how things were going and what they are looking forward to this summer in the Western Canadian Karting Championship.
CKN will be trackside for rounds one and three of the WCKC as part of our epic CKN Summer Tour. Be sure to join us for your chance to pick up official merchandise and to follow along with our coverage of the events!
In regards to the new Western Canadian Karting Championship, how is the vibe you have been receiving from the clubs, tracks, and drivers?
SC: Starting a new series has had its challenges but I believe that everyone is very happy to have a series running in the West again.
BC: The vibe is really good. People are talking about it at the track [Greg Moore Raceway], asking questions and the feedback has been really good. Karting is a community and when racers feel involved and welcomed it makes for a great environment.
SS: Locally around Alberta here the Edmonton and Calgary vibe has been great! The Calgary executive and the club have been very cooperative with us to organize this first event. Many of their club members have been forwarding their questions about the series and showing positive excitement to get it started.
The registration cutoff for the Rotax Max classes has just passed. Are you happy with the number of drivers who signed up to challenge for the Rotax Grand Finals tickets? Are you considering opening it up for another week or so in hopes of getting a few more drivers?
SC: Having the cut off eight weeks prior to the event was more so we as the organizers could be prepared for the drivers wanting to commit to the program of the lottery motors. We made a big push to try and get as many out that would benefit from the program and we are very pleased that we have almost 50 entries already for Rounds 1 & 2. Rotax Sr will be the big one to watch with 13 drivers going for the Grand Final ticket.
BC: The competitors who signed up for competing in the Rotax Grand Finals is an awesome start to the series numbers. It’s not an ideal situation asking competitors to sign up two months before but the logistics and getting engines shipped from Rotax takes time. So we are very grateful for the racers participation and understanding.
SS: I am very pleased with the RGF entry numbers. Once racers saw the cost comparison we did use our lease motors vs the costs of racing their own motors, it really became an easy choice.
Our deadline had to be our deadline on the motors as the order for the new engines went to Austria on April 2. We could not wait any longer in order to get the new motors here in time for preparation for the first event.
We did account to have a few spare motors in each class in case of a series committed racers want to get in on Grand Finals ticket competition. We have a limited number of spares in each class just in case there’s more interest.
LAST CHANCE: There are a few spots left for racers who want to race for the Rotax Grand Finals tickets. Register ASAP on MotorsportsReg.com!
What have been some of the hurdles the new series has faced as you get closer to the first race of the year?
SC: With starting a new series we have had to start right from scratch. So just having to do all the backend legwork has been the biggest load of work and then getting people to understand the program we are trying to start with the lottery system.
BC: There have been a few hurdles and some pushback at the beginning. But now you can feel a sense that Western Canada is excited about this and things are running really smooth. For the three of us, Scott Campbell, Scott Sinclair and myself, it takes a lot of time organizing the WCKC. We probably spend 1-2 hours a day minimum answering calls, emails or having team meetings. Now that most of the major items have been dealt with and Mojo/Vega and Rotax engines have been ordered we have been looking for sponsorship for the series and this takes a lot of time and effort. But we have had some great success with some major companies who have stepped up big including Exclusive Autosport.
SS: The west has not had an organized series for a few years and creating a new event idea and new series was a bit of a hurdle to interest the western racer. But our hard work and Rotax stepping up to the plate like they have allowed us to has created excitement for the WCKC and the western clubs.
Then our title sponsorship being picked up by Exclusive Autosport has made this the series the West has been waiting for.
Blake Choquer, Scott Campbell, Dave Campbell and myself decided late last year that pulling this off will need advanced early preparation to bring its 100% value to the racer and we all have been heavily working on this series to ensure that we get as many entrants as we can to all the venues in 2018.
What is a single thing that you think will make the series stand out from the rest of the karting competitions in Canada/USA?
SC: First off with the WCKC doing lottery is one of the biggest game changers out there. No more big horsepower motors to worry about. Secondly, we are trying to add some new elements to the series that will be more friendly to the local club racers to make it an event that everyone can enjoy from the local guy right up to the elite drivers. We are giving out a bunch of different prizes also for everyone and still working on more.
– Three Rotax Grand Final tickets (Mini-Max, Junior Max, and Senior Max)
– Entry into US Open for the top USA driver in all Rotax classes after Calgary event
– Entry into Canadian Open for the top Canadian driver in all classes after Saskatoon event
– Three F1600 tests with Exclusive Autosport
BC: WCKC has many unique features that are not being utilized in other series. Our focus is education, fun, competition. Friday morning we have a driving school and in the evening a one hour technical class. Followed by a doubleheader race weekend. But the most important aspect is the equal playing field. Having engines supplied by Rotax/WCKC ensures an equal playing field. No more $10,000+ engines. No more $900-1500 engine rentals. We have brought back affordable racing that families can afford while creating an equally competitive field.
SS: I really like the way our series has been created as low a cost as possible for the average racer. The big dollar killer engines will not take a Rotax Grand Finals ticket, the best drivers will. This series caters to the budgets of the western racer in all classes. Entry fees are low, you can supply your own tires if you like, a race school and tech class are included on Friday and the qualifying leaderboard will be used.
If there was one thing you could tell all of the potential racers before the first round of the WCKC, what is that?
SC: We as the WCKC organizers want everyone to know these events are for everyone to come and compete and have a ton of fun. Also, we are looking to expect some big numbers and if you want to race in some of the biggest grids you have raced come to the WCKC.
BC: Have fun. WCKC was created as an inter-club championship. Its a great feeling getting to travel to fellow Canadian clubs/tracks. Compete, meet new friends, have fun, learn. Creating a fun, family environment will build our karting community and in turn grow the sport. We have been so busy trying to build a mini F1 series with closed tents, intensive programs that we have lost the mom/dad teams. It’s time to create an environment that will bring them back.
SS: I would say to just come and enjoy yourselves. Have fun and learn as much as you can. Make it an experience for you and your families that you will enjoy and look forward to the next event.
Finally, which of the three WCKC races are you looking forward to most and why?
SC: I think the first race I am looking at right now as we have been working on this series since October. Tons of hard work and man hours have gone into it and I want people to see it all at the first event.
BC: The first event in Calgary May 25-27. Reason being its been a project of ours since October 2017 and to finally see it in action will surely make all the time and effort well worth it. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Scott Sinclair and Scott Campbell so to be able to enjoy it as a group will be great.
SS: For me, I am really looking forward to Chilliwack. Seeing the final result of our team efforts and being part of awarding all of the hard-working racers our amazing prizes will make this racing year complete. It’s been great working with Scott and Blake on this. I also know 2019 will be even better!
To learn more about the Western Canadian Karting Championship, visit http://wckc.ca.