The final major event of the Canadian season is here and it’s the biggest of them all, the ASN Open Canadian Karting Championships held in the exquisite region of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. The name may have changed a bit but it is still our National Championships and we are beyond excited to be trackside this week at the Jim Russell Karting Academy to bring the readers of the CKN Nation all the action.
So, based on the pre-entry lists we have received, we will break down the list of entries competing this weekend in each category as mention a few of the notables along with it.
Practice for the event kicks off Wednesday and Thursday followed by Qualifying action on Friday. Heat races also begin Friday and roll through Saturday to set the grids for the all-important National Championship Finals on Sunday. At the end of it all, eleven drivers will be crowned champion and etch their name into the Canadian karting history books.
Briggs & Stratton Junior
It is looking like it will be the largest category competing this week in Mont-Tremblant and we are gearing up for it to be the most exciting as well. The Briggs & Stratton Juniors have not been shy to get aggressive this year and this week there is solid contingent of new drivers added to the mix, looking to take on those who have stood out so far this season.
Looking at the list, a few stand out given their results at the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship. Joshua Conquer, MacKenzie Clark, Gavin Sanders, Zachary Latimer, Jordon Prior and William Chayer will no doubt be fast this week and are considered contenders. Megan Gilkes, Khloe Drummond, Gabriel Savoie and Marcello Paniccia will also be fast and showed the potential to be on the podium so far this season as well.
However, we cannot ignore Xavier Dorsnie, who has returned from an early season injury just in time to race the Nationals. Kelsey Hann leads a good contingent of drivers from Eastern Canada as well, all looking for experience and the chance to race up front with the ‘big guys’. Nicky Palladino has jumped up from Junior Lite for a chance at the title as well.
As the class nears 30, it may also require being split up this week, mixing up drivers into groups for the heat races.
Either way, it’s going to be fun to watch Junior Briggs this weekend.
|Zachary Latimer||K&K Kart|
|Owen Clarke||Ricciardo Kart|
|Khloe Drummond||K&K Kart|
|Robert Soroka||Kosmic Kart|
|William Chayer||Kosmic Kart|
|Gabriel Savoie||Kosmic Kart|
It’s a little disappointing that there are so few Rotax Junior drivers entered this weekend, given the strong numbers that had throughout the ECKC season, but nonetheless, all the heavy-hitters are here this weekend.
Matthew Latifi, Ryan MacDermid and Andres De Alba all have ECKC victories this year and are looking to close out a successful Canadian season with the National title. With MacDermid already qualified for the Rotax Grand Finals, this also opens up the ticket possibilities as well.
Matthew Taskinen and Griffin Dowler are hoping to take a National title back home to Alberta after making the long trek here whole Cole Hooten has shifted to TonyKart this week for a shot at the top of the podium. Stefano Lucente, Xavier Harris, Patrick Woods-Toth and Marc-Antoine Poirer also need to be considered for a chance at the podium.
After competing all season in Europe, Antonio Serravalle is back in Canada this week and looking to earn his third Canadian title as well. Look for him to be running with the lead pack.
|Eamon Lowe||Energy Kart|
|Marc-Antoine Poirer||FA Kart|
|Andres De Alba||BirelART|
Rotax DD2/DD2 Masters
Some big news in Rotax DD2 is the absence of ECKC Champion and 2014 Canadian Champion Jeffrey Kingsley. Taking a different route this weekend, Kingsley is competing in Rotax Senior, leaving the door open for someone new on top in DD2.
Tyler Kashak looks to defend the title, but Alessandro Bizzotto and Natael Cantin will be hungry to not only secure the victory but also the ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals. Thankful for Kashak and Marco Signoretti, their position on Team Canada is already secured.
Ethan Simioni has shown pace this season and could be a dark horse this weekend, as is Didier Carre.
New faces this weekend include Alexis Budel from Manitoba and Davide Greco, who has transitioned to DD2 from Rotax Senior.
This weekend is the largest contingent of DD2 Masters we have seen all year. Scott Campbell of Saskatchewan has made the trip and joined PSL Karting this weekend, looking to secure a ticket to compete in the Rotax Grand Finals for a record twelve times. But we know ECKC Champion Paul Carvalho will be racy. Lord Normand was also an ECKC race winner this year, while there are a handful of drivers making their first major start of the season.
|Marco Signoretti||Energy Kart|
|Scott Campbell||Ricciardo Kart|
|Mark Woyslaw||GP Kart|
Briggs & Stratton Masters
If there is one class we are expecting fireworks in this weekend, Briggs & Stratton Masters will be it. These veterans have been beyond aggressive this season, creating plenty of havoc for the officials, all while providing some great racing as well.
There are plenty of drivers capable of taking home the title this weekend with the following all expected to lead laps this weekend: Scott Jefferies, ECKC Champion David Anderson, Adrian Donkers, Marc Stehle, Keith Barrick, James Dunn, Corey Walsh, Jamie MacArthur and Eli Yanko.
There are even a few more who may sneak in under our radar or catch us off guard this weekend.
Note to the those trackside this weekend: find a spot on the fence when Briggs & Stratton Masters rolls out for their National Final on Sunday, it will be worth the watch.
|Kyle Aulenback||K&K Kart|
|James Dunn||Margay Kart|
|Marc Stehle||Ricciardo Kart|
|David Anderson||Awesome Kart|
|Keith Barrick||K&K Kart|
|Jean Beltrami||Kosmic Kart|
|Eli Yanko||FA Kart|
|Ron Henrie||Arrow Kart|
|Jamie MacArthur||K&K Kart|
Part two of our preview series will be online Thursday evening.
Live timing for the event can be followed on CKN, along with daily reports and photo galleries, starting Friday.