Pier-Luc Ouellette put CRG back in the winner’s circle on Sunday
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship paddock filled for the fourth time Sunday as all returned to Goodwood Kartways for the back half of a doubleheader race weekend and the fourth in a six-race championship.
Wrapping up the Ontario swing of the series, many were looking for strong performances prior to heading to Quebec for races five and six in August and September. A handful found exactly what they were looking for, while others will now have to reignite their hopes one month from now. This is how it unfolded:
Rotax DD2 Pole Position: 35.328 – Pier-Luc Ouellette, PSL Karting/CRG/PSL Rotax
Prefinal: Pier-Luc Ouellette, Ben Cooper, Marco Di Leo, Brendan Bain, Cory Cacciavillani
Final: Maintaining what had been going on all day, Pier-Luc Ouellette (CRG) took the lead at the start of the final with Marco Di Leo (Praga) following him through turn one and into second. Saturday winner Ben Cooper (Birel) was third with Brendan Bain (Maranello) and the rest of the field in tow. Then the tow line got a little tight as a grand mess developed into and through turn six and the lead trio gained a gap they would never surrender. Cooper changed the order when he got past Di Leo, but noone else would get close. Fred Woodley (Maranello) had fourth after the traffic jam on the opening lap, but Bain quickly got the spot back at turn five the next time around, and nothing else changed up front the rest of the way. Ouellette had the field covered on this day, and his 35.5 second best lap was two tenths better than any other in the field. He was four seconds clear of Cooper when the checkered flag waved, and Cooper was nearly two seconds up on Di Leo in third. Bain was fourth and teammate Woodley was fifth. DD2 Field: 11 karts, 5 chassis manufacturers.
Briggs & Stratton Junior Pole Position: 42.179 – Chaston Cullum, Praga/Briggs & Stratton
Prefinal: Austin Bisschop, Chaston Cullum, Jordan Latimer, Braxton Terry, Christopher Proietto
Final: Capitalizing on pole position, Austin Bisschop (Birel) took the lead at the start of Briggs & Stratton Junior and an immediate three pack formed at the front as from fourth position back the karts stayed fighting side-by-side all the way through turn four. Jordan Latimer (K&K) was second and Chaston Cullum (Praga) third as the rest of the field fought over positions in line. Latimer and teammate Andre Fiorini actually ran second and third in the early going as well, but when one tried to pass the other, Latimer fell down the order. Fiorini, meanwhile, worked his way to second, and with Cullum still third things settled in to half distance. The second half then tightened things up. While Bisschop was gone off the front with not a care in the world, Cullum was leading a train of five that included the Birels of Miles Tyson, Braxton Terry and Matteus Makos, and the K&K of Fiorini. Bisschop completed a flag-to-flag run shortly after, 1.5 second clear of the field, and the next five karts each crossed within a second! The two to join Bisschop on the podium were Cullum and Tyson. Terry was fourth and Makos fifth, all the way from the back of the pack after tossing a nose cone in the prefinal. Junior Field: 13 karts, 6 chassis manufacturers.
Briggs & Stratton Senior Pole Position: 41.670 – Cory Cacciavillani, Birel/Briggs & Stratton
Prefinal: Keenan Harris, Kyle Edgar, Tommy Lemaire-Ouellet, Jon Treadwell, Zach Boam
Final: Back in a kart for the first time in years and after a foray into formula car racing, Keenan Harris (Praga) maintained his pole position for the final by sweeping into the lead with Tommy Lemaire-Ouellet (Zanardi) and Kyle Edgar (K&K) on his bumper. Things changed in a hurry though, as the field tripped all over itself working through the opening laps. When things settled in after three, Edgar was leading Lemaire-Ouellet and Zach Boam (GP) in a three pack at the front, and Marc Stehle (K&K) led the chase group with Harris, Jon Treadwell (K&K), Lauren Fortune (OK1) and Sean McPhee (CRG) in the kart line. They stayed that way through ten of fifteen laps, then the movement began. First Harris got back by Stehle, and on the next lap Fortune went by Treadwell, but the biggest move was the one for the win when Lemaire-Ouellet went inside Edgar at the turn nine hairpin and Boam followed him through to take second. One lap later the Last Lap board was up, but in the end the order remained, Lemaire-Ouellet, Boam and Edgar crossing in two tenths-of-a-second. Harris was fourth and Stehle fifth. Senior Field: 27 karts, 12 chassis manufacturers.
