For the second year in a row we present the CKN Year in Review Awards. We here at Canadian Karting News decided to create our own set of awards, all pertaining to categories we feel worthy and throughout the final weeks of 2014, we will highlight an award for categories such as Junior and Senior driver’s of the year in both the Rotax Max and Briggs & Stratton divisions, helmet design of the year, Canadian event of the year among many others.
While these are all the opinion of CKN, you can let us know who you think deserved each award. Using the comments below each article, let us know who you feel was worthy of the award and a short blurb why you believe so.
**2014 Most Improved Driver**
2013 Winner: Elvis Stojko
– Simon Belanger
– Xavier Dorsnie
– Ryan MacDermid
– Ryan Martin
– Fred Woodley
– Clay Van Eerd
Winner: Fred Woodley
This years most improved driver hands down was Fred Woodley, as the Rotax DD2 pilot took his Maranello Kart to new heights in 2014. Fred started off the year at the Florida Winter Tour working closely with Maranello North America’s Trevor Wickens. During his FWT campaign, Fred was competing against some of the best drivers in the world giving him the experience he needed to become a title favourite when he came back home for the Canadian karting season.
All eyes were on Woodley in the opening rounds of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship at Mosport where he was one of the quickest drivers throughout the weekend, but mistakes and bad luck prevented him from bringing home his maiden win. In the second round at Goodwood Kartways Woodley finally got the big National win he was destined for, winning the third race of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship. Woodley continued his form through the year winning more races in Canadian season eventual finishing second in both ECKC and Canadian Nationals Karting Championships earning his spot on Team Canada after a season full of spirited battles with rival Jeffrey Kingsley.
Woodley also competed in two more International races in 2014 as he continued to gain experience. In July Woodley travelled to Zuera, Spain to compete in his first ever Rotax EuroMax event. He finished 9th in the prefinal but unfortunately was disqualified at the scales for being under weight. Adding insult to injury he couldn’t start the main after his kart wouldn’t start on the grid. That being said it didn’t put a cloud on the young driver as he looked at the positives as he gained valuable experience. Later on, this past fall Woodley was a top five runner in the Pan American Championships until a DNF in the Final spoiled his race weekend.
Putting everything he learned during the 2014 season to good use, Woodley was very impressive when the Rotax Grand Finals came around in November as he went back to Spain this time at the Kartódromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero Chiva in Valencia, Spain. Fred qualified in 14th out of the best 72 DD2 karters from around the world. Through the heats he fought hard to move up the field and stay out of trouble and it was mission accomplished as he finished the final heat tally in ninth. In the Final Woodley drove from his 9th place starting spot to bring home a fourth place finish. Finishing in front of him were Sean Babington and Ben Cooper, two drivers who are considered to be the best Rotax drivers on the planet.
We got a hold of Fred while he was studying for his final exam of the semester to hear what he thought about his season.
“It’s been a pretty crazy year when I look back at it. Working so closely with Trevor has taught me an incredible amount! We started the year just trying to finish at FWT and finished the year fighting for a top-five at the Rotax Grand Finals. I know this year wouldn’t have been possible without the support I received from my family, Trevor, and my sponsors. I can’t thank them enough. Oh, and of course the awesome coverage by CKN helped make the year that much better!”
His driver coach and mentor, Trevor Wickens had this to say about his protege “Fred’s a driver who truly eats, sleeps and drinks karting. He has transformed his style and honed his aggression and the result speak for them selves.”
We here at CKN would like to Congratulate Fred on the stellar year he had and wish him all the best in 2015 where he will be looking forward to bigger and better things.