FIM road racing is coming to Canada this year – that is, sanctioned by the FIM Mini-Road racing comes to Canada through the hard work of Toni Sharpless.
We first told you about Toni’s mini road racing plans back in 2020. Back in those exciting days before COVID, we told you this:
“The idea is to start riders as young as 6 years old to give them early racing development which is currently really lacking in much of Canada. It starts with the Super Sonic Road Racing School, which puts riders on small displacement mini bikes with seat heights ranging from 508 to 685mm. The school will have all the necessary safety equipment on hand and will teach the science of cornering and pulling the knee on the pavement, braking techniques, racing lines and strategy, or if you already know how to road race you can rent our bikes to just having fun or practicing your craft,” says the Presser.”
Unfortunately, COVID-related closures were a bit of an issue when the mini street racing school and associated series got off the ground, but as we put this pandemic inconvenience into our rear-view mirrors, things seem to be progressing well now! Kawasaki sponsored the Canadian Mini Superbike Championship Series last year and Ohvale was also involved with the mini races. Now all the bases converge in a new agreement with the FIM, the international racing sanctions body that sanctions feeder series for World Superbike and MotoGP.
For 2023, the MiniGP series will feature four races in Ontario, one race in Alberta and one race in British Columbia. See below:
2023 FIM MiniGP Canada Series schedule
- RD1 13-14 May Lombardy Raceway Karting, ON
- RD2 24-25 June Greg Moore Raceway, BC
- RD3 1st-2nd July Strathmore Raceway, AB
- RD4 29-30 July Lombardy Raceway Karting, ON
- RD5 5th-6th August Lombardy Raceway Karting, ON
- RD6 15-16 Sept. Shannonville Motorsport Park, ON
Racers will use Ohvale GP-O 160cc mini GP machines and race on small courses such as go-kart tracks. It may not sound like a big deal, but this is the first real chance in years that Canadian kids (ages 10-14) have had to make their way to world-class racing without going to Europe or the US. The 2023 Canadian Series winner will be offered the opportunity to compete in the World MiniGP Series Finals in Spain.
For more details, see the following press release:
The FIM approves the MiniGP Canada Series for 2023
TORONTO, ON – “We are pleased to confirm your application for the FIM MiniGP Canada Series. We wish you a great racing season.” Quote from Svetlana Nazarova, Coordinator of the FIM Circuits Racing Commissions.
Toni Sharpless, organizer and owner of the Super Sonic Road Race School, the Mini Superbike Championship and the Canada Cup Nationals, was waiting for this news.
“After three years of construction, all of us at the Super Sonic School are super excited about FIM road racing coming to Canada!” said Sharpless. “The FIM MiniGP Canada Series is the melting pot for young Canadian athletes to develop their skills and dream of MotoGP.”
The FIM MiniGP Canada Series, powered by Pirelli and Motul, begins with a six round, twelve race season spanning across the country from Ontario to British Columbia. Each event round will contain a pair of feature races with a double-header points structure.
The series kicks off May 13-14 at the well-known Lombardy Raceway near Perth, Ontario, the site that hosted six races in Canada’s MiniSBK Canada Cup contest a year ago.
The championship then takes a dramatic turn in rounds two and three with back-to-back weekends at Greg Moore Raceway in Chilliwack, British Columbia and Strathmore Motorsports Park near Calgary, Alberta beginning June 24-25 and last until July 1st. 2, respectful.
The series then returns to Ontario for another back-to-back weekend action at Lombardy Raceway. The sixth and final round then heads to the historic Shannonville Motorsport Park near Belleville, Ontario and runs in conjunction with the National Final of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK).
The Feature Champion of the newly formed FIM MiniGP Canada Series will then be offered a spot in the World Finals in Valencia, Spain, just ahead of the MotoGP Finals in November 2023.
2023 FIM MiniGP Canada Series schedule
RD1 13-14 May Lombardy Raceway Karting, ON
RD2 24-25 June Greg Moore Raceway, BC
RD3 1st-2nd July Strathmore Raceway, AB
RD4 29-30 July Lombardy Raceway Karting, ON
RD5 5th-6th August Lombardy Raceway Karting, ON
RD6 15-16 Sept. Shannonville Motorsport Park, ON
The global competition organization, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), sets the rules and regulations, which are represented in Canada through its subsidiary, the Canadian Motorcycle Association (CMA).
“The CMA is proud to support the FIM MiniGP Canada Series. This series will be a fantastic opportunity for younger drivers, not previously available in Canada,” said CEO Holly Ralph. “Toni Sharpless put countless hours into developing this series to FIM standards. The CMA applauds their efforts to bring our young drivers onto the world stage and will continue to support the series.”
The official tire and sponsor of the Canadian Series will be Pirelli Tires according to the global MiniGP structure.
“Pirelli is delighted to be working with Toni to host the Canadian FIM MiniGP Series for 2023. We fully support the efforts from global to our local suppliers,” said Oscar Solid, Pirelli Moto Senior Race Manager . “We are very excited to offer these young racers a path to grow and enjoy the sport as we all do – a path Toni is no stranger to.”
The series will also debut with the continued help of Motul, a major backer of the previous MiniSBK series.
“The partnership with the Super Sonic Road Race School, the Canadian Mini Superbike Championship and now the FIM MiniGP Canada Series continues to be extremely successful in raising consumer awareness of the Motul brand among riding enthusiasts,” said Marketing Director Nolan Browning for Motul USA. “The school and series continue to serve as cornerstones in our strategy to support the next generation of drivers. We look forward to continuing the momentum of our partnership as we look to the future.”
Manufacturer of the Ohvale brand is the mandatory motorcycle of the championship worldwide. “We are delighted to be part of this great project. The arrival of the FIM MiniGP World Series in Canada is a great opportunity for young drivers to break into racing,” said Ohvale Canada’s Michele De Rossi. “Thanks to FIM, Dorna, Road to MotoGP and Ohvale for considering Canada for 2023.”
The bike and series are designed for riders aged 10-14 who will compete with the Ohvale GP-O 160cc Mini GP machines on tarmac circuits, typically go-kart tracks.
Any parent interested in enrolling their son or daughter in the series (or just looking for more information) can start at supersonicschool.com.