July 28, 2000 - Karting champion Ward Imrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba, will make his car racing debut this weekend at Gimli Motorsport Park, about 70 minutes drive from Winnipeg. He will begin his car racing career in the Formula 1200 class, which...
July 28, 2000 - Karting champion Ward Imrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba, will make his car racing debut this weekend at Gimli Motorsport Park, about 70 minutes drive from Winnipeg. He will begin his car racing career in the Formula 1200 class, which utilizes cars powered by Volkswagen engines.
Ward started racing karts in 1990, when he was just seven years old. Since then he has amassed an incredible number of Regional and National Championships in both Canada and the United States. With dreams of competing as a professional in the top ranks of motor racing this weekend's race is very significant to Ward.
"This is a big step toward my dream," Ward said. "The more I race, the more I realize it's what I want to do. Now I finally have the chance to race a car. This is a big deal for me."
When Ward hits the track this weekend, there will be at least one familiar face in the field. Ashley Taws, a former kart racer from Ontario, raced Ward many times in karts. The pair often battled at the front of the field, most recently in 1998 at the Canadian Karting Shoot-Out where Ward and Ashley finished first and second, respectively. Ashley has been racing Formula 1200 in Ontario this year and is bringing an extra car to Gimli for her karting friend.
"Thanks to Ashley and her family, and to her team Vallis Motor Sport for bringing a car here for me," said Ward. "I'm really looking forward to getting in the car and going racing. I'm sure it will be fun to race Ashley again and I'll be interested to see how I compare to her because she's doing really well in the Ontario series."
The Formula 1200 race will standout as a highlight in Ward's busy summer, which has seen him travel Canada and the United States, with barely a weekend off, to compete in kart races. Indeed, having just returned from Ontario, Ward will have no time to savour his Formula 1200 race as he heads straight back to Ontario for the Canadian Grand National Karting Championships next week.
"Karting can be pretty hectic," Ward admitted. "There are lots of races. But, this is my last year of karting, so I want to make sure I race a lot and really have fun. Things will get more serious next year when I start racing cars full time."