Ontario drivers championship set for Grand River
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The field for the 2016 Ontario Regional Driving Championship scheduled for Friday, June 24, at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont. has been confirmed. The 2016 event will mark the second time that the Elora half-mile track has been the venue for the Ontario Regional.
"Grand River Raceway is really looking forward to hosting the Ontario Regional Driving Championship," said Kelly Spencer, the track's manager of marketing & communications. "We last hosted this event in 2008. It was in October, and it poured rain from beginning to end. Regardless, we had a ton of fun; just think of the potential on a warm summer night!
"The breadth of driving talent in Ontario is comparable to the best-of-the-best in any jurisdiction the world-over, so June 24 at Grand River Raceway will be a real treat for racegoers and simulcast viewers," said Spencer.
Invitations were extended to drivers based on several criteria including their 2015 win statistics on their circuit and an invitation was also extended to the defending National Driving Champion, Jody Jamieson.
Jamieson, a two-time NDC winner, won the most recent event in 2014 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park, and earned the honor of representing Canada in the World Driving Championship held last February in Australia.
"Having this format to decide who competes is the fairest and easily the best of its kind. It gives the top drivers from everywhere a real chance at representing Canada," commented Jamieson. When asked if regular Grand River drivers like Bob McClure or Robert Shepherd may have an advantage, Jamieson responded "the only advantage local guys may have is that they'll know the horses a lot better than some of us but we've all started at the half-mile tracks so I'm excited to decide it on those ovals!"
The drivers had to confirm their availability for the National Driving Championship date and the World Driving Championship dates in order to take part in the Regional Driving Championship
The winner of the NDC will represent Canada in harness racing's 2017 World Driving Championship, hosted by Standardbred Canada in concert with the World Trotting Conference in August. (SC)