North of 49 Karting Championships return

·3 min read

The North of 49 Karting Championships is returning for their second annual competition, inviting fans and racers back to Strathmore to enjoy the event from July 21-24.

John Kwong, North of 49 Karting Championships organizer, said after the success of last year’s races, he is optimistic that this year will attract a surplus of both more racers and spectators.

“It’s our second annual race (and) we’ve already got about 75 entries in. We had about 119 last year in total, so we’re on track to hopefully surpassing that,” said Kwong.

At last year’s championship, hosted at roughly the same time of year, the event went off effectively without a hitch. Kwong is hoping that by keeping the races extremely similar this time around, the team can expect an effective repeat performance.

“We were fortunate to have great weather and great volunteers, so everything ran pretty smoothly, we didn’t really have any hiccups to deal with,” said Kwong.

Races held over the course of the weekend will be divided into the same formats as last year, by age groups of the racers, and by the motor type in their karts.

Kwong added that he wanted to establish the event as a way for both hobbyists and competitors in Western Canada to have an official local level racing capacity.

“I spent over 40 years of experience myself racing, and I’ve been to events in Las Vegas and other parts of the United States, (I’m) taking what I’ve learned from there. And our club manager and race director also has been doing this for a long time,” said Kwong. “A lot of the people hadn’t been to a large event of this magnitude in Western Canada before … we weren’t new to it, we just sort of took the best of what we had seen and wanted to incorporate it into a local event.”

Kwong originally began putting the idea for the championships together at the tail end of 2020 and began discussions amidst the Calgary Kart Racing Club about how best to get off the ground, while putting their own spin on the competition to make it a unique event.

This year, the team is also optimistic knowing that concerns regarding COVID-19 have greatly diminished and restrictions have lifted. According to Kwong, they’re hoping this brings a lot more folks out to the track.

Junior race classes range from eight to 15-years-old, senior classes are 15 to 32 years, and masters’ classes are comprised of competitors who are 32 years and older.

Spectators are welcome to come out to the track to see what racing all is about, with races running from July 21-24, with free admission. For those who are unable to make it out in person to the Strathmore track, races will be livestreamed on the Calgary Kart Racing Club website and Facebook page.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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