From Parker Thompson Racing
In a season that has seen Parker Thompson take part in races belonging to four different championship series, a tight Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires championship battle has been a source of renewed energy and motivation. Between Indy Pro 2000, GT3 Cup Challenge, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship, the young Alberta native has competed in twenty-seven races this year. Driving the #8 car of Abel Motorsports, Thompson currently holds second place in the overall Indy Pro 2000 Championship standings. He is coming off a double-duty weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto, where he combined for three podiums and four top-five finishes in Indy Pro 2000 and GT3 Cup events.
“In terms of action on the track, this season has certainly been busier than I could have ever imagined. Maybe at some point I’ll grow tired of racing almost every weekend, but that is pretty hard to imagine when we are caught up in championship battles like this one in Indy Pro 2000. The Road to Indy is where I started my racing career, and a championship here would mean so much to me. It’s a hard fight though. There are three of us [Kirkwood, Frost and Thompson] all within five points of each other for 2nd place in the standings. And I’m sure that each of us are looking up at Lindh in that first-place position more than we are looking at each other.”
The series travels to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend for Championship Rounds 10 & 11. The 2.25-mile track is one familiar to Thompson. He earned a win there earlier this year in GT3 Cup. Given the tight nature of the Indy Pro 2000 championship race, a win again seems like the only sure way for Thompson to improve his position in the standings. With experience at multiple levels on the Road to Indy though, Thompson takes a slightly different stance.
“Of course winning is always the objective, but this is a long season that often rewards consistency. After winning the first two races in St. Petersburg, I’ve been reminded often how important that consistency is. With Abel Motorsports, we’ve made a lot of headway this year. One single performance isn’t going to earn us the title. If our group can continue in the direction that we’ve been headed over the last couple of weekends though, then I’m very excited about our chances.”
About Parker Thompson
Red Deer, Alberta native Parker Thompson is regarded as one of Canada’s premiere racing drivers. He started racing karts at age 8 and his natural talent and competitive drive quickly elevated him to international level competitions. By age 13 he was ranked 3rd in the world in Rotax Max karts. Now 21 years old, Parker continues his successful career racing on the Road to Indy, and in multiple sports car series.
Insurance rate increases absolutely unacceptable: NDP Critic for Service Alberta
This post was submitted by Jon Carson, NDP MLA for Edmonton-West Henday, Opposition Critic for Service Alberta
Thirty per cent.
That’s how much auto insurance rates skyrocketed by for some Albertans at the end of this year, after Premier Jason Kenney and the UCP removed the five per cent cap on rate increases that our NDP government brought in, taking a “no limit” approach to how much insurance companies could actually raise rates.
The jump was immediate.
Albertans saw a wave of premium increases bordering on price gouging. Over 90% of car insurance companies filed for rate increases as soon as the cap was lifted, and rushed to bill drivers as soon as they could. Of the companies that received approved rate changes, the increases ranged from 4.9 per cent to an eye-popping 29.8 per cent.
It was a nice gift from Jason Kenney, who already slammed families for hundreds of dollars of new costs in his fall budget, including hikes to income tax, property tax, as well as more in school fees, prescription drugs and college tuition.
As usual, Finance Minister Travis Toews trotted out the UCP’s one-trick pony and blamed the NDP, claiming that insurance companies were set to pack their bags and flee the province if he didn’t let them jack up premiums beyond five per cent.
The lobbying effort came out in full force. The brokers, the insurance companies, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada are working overtime to sell quite the sob story: a massive spike in claims costs, not enough options for drivers, etc, etc. It’s tough times for the poor, little ol’ car insurance company.
What a load. These are some of the biggest and most profitable companies in Canada, and they simply want back the power they had to jack up premiums hand over fist.
The truth is that claims costs over the past few years are level, a fact that’s supported by the Insurance Bureau of Canada‘s own data. In fact, an actuarial analysis by Fair Alberta Injury Regulators, an organization made up of concerned Albertans, doctors and legal experts, found that injury payouts have stabilized in the last few years, and even started to dip in 2019. Their actuary specifically found evidence that claims are “not skyrocketing.”
This is further supported by the Alberta Superintendent of Insurance, responsible for all regulatory oversight of insurers operating in Alberta with a specific duty to ensure that insurance companies treat Albertans fairly. In his annual report for 2018, he found on average that the claims ratio for car insurance was 80 per cent across all companies in Alberta. Not the 120 per cent figure the insurance companies trot out on TV.
And while the UCP Government continues to claim they have documents to prove the cap made the car insurance industry unsustainable, they haven’t provided a single piece of paper showing any of these companies would bail if they could–GASP–only raise premiums five per cent every year.
So why remove the cap? Well, in politics, it’s who you know. And Jason Kenney knows an awful lot of people in the insurance industry. Namely, his former chief of staff and campaign director Nick Koolsbergen, who was hired to lobby the Premier on behalf of the car insurance industry just last year. He has Kenney’s cell phone number.
Sounds like a good guy to have on your side… if you’re a car insurance company.
The fact is, these companies turn a profit of tens of millions of dollars each year. They’re used to having carte blanche in Alberta, and they want it back.
Under the thinly-veiled guise of “red tape reduction”, the UCP has struck a panel looking at more regulatory changes that the insurance lobby itself has said “could also change the rate regulation framework that governs how insurers set premiums.”
If costs are going to go up even more, who will Jason Kenney look out for? His friends and interests in big insurance? Or everyday Albertans driving to work?
Knowing Jason Kenney, Albertans should brace for impact.
Jon Carson is the MLA for Edmonton-West Henday and the Alberta NDP Opposition Critic for Service Alberta.
Is it time for a Wheel Alignment?
Bad roads can be your wheels’ worst enemy. If you drive down poorly maintained roads, drive through potholes, or even hit a curb, your alignment can be greatly affected. This can cause even the slightest, tiniest alignment issue, which can accelerate uneven tire wear. Make sure you have your alignment checked every 9,500 km or every other oil change. Your tires and your wallet will thank you later. Uneven tire wear is a symptom of bad wheel alignment. Ideally, tires should wear evenly across the tread. If you’re noticing excessive wear on the rear inside tires, you may have too much junk in the trunk or need an alignment adjustment.
Uneven tire wear can also result in less KPL’s and more pain at the gas pump. How will a wheel alignment help my vehicle? Repeat after us: A wheel alignment ensures optimal drivability. It will help your tires last longer, your vehicle drive smoother, ultimately keeping your wheels pointed in the right direction. And, when it drives more smoothly, it’s smooth sailing—or should we say cruising—ahead. Plus, your car will require less energy to keep going, potentially saving a ton of fuel depending on how much alignment was required. Tires are expensive. Keeping them aligned isn’t.
How will a wheel alignment help my vehicle?
Repeat after us: A wheel alignment ensures optimal drivability. It will help your tires last longer, your vehicle drive smoother, ultimately keeping your wheels pointed in the right direction. And, when it drives more smoothly, it’s smooth sailing—or should we say cruising—ahead. Plus, your car will require less energy to keep going, potentially saving a ton of fuel depending on how much alignment was required. Tires are expensive. Keeping them aligned isn’t.
How can I tell if my car’s alignment is off?
There are some noticeable signs that could indicate a misalignment. Just use your eyes, ears and hands. Your senses (and even the good old personal hunch) are good human capital for spotting poor alignment. Here are some common signs that you are dealing with wheels with poor alignment:
• Vehicle pulling to the left or right
• Uneven or rapid tire wear
• Your steering wheel is crooked when driving straight
• Squealing tires
Call to book 403.343.6633 or book your appointment at kippscott.ca
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