|October 23, 2008 News
|eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month - Arie Ouimet - September 2008
| Arie Ouimet - EKN Driver of the Month - September 2008|
In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.
A ‘true’ national championship is a tough honor to earn, however last month the Rotax Max Challenge USA Grand Nationals at the USA International Raceway in Shawano, Wisconsin saw one driver make it look like a Sunday drive. Arie Ouimet effortlessly cruised to the Senior Max crown and his performance earned him the September Driver of the Month credit.
The SSC East/CRG driver showed the way nearly all week. The first timed session of the event, Ouimet was sixth in non-qualifying practice after unofficially leading the way throughout the full day of practice. The next day in Qualifying, Ouimet posted the quickest lap of the session to put him on the pole position for the three qualifying heat races. It was green to checkered wins for Ouimet in each heat to secure the P1 spot for the prefinal, where he would again get away from the field to lead all 15 laps. Repeated again in the 19-lap final, Ouimet would take the victory by more then 10-seconds for the national championship. The win also earned him a spot on the Mazda America’s Team to compete at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals around the La Conca International Circuit in Muro Leccese, Italy.
It has been a great progression through the karting ranks for Ouimet, who began karting in 2000 running a Coyote/Yamaha package at the East Lansing Kart Track in East Lansing, Michigan. After a year of club racing, he moved up to the regional program - Great Lakes Sprint Series aboard a CRG chassis. From there, he began racing in the club, regional, and the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series. In 2003, Ouimet was third in the HPV Jr. Sportsman division and seventh in the Yamaha Jr. Sportsman standings in the Man. Cup Series. The following year was his first in the Junior ranks racing under the SSC East banner. 2005 saw Ouimet running the Stars of Karting program for the first time including some Man. Cup and Northeast Rotax Junior action, where he won the championship.
Life changed in 2006 as his family moved to Massachusetts with his father Mark taking a position with SSC East as they VP of sales and marketing. Along with competing at the Rotax series at F1 Boston Outdoors, he campaigned the Stars of Karting Eastern Division where he 19th in the overall standings.
2007 was the first year in the Senior ranks and he concentrated on the Rotax program, running both Senior Max and DD2. At the Grand Nationals in Colorado, Ouimet was runner-up in the Senior division which earned him a trip to the Grand Finals in the United Arab Emirates. There he would earn the only heat victory by an American and finish 13th in the main event. This past year, along with the Rotax competition, Ouimet made his ICC debut. At the Florida Winter Tour, he recorded a high finish of fifth and ended 13th in the championship while in the Stars of Karting program he ended fifth in the Eastern Division standings with a best finish of fourth at the Shawano event. Karting continues to be a family affair with his father still working for SSC East and his brother, Griffin, turning the wrenches on Arie’s kart.
| Ouimet dominated the Senior division at the Rotax Max Challenge USA Grand Nationals|
(Photo: A. Ouimet)
September 2008 EKN Driver of the Month - Arie Ouimet
Date of Birth: 12-12-1990
Hometown: South Lyon, MI
Resides: Boston, MA
Parents: Mark/Lee Anne Ouimet
Siblings: Griffin Ouimet, Aimee Schultz, Karie Dunneback
Height/Weight: 5' 10", 145lbs
Education: Senior year in high school, Plymouth South High
Occupation: F1 Boston - Driving instructor, racing driver
Team Name: SSC East
Engine/Builder: Dave Davies (Rotax), Joe White Racing Engines (ICC)
Sponsors: SSC East, F1 Boston, RJV Enterprises, CRG, H.H. Brown Shoe Company, Rotax, JWR Engines, and Maxter Engines
Series you compete in: Stars of Karting, Rotax Max Challenge USA, WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series
Years Karting: 8
2003 WKA Grand National Champion
Five-time Michigan State Champion
Two-time Northeast Rotax Champion
2008 Rotax Max Challenge USA Grand National Senior Champion
Received Skip Barber Scholarship for 2009
How did you get started in karting? My dad bought a kart from an employee and after my first race, I was hooked
What has been the high point in your racing career? 2008 Rotax Grand Nationals, 2008 Stars of Karting (Shawano) - 4th in ICC
What are your goals in racing? To make a living racing anything. I enjoy any type of racing and all I want is to be able to live off of racing
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Calm, cool, clean until provoked, intelligent
Funniest moment at the race track? In my first ICC race in homestead, starting 14th, I nearly stalled my kart at the start. Already getting constantly made fun of the announcer broadcasted that "Arie Ouimet gets a terrible start!". To this day I have not lived it down even after my results in that class. I also can’t help but to mention the rental car abuse that the white brothers along with many others amounting in burnouts, donuts, and many e-brake slides.
Favorite track: New Castle, Shawano
Favorite form of professional motorsports: Formula 1, Karting
Favorite karting driver: Victor Pedrosa
Favorite professional driver: Kimi Raikkonen
If you could have anyone, who do you want holding your helmet in victory lane? Eva Longoria
Favorite website: eKartingNews.com of course!
Favorite movie: 300
Favorite actor: Steve Carrell
Favorite music/group: Rock, no country
Favorite vacation/activity spot: Racing trips are my vacations
Favorite food: Cereal
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? Hit up the mall, work, go to the movies or the beach
What are your goals outside of karting? To get an engineering degree in college
What type of street car do you drive? 2004 VW Jetta 1.8 Turbo
What type of car would you like to drive? Too many to choose from, but possibly some sort of Porsche
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? Slow drivers in Massachusettes, the New England accent, and dirty drivers on the track
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? From my view point as a driver, I would have to say less spec series and more open/unlimited classes, but for the business aspect of the sport, a revised series like Rotax to highlight the performance of the engine versus ease of us/cost effectiveness would make karting in North America better as a whole
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? The competition, rivalries, and speed of the karts have to be my favorite points of karting
September Driver of the Month - Honorable Mention:
- Bobby Kelly: IKF Region 7 Buttonwillow - Double Winner
- Billy Lewis/Jeremy Warren: Mazda RoboPong 200 Winners
- Jimmy Simpson/Evan Batt: Mazda RoboPong 200 Runner-ups (made up +20 second gap in 20 laps)
- Alex Speed: ProKart Challenge North - S1 and TaG Senior Winner, TaG Senior Champion