Friday, August 15, 2014
Fast Track to the
Strong family support helps propel
racers toward Kart World Championships
A dad and Kart driver
daughter push their racer to the starting line last Saturday for the West
Coast Kart Championship at Greg Moore Raceway.
dad, can I borrow the Kart keys? How lucky can kids be, who are too young to
have a driver's licence, but have parents that let them rocket around a race
track in a $4000 machine not much bigger than a John Deere lawn mower? Let's
just say very lucky.
The ROTAX race crowd rolled into town last weekend for the Western Canadian
Kart Championships at Greg Moore Raceway. The parking lot at the track turns
into a small city as drivers and their families disembark from beautiful
rigs. Hotels on wheels loaded with more gear and gadgets than movie set
noon on Saturday and Greg Moore Raceway is dead silent. Drivers and crews are
hunkered down under tents and awnings, resting and having lunch out of
the pounding sun.
Soon, the PA calls the drivers back to the starting line. Jessica Dunning
stands in front of a row of idling Karts. The drivers home in on her
upraised arm. She drops it and they peel out in a cloud of blue smoke.
Dunning volunteers as a Track Timer. She comes in from Edmonton with her
husband and 17-year-old son Skylar.
They're road gypsies and they follow the racing series from place to place.
"My son races in Rotax in the WCC series and for the past several years I've
done pre-grid for the whole series. I travel with the series," she told
The Dunning family love Greg Moore Raceway.
"Chilliwack is a beautiful place and has an absolutely beautiful track," she
Greg Moore Raceway is over 4000 feet long and was designed with precision
surveying using laser technology. It takes Karts about a minute to make the
loop. With all the twists and turns in the track, it's difficult for drivers
to go too fast. That makes it one of the safest tracks on the Kart circuit.
But it's still fast. Drivers can reach speeds up to 125 km/h on the
it doesn't matter which track her son is racing at, Dunning still gets
unnerved whenever he climbs behind the wheel.
"I feel like throwing up every start, every race, and he's been doing it for
ten years," she says. "Overall its a very safe sport. Of course there's
injuries. You're going to have injuries with tires and gas and speed."
Kart racing is a huge family sport. Dunning says they got into Kart racing
for the family aspect of it.
"My son was 7-years-old when he raced his first race," said Dunning.
When asked how he was doing on Saturday, Dunning says he did well in the
"He qualified first in the pre-final in the senior Rotax and he finished
third in the pre-finals. He will be racing in the finals."
According to Race Lab,
Canadian driver Kris Hoffbeck made a move on series leader Bryce Choquer in
the pre finals on Satuday, but worn tires got the better of him and he ended
up placing 5th. Because Hoffbeck had a good pole position for the finals on
Sunday he was able to work his way up into second place. But that's as far
as he got and couldn't get past Oregon driver Luke Seliken's big lead.
Jessica Dunning holds her arm up ready to signal
drivers to begin the race.
"Bryce Choquer won the Western Cdn Gokart Championship in the
class. Bryce is from Langley and has been to the World Championships 3
times so far. He placed 6th in Italy his first year (2010) in the Senior
class. The highest Canadian finisher in this class to date," said Dan
Choquer in an email to the Voice on Friday.
"Clay Van Eerd from Ontario won the
junior rotax title and will also be going to Valencia Spain this coming
November," said Choquer.
They're here again this weekend vying for Western Canada's crown jewels in
the Kart circuit at the Rotax Pro Kart Can Am Challenge. This race features
the best drivers and teams from all points in Canada and the US. Winners
also receive tickets to the next World Finals.
"We have some coming in from Oregon and other parts of the states Monday,
Tuesday and Wednesday. The race starts on Friday," says Steve Hames,
youngest brother of former mayor Clint Hames.
"I think today went really awesome," he said. "I was a starter at this
event. I was quite privileged to be here and really proud of it. To be told
you're a starter at the Western Canadian KART Championships is quiet an
On Saturday, you can catch Hames working the scales at the back-end which he
loves doing as well.
There's no charge to get in to the races for those who want to show their
support and meet some great people from elsewhere. There's also an excellent
food truck on site.
The track is located off of Dyke Rd. which runs off Wolfe Rd.
Greg Moore Raceway thanks their sponsors and partners including: Formula K
SRL, KGK, FreeM, Unipro and DWT.
For more information, visit
www.westcoastkartclub.com. For directions to the track, go
Connect with Greg Moore Raceway on
See more photos below.
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