~ by Chris Demaras ~
Yesterday I saw an article on CKN that I’ve kind of read before. It’s the annual ‘Arrive & Drive Graduates’ article from Goodwood Kartways. Every year the DiLeo family advances 10 to 20 of the best A&D drivers to club racing. The racers get their own kart, engine, stand and a spot on the Scholarship Team.
I remember going through the same process with my son Daniel 3 years ago. In 2016, Daniel won two CRKC championships; one at Goodwood and one at Mosport. The decision to move up to club racing at MIKA and TRAK for the 2017 season was an exciting new challenge. He’d finally have his own racing kart.
“There is nothing quite like witnessing the excitement on the face of a driver seeing their new kart for the first time.”Dan Di Leo, Goodwood Kartways
Looking back now, the challenges that first year were immense. In A&D you just drive. You don’t set air pressures or choose gear. There’s no chassis changes between sessions. And if it starts raining you’re still driving on slicks! You learn to adapt to the conditions and adapt your driving style to the kart.
The transition to club racing is hard. That first race, you likely have no idea about setup, so you’re behind the eight ball. By the second race, set screws start loosening up, alignment is off, and you have no idea why you’re at the back of the pack. For A&D drivers who are used to winning, suddenly getting their butts kicked is a shock to the system. Talented racers are getting lapped, and they can’t understand why from a mechanical standpoint, so they lose confidence and blame their driving. After a few more races, those same rookie racers are missing from the paddock; phantom injuries, money troubles, family commitments that happen on race days. Any excuse not to go back to the track and get destroyed again. That’s why so few stay in karting beyond that first year.
Moving up must include joining a good team, because you just cannot do it alone. Without experienced people around to teach you the ABCs of kart setup and maintenance, it’ll be very hard to find success. We spent the first year with James Treadwell’s VRS team at Mosport before moving to Goodwood and joining Curtis and Darryl’s PRO team. Without their help, I don’t think Daniel and I would still be racing today.
Here’s a link to the article on CKN.
Understanding that the future of karting depends on growth at the grassroots level, Goodwood Kartways is excited to announce its 2020 driver line up in the Goodwood Kartways Scholarship Team Program. Now in its twelfth year, the program has produced the largest group in its history. In total, 22 drivers are set to graduate from Canada’s largest Arrive and Drive program and into club-level competition with the Toronto Racing Association of Karters.
The graduating class includes twelve drivers under the age of 11 years old, with seven of them beginning their karting careers in Briggs Cadet. Eighteen drivers will be powered by Briggs & Stratton, with four drivers opting for more horsepower and a Vortex Rok powerplant.
2020 Goodwood Kartways Arrive and Drive Graduates include:
- Niko Picerno – Briggs Cadet
- Christian Menezes – Briggs JR Lite
- Igor Manukhov – Rok Masters
For more information call (905) 640-5278 or visit http://www.goodwoodkartways.com/