Aug 05

Wheeler take Rotax Senior Max title and final invite to Team Canada

McCaughan grabs Sportsmanship

Rotax Max Challenge Canada WCCFinal day of racing action sees Wheeler take Rotax Senior Max title and final invite to Team Canada as McCaughan grabs Sportsmanship Award. The Western Canadian Challenge (WCC) continued to be blessed with great racing and fantastic weather. The summer prairie sun was hot all day as temperatures neared the 30-degree Celsius mark by mid afternoon under clear blue skies.

The long and flowing Stratotech Raceway track took on loads of grip as the racers challenged at every corner. The backstretch chicane saw the most action along with the turn five carousel and the turn eight hairpin. The long sweeping corner one saw speeds rise throughout the weekend as several classes began to run wide open through the turn. With a full slate of racing set for the final day of racing action, series organizers and track representatives met to begin the planning for the 2011 season. Bolstered by growing numbers and increased awareness, the WCC is looking to be one the key series on the Canadian karting calendar next season.

“We really believe our series offers a great deal of value and excellent competition,” states series organizer Joey Guyon of Overdrive Motorsports. “We have seen growth in the west and with interest from the east I think we will see our numbers grow in 2011. By running on long weekends and having two of our dates in the summer it makes it easier for racers and their families to make the trip to each event.”

In Senior Rotax the action on track was all out as several drivers chased Tyler Wheeler (Scuderia PCR) for the class title. The man to beat for much of the weekend was local racer Noel Dowler (Tony Kart) who was on pace all weekend long. In the morning warm up points contender Bryce Choquer (Tony Kart) set fast lap followed by Dowler and Bobby Wallace (Scuderia PCR). In qualifying it was Dowler grabbing pole with a lap of 57.709 just 0.060 quicker then Choquer. Wheeler would take the third spot and share the second row with Alex Gysen (Scuderia PCR). In the prefinal it was a solid scrap between Wheeler and Dowler with Choquer taking third and setting fast lap as he chased the leaders.

The final was a real chess match as Wheeler and Dowler hooked up to check out and settle it for themselves. With just a few circuits left Wheeler made the move into the turn five carousel and hold off a hard charge from Dowler to take the win. At the line it was Wheeler, Dowler and Wallace making up the podium. In the final points tally it was Wheeler with the title with 438 followed by Choquer with 415 and Chris Glover (Arrow) with 415. Both drivers had the same number of wins and seconds with Choquer having one more third to break the tie. The Masters win went to John Kwong (CRG) making his return to Masters Max after starting the year in DD2. Kwong was followed by Bob Wakeling (CRG) and Keith Miller (Maranello) with points leader Blair Gautschi (Arrow) out after nine laps. In the final points tally it was Gautschi with the title followed by Wakeling and Miller.

DD2 was a repeat of Saturday as Philippe Gelinas (Tony Kart) threw down a blistering lap of 56.900 with a lap speed of 107.557 KPH nearly seven tenths faster then second place. In second was Scott Campbell (Ital Kart) followed by fellow Karting Canada teammate Travis MacDonald (Ital Kart). In the prefinal it was Gelinas again with a solid run taking the win over Campbell and MacDonald. Making it a clean sweep of the entire weekend, Gelinas cruised to the win in the final pulling out a 17.7 second gap at the end. In second was MacDonald and grabbing the third spot on the podium was local driver Lee Meunier (CRG). In the championship standings it was Kyle Stevens (CRG) with the title followed by MacDonald and Chelsey Wilson. In Masters DD2 it was Campbell followed by Jeff Bachalo (Tony Kart) and John Kwong (CRG).

Up next was Junior Rotax and the day would be an interesting one. In qualifying, like on Saturday the karts went out in points order and despite a waiting game through half a lap, no one wanted to take the lead. Garett Grist (Birel) broke the pace and set out to make a fast lap. The rest of the field hooked up to chase him down. At the end of four laps it was Grist taking pole with a time of 58.728 followed by Emily Maddison (Scuderia PCR) and Skylar Dunning (CRG). In the prefinal it would be a race of surprises. The field got in order off the start with Grist leading Maddison. On lap three Maddison would retire with a broken exhaust pipe, leaving Grist alone out front with a healthy gap. On the last lap Grist lost fire, the victim of a broken fuel line.

There to pounce on the opportunity was Dunning with the win followed by Kyoichi Tsutsui (CRG) and Adam Dowler (Tony Kart). In the final it would be Maddison taking first blood as she stormed from the back to take the lead by the end of lap two while Grist was still working his way forward. By lap five, Grist would go the lead taking Dunning through with him. Maddison stormed back in the esses to take back second and then go to first by the end of the circuit. On the last lap Maddison held off three charges by Grist who finally made it stick entering the turn eight hairpin. At the line it was Grist, followed by Maddison and Tsutsui. In the championship points total it was Grist with 443 followed by Austin King (Scuderia PCR) with 411 and Maddison with 410.

In Mini Max it would as again the Parker Thompson (Tony Kart) Show as the Apollo Motorsports driver made his one and only WCC event a worthwhile affair. In qualifying it was Thompson taking the top spot with a lap of 1:02.318 followed by Garrett Gulenchyn (Arrow) and Mark Newson (Scuderia PCR). In the prefinal, while Thompson checked out in cruise control, an amazing battle was going down for second place. Swapping the lead several times in the race it was Coltin McCaughan (Ital Kart) taking the win by 0.035 over Newson and Gulenchyn. The final would be a repeat of the prefinal with Thompson scooting off in the distance and chase pack battling it out to settle the podium spots. After 14 hard fought laps it was Thompson with the win followed by McCaughan and Newson rounding out the podium. In the final points standings it was Newson with 433 followed by Gulenchyn with 418 and Brendan Deibert (Scuderia PCR) with 417.

