Western Canadian Challenge – Chilliwack Report

press release

Saturday Report

The first day of racing action was completed under mixed weather that saw drivers and teams scramble all day to keep up with changing track conditions. Cold temperatures settled in on the area as dark clouds moved through dropping rain throughout the day. All qualifying sessions got through in the dry while most of the pre-finals were run in the pouring rain. The rain clouds headed west bringing in some clearing weather in the late afternoon allowing racers to run all the finals on a drying track. The changing conditions narrowed the racing line taking away some key passing areas in the early part of the final schedule. As the track began to take shape the action picked up and provided to some racing. 

The highlight race of the day was the huge field of super talented Rotax Max Senior drivers sponsored by David Hogg from Parkshore BMW. Bryce Choquer (Tony Kart), the 2009 WCC Rotax Junior Champion, took top spot in timed qualifying to grab pole for the wet pre-final. In the pre-final Choquer was dominating in the rain taking the win by over 5.6 seconds over Chris Glover (Arrow) and Michael Hogg (Top Kart) who drove from the last spot on the grid after a penalty in qualifying. Brody Goble (Birel) and Tyler Wheeler (PCR) would round out the top five. 

In the final it was again all-Choquer as the rookie grabbed the lead early and never looked back. Behind Choquer a hard battle went on between Glover and Wheeler took place as they traded spots throughout the race. Christophe Bosclair (Arrow) recovered nicely after losing several spots off the start, while Goble stayed with the chase pack to finish off the top five. Fast lap went to Wheeler as he battled with Glover for P2 for most of the race. Blair Gautschi (Arrow) would take the Masters top spot followed by Keith Miller (Maranello) and Bob Wakeling (CRG) to make up the podium.

“Racing Senior is a lot of fun. My kart was great in the rain and the dry,” commented Choquer following the race. “I really like the racing in Senior it’s really great.”

In Rotax Junior a solid field looked to get an early advantage, but it was Garett Grist (Birel) taking pole. In the wet pre-final Grist was able to get a good start out of the tricky turn one/two section to grab an early lead while the field streamed through behind him. At the flag it was Grist over Matthew Moniz (Mach 1) and Austin King (PCR) with Skylar Dunning (PCR) and Adam Dowler (Tony Kart) rounding out the top five. 

In the dry final it was Grist getting the holeshot out of one as the field looked to sort themselves out in turn two. Grist was able to gap the field early as the chase pack began to set fast laps and eat into the Grist’s lead. At the stripe it was Grist followed by King with Dowler in third spot who would also set fast lap of the race. In fourth was Moniz with Gianfranco Sartor (PCR) making up the top five. 

In Rotax DD2 action it was Scott Campbell (ItalKart) running as a DD2 Master taking fast time in the combined session with Kyle Stevens (CRG) setting the fastest time in DD2. In the pre-final it was Stevens over Travis MacDonald (Arrow) and Noel Dowler (Tony Kart), while Campbell would show the way for Masters followed by John Kwong (Intrepid) and Jeff Bachalo (CRG). In the final, with conditions on track getting better, it was Campbell taking to the flag first with Stevens, MacDonald and Dowler in close pursuit. At the podium ceremonies it was Campbell taking top step in Masters with Kwong and Bachalo rounding out the top three. In DD2 Stevens grabbed top spot on the box with MacDonald and Dowel rounding out the podium. 

The final Rotax class was Mini Max where Mark Newson (PCR) took pole for the pre-final. In the pre-final a great battle would see Garrett Gulenchyn (Arrow) take the win followed through by Brendan Deibert (PCR) and Jordan Brown (MBA). In the final it was Newson with a great drive to grab the win and top spot on the box. Gulenchyn took second with Deibert in third spot. Tristan Merke (Birel) and Coltin McCaughan rounded out the fast five.

Running support of the Rotax RMC program are three four-cycle classes. In Jr1 it was Jessica Dezall taking pole in timed qualifying. In the prefinal it was Garett Gulenchyn taking the win followed through by Alan Haggerty and Stephen Bachalo. In the final race it was Bachalo with the victory sharing the podium with Gulenchyn and Ryan Mailhiot.  In Jr2 it was Skylar Dunning taking pole while in the prefinal it was Dalton Hubred taking the win over Dunning with Bradley Dezall. For the final it was Dezall charging forward to take the win John Buzza and Hubred rounding out the podium. The final four-cycle class was Senior, which saw Chris Genge take pole. It was Ron Adams with the win in the prefinal over Genge with Greg Henderson crossing in third. In the final it was Genge charging back to take the win and share the podium with Adams in second and Egan Otto Rehn in third. 

“We are really happy with the opening day of racing,” stated WCC Series Chairman Joey Guyon. “The weather was a real challenge and the track held up great. All the drivers did an amazing job.”

Sunday Report

The paddock was greeted on the Sunday under sunny skies and warming temperatures. A full card of racing was on hand as drivers looked to defend race wins and others looked to make up some ground. Heading into the day the track was expected to get fast and it didn’t disappoint as lap times fell throughout the day. The paddock was soaking up the sunshine as they all looked west to see if the valley landscape would draw dark clouds into the area. With drivers from several provinces having traveled hundreds of miles to take in round one, the paddock had a great vibe as everyone looked to complete another full day of racing action.

Senior Rotax, sponsored by David Hogg from Parkshore BMW was the largest class of the weekend at 30 drivers and provided some of the best racing on the tricky Greg Moore Raceway facility. In qualifying it was again Bryce Choquer (Tony Kart) showing the way over Michael Hogg (Top Kart), Tyler Wheeler (PCR), Chris Glover (Arrow) and Bobby Wallace (PCR). In the pre-final great battles at the front produced loads of passing as several drivers looked to grab the win. As the front of the field battled, it was Choquer shaking loose to take the win with Hogg, Wheeler, Glover and Christophe Boisclair (Arrow) making up the top five.

