Four races into the 2019 Coupe de Montreal calendar and you can feel it throughout the paddock. The momentum continues to build and the excitement level is growing at a great pace as the racing and competition are returning Canada’s most motorsport hungry province.
Round three and four took place at Circuit ICAR, the host of the rebirth of the Coupe de Montreal only four short years ago. The organizers knew it would take time, but have put in the effort needed to grow their fields and develop new karting talents.
A lot can be said for programs such as the Ben Cooper Racing Academy, the Premier Karting/Top Karting development program, Gerald Caseley Racing and PSL Karting for helping steer new and old racers in the right direction and putting their focus on supporting everything they can to grow the sport. There are many new helmets on the track and families on the fences supporting the racers and it’s so good to see, especially in Briggs Cadet and Junior.
In chatting with Ben Cooper, the focus on his BCR Junior Team is to find and introduce new racers at a local level, work with them for an entire summer and ensure they are ready before they are suiting up for their first races. Now into his third season with the academy, we are seeing numbers well into the double digits from the BCR Junior Team in the Coupe de Montreal.
At SH Karting in May, Cooper saw his squad of nearly 20 drivers split between his team tent and privateers as he advises parents to work with their drivers, to be their mechanics and learn the ropes, providing the help when needed with his team of coaches and mechanics.
“The first thing we do for interested racers is take them through our 3-day summer camp. It gives us a feeling of is really interested and from there we move them into our BCR Academy which is based through a whole summer with the goal of the first year drivers to be ready for the last Coupe de Montreal race in Tremblant. We cover everything from keeping the kart is a proper condition, to teaching the parents how to mechanic on the kart, to driver techniques. While the services are there to pay for things like mechanics, we want our families to do everything together and to keep costs down.”
“We don’t let anyone race who we don’t think is ready.”
All of this will continue into the summer, where our eyes will focus on the Canadian Open in Mont-Tremblant. Even though it is not a points race, we’re expecting to see these numbers continue, and even grow at this major event as it should draw some attention from Ontario and even around the globe, just like it did last year. With great prizes up for grabs, such as Rotax Grand Finals tickets, car test days and more, there isn’t much reason not to travel to one of North America’s best karting circuits in a region everyone in the family loves. The organizers have a big BBQ and entertainment planned for Saturday evening as well. It’s a win-win for everyone this July and I really hope to see everyone there.
Learn more and register now for the Canadian Open via the MaxChallenge.ca website.