Harness Racing Australia (HRA) announced today that the current Australian Driving Champion, Todd McCarthy, had been selected to be Australia’s representative in the prestigious 2019 World Driving Championships in Sweden.
“Australia is fortunate to have so many skilled and talented drivers at present, with selection not made any easier with the criteria based on a balance of merit, performance, presentation, attitude, adaptability to conditions and promotional opportunities,” HRA Chairman Mr Michael Taranto said.
“The HRA Executive considered a number of drivers for selection and all would have been fine representatives of our country. That said, we can only send one representative and I have no doubt Todd will perform well in the demanding series and be a wonderful ambassador for Australian harness racing, ” he said.
The World Driving Championship was established in 1970 and is held every two years, in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference. The last series was conducted in Canada in 2017 and was won by the local host hero, James McDonald.
James McDonald will return to defend his title alongside McCarthy and 10 other drivers (12 in total) from Sweden, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway and United States of America.
The 2019 Championship runs from 24 May to 31 May and consists of 24 Heats across 6 race meetings at 5 different racetracks. The Series begins at Solvalla, Stockholm, at meetings on 24 (4 Heats) and 25 May (1 Heat) before moving to Lindesberg on 27 May (5 Heats) and Eskilstuna on 28 May (5 Heats). The fourth leg is 29 May at Rättvik (4 Heats) before the 31 May finale at Gävle (5 Heats).
Todd McCarthy will be attempting to emulate the feats of two Australian drivers who have won the World Driving Championship – Queenslander Keith Addison in 1975 and Ted Demmler of Victoria in 1987.