New National Driving Championship Rule Expands Field

Standardbred Canada (SC) announced on Wednesday, March 6 that it has implemented a new rule for the National Driving Championship (NDC) that could enlarge the NDC field from eight to nine drivers.

Effective immediately, for 2024, and for future National Driving Championships, the driver who represented Canada in the most recent World Driving Championship (WDC) will receive an automatic invite into the NDC. The new regulation is similar to the World Driving Championship rule that provides an automatic WDC berth for its defending champion.

If the invitation is accepted, the NDC will now feature nine drivers instead of the previous eight drivers, with the top two finishers from each of the Atlantic, Eastern Ontario/Quebec, Ontario and Western Regional events rounding out the field of nine.

“This new rule is in recognition of the dedication and contribution of our World Driving Championship representative,” said Jade Regina, Manager of Industry and Stakeholder Relations. “It also expands the National Driving Championship field to nine drivers which should raise the level of competition, improve the wagering product and help make the event an even better show for our fans this year, and into the future.”

With the implementation of the new rule, the driver invited to receive a direct path to the NDC will not be required to compete for a position in a Regional Driving Championship, which will also open a spot for another driver.

Doug McNair, the 2023 Canadian representative at the World Driving Championship and defending champion of the National Driving Championship held in 2022 in Edmonton, Alta., has been invited to compete in the 2024 National Driving Championship at Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivières, Que., on Friday, July 5. The winner of the event will be invited to represent Canada at the next World Driving Championship, scheduled to be held in New Zealand in 2025.

For a list of the dates and locations of the NDC and all Regional events, click here.

(Standardbred Canada)

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