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January 30, 2013 News
EKN.ca One-on-One: Goodwood Karting's Daniel Di Leo

Daniel Di Leo (right) is honored that Goodwood Kartways is hosting the 2013 ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships (Photo: maxchallenge.ca)
Daniel Di Leo (right) is honored that Goodwood Kartways is hosting the 2013 ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships
(Photo: maxchallenge.ca)

ASN Canada FIA recently announced that the 15th edition of the Canadian Karting Championships in 2013 will be held at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ont. The eKartingnews.ca editorial staff recently had the chance to speak with Goodwood's Daniel Di Leo about the upcoming event.

EKARTINGNEWS.CA: First off, congratulations on being awarded the 2013 Canadian Karting Championships. What was the process for Goodwood Kartways being awarded the 15th edition of the prestigious year-end event?

DANIEL DI LEO: Thanks. Being awarded this prestigious event means a lot to everyone at Goodwood Kartways. It goes without saying that bringing the ASN Canadian Karting Championships back to Ontario was something that I have been very keen on. The planning process of attracting this event goes back to the end of the 2011 season. Knowing that the championship was heading back to Mont Tremblant in 2012 for the third consecutive season, together with the help of a few key individuals, we decided to invest in our facility which included a complete re-paving of our historic race track in preparation of making a bid to host the event in 2013. Countless meetings and hundreds of planning hours later it was decided at the annual ASN Steering Committee assembly that the event would come back to Ontario, provided that the host facility would fulfill a long list of requirements from Rotax Canada and ASN ensuring the success of the event.

We are very proud to be selected as the host of the 2013 Canadian Karting Championships, and are fully committed to working with our partners to present Canada’s Premiere karting event.

EKN.CA: If you had to name on thing that put Goodwood at the top of the charts for ASN Canada when looking at who should host the Canadian Karting Championships, what would it be?

DI LEO: ASN’s goal has always been to rotate the ASN National Championship between the two largest kart racing markets in Canada – Ontario and Québec. ASN also wants to maintain the quality of the event, and I believe the combination of our recent significant investment into the facility, as well as our past experience with hosting this type of an event led to us receiving the event for 2013.

EKN.CA: This will be the second time Goodwood has hosted the 'Nationals', having previously held the event in 2009. What can you take from the last time the best karters from across Canada made the trip to Goodwood that will help make the 2013 edition a fantastic event?

DI LEO: Having personally raced in the event, watched the event through the eyes of a spectator, entered a team in the event, and of course hosted the event in 2009, I think our biggest asset is truly understanding what this event is all about.

The level of competition and professionalism displayed by the participants goes without saying, but to me as I’ve witnessed the event get bigger and better year after year. Attention to detail is going to be the key when thriving to go over and above our clients expectations.

This event has always been the pinnacle when it comes to attracting Canada’s best, but in recent years it has morphed to so much more. With coast to coast participation and coverage through programs like Live Streaming and National TV coverage, this event is now much more than a competition, it has truly become a showcase for our sport, and we are dedicated to continuing this trend established by ASN Canada FIA.

EKN.CA: The Canadian Karting Championships racers will be racing on new surface when the action gets underway in late August, with the track being repaved following the end of last season. How do you think this will affect the battles for a national title?

DI LEO: Having hosted ASN National level events through various championships consecutively for the last eight years, the majority of karters know what the Goodwood layout is all about. That being said, when karters begin testing on the new racing surface there is sure to be a transition from what worked before, and what works now.

Hosting a round within the ECKC Championship prior to the ASN Canadian National Championships will give participants a great opportunity before the main event. One thing is for sure, with the technical nature of our race track, the racing will be extremely competitive and something that I personally can’t wait to watch!

Canadian Karting Championships participants can expect further updates to the highly-regarded Goodwood facility (Photo: Goodwood Kartways)
Canadian Karting Championships participants can expect further updates to the highly-regarded Goodwood facility
(Photo: Goodwood Kartways)

EKN.CA: Are there any plans to do any further updates to the overall Goodwood facility in preparation of the year-end event?

DI LEO: Absolutely. Planning for this event is well underway with ASN. As previously mentioned, this event is much more than a kart race. Without getting into too much detail, we need to make sure our facility is ready to showcase the sport that we love. Attention to detail will be at the top of every list.

EKN.CA: As those who have attended the Canadian Karting Championships in person will say, the on-track action is just part of the overall event. That being the case, what activities do you already have planned for the competitors and fans?

DI LEO: With the announcement only a few days old, we are still evaluating all of our options. National TV coverage and Live Streaming will be back. Everything from a professional fireworks show, to live entertainment is being considered. It's just too soon to tell.

EKN.CA: Given tickets to the 2013 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, which will be held in North American for the first-time ever in New Orleans, are up for grabs, are you expecting a lot of drivers to be making multiple visits to Goodwood in order to prepare for the Canadian Karting Championships?

DI LEO: This year is shaping up to be a year to remember. As the Rotax program continues to grow, the identity of Team Canada is growing with it. As a nation, Canada has been getting stronger and stronger when looking at our international presence. Listening to young drivers at the track, most aspire to win a spot to the World Finals and represent the country that we are all proud of. I believe karters across Canada are already preparing for the upcoming season, and I have a funny feeling that many will end up at Goodwood a few times within the summer.

The wildcard this year will be having the World’s best come play in our backyard. Having the World Finals in North America for the first time gives us a home field advantage that we have never had before.

EKN.CA: Le Circuit Mont Tremblant, which hosted last year's 'Nationals', was home to the championships for three years. Can we expect Goodwood to be holding the Canadian Karting Championships for more than just 2013?

DI LEO: With our sport constantly evolving, it’s hard to know what the future holds. One thing is for certain, at Goodwood Kartways we are committed to the growth of our sport. Today the ASN Canadian Karting Championship is the best opportunity available to show others what karting in Canada is all about. At one capacity or another we hope to be part of the ASN Canadian Karting Championships for many years to come.

EKN.CA: Let's end things by going over what it means to be hosting this year's Canadian Karting Championships. How important is it to the Goodwood facility? Is this the biggest event in the history of the renowned Ontario karting facility?

DI LEO: Hosting the event is a privilege to our entire organization. Welcoming karters from across our country is special. Crowning champions at our facility, and following their journey as members of Team Canada is great to be part of. As one of Canada’s most historic karting tracks, there are many chapters that form the Goodwood Kartways history books. To me, this event starts a new chapter. We are honoured to be chosen host of the 2013 ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships, and look forward to welcoming karters from across Canada come late August.

EKN.CA: Thank you very much for speaking with eKartingNews.ca and its readers.

Additional EKN.ca One-on-One features, please visit HERE
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