Briggs & Stratton Masters Pole Position: 43.398 – Jamie MacArthur, Birel/Briggs & Stratton
Prefinal: Jamie MacArthur, Tyson Stevens, Shane Findler, Russell Kroon, Steve Durkac
Final: Saturday winner Tyson Stevens (Wild Kart) made the most of an outside line at the start of the Masters final to swing into the lead ahead of pole man Jamie MacArthur and Shane Findler (Birel). The trio had a quick gap on the isolated CRG of Russell Kroon in fourth, and the rest of the field was bunched up behind. MacArthur then went back to the point the second time through turn four, and from there nothing changed into the second half when Findler did the same after Stevens ran wide out of the turn nine hairpin. From there truly nothing changed, as the entire field stayed in the same order – but it was close. MacArthur took the win by just 0.092 from Findler! Stevens was third, Kroon fourth and Steve Durkac (Arrow) fifth and right on his bumper. Masters Field: 8 karts, 5 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax Junior Pole Position: 37.227 – Devlin DeFrancesco, Pserra/TonyKart/Supertune Rotax
Prefinal: Alexandre Lacroix, Antoni Ptak, Jeffrey Kingsley, Natael Cantin, Devlin DeFrancesco
Final: Another driver to maintain a pole position at the wave of the green was Alexandre Lacroix (Zanardi) as he led the Junior field out of one with Jeffrey Kingsley (TonyKart) chasing, then Kingsley took the lead himself by going inside at turn nine. Antoni Ptak (Birel) followed him through, and a wild Junior final was underway with fourteen karts in the lead train. On the next lap, Ptak took his turn in front, and after Kingley once again stole the point beginning lap three, Ptak looked to complete a scissor move into turn two and take it back. The pair entered the turn side-by-side, which failed miserably and both spun into the barriers, handing the lead back to Lacroix, the man who started there in the first place. Christophe Paquet (CRG) was then second and Nicolas Dore (Birel) third, the trio all alone at the front as others were forced to check up among the spinning karts. Over the next ten laps there were changes as the field continued to recover. Dore took second on lap five, and by lap ten the lead pair had gained some breathing room on Paquet and Natael Cantin (Birel) in a second pairing; and Gianfranco Mazzaferro who was all alone in fifth. Running to the three-quarter mark Mazzaferro closed the gap, and the podium order was set on fifteen when he went from fifth to third on a single lap. No worries at the front though, as Lacroix was over a second clear of Dore, who in turn was nearly a second up on Mazzaferro. Cantin was fourth, and Devlin DeFrancesco fifth after coming through the lap three mess P11 and setting the fastest lap in the field. Junior Field: 29 karts, 9 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax Micro-Max Pole Position: 40.885 – Matthew Latifi, Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart/Ogden Rotax
Prefinal: Matthew Latifi, Xavier Harris, Thomas Nepveu, William Chayer, Matthew Barry
Final: Xavier Harris (Praga) was the second driver to make good from an outside line at the start as he swooped to the lead in Micro-Max ahead of Matthew Latifi (TonyKart), Thomas Nepveu (Zanardi), William Chayer (Birel) and Matthew Barry (OK1). The order then changed every lap through the first five, by which time Latifi had settled back on the front, and had gained some space as the others were fighting amongst themselves to and through half distance. In a four pack of karts nose-to-tail, Nepveu was leading Harris, Chayer and Barry, but the order was far from set. Harris was run wide exiting four and fell to the back of the group, and on the same lap Chayer went inside Nepveu for second at the final hairpin. Three laps later Barry moved into podium position himself by taking third through turn five, and that brought Harris right back to the bumper of Nepveu. On the final lap Latifi had no concerns running nearly two seconds clear of the rest, but Chayer had Barry right on his bumper and only just held the spot. Barry completed the podium, with Nepveu fourth and Harris fifth. Micro-Max Field: 12 karts, 5 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax Senior Pole Position: 36.455 – Olivier Bedard, KMS North America/Birel/SRA Rotax
Prefinal: Olivier Bedard, Zachary Claman DeMelo, Steven Szigeti, Zacharie Scalzo, Pier-Luc Ouellette
