2016 National Driving Championship
Since 2007, Standardbred Canada has been using a new format to determine Canada's representative for the World Driving Championship.
The concept behind the National Driving Championship is to bring regional representatives together to compete in a one-day championship that will determine Canada's representative to the World Driving Championship.
Traditionally determined by a formula that included earnings, wins and UDRS rating, the Canadian rep will now have to beat out some of the country's finest drivers and earn the National Driving Championship title.
This format includes one-day regional championships where the top two drivers advance to the national championship.
Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the host tracks and dates for the 2016 National Driving Championship and four Regional Driving Championships which will ultimately determine Canada’s representative to the 2017 World Driving Championship.
The 2016 National Driving Championship will take place at The Raceway at Western Fair District on Friday, October 14.
“We are looking forward to hosting the National Driving Championship and it will be one of the marquee events on our racing calendar,” said Greg Blanchard, Raceway Manager at The Raceway at Western Fair District. “We hosted the Ontario Regional in 2014 and we are looking forward to hosting Canada’s top drivers and putting on a great show for our fans.”
Drivers must earn their way into the NDC by finishing first or second at their Regional Driving Championship. Here are the locations and dates for the four regional events:
Western Regional -- Century Downs; Sunday, June 26
(British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)
Ontario Regional -- Grand River Raceway; Friday, June 24
Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional -- Hippodrome 3R; Tuesday, July 12
(includes drivers that compete regularly at Kawartha Downs and Rideau Carleton Raceway in addition to Quebec)
Atlantic Regional -- Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park; Saturday, June 25
(Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)
Regional events will feature either eight or nine drivers who will compete in a minimum of eight races. Drivers will receive points based on their finishing position and the top two point earners will advance.
Century Downs in Calgary, Alta. is a first time host for the Western Regional, and it also marks the first time since the inception of the NDC that an Alberta track will host this event.
Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont., last hosted the Ontario Regional Driving Championship in 2008 to determine Ontario’s top two drivers for the 2009 National event.
Hippodrome 3R in Trois Rivieres, Que. is hosting the Quebec Regional event for the third time after serving as host track in 2014 and 2008.
Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park was the host track for the 2014, 2011 and 2007 NDC Finals. Red Shores has also hosted Regional events at either Charlottetown or Summerside in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2014.
Past winners of the NDC title include Jody Jamieson (2014 & 2011), Brad Forward (2009), and Gilles Barrieau (2007).
The winner of the 2016 National Driving Championship will represent Canada in the World Driving Championship, to be hosted in concert with the World Trotting Conference in Canada in August, 2017.