For the second year in a row we present the CKN Year in Review Awards. We here at Canadian Karting News decided to create our own set of awards, all pertaining to categories we feel worthy and throughout the final weeks of 2014, we will highlight an award for categories such as Junior and Senior driver’s of the year in both the Rotax Max and Briggs & Stratton divisions, helmet design of the year, Canadian event of the year among many others.
While these are all the opinion of CKN, you can let us know who you think deserved each award. Using the comments below each article, let us know who you feel was worthy of the award and a short blurb why you believe so.
**2014 Mechanic of the Year**
2013 Winner: Everyone
– Sylvain Clair
– Alexandre Louet
– Kelly Michaud
– James Treadwell
– Alexandre Vincent
– Trevor Wickens
Winner: Alex Louet
Canada’s best tuners were once again hard at work this summer in what was a very tough year of racing as the competition in Canadian karting was extremely close across all categories. In our decision process we concluded the award for Mechanic of the Year would go to a Canadian tuner who exceeded expectations working closely with their driver this season. After looking at all the performances by various driver/tuner pairings this year’s Mechanic of the Year award goes to Alex Louet of PSL/KCR Karting, who took Christophe Paquet to new heights in 2014.
This year Louet was tasked to bring Paquet up in the Senior Rotax ranks after the duo had a solid ending to the 2013 karting season which saw Paquet close the chapter in his junior karting career. In the beginning of 2014 Louet and Paquet competed against the worlds best at the Florida Winter Tour where the goal was to gain experience for before coming back to Canada. The duo showed good pace south of the border as Paquet was consistently one of the quickest Canadians in the class earning a few top ten results all with the support of Louet.
Back home the pairing was immediately successful as Paquet would go on to win the first race of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship in Rotax Senior at Mosport. The next day Paquet backed up the win with a second place finish to leave the event with the championship points lead as a rookie. The week after that the duo were at their home track, KCR Karting, where Paquet would once again take the win, this time in Coupe du Quebec action, after a thrilling battle with Jesse Lazare and Tommy Lemaire Ouellet.
Throughout the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and the Coupe du Quebec championships Paquet was consistently at the front of the field. The only other driver who was ahead of the freshman was Zachary Claman DeMelo. For a pair like Louet and Paquet to be the ones who were able to challenge DeMelo the most this season was simply an impressive performance. The pair ended the year with a win in Mont Tremblant where Louet’s perfect wet set-up helped Paquet take a 6.5 second victory in a down pour where many of the best drivers in the category faltered. By winning the race not only did the pairing secure the vice-championship in the ECKC title race but they also became Rotax Senior Champions in the Coupe du Quebec Championship and earned an invitation to compete at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Valencia, Spain as a member of Team Canada.
For Louet to bring a rookie in the Senior ranks to be the closest challengers to a factory effort in the country’s most competitive class is a performance that shall be acknowledged by all. We here at CKN would like to congratulate Louet on an fantastic performance this season an would like to wish him and driver Christophe Paquet the best of luck in the 2015 karting season.