Running as a demonstration class, the two mighty Micro Max drivers of Griffin Dowler and Adam Robinson had a great weekend of racing running the high speed Stratotech facility. Look for more Micro Max action in 2011.

In Junior 1 it was Stephan Bachalo (Arrow) showing the way in qualifying with a lap of 1:13.385 followed by Jessica Dezall (Scuderia PCR) and Alan Haggerty (Scuderia PCR). A bit of hardcore drafting was in place for the prefinal as drivers looked to be there at the line. As the eight laps it was Garett Gulenchyn (Arrow) with the win over Jeff Fulham (Arrow) and Dezall. The final was a great race was drivers hugged the inside line exiting the final turn heading across the line into the long sweeping turn one. The win would go to Gulenchyn followed through by Dezall and Bachalo to round out the podium. In the final championship standings it was Gulenchyn with 448, Bachalo with 421 and Dezall with 419.

In Junior 2 it was Skylar Dunning (CRG) continuing a solid weekend taking pole with a lap of 1:10.586 over John Buzza (Arrow) and Bradley Dezall (Scuderia PCR). The prefinal was a good run for Buzza taking the win to grab pole for the final with Dezall sharing the front row followed by Dalton Hubred (Scuderia PCR). In the final the draft would be key as drivers looked to move forward and not get left behind. After 14 circuits it was Buzza with the win over a hard charging Dunning by 0.078 seconds and Matthew Shirley just 0.092 back. The championship title would go to Dezall with 433 followed by Buzza with 428 and Skylar Dunning at 418.

At the awards ceremonies the class champions were crowned and a special award was presented. Coltin McCaughan was given the sportsmanship award for his conduct on and off the track through out the 2010 season. Several drivers received special invitation packs from Andy Seeseman for the 2011 Gatorz Challenge of the Americas.

Also on hand was Daniel Lamothe, of SRA Karting to present the four Rotax Max Challenge winners their official invitation to Team Canada and a trip to Italy for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. The four new members are Kyle Stevens in DD2, Scott Campbell in DD2 Masters, Tyler Wheeler in Rotax Senior Max and Garett Grist in Rotax Junior Max. They join Daniel Morad in DD2 from the Florida Winter Tour, Pier Luc Oullette in Senior from the Florida Winter Tour and Philippe Gelinas in Senior from the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas. The remaining seven spots will be awarded at the ASN Canada FIA Canadian Nationals taking place at Mont Tremblant Karting on August 18 to 22.

From the opening round in Chilliwack, BC the series headed east to the wide-open spaces of Saskatoon, SK and then back west to Edmonton, AB to wrap up the fourth season of the Western Canadian Challenge. For a list of events, rules, regulations and supplemental information go to maxchallenge.ca.

source: autosportsmedia.com

Tyler Wheeler earns 4th invite to the Rotax Grand Finals

Calgary’s Tyler Wheeler entered the final round of the Western Canadian Karting Championships leading the point’s battle, and needing only to finish ahead of his main rivals to secure his 4th invite to the Rotax Grand Finals. He did that and more last weekend at Stratotech Park, as he took home the victory in both finals to lock up the Rotax Senior title for the Overdrive Motorsports/PCR team.

The weekend would be far from easy for Wheeler, as local driver Noel Dowler would prove quick throughout the event. On Saturday, Wheeler qualified 2nd to Dowler and then chased him home in the pre-final, setting up a shootout for the win during the Final. The two would distance themselves from the pack early on in the main event, and it was clear that the result would come down to the final lap. After swapping the lead several times late, Wheeler was able to make a decisive move in the last corner of the last lap to seal a sensational victory. It would be his 3rd win of the series, and put him in a strong position to secure the coveted trip to the Rotax Grand Finals.

Sunday would once again see Dowler on pole in Qualifying, with Wheeler pushed back to 3rd by championship contender Bryce Choquer. However, once the green flag dropped it became a repeat of Saturday with Wheeler battling Dowler for the win. Wheeler would come home in the runner-up spot in the pre-final to secure a front row grid position for the last final of the 2010 WCC’s. Wheeler and Dowler would hook up in the opening laps to pull a gap on the field and ensure that the fight for the win was only a two kart battle. This time, Wheeler would lead the final few laps, before Dowler made a move for the lead on the last lap. Not to be outdone, Wheeler would strike back a few corners later, taking the spot back in Turn 5, and holding on for his 4th win of the season.

In the end, Wheeler would comfortably take the championship having won 4 of the 6 races on route to the title. As champion he receives his 4th invite to the Rotax Max Grand Finals, and his first in the Rotax Senior class. The Grand Finals will be held this November at La Conca in Italy.

Tyler Wheeler Motorsports would like to thank Overdrive Motorsports, Scuderia PCR, and Simark Controls for their support during the Championship run.

About Tyler Wheeler

Tyler Wheeler, from Calgary, AB, is one of Canada’s top karting stars, with a bright future in the motorsports world. In 2010 Tyler will travel to Europe to compete in the German National Karting Championship for the AVG PCR Team, as well as contesting the Western Canadian Karting Championships with the Overdrive Motorsports PCR Team. His sponsors include: Simark Controls, Overdrive Motorsports, Team AVG, and Scuderia PCR. For more information please visit www.tylerwheeler.ca

source: jakethompson.ca