August 2, 2017 - Standardbred Canada today announced that James MacDonald will represent Canada in the upcoming 2017 World Driving Championship, taking place from August 12 to August 18 at racetracks across the country.
MacDonald, 31, was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and currently resides in Guelph, Ontario. He stands among the top five drivers in Canada with $1.79 million earned, and has 95 wins this season. Last October, MacDonald finished second in the National Driving Championship held at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The National Driving Championship has been used since 2007 to determine Canada’s representative for the World Driving Championship.
“It means a lot, obviously,” said MacDonald. “I would’ve liked if it had happened on different terms but I’m really excited, I can’t wait to wear the red and white and to compete all across Canada. I’m just happy to be here, especially with the last leg being in PEI. It’s a big deal for me. I haven’t been home in three years. I get to see some friends and family and I’m sure there will be a big turnout rooting for me.”
Over his career, MacDonald has won 1,677 races and earned $22.4 million, primarily racing on the prestigious Woodbine Entertainment circuit. He has won the Milton Stakes twice at Mohawk Racetrack, and won the Battle of the Belles Stakes at Grand River Raceway twice.
The World Driving Championship, hosted by Standardbred Canada, will take place at five different racetracks in four provinces, with 11 drivers from around the world competing. The first leg kicks off at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino near Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, August 12, followed by Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario on Monday, August 14, and Georgian Downs, in Innisfil, Ontario on Tuesday, August 15. The event then moves to Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivières, Quebec on Wednesday, August 16, and finally to Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park, on Prince Edward Island, for the fifth leg on Friday, August 18.
MacDonald hopes his familiarity with the tracks will offer him a hometown advantage. “I’ve won a race at all the tracks we’re racing at,” he says. “I won two races in Calgary last year when we were out there for a charity event, Mohawk and Georgian I’ve raced at lots, and I won one at Three Rivers when I was there a few years back. I got my first lifetime win in Charlottetown. I know the styles that work, so I think I got that, but if I don’t, I know a couple people I can talk to.”
Each WDC leg is scheduled to have four or five races. Drivers earn points based on their finishing position, and the top point earner at the end of the event will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion, and win $25,000 in prize money.
MacDonald replaces Brandon Campbell in the WDC. On Tuesday, August 1, Standardbred Canada announced that Brandon Campbell was removed as Canada's representative for the 2017 World Driving Championship.