After an impressive karting career including four championships and 47 victories, Zach Latimer will be taking the next step of his racing career in moving into the Ontario Legends Series for 2019. Short Track Musings recently caught up with the third-generation racer to get his thoughts entering the rookie campaign.
SHORT TRACK MUSINGS: What are your thoughts going into the season?
ZACH LATIMER: Very excited to partake in that series. It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge switching over to something with no suspension and much smaller engine, switching to something a little bigger, full containment. It’s going to be a big change for sure. I don’t expect to go out there and light the world on fire, just get some practice in and a season under my belt to start with.
STM: What are your goals and expectations?
ZACH: Well, it’d be nice maintain a good point season, or rookie of the year for sure, and get a few top-10 finishes, and make sure to let the guys know that I am there, ready to contend in upcoming races and the next season. It’s just going to be a big learning curve so to start out, we’re not looking at any major goals, but rather getting some seat time and starting something new.
STM: What track are you most excited to get to?
ZACH: I’m looking forward to Peterborough with quite a few races there, but really excited to head to Grand Bend and try it out. Lots of people say it’s a good track, and you know me and my buddy Jade Franklin, we like to talk about it. He’s excited; he wants to come down and watch. I’m excited to watch; it just seems like a tricky track to get around.
STM: From what I’ve heard, it’s like a small bull ring, and rather momentum based…
ZACH: Yeah, and I come from a karting background so smooth driving is my kind of style so I hope to kind of roll into that track and expect some big results from it.
STM: I was just going to ask. Coming from the karting background, what’s the biggest thing you feel you learned that will help you moving forward?
ZACH: Like I said, smooth and making sure you’re not choppy on the wheel getting into the corner. I’ve been a trial braker my whole life, so getting used to letting off the gas and hitting the brake is going to be a huge change compared to full gas and then tapping the brake to get the kart settled in.
I think there’s going to be lots of things to carry over, like scrubbing off momentum every time you drift the wheel, staying in line, not pulling dumb moves off of starts. If you come from any racing background, there’s things that you can carry over and things that you can’t carry over.
STM: You’ve had a lot of success in karting to date. What’s been the most memorable moment of your racing career to date?
ZACH: I’d say my first championship, the Stewart Cup. It was a rough season to start out with. I only had one win in the series, but we kept our points streak alive, staying in the top-10 and producing good finishes. Being 10-years-old at the time and just winning the championship by five points – it was a fluke win.
But it’s really what set my racing career forward. it was a really good confidence booster for me, too. So getting that championship when I was so young with such a big series, it helped my racing career a lot.
STM: Racing has been in your family for generations. What does it mean to you in having both your dad and your brother to lean on for advice in racing?
ZACH: It’s going to be a huge plus having both of them. I’m just trying to keep the legacy going, right? I’m going to be supporting the 17 just like grandpa Gary did, and hopefully keep the winning ways alive. Bouncing ideas off of my brother whose been in racing for over 10 years, and bouncing ideas off of my dad that’s been around the racing world his whole life will be huge.
It’ll help me when it comes to technical tracks, especially Sunset with my brother racing there, and Sauble – asking him how to enter the corner, and exit is going to be a big plus side for my racing career. Not many people have that, right?
STM: For sure. It’s always nice when you can have that support system around you. It can always be a good benefit. Who is your racing hero?
ZACH: The whole reason I got into racing was because – well, obviously my dad, but my grandpa was a big part of that and always pushed us and then my dad, as soon as he got on-board, he’s probably been one of my biggest heroes and my biggest fan for sure always pushing me.
I’ve been striving to produce what he expects and make him happy, and me happy, and my brother; it’s just a good feeling when everybody is happy. It gives you goosebumps when everybody has worked so hard and you produce the results; it’s overwhelming.
Zach Latimer would like to thank Legger’s Motorsports for the awesome opportunity as Jason Legge presented the opportunity to the buy the car, as well as ICI Heavy Hauling for their sponsorship.
Beyond that, though, the team continues to search for marketing partners for the upcoming year and welcomes interested parties to get in touch with them.