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July 05, 2012 News
Industry Insider: Overdrive Motorsports
 


In the karting world, there are certainly a large number of choices presented to the racers; first and foremost being the line-up of classes that are available. That being said, in Canada, we enjoy the most streamlined program in North America with a clean and straight-forward offering of both Rotax and four-cycle racing. In the West, Rotax racing is well-supported and the affordable new Briggs & Stratton LO206 engine package is beginning to gain popularity and this low-cost option is helping to grow the grassroots club level of karting. For many kart shops, being able to service both Rotax and Briggs is important and one of the leading operations in Western Canada is fully behind this concept. Calgary, Alberta’s Overdrive Motorsports understands that having options in terms of investment levels is critical in terms of making karting available to all, and as a result, 2012 has been one of growth and excitement.

Under the guidance of veteran kart tuner and shop owner Joey Guyon, Overdrive Motorsports is widely regarded as one the leading forces in Canadian Rotax competition. The Alberta shop has established itself as a primary source for kart racing products and services in Western Canada, from its Rotax engine servicing program, to a well-respected national and international race team.

Overdrive has imported and distributed the complete race-winning PCR chassis line for over 11 years, and they also handle the OTK component line, along with FA Chassis, Ribtect safety products, Righetti Ridolfi components, Mac Minarelli chassis, Wildkart parts, and also various other karting products and accessories. Overdrive is not only a premier one-stop shop for karters, but they are also the largest Rotax dealer in Western Canada, and consistently among the top-three Rotax dealers in Canada. Learn more http://www.odkarts.com

“When we moved our focus from the high-strung ICA engines over to the Rotax categories we saw immediate growth,” Guyon offererd. “Now with the Briggs LO206 program, we can cover any prospective clients’ needs, new or used.”
 

Overdrive Motorsports' use of a dyno further ensures its engines services are at the top of the field (Photo: Overdrive Motorsports)
Overdrive Motorsports' use of a dyno further ensures its engines services are at the top of the field
(Photo: Overdrive Motorsports)

As impressive as the industry leading sales are, it is their added services that truly sets them apart from the competition. One area of service that Overdrive Motorsports takes great pride in is its engine program. As the Southern Alberta Rotax Service Center, the organization is focused on selling, servicing, and rebuilding Rotax engines so that they get maximum performance. While top level drivers look to Overdrive for competitive power, club racers also seek their guidance to help keep costs in check.

With an experienced factory trained staff that has participated in national and international competition for years, every job is done correctly. Making the most of a healthy stock of parts and specialized tools, engines are entirely rebuilt in-house to industry leading specifications. Add in the ability to dyno engines and it’s easy to see why many racers repeatedly visit Overdrive for engines sales and service. Whether a racer wants the peace of mind to arrive at the track knowing their engine will run smoothly and doesn’t need any further break-in, or a driver wants to try various combinations of parts, Overdrive can do the job right.

“With our background in performance two-cycle engines, and now 10 years of experience with the Rotax engines, we really know what makes these engines tick,” Guyon continued. “The dyno is a great tool to prove out components and select parts, and this shows on the track too.”

Overdrive Motorsports' expertise and success, however, is not just limited to the sales and pre and post event services, as since 2003 the organization has been an active Rotax racing team as well.

Competing both regionally and nationally, the Overdrive Motorsports race team has always been focused on building relationships and helping its drivers meet and exceed their goals. In the ‘off-season’, Guyon offers a program that gives Canadian karters the opportunity to participate in the ultra-competitive Gatorz Challenge of the Americas Rotax series in Arizona and California. The series is extremely valuable, both in terms of pre-season testing and practice, and in its prize package, which includes a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals for the class champions in Rotax Junior, Senior, and DD2. The Overdrive tent is a staple in the Challenge of the Americas paddock, having supported the series for many year. Back home, the team focuses on the Western Canadian Championships, as well as supporting drivers on the club level. Never running more than five racers under the tent at a time, the Alberta squad's team of talented tuners, mechanics, and coaches utilizes its years of experience to not only give the drivers all the tools necessary to succeed, but also develops long-term plans to continually improve and excel. It is obviously a winning formula, with driver partnerships in excess of 10 years, and multiple wins and championships on the squad's racing resume.

“Our goal is to provide the level of service that each client expects,” offered the respected shop owner. “That is very important to us. Our first step is to help racers verbalize their goals so that we can monitor their performance and our efforts along the way. If some minor tweaks are required as the season progresses, it is easier to achieve with this mindset. A racer might say 'I want to go to the Worlds', that is a very broad goal, but we have successfully done it three times and understand how to lay out a path to success. Another racer might want to go check out new tracks, battle new racers and see out local attractions at night, and we can help them have a great vacation as well.”
 

Overdrive Motorsports has a wide selection of parts and the technicians to make any kart run at its best (Photo: Overdrive Motorsports)
Overdrive Motorsports has a wide selection of parts and the technicians to make any kart run at its best
(Photo: Overdrive Motorsports)

Given the success that Overdrive Motorsports has achieved both on and off the track with its shop, engine services, and team, it is easy to see why it is one of the primary places to go in Western Canada when it comes to Rotax karting, as well as where tuners go for sales, services, and support. But the program is not all about Rotax, as the Briggs and Stratton LO206 program has helped breath new life into the club racing level in Calgary, where Overdrive focuses is summer trackside service. The Briggs LO206 is a turn-key sealed engine package that comes in at a price less than $600, as a full bolt-on until with a motor mount for right around $1000. It’s a strong program that is helping to bring new racers to the club, as well as past competitors back to the track.

“The Briggs LO206 program is grassroots, and exactly what the general public envision when they think about karting,” said Guyon, who has been very pleased with the effect the Briggs program has had on his local club scene. “We attended three trade shows this winter and showed off a turn-key LO206 race kart. The speed, look and price point were all spot on. Thus far, our participation numbers are up 60% from last season. Spec racing has rejuvenated our sport and makes it much easier for casual racers to participate in club races. ”

Thanks to a fully immersive approach with regards to sales, service, and competition, Overdrive Motorsports is a leading force in Canadian karting. Whether you are a seasoned veteran looking for the parts and service to gain an advantage over your competition, or are a club racer out to get the most 'bang-for-your-buck', you'd be hard pressed to find a more talented and experienced karting shop/team to help you meet your objectives. Overdrive Motorsports certainly is your one-stop choice, particularly if you are in Western Canada.
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