The Canadian Open hits the track in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec this weekend where racers from around the world will be chasing tickets to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held this year in Sarno, Italy. Five classes have tickets to be won, awarding the race winners with the opportunity to represent their country at the annual event known around the world.
The fabulous Jim Russell Karting Academy circuit will challenge racers this week, utilizing the clockwise direction, a layout that hasn’t been used in many years. It was the original direction of racing when the track first opened ten years and is an exciting twist for racers to tackle this weekend.
Taking a look at the pre-entry list were expecting some great racing, even if some of the grids are a little smaller than we expected. The talent and quality of drivers are here and that is all that matters when big prizes are on the line.
Here are some notable entries seeking victory this weekend.
Rotax Mini-Max will see the defending Rotax Grand Finals Micro-Max Champion on the grid. Brent Crews from North Carolina, USA has entered aboard a J3 Competition-CompKart. He will be challenged by another American, Caleb Grafarar, who is suiting up with PSL Karting on a BirelART. From Monaco, Oscar Wurz is in attendance, looking to keep the Canadian Open title in the family name after his older brother Charlie drove home the victory last year in Tremblant. Looking at the Canadian contingent, Frankie Esposito will be one to watch on his Prime/BirelART entry, as will his teammate Ashton Henckel. Adam Bellafquih along with Lucas Deslongchamps will team up at Ben Cooper Racing to try and keep the trophy in the province of Quebec. Costa Toparis has made the longest voyage to compete in the race, flying in from Australia to race with PSL Karting.
In Junior Max, the Coupe de Montreal battle between Justin Arseneau (BCR/TonyKart) and Callum Baxter (PSL/BirelART) will resume. They two have waged a great battle this season in Quebec and now have a ticket to Italy to fight for this weekend. It’s a small turnout in Junior, currently with only seven entries on the list, but thankfully they are all from Canada.
Just like last year, Senior Max will be a great show. A number of drivers from Ontario have made the trek to Tremblant, along with a pair of Americans. Patrick Woods-Toth is having a hot season with Prime Powerteam and returns to his home province for a chance to race in Italy. He will have the likes of Nicholas Hornbostel (REM/Kosmic), Chris Chanko (Premier/TonyKart), Cole Hooton (Prime/BirelART). Adam Dowler (Premier/TonyKart) is in town from Alberta, along with Emma Delattre (REM/Kosmic) and Lane Vacala (J3/CompKart) from the USA. A last minute entry, Zachary Claman DeMelo has joined Racing Edge Motorsports for the race. Rivals from the Coupe de Montreal, Marc-Antoine Poirer (CRAD/BirelART) and Vincent Desautels (Premier/Kosmic) could surprise the group as well.
In the Rotax DD2 and DD2 Masters categories, there are currently only four drivers in each class. There should still be some great racing, but it’s a little disappointing, considering the solid numbers in Quebec this season. DD2 will see a battle between last years winner Davide Greco, Isaac Marritt, Christophe Rizk and Tyler Kashak, who appears to be coming out of retirement for another shot at the Grand Finals. In DD2 Masters, Etienne LaSalle is looking for another victory, challenged by Fabio Casanova, Alexandre Gauthier and American Nathan Mauel. With the exception of Kashak, all of the drivers are on BirelART chassis supported by with PSL Karting or Ben Cooper Racing.
Qualifying for the Rotax Max classes begins on Friday.
In addition, Briggs and Stratton Junior, Senior and Masters, along with Open Shifter will be racing this weekend in Mont-Tremblant. We will have a preview of those classes on Friday.