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August 13, 2009 News
Team News: Team Canada Completed

Hugo Ouellette will return to the RMCGF for the third time in his career (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Hugo Ouellette will return to the RMCGF for the third time in his career
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

With the conclusion of the ASN Canada FIA Canadian Nationals held at Goodwood Kartways the balance of Team Canada is now in place as eleven members prepare for the long trip to Egypt. The event will take place at the Ghibli Raceway on the Sharm El Sheikh resort in Egypt from December 9 to December 12, 2009. The six remaining spots on Team Canada were awarded last weekend after three days of racing action pitting Canada’s best against one of the region's toughest tracks.

Three drivers had already joined Team Canada at the last round of the Western Canadian Championships, which took place in Calgary, Alberta. This six-race championship boasts having the best drivers from the four western provinces of Canada competing for the championship, with the winners of the Rotax Max Junior, Rotax Max and Rotax DD2 classes obtaining an invitation to race at the World Final.

Before the start of the racing season, two drivers from Canada had already secured their place on Team Canada in the Rotax DD2 class. Scott Campbell, from Saskatoon, qualified when he won the Gatorz Challenge of Americas series and Darren White, from Toronto, did the same at the Florida Winter Tour series.

Rotax Max
Team Canada Rotax Max Senior will head to the Worlds with a very experienced three-driver line up including a total of four previous trips to the World Finals.

Chris Glover joins the team from the Western Canadian Championships. He secured his invitation in the very last round going into the final race in a near dead heat with Thomas MacGregor, Bobby Wallace and Tyler Wheeler. Glover would start the WCC with a perfect weekend, which proved to be the difference in the end. The 30-year direct drive veteran and former ICA Champion will make his first World Finals start.

Hugo Ouellette enters Team Canada from the Canadian Nationals with a first place victory as he cruised to a strong win against a tough field of drivers all looking for the big prize. Ouellette is no stranger to the World Finals event, having been on two previous trips in 2004 and 2006.

Marco DiLeo climbs on board Team Canada from the Canadian Nationals taking second place honours. DiLeo was the odds on favourite for victory and used all his local knowledge to take home the second spot as he was left deep in the field in the prefinal. For DiLeo, this will mark his third trip having visited the Worlds in 2004 and again 2005.

Garret Grist earned his invitation to RMCGF in his first attempt in Rotax Junior (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Garret Grist earned his invitation to RMCGF in his first attempt in Rotax Junior
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

Rotax Max Junior
The Junior Team will consist of three drivers with varying backgrounds and strong skills ready to take on the world’s best.

Bryce Choquer got his invite from the Western Canadian Championships and has been a standout on the western scene all season enjoying his best year yet. He is going to his first Worlds as a driver, having been before a spectator. This is Choquer’s third year in Junior Rotax and will move to the Senior category in 2010.

Garett Grist joins Team Canada from the Canadian Nationals by taking first place in the 30-lap final. Grist will be the youngest member and is a rookie in Rotax Junior, taking the title in his first attempt. He spent the last three seasons competing in the Comer Cadet class in Stars of Karting, battling some of North America’s toughest drivers.

Steven Szigeti returns to Team Canada from the Canadian Nationals securing second place as he continues a strong 2009 performance. A great run at the 2009 Florida Winter Tour has also seen him top the results board in the province of Quebec all year. This marks Szigeti’s second straight trip and his fellow juniors will look to him for leadership at the big show in December.

Five Canadians will represent Canada in the Rotax DD2 class in Egypt, lead by Canadian Champion Frank Launi (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Five Canadians will represent Canada in the Rotax DD2 class in Egypt, lead by Canadian Champion Frank Launi
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

Rotax DD2
Kyle Stevens joins the team from the Western Canadian Championships, an opportunity he has been hunting for, for some time. The 17-years-old has been a fixture of the western karting scene and is excited about his first trip to the Worlds. He placed well in FWT and has been running a kart purchased from the 2008 World Finals last year. That may have been some good karma.

Frank Launi gets his invitation from the Canadian Nationals by grabbing first place in the two-speed class with a strong run in the final. Launi had the invite locked in Rotax Senior in 2008 but chose to hand over the opportunity to Michael Vincec. This time Launi is booked and ready to go. Expect Launi to be quick from the start.

Daniel Morad joins Team Canada from the Canadian Nationals earning second place in the final. The A1GP Team Lebanon standout was at the top of the heap all weekend looking to take the win for his home track. He would have to battle back in the final to bring home second place and a spot on Team Canada.

Joining these three is Darren White, who will enter the event courtesy of the international status of the Florida Winter Tour, taking the DD2 championship in strong fashion against a deep international field of drivers. White was a member of Team Canada in 2008 as the Canadian National DD2 winner from the Canadian Nationals held in Grande Mere, QC.

Scott Campbell will also use an international invitation to join team Canada through the US West coast based Gatorz Challenge taking the DD2 win. This will mark Campbell’s sixth trip to the Worlds. Campbell chose to run the Gatorz series as the due date for their first child was set for the opening weekend of the WCC. While Scott did his part and took the title, little Baby Campbell did the same and joined the family on schedule on opening weekend of the WCC.

BRP-Powertrain has been organizing the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) for the last ten years. During that time, the RMCGF has become the world's leading kart racing series, attracting 216 of the best drivers from 57 countries from all over the globe. The RMCGF karting series is organized under the patronage of Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body for world motorsport, and has been granted the prestigious title FIA authorized series.

"We are happy to return to the Sharm El Sheik for the 2009 Grand finals", said Gumpenberger. "Having been here in 2004, we know it is a good track and are delighted that Mr. Hany Soufrakis and the Ghibli Raceway have extended the courtesy and invitation for us to return", he concluded.

In 2008, the following chassis manufacturers supported the RMCGF and will extend their partnership in 2009. They are:
125 MAX Junior category MARANELLO RS9 30mm
125 MAX Senior category CRG Black Star 30/32mm
125 MAX DD2 category CRG Dark Rider 32mm

Past locations of the Grand Finals:
2000 November 2000, Puerto Rico / USA
2001 January 2002, Langkawi / Malaysia
2002 January 2003, Pretoria / South Africa
2003 January 2004, Sharm El Sheikh / Egypt
2004 January 2005, Lanzarote / Canary Islands
2005 November 2005, Langkawi / Malaysia
2006 November 2006, Viana do Castelo / Portugal
2007 November 2007, Al Ain / UAE
2008 November 2008, La Conca / Italy
2009 December 2009, Sharm El Sheikh / Egypt

EKN.ca will be profiling each driver in the month of October leading up to the big event in December. Stay tuned for more updates and information coming soon.
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