With the opening event of its sophomore season just over six weeks away, further details of the 2011 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship are beginning to be finalized and the latest news places the series firmly on the Mazda Road to Indy! Just one week after details of the scholarship were announced, the ECKC has been confirmed as one of just six regional karting championships in North America able to send a driver to the 1st Annual Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine!
“We are very excited to have the ECKC involved in the Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine,” said Jason Penix, Manager of Grassroots Marketing for the IZOD IndyCar Series. “By all accounts, it is one of the elite karting organizations in Canada and we look forward to seeing which driver will be competing in the combine on their behalf. IndyCar has been fortunate to have many great Canadian drivers participate over the years and we hope the Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine will help us in identifying our future stars.”
The Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine will take place at Andersen Race Park in Palmetto, Florida, from November 28-30. Drivers will test USF2000 race cars and be judged on a number of factors by Officials and Team Owners on the Mazda Road to Indy, along with select IZOD IndyCar drivers. One driver will then be selected to race in the St. Petersburg rounds of the 2012 Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship. The panel will be judging performance both on and off the track, and the ECKC will utilize very similar criteria in selecting its award winner.
The ECKC driver selected to participate in the Scouting Combine will be over 15 years of age, and not be among the ECKC Champions who earn spots to represent Canada at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Under observation throughout the season, the driver selected will demonstrate considerable on-track performance with regard to race craft, respect, and outright speed, and will demonstrate a considerable amount of professionalism off-track in dealing with Officials, sponsors, and media. The selected driver will be announced following the final race of the season at Le Circuit Karting Mont-Tremblant.
The ECKC award winner will have a very strong opportunity at the Scouting Combine, and if successful will move into F2000 competition just as ECKC DD2 driver Matthew Di Leo has done this year. Di Leo raced opening weekend at Sebring just days ago and was 9th and 11th. He will race his second event this coming weekend at St. Petersburg, the same venue the Scouting Combine winner will contest in 2012.
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship established itself among the premiere Rotax Max Challenge programs in America last year and season two is set to raise the bar even further in Canadian karting. Three ECKC Champions will earn spots on the Team Canada Grand Finals roster, and another competitor will now represent the Championship at the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine in Florida.
Additional awards and announcements are forthcoming. Please stay tuned to eckc.ca for all the latest information. For more details on the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship and its involvement with the Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine, please visit f2000.com.
2011 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Schedule
Race 1 & 2 - May 7, 8 - Goodwood Kartways, Uxbridge, Ontario.
Race 3 & 4 - May 28, 29 - Karting Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.
Race 5 & 6 - June 25, 26 - Mosport International Karting, Bowmanville, Ontario.
Race 7 - Sunday, July 17 - Circuit Karting Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.