The following article by A. A. Rohman was published was 15 years ago on My Daily Articles but it could just as well have been written yesterday. Teenagers in karting, looking to take the step-up from racing karts to racing cars, and Vallis Motor Sport providing a pathway.
Kelly Wood, Chris Seegobin and Glen Olive attended the Toronto Kart Club Scholarship Day at Mosport International Raceway to test in three Vallis Motor Sport prepared F1200 racecars. The drivers were awarded the opportunity to test an F1200 race car by applying for the TKC Scholarship program earlier this year. Each of the applications were screened by TKC executive members and drivers were chosen based on their application details and desire to test an open wheel race car and then further assessed throughout the race season for driving ability, consistent performance, and sportsmanlike conduct.
Although the day started out dry, drivers had to contend with wet and windy conditions as the day progressed. While Chris Seegobin had an unfortunate off which ended his day early, the remaining two drivers took full advantage of their time behind the wheel, driving hard to improve their lap times and impress officials.
Kelly Woods posted the fastest time of the day among the three drivers with a 1:54:09, a lap time that is within 10 seconds of a typical F1200 lap time under race conditions. This is especially impressive given the track conditions and the fact that Wood had little previous experience with a standard transmission.
The 17-year-old Huntsville driver competed in a number of kart series in 2007, including Senior Rotax and Senior Light at the club level as well as Sr. Rotax, Sr. Light and DD2 in the highly competitive Sunoco Ron Fellows karting Championship. Just one day after the F1200 test day at Mosport, Kelly was crowned the 2007 TKC Senior Rotax Champion.
With her ability to quickly learn the car and come up to speed while contending for track space with the faster Formula Fords throughout the day, Wood was able to convince the CASC officials that she has what it takes to earn a CASC Regional Racing license. Race Director Gunter Schmidt presented Wood with her license on Sunday afternoon after speaking with members of the FTDA and track officials, all of whom gave her the thumbs up. With this license, Wood may now compete in any CASC sanctioned event as a driver.
While speaking with Kelly after the test day, Wood indicated that she may complete another full year in karting before moving up to full racecars but is definitely leaning towards open wheel racing.
“The Mosport track was very exciting to drive and I was surprised at the smoothness of the F1200 at speed,” said Wood. “This was a new experience. I really appreciate the opportunity to test the F1200. I’d like to thank (FTDA President) Harry O’Neal for his guidance and assistance with the racecar and the FTDA as well as the TKC for the opportunity.
Glenn Olive, of Toronto had similar things to say with regard to his day at Mosport. “This is an amazing track,” said Olive, “What an exhilarating experience.” He went on to say that he understands now why Mosport has a reputation for being a real driver’s track, noting that the elevation changes and the varying terrain are very different from a driver’s perspective. “Corner two is especially challenging with its blind entry and plunging, off camber, sweeping left turn.”
Olive, a professional musician, became a racing enthusiast as a youngster and has dabbled in various motor racing disciplines ever since. The 53 year old was absolutely thrilled to take part in the test day and expressed tremendous appreciation for the TKC, the FTDA and special thanks to all those who were involved in making this day happen.
The members of the FTDA are delighted to have been able to host this event in conjunction with the TKC and look forward to future events.
Originally published on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 on My Daily Articles