Friday was quite the weather experiment at the Canadian Mini Indy as many drivers rolled into the paddock and began practicing for this weekends Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge event in Hamilton, Ontario. For the first time, the series is hosting a race outside of Goodwood and Mosport Kartways and the overall reception after day one at Hamilton was quite positive. Even if the temps were well into the 30’s, the humidity was like a sauna and a mid-day thunderstorm gave everyone a much-needed lunch break and a short break from the heat.
The Canadian Mini Indy has a great history in Canadian karting, as outlined in Neelan Nadesan’s article earlier this week on CKN, and it is great to see it back on the schedule. The efforts that Trevor Wickens and his crew have put forth leading up to the race were instantly noticed as we drove into the facility and had a look. While still a little bumpy, the track provides a real challenge for drivers and has a number of great passing opportunities. The racing will be exciting this Sunday.
Catching up with Wickens, who didn’t have much time on his schedule as he oversaw the track and his Prime Powerteam, he explained how he was quite relieved the event is finally here and how happy he is to be a part of the CRFKC as a track and not just a team.
“Being invited to host a Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge Race is a huge honour for myself and Danielle [Duffy]. We have both worked very hard to get to this point and we are doing our very best to put on the best race we can.”
Over the past six weeks, Wickens has endured wicked weather that has challenged him and his team to get everything they wanted to be done, before this weekends race, mainly the repaving of a number of sections of the track. On a number of occasions Friday, Wickens was out on track himself, inspecting the upgrades and taking care of any nuisances that have appeared as karts take to the track.
While he’s been a part of the sport for two decades, this is the first major event that Wickens has hosted and now that it’s here, he has a newfound level of appreciation for those who regularly host events and major races.
“On a personal note, I’ve learned a lot in the past six weeks and will never look at a race the same again. From the outside looking in, it seems a lot easier then it really is. I will never again take for granted the work it takes to put on a large race.”
The CRFKC race will run Sunday, June 3, with well over 100 drivers expected to be on track throughout Saturday as well, getting in much-needed practice before the big show.