Ben Cooper finished a weekend sweep of DD2 with his second win on Sunday
The second race of the 2013 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship was held Sunday at Mosport International Karting and if not more, there was at least one thing consistent from a day earlier – weather that just couldn’t decide what it wanted to be.
Sun, cloud and rain once again appeared at different parts of the day, and that was after the day began with a fog delay! It was a tuner’s nightmare to be sure, as it was rare for a class to get similar conditions from one session to the next. Both the Micro-Max and DD2 Masters fields were caught on track in horrid conditions, drenching their respective fields, but as we have seen at Mosport during past ECKC events, changeable weather also sets the table for gamblers, and there were plenty of those as well, some that were paid in spades. Once again it was a great day of championship racing, and this is how it unfolded:
Rotax DD2 Pole Position: 56.310 – Ben Cooper, KMS North America/Birel/SRA Rotax
Prefinal: Ben Cooper, Marco Di Leo, Brendan Bain, Tyler McEwan, Enrico Menotti
Final: Seemingly appropriate the way the weekend was going, the DD2 field led things off on Sunday under blue skies, yet with a very wet race track. Quebec’s expert corner workers from the ASRQ were on hand and sweeping away standing water, and as the field rolled off drivers had two warm-up laps to come to grips with the conditions, literally. Ben Cooper (Birel) and Marco Di Leo (Praga) mixed it up through a few corners as things got underway before Cooper established himself at the point with Di Leo running second. Tyler McEwan (CRG) was all alone in third once things settled down, as were Fred Woodley (Maranello) in fourth and Alessandro Bizzotto (CRG) in fifth. Things up front grew processional as the race developed, and the only mover among the group proved to be Brendan Bain (Maranello). Bounced to P10 at the start, Bain took one spot per lap working to five, then moved into the top five himself working lap seven and took P4 on the penultimate lap when he got inside teammate Woodley in the left hand turn to begin the final sequence. That’s the time Cooper and Di Leo were each setting their fastest laps of the race though, and they owned the top two podium spots. McEwan remained comfortably third, while Bain was fourth and Woodley fifth.
DD2 Field: 11 karts, 6 chassis manufacturers.
Briggs & Stratton Junior Pole Position: 1:07.768 – Braxton Terry, Birel/Briggs & Stratton
Prefinal: Jordan Latimer, Tyler McCullough, Braxton Terry, Nicholas Hornbostel, Andre Fiorini
Final: Rain had yet to return as the second class took to the track but the course was far from dry and rain tires were still the choice on the grid. Jordan Latimer (K&K) held from pole position with Tyler McCullough (Gold) and Nicholas Hornbostel (Intrepid) leading the chase, but as the chase pack argued over positions Latimer got a quick gap off the front. When they continued to fight among themselves as the laps ticked by, Latimer raced even further into the distance. A trio was in chase mode, but McCullough, Hornbostel and Andre Fiorini (K&K) just couldn’t stay in line. When they did, the gap was closed, but this rarely happened over consecutive laps. As the first half played out, Latimer worked over two seconds clear – but then the track began to dry out in spots. As it did, the chasing karts gained a little traction. As it was, McCullough managed to get within a half second of top spot and Fiorini set the fastest lap in the field on the last lap to get within a second, but the checkered flag ended their hopes and Latimer was headed to the top of the podium. McCullough was second and Fiorini third. Hornbostel crossed in fourth position with Levi Rossiter (CRG) fifth.
Junior Field: 11 karts, 6 chassis manufacturers.
Briggs & Stratton Senior Pole Position: 1:05.357 – Aaron Kennedy, PSL Moncton/Briggs & Stratton
Prefinal: Aaron Kennedy, Jon Treadwell, Marc Stehle, Gerald Caseley, Zach Boam
Final: Conditions for the Briggs Senior/Masters field were classic conditions for the long shot. The track was still mostly wet and the skies were threatening, but things were drying out and some took the chance on slicks. Aaron Kennedy (CRG) had earned pole but when he was unable to take the green an all-K&K front row developed when Marc Stehle moved up a spot. Jon Treadwell and the outside line didn’t get much of a run at the start, but he certainly did around the top end as he was second and chasing Zach Boam (GP) when the field came down the hill the first time. Dave Patrick (Birel) was sitting third in his debut ahead of Gerald Caseley (CRG) and line of others well past ten karts long. Treadwell then took the lead on two, but the rains weren’t coming, and Sean McPhee (CRG) was. P10 through the first lap and doing just fine on slicks, he was P6 through two, and among the leaders when the field crossed the third time. When it crossed a fourth time he was at the head of the line – a spot he would never relinquish in romping to a seven-second win. Charlotte Lalande (Margay) followed a very similar trajectory as she was tenth through two, fifth through five and second when the Last Lap board was shown. Ditto for Jeff Forsey: P9 through the first lap and on the podium in the end. Stehle crossed in fourth and Mathieu Demers (CRG) fifth. In the Master class, Greg Jewell (CRG) was fast qualifier, Russell Kroon (CRG) was high man in the prefinal and Martin Coursol (Arrow) won the final with Tyson Stevens (CRG) and Jamie MacArthur (Birel) joining him on the podium.
