KITCHENER, Ont. — Home Hardware repeated as the top team, and straight truck driver Stew Jutzi was named grand champion at the Central Ontario Regional Truck Driving Championships (CORTDC) June 10.
A field of 35 drivers competed under sunny skies at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex. Eight rookies were among them, pleasing organizers, including Tom Boehler, course marshal and committee volunteer.
“It’s been a really good turnout, considering some of the (provincial and national) championships have backed out this year,” Boehler told Truck News. However, he said the cancellation of the nationals doesn’t seem to have had an effect on the regional competition.
“I think the pride is still there,” he said.
There was plenty of enthusiasm on display at the competition, with many competitors decked out in company uniforms and co-workers and family members clustered under tents to root on the drivers. The top placing drivers move on to the provincial championships in Brampton, Ont., July 7-9.
Boehler noted the course was changed up this year to throw a curve at returning drivers. The offset alley was replaced with an obstacle requiring drivers to steer their right side duals through a tight row of tennis balls.
“That kind of threw them off a bit,” Boehler chuckled.
Home Hardware has a history of dominance at the CORTDC, and this year’s team lived up to high expectations, defending the team award it claimed last year. Boehler noted the Home Hardware team is tough to beat, because its drivers get together regularly before the competition and practice.
Category winners at the COTRDC include: Straight Truck, Jutzi, Erb Transport; Single-Single, Clary Ward, XPO Logistics; Single-Tandem, Bryon Winfield, Home Hardware; Tandem-Tandem, Gurpritam Singh Dhaliwal, FedEx Freight; and B-train, Darry Smith, Home Hardware.
Singh Dhaliwal was named Rookie of the Year, and the Safety Award went to Gary Schumacher of Gay Lea Foods. The winning Home Hardware team consisted of Winfield, Smith, and Stewart Fraser.
In addition to being named grand champion, Erb’s Jutzi also scored the highest points total on the day.
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