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Tyler Kashak at World Carting Championships!November 28, 2017

Together with the promotion of academic excellence Eng Phys also takes great pleasure in our students’ extra-curricular achievements. During November, Eng Phys student Tyler Kashak was selected to represent Team Canada at the 2017 Rotax Max Karting Grand Finals in Portimao, Portugal.

This event is referred to as the “Olympics” of world karting. On his return we met with Tyler to ask him a few questions:

Q. What is karting?

Karting is motorsport competition in its simplest form. It bears the same passion and competitive nature as Formula 1 at a mere fraction of the cost. Most drivers you hear of at the pinnacle of motorsport got their start in karting. It is an entry level sport that I believe is what sparked the passion for racing and competing that you see in most, if not all, of the major champions in motorsport.

Q. How did you get involved in karting?

A. Nearly 10 years ago my father and his friends had joined an “Arrive and Drive” karting championship. After watching a few races I felt like I should give it a go and actually won my first championship. From there we purchased a kart of our own and began racing at larger events as the years went on with the dream of reaching the World Finals.

Q. How did it go in Portugal?

A. Not as spectacular as it could have but there were some redeeming qualities in there. I had an off in qualifying which set me back some positions for the qualifying heats. Luckily I made up places in the heats and was able to qualify for the main final. I started 32nd and reached as high as 15th before some contact set me back a few positions. In the final we hit a sweet spot with the kart setup and I was able to set the fastest lap of the race which was actually the fastest lap of the entire week long event!

Q. How do you balance commitment to a world class status in sport with the requirements of an Eng Phys degree?

A. The karting season in Canada really peaks in July and August, which is when all of the main events are held. So it is very convenient that I am able to compete without the work load of a semester at the same time. However, the Rotax Grand Finals come at the end of the world karting season which is typically in November. This does interfere with the semester however trackside studying has become a new pastime of mine!

Q. During the course of your study have you seen applications of Eng Phys in the karting world? 

A. Yes! When at the track, especially the beautiful facilities in Portimao, you see a great deal of solar farms. Noise complaints seem to follow race tracks and I can’t understand why, a screaming exhaust through a hillside just sounds too appealing. As a result many tracks are built in secluded areas to avoid such complaints and now rely on solar power as a source of electricity!

Q. Now that you have competed on the world stage, what’s next for you? Will we see you in F1 some day?

A. I think it is time I get a world class education instead! Motorsports will forever hold a place in my heart but there comes a time where I need to realize racing began as a hobby and it is unfortunately going to have to stay that way.

Q. If you don’t see yourself as the next Lewis Hamilton, what do you plan to do with your degree?

A. I would love to get involved with motorsport somehow if the chance arose, perhaps as an engineer on a major team! But as of late I have developed quite the interest in optics and photonics for astronomy and would like to pursue a career there.

We wish Tyler good luck on his “accelerating” Eng Phys career!