He was all set to move up to the Senior division for the season when Samuel Lupien got the phone call in early April. Following his second place finish at the US Open of Las Vegas late last season, he was awarded a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals.
Only it was in Rotax Junior.
“It was amazing to get the phone call, even after going to the Grand Finals three times already,” noted Lupien. “It always feels good to get a ticket.”
As a sixteen year old, it wasn’t ideal for Lupien to stay in Junior for the year, so he moved up to Rotax Senior as planned for the Canadian races and still maintained the ticket to race in Italy as a Junior. He also mixed things up this year, taking part in the ASN Canadian National Karting Championships in the Briggs & Stratton Senior category. Having never raced a Briggs before, Lupien stunned everyone, sweeping the entire event en route to the National title.
As the only Junior driver on the Team Canada roster to have been to the Grand Finals before, twice as a Junior and once in Mini-Max, Lupien will be leaned on for advice from his fellow drivers.
“For sure I’ll do my best to help them out on track or set up. If they’re not in my group it’s harder to help them but I can still give them some tips to how to race in Europe because it’s alot different then racing here in Canada.”
To stay in karting shape, Lupien has been lapping at Circuit ICAR as much as possible just trying his best to stay in karting shape and be ready for to take on the worlds best.
Travelling to Italy, Lupien will also have plenty of support, especially from his brother Cedrik, who was a member of Team Canada last year. Cedrik was very close to joining Sam on Team Canada but came up only a few points short in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship.
He’s also very humble when asked about words of advice for his fellow Team Canada rookies.
“Don’t focus on the others. Do your own things and everything is going to be good.”
Simpler words cannot have been said.
The Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals runs from October 16 to 22 in Sarno, Italy. Team Canada has qualified 17 drivers to compete in the event and CKN is the official media partner for Team Canada covering every aspect of the event. Tune in often as we preview members of the team travelling to Italy.