SHARON, ONTARIO Last Sunday, Ontario karter Eric Gerrits was probably one of the happiest people in Canada. Earlier that day, Gerrits won the ASN Canada FIA National Karting Championship in Rotax Max Senior, earning him the title of Canadian ...
SHARON, ONTARIO Last Sunday, Ontario karter Eric Gerrits was probably one of the happiest people in Canada. Earlier that day, Gerrits won the ASN Canada FIA National Karting Championship in Rotax Max Senior, earning him the title of Canadian Champion.
"It was a hard weekend for sure," said Gerrits after the race. "Our First Kart was good at the beginning of the weekend, but we still had to work hard to stay at the front."
With the win, came the opportunity for Gerrits to represent Canada in the Rotax Max World Finals, which pits drivers from over 40 countries racing identical Rotax Max karts for the World Championship. "It is one thing to win this race," Gerrits said. "But it is something all together different to have the chance to represent Canada in the World Finals it is something you only dream about."
For Gerrits, winning the National Championship and the opportunity to represent his country was the culmination of three years worth of work. Gerrits started karting late by karting standards. He made his maiden foray into the sport back in 2002, when he was 16, racing against drivers that already had seven to ten years of experience. His first year in competitive karting he finished second in TKC (Toronto Kart Club) points, then moved up to Rotax for 2004. But to make the weight, he had to loose 25 lbs, which he did in just a few months. To prepare for the 2004 season, Gerrits competed in the Florida Winter tour taking second overall in the championship. Later in 2004, he won three TKC championships, and was named TKC driver of the year. Gerrits also finished 2nd in2005 in the Senior Rotax Florida Winter Formula Kart Championship
Gerrits also has a little work left to do this year as he is gunning for a Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship in Rotax Max. With it will come a chance to participate in the Sunoco Ron Fellows Evaluation day, and a chance to earn a spot on the 2006 Sunoco Team Ultra 94 team.
For now, Gerrits is happy with his new title, Canadian Champion, but he is already looking forward to Langkawi, Malaysia, site of the 2005 Rotax Max World Finals. "It will be a great experience," Gerrits said. "Canada has always sent good teams to the world finals, and this year, I am happy to be one of the drivers. I am already starting to prepare because racing all week in the heat of Malaysia will take its toll physically."