Senior/Masters Field: 32 karts, 11 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax Junior Pole Position: 57.059 – Jeffrey Kingsley, Pserra Racing/TonyKart/Pserra Rotax
Prefinal: Jeffrey Kingsley, Anthony Tolfa, Davide Greco, Gianfranco Mazzaferro, Christophe Paquet
Final: A good run by the inside line in Rotax Junior saw Anthony Tolfa (TonyKart) take the lead followed by Jeffrey Kingsley (TonyKart). Christophe Paquet (CRG) and Gavin Reichelt (CRG) were third and fourth around the top end but Davide Greco (TonyKart) wanted his spots back and had them by the end of lap one. In a customary Junior race, it looked a matter of surviving the first two laps with karts knocking each other throughout the field, and if a driver could do that a solid finish was likely in the cards. Just as Greco took his position back, Kingsley wanted his at the head of the field as well. He got the spot on two, and when he did so Greco capitalized and followed through for second. From there Kingsley was error free, clicking off fast laps and setting the fastest in the field on twelve of fifteen. He worked nearly four seconds clear of the rest of the podium in the process and the outcome was never in question. Behind him, Greco and Tolfa were racing in much closer quarters. One TonyKart hounded the other until Tolfa got second just past the halfway point. He built the slightest of gaps coming in, and nothing changed among the front five: Kingsley, Tolfa, Greco, Reichelt and Paquet – a TonyKart sweep of the podium.
Junior Field: 23 karts, 9 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax Micro-Max Pole Position: 1:03.851 – Matthew Latifi, Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart/Ogden Rotax
Prefinal: Matthew Latifi, Alexandre Legare, Thomas Nepveu, Matthew Barry, Jeremy Tallon
Final: The Micro-Max final on Sunday was tire gamble version 2.0 on the day, and just as in the first instance, a few with nothing to lose starting deep in the field took a shot and started on ‘opposite’ tires tires – this time rains. Drops had started to fall as the juniors took the checkered flag, but the track was still dry when the youngest competitors rolled on track. As the green waved Matthew Latifi (TonyKart) led from the Zanardi karts of Thomas Nepveu and Alexandre Legare. The trio was set to make an escape from the field – but then the rain came, and harder and harder it fell. Halfway around lap three it became a matter of keeping the kart pointed in the right direction if it was on slicks, and only Latifi was able to do it. He actually maintained the lead past half distance, but at that point the trio of drivers that had elected to start on rain tires had made their way from back to front. Xavier Harris (Praga) took over from there, with Christopher Chanko (OK1) following through into second on the same lap. Joshua Cunha (OK1) then took third on the next lap, and after driving around in the rain for five laps Harris had a massive 20-second win on his hands! Chanko was second and though Cunha crossed third, he was docked a spot for passing under one of many yellows during the race and Latifi was rewarded for surviving on slicks and staying on the lead lap – no small feat in the weather conditions. Patrick Woods Toth (CRG), who had raced as high as second when the rain first began, was fifth, and the second to cross on slicks.
