#Road2RMCGF – Matthew Taskinen (Junior)

- Interview
From a freezing Canada the CAN-AM Karting Challenge champion Matthew Taskinen is looking forward to the warm Sarno to conclude at the best a great season.

First of all, let’s recap your 2016 season: highlights and difficulties that led you to be the driver that your’re today.
This season with the help of Kyle Hearder, Wes Boswell, Kevin Glover , Bonnier Moulton and Mike Rolison I was able to improve in all categories of my driving, with everyone above helping me out in different ways, whether it was Bonnier looking over my data every session or when Roli would get out on track and start battling. The perfect go kart setup by Kyle and Wes is another reason why I was able to get quick. Plus Kyle just giving me the basics to remain cool, be smooth and just drive away really allowed me to improve this year.
Which aspects did you improve during this season, and which aspects should you improve?
Although I did make plenty improvements this year I did recognize some more improvements I must make if I want to be competitive at the world finals. For example at the Canadian nationals we struggled with me not getting the perfect fast lap when I needed to, like in super pole I just always seemed to work my way to the fast times having my fastest lap being on the fourth or fifth lap which at the worlds I know I wont have the chance to do. I also just need to be more aggressive and make/take the room I need and not just have it handed to me. Adapting to the d1 tire which I have not used on a Rotax since earlier in the year at the challenge will also be important.
How are you getting ready for this event?
To get ready for this event I been working out trying to get a little more physical strength which can be a great benefit. Also I have just been trying to drive as much as I can right now because I know I haven't been driving as much as my competitors since at my home there is currently 3 inches of snow and my karting season is long over.
In your opinion who are the most tough rivals you will meet in Sarno?
I don't really know many of the drivers in Europe but I do know that they have been on this track before and that they are very aggressive and skilled, but I think my rivals and racers I would want to be around would be my fellow country man of Ryan Macdermid and De Alba the candian national champion. I would also like to compete with the Challenge of the America champion Nicholas Bruekner who pretty much dominated that event as well as the final round of FWT and US Open but since the beginning of the year I know I have improved so i feel I competing with that group of drivers is what I’d like.
How do you feel in representing your nation in Italy? Do you feel a lot of pressure?
It feels great knowing that all my family and teams hardwork and time had paid off by gives me the chance to represent my country and hopefully represent them well. There is obviously a little bit of pressure as it is my first year at the Grand Finals but I feel most of it is pressure that I put on myself because I want to make a name for my self and prove that I can compete against the worlds best and make team Canada proud.
Have you ever raced in Europe?
No, I have never raced in Europe before but I’m excited to give it a shot!
What do you expect from this experience?
I expect this race will make me a better driver and hopefully teach me new tricks and styles I can put into my driving to even better improve next year.
Which are your plans for the next season?
We will be moving into the Senior Rotax and will be racing the first rounds of Challenge of the Americas and maybe more but we will just plan our races based on how quick I adapt and how my performances/results end up will be the final decision on how much and what races I do next year in a kart.


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