Final: The Seniors looked like typical Juniors on Sunday as more than a few were determined not to get along. Zachary Claman DeMelo (Praga) led out of one with Olivier Bedard (Birel), Zacharie Scalzo (TonyKart), Steven Szigeti (Zanardi) and Pier-Luc Ouellette (CRG) right behind. It didn’t last long, as the order changed every lap through the first four. Bedard took the lead himself before five, and he and Claman DeMelo had a slight gap on the chasing pack. It was then led by Ouellette, with Andrew Palmer (Kosmic) and Maxime Couturier (Zanardi) also joining in with the others. Before half distance Claman DeMelo looked for the lead in turn nine but both he and Bedard lost exit speed and after a drag race up the hill and in the run to turn one Ouellette had made the most of the situation and passed both. Claman DeMelo looked for the lead back in turn six, but when it didn’t come off Ouellette had a gap at the front while positions two through five were stacked… for all of two corners. In turn nine this time through, contact among the group popped Bedard’s chain, dropping him to the back and putting Palmer third, Scalzo fourth and Szigeti fifth. There they sat for the next six laps, or the length of time it took Claman DeMelo and his HRS power to run down Ouellette for the lead. He got there on thirteen, took the lead on fourteen, and set his best lap of the race on fifteen, never looking back on his way to his second-straight win. Ouellette remained second, while Scalzo pipped third from Palmer on the last lap and Szigeti followed him through. Senior Field: 34 karts, 10 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax Mini-Max Pole Position: 38.588 – Antonio Serravalle, Pserra Racing/TonyKart/Pserra Rotax
Prefinal: Antonio Serravalle, Charles Deschenes, Samuel Lupien, Thomas Simard, Theo Chick
Final: A great start by Charles Deschenes sent the Zanardi Kart driver into the lead at the start of Mini-Max with Thomas Simard (TonyKart) slotting second and Antonio Serravalle (TonyKart) third. The order changed at the end of the lap as Serravalle won a drag race after the final hairpin and up the hill, but that also gave Deschenes a cushion to work with at the front, and it was about to get even bigger. Simard took second back in turn four, and the result sent Serravalle wide and onto the grass, allowing Samuel Lupien (Birel) a free pass to third. One lap later Lupien was still on the move taking second spot, and second through fourth were then bunched together as Deschenes was racing off into the distance. Jackson Neilands (TonyKart) was also closing in on the action, as was JP Hutchinson recovering from starting at the back of the pack. The order continued to shuffle as the trio swapped podium positions, each taking a turn heading the line in second spot, but by then even if they’d sorted themselves out, Deschenes was closing on a three second lead by half distance. It was more than he needed to be sure, and after fifteen laps he was headed to the top of the podium. Serravalle eventually settled in second, with Simard joining him on the podium in third, Lupien fourth and Hutchinson fifth. Mini-Max Field: 11 karts, 6 chassis manufacturers.
Rotax DD2 Masters Pole Position: 35.927 – Stuart Clark, Maranello North America/Prime Power Rotax
Prefinal: Stuart Clark, Luc Sauriol, Martin Verville, John Cariati, David Nevin
Final: Stuart Clark (Maranello) was removed from pole position after two waved starts in the Masters DD2 final, but in reality there wasn’t much he could do as the inside line was chugging along and he just happened to be at the front of it. If anything, the field should be looking for ways to slow him down as when the green waved, he worked back to the head of the field and checked out once again. Martin Verville (Haase) made the most of his inherited pole, keeping it through turn one and the opening laps, but Clark followed through to slot second and waited for his moment. He nearly had it early in a lap when Verville got wide out of turn one, then definitely had in through turn nine as he raced down the inside. Clark started creating a gap after that, one he stretched to over four seconds at the checkered flag. Second through fifth were tight together in heading home, where Verville ran to the second step. Francis Mondou (OK1) nabbed the final podium spot with two to go, Luc Sauriol (CRG) was fourth and Elvis Stojko (Praga) fifth. DD2 Masters Field: 9 karts, 5 chassis manufacturers.
Sunday had it all at Goodwood with new winners, repeat winners, and prior winners returning to the series and winning again. The Briggs & Stratton classes continued to grow, further fulfilling a series goal of becoming the most competitive four-cycle racing series in Canada to go along with its very well known Rotax Max Challenge. Both should only get bigger as the championship heads to Quebec. The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship resumes on Thursday, August 1 at Le Monaco de Trois-Rivieres. The fifth race of the championship will follow practice days on Thursday and Friday, and a round of the Coupe de Quebec on Saturday. For more information, please visit eckc.ca and monacokarting.ca