Micro-Max Field: 12 karts, 5 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax Senior Pole Position: 55.777 – Kevin Monteith, REM/Birel/TVR Rotax
Prefinal: Kevin Monteith, Zacharie Scalzo, Michael Kundakcioglu, Steven Szigeti, Maxime Couturier
Final: The senior field was a little unsure of what to expect running into turn one with the main pack and polesitter Kevin Monteith (Birel) held with Olivier Bedard (Birel) slotting second and Steven Szigeti (Zanardi) third. Monteith then got into the hairpin too hot on the first lap and both went by, getting a little gap in the process as the former leader salvaged third and the hairpin became a massive traffic jam. Maxime Couturier (Zanardi) emerged in fourth with Marc-Andre Levesque (CRG) fifth. Tyler Kashak (OK1) then took that spot away on two, and the only thing that would change up front the rest of the way was the podium order. Monteith got P2 back from Szigeti early on, and was then faced with a gap to Bedard, a driver that had won at Mosport in the past and knew the way to the stripe. The conditions were less than ideal though, and that left Bedard in the unenviable position of having to do everything first. Monteith, with a watchful eye, edged closer and closer before setting the fastest lap of the race on lap eight and retaking the lead entering the Ron Fellows Bowl. Bedard countered with his fast lap on ten, but couldn’t find a way back to challenge for the win, Monteith – Bedard made it a Birel one-two. Szigeti was an isolated third, ten seconds back, with Couturier fourth and Kashak fifth. Honourable mention in race two to Johnny Flute, the runner-up on Saturday qualified fifth, but was knocked out of the prefinal on lap one and started the main in P28 before storming all the way back to sixth. Senior Field: 29 karts, 11 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax Mini-Max Pole Position: 1:00.581 – Antonio Serravalle, Pserra Racing/TonyKart/Pserra Rotax
Prefinal: Antonio Serravalle, JP Hutchinson, Tommy Simard, Thierry Cote, Joe Soranno
Final: The sun actually made a brief appearance as the Mini-Max field took to the track and when the green flag waved, front row TonyKart mates Antonio Serravalle and JP Hutchinson slotted first and second. Thierry Cote (CRG) was P3, and the rest of the field started swapping spots at the hairpin giving the lead trio a gap they would keep all the way. The order, though, would change, and it changed on lap two when Hutchinson moved to the lead racing down the Mosport hill. He began building on that lead over three, and as the front five in the field began to spread out, it was apparent Hutchinson was well on his way. He had the field covered by three full seconds at half, and was nearly six seconds up when he took the checkered flag. Serravalle was all alone as well, nearly four seconds clear of Cote. Starting at the back of the pack, Samuel Lupien actually set the fast lap of the race on his way to scoring fourth, and Joe Soranno was fifth after eight laps.
Mini-Max Field: 10 karts, 5 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax DD2 Masters Pole Position: 54.919 – Stuart Clark, Maranello North America/Prime Power Rotax
Prefinal: Steve Attard, David Nevin, Francis Mondou, Stuart Clark, Elvis Stojko
Final: Still drying out from being completely drenched during their prefinal, a race that quickly became a matter of simply keeping it on the island, the DD2 Master class had a scrambled grid as it got set for the final race of the day – but it didn’t stay that way for long as the veterans of the class were quickly right back at the front. Stuart Clark (Maranello) started fourth but he was quickly moving into the lead as the group took a right-hand turn to head down the hill on the opening lap. One lap later, from the back row of the grid, Luc Sauriol had come all the way forward to second, and before the field finished its fourth lap, the third member from the Saturday podium had returned to similar position as Francis Mondou (OK1) was third. Martin Verville (Haase) and David Nevin (OK1) were fourth and fifth as things carried forward to the checkered in tricky conditions, and the pair were just over a second apart. No worries at the front though, as Clark was six seconds clear of Sauriol, who was in turn eight seconds up on Mondou. Round two could provide some interesting racing in Masters, as a number of the rookie members are headed to their home track, which will be their most comfortable runs of the season to be sure.
DD2 Masters Field: 9 karts, 5 chassis manufacturers.
So came to a close the opening round of the 2013 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship with drivers and teams packing up and heading home to dry out and regroup for round two. The ECKC schedule resumes with practice at Goodwood Kartways Friday, June 28th. The second event on the 2013 schedule will also be a doubleheader with race three on Saturday and race four on Sunday. After impressive numbers at the opening event, they’re only expected to rise at round two as additional drivers come out to test and prepare for the Canadian National Karting Championships that will return to Goodwood Kartways in August. The two ECKC races will also take the schedule past its halfway point, clearly defining championship battles as the series heads to Quebec. For all the latest series news and information, please visit eckc.ca often.
source: eckc.ca, Jason Holland, photo: Cody Schindel, CanadianKartingNews.com