The final was tough right from the start as everyone battled through turns one and two and kept up the action into the three/four/five combination. At the turn five hairpin several drivers got out of shape creating a log jam in the field. This allowed Wheeler and Choquer to stretch out an early gap and look to go one-on-one for the win. The duo swapped spots several times as the race went into the second half with Wheeler leading a half dozen circuits. With just a couple laps left, Choquer powered back to the lead with Wheeler on his bumper looking hungry for the win. On the last lap Wheeler would take the lead in the sweeping turn eight/nine/ten complex to hit the final corner twelve with the lead. The drag race to the line was won by Wheeler crossing just 0.094 ahead of Choquer. Hogg would manage to scramble back up into third spot with Boisclair in fourth and Noel Dowler (Tony Kart) rounding out the top five. In Senior Max Masters is was Blair Gautschi taking top spot with Bob Wakeling and Keith Miller rounding out the podium.

“It was great to take the win,” smiles Wheeler fresh off a trip to Europe. “Bryce (Choquer) was fast all weekend and we battled pretty hard at the end. It was a fantastic race.”

In Junior Rotax day one winner Garett Grist (Birel) looked to hold onto his top spot as several west coast regulars looked take a win on day two. In four-lap timed qualifying it was Grist taking pole ahead of Marcus Brodie (Vemme), Adam Dowler (Tony Kart), Kyoichi Tsutsui (ItalKart) and Matthew Moniz (Mach 1). In the pre-final a great start by Brodie saw Grist slip back as Moniz jumped right into the battle for P1. Very quickly Grist recovered to go back to the lead with Moniz on his heels. On the last lap Moniz made a picture perfect pass on Grist into the tight turn five to grab the lead and pull out a gap. At the flag it was Moniz over Grist with Dowler, Brodie and Austin King (PCR) making up the top five.

In the final it was Dowler with a great hole shot to take an early big lead in the opening laps as the rest of field trying to fit into position. Moniz was able to slot in P2 with Grist on his bumper. The pair hooked up to chase down Dowler and gap the field. Moniz lead the way as the two set a torrid pace, Grist prepared to sit in second looking for an opportunity. Despite intense pressure, Moniz was bulletproof never dropping a wheel wrong. In the chase pack Emily Maddison (PCR) worked her way clear of traffic to move into third spot. Heading into the last lap, Grist looked to make a move for the lead and hope it would stick as the pair headed into turn three. Moniz would charge back in six as Grist defended through the sweeping back section. Heading out of turn twelve onto the front Grist would win the drag race to take the win over Moniz with Maddison having a fantastic run rounding to the podium.
“I knew on lap two I couldn’t out run Matthew (Moniz) so my only hope was to try to out race him,” commented Grist after the race. “I tried to rattle him for 15 laps and he never put a wheel wrong. The last lap was my only shot and so I got through in three and defended into five where he got me in the pre-final. I had a blast and can’t wait to come back for the next round.”

Scott Campbell (ItalKart) would continue were he left off on Saturday as he set the pace in DD2 action. Campbell would take pole in qualifying followed through by Kyle Stevens (CRG), Travis MacDonald (Arrow), Noel Dowler (Tony Kart) and Jeff Bachalo (CRG). In the pre-final Campbell would stretch out a gap over Stevens who set fast lap in pursuit of his 2009 Team Canada teammate. Dowler, MacDonald and Bachalo would round out the fast five. In the final Campbell would again put his stamp on the event, taking the win over Stevens with Dowler moving into P3 followed by MacDonald and John Kwong (Intrepid). At the podiums it was Campbell, Kwong and Bachalo making up the Masters trio while Stevens went two-for-two on the weekend and shared the Sunday podium with Dowler and MacDonald.

The Mini Max class has been building in the region and the drivers on hand ran a fantastic race. In qualifying it was Coltin McCaughan (MS Kart) that set the fast time to grab pole and lead the start of the pre-final. In the pre-final McCaughan would take the win over the Saturday winner Mark Newson (PCR) followed by Tristan Merke (Birel), Brendan Deibert (PCR) and Jordan Brown (MBA). In the final, a great battle early on would see Newson move to the point and look to outrun the chase pack. The field began to string out the latter stages and at the stripe it was Newson going two-for-two followed by McCaughan, Garett Gulenchyn (Arrow), Diebert and Merke rounding out the top five.
In a trio of four-cycle support classes, the racing action was close as the draft played an important part in the racing. In Jr1 it was Stephan Bachalo showing the way in the qualifying. In the pre-final it was Bachalo squeaking out the win over Garrett Gulenchyn by just 0.062 seconds. Alan Haggerty, Adam Deibert and Ryan Mailhiot rounded out the top five. In the final it was Gulenchyn with the win over Haggerty, Bachaloo Jessica Dezall and Deibert. Jr2 action would see Bradley Dezall take pole in qualifying and he would follow that up with the win in the pre-final over Matthew Shirley and John Buzza. In the final it was Shirley winning the drag race as he took the win over Dezall by 0.010 seconds. They were followed through to the checkered flag by Dalton, Hubred, Buzza and Skylar Dunning.

“We are really happy with how things went in the opening weekend,” stated WCC Series Chairman Joey Guyon. “The weather was a real challenge on Saturday and the track held up great. All the drivers did an amazing job. The entire paddock is looking forward to heading to Saskatoon for round two.”

From the opening round in BC, the series will head east to the wide open spaces of Saskatoon, SK for rounds three and four on July 2 to 4 and then Edmonton, AB on the July 30 – August 1 long weekend.


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