It’s a big trek from Chilliwack, BC to Regina, Saskatchewan, over 1600 kilometres to be specific, but racers competing in the Western Canadian Karting Championship have made the trek across half of our country to be a part of round two as the series rolls into WF Botkin Raceway. It will be the first major karting event at the track that opened only a few short years ago and has been waiting patiently to make their big debut.
All eyes are focused on the Rotax Max classes this weekend as racers are competing for tickets to become members of Team Canada and compete in Sarno, Italy this fall in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Chilliwack featured races won by three drivers who were on Team Canada last fall in Brazil and are off to a good start is having another chance to show off their skillset on the global stage.
Taking those victories were Coltin McCaughan in Senior Max, Jason Leung in Junior Max and Kieran Hartley in Mini-Max. Noel Dowler and Jared Freeston took the Rotax DD2 and DD2 Masters victories, getting out to an early lead in the categories that have tickets for the first time.
So what are we expecting this weekend when CKN flies into Regina for the first time since 2014?
1. We’re very curious to see if McCaughan can maintain his form up front when he tackles a new track. Garett Britton is the local hot shoe and we’re expecting him to push hard for his first WCKC victory. Townes Allen is another competing in his home province to watch out for. Keep an eye on Griffin Dowler as the driver from Alberta has been known to adjust quickly to new challenges.
2. Can Jason Leung be beaten in Junior Max? The kid from BC is tearing it up this year and even has a race win in Europe. He will be tough to beat in Regina, but we’re hopeful he will at least be challenged.
3. Head-to-head battle expected in Mini Max as Qui looks to dethrone Hartley. Under the guidance of Blake Choquer, Ian Qui has steadily been developing into a future champion. Defending class champion Kieran Hartley retained control in Chilliwack, but Qui was able to sneak one heat race win away and we’re expecting these two young guns to really push each other to their limits in Regina.
In addition to the Rotax Max action, there will be some Briggs 206 racing as well as Open Shifter. We will keep an eye on them as well this weekend. The action gets underway Saturday morning with Qualifying, followed by three rounds of heat races. PreFinals and Finals will roll on Sunday and CKN will have a full report from the weekend as well as updates throughout the event.