World Driving Championships begin this weekend

11 August 2017
Shane Graham is the Australian representative at the World Driving Championships in Canada this month

Shane Graham is the Australian representative at the World Driving Championships in Canada this month

Eleven of the world’s best harness racing drivers have arrived in Canada to compete for the World Driving Championships (WDC) from August 12-18.  Australia is represented by Queensland reinsman Shane Graham and he will be attempting to become the first Australian driver to win the WDC since 1987 when Victorian driver Ted Demmler won the title in Europe. 

The championships are set to begin at Calgary’s Century Downs on Saturday night with five heats being conducted before the drivers head to Ontario for the next two legs at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville on August 14 and Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15.

The following night the drivers travel to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec and compete at Hippodrome 3R with the final leg staged at Prince Edward Island’s Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park on Friday August 18.

Australia’s biggest wagering operator Tabcorp has thrown its support behind the series and will telecast every race in the World Driving Championships on Sky Racing.  Due to the time difference the first leg of the championships will be shown live in Australia on Sunday morning at 10:22am (AEST).

Heat 1 – Century Downs Race 4 Sunday Aug 13 10:22am (AEST)

Heat 2 – Century Downs Race 5 Sunday Aug 13 10:46am (AEST)

Heat 3 – Century Downs Race 6 Sunday Aug 13 11:10am (AEST)

Heat 4 – Century Downs Race 7 Sunday Aug 13 11:34am (AEST)

Heat 5 – Century Downs Race 8 Sunday Aug 13 11:58am (AEST)   

Sky Racing’s Greg Hayes will be part of the Canadian television coverage that will be beamed back to Australia from each of the five different tracks and is looking forward to being part of the week.

“To be given the chance by Sky Racing and Harness Racing Australia to travel across Canada covering the World Driving Championships is a huge thrill,” Hayes said.

“The harness racing fans back home in Australia are going to get a chance to watch all of the heats from the different venues over here in Canada and that sort of coverage for a WDC outside of Australasia has never been seen before back home.

“Hopefully Shane Graham can have a good week and with Dexter Dunn and Mark Purdon representing New Zealand there will be a lot of interest in the racing.”

The full list of drivers competing

Dexter Dunn – defending champion (New Zealand)

Shane Graham (Australia)  

Gerhard Mayr (Austria)

Rik Depuydt (Belgium)

James MacDonald (Canada)

Miks Forss (Finland)

Noel Baldacchino (Malta)

Mark Purdon (New Zealand)

Eirik Hoitomt (Norway)

Bjorn Goop (Sweden)

Marcus Miller (USA)

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