The first National karting event of the summer hits the track this weekend as the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship kicks off their seventh season of competition, inviting the best kart racers from Ontario, Quebec and more to Goodwood Kartways, just north of Toronto, Ontario, for a weekend of jam-packed, close-knit racing. The tight and twisty Goodwood circuit is a favourite among many karters, especially after its repaving in 2012, providing plenty of passing opportunities on its roller coaster style layout.
For the most part it is status quo for the series this year with same four tracks hosting events and the same lineup of Rotax Max and Briggs & Stratton LO206 classes plus the addition of one support class for each round, Briggs Junior Lite in Ontario and Shifter in Quebec. Once again, tickets to join Team Canada at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held this year in Italy, will also be available for the champions in the Rotax Junior, Senior, DD2 and DD2 Masters categories.
The Ontario rounds will stick to the usual format of two separate race days, while the Quebec rounds will feature a single Qualifying session, heat racing and culminating with two Finals, a welcome change to the race format. Tire strategy will also come into play this year with the primary Rotax Max classes being limited to six tires per weekend, two less than years past.
After keeping an eye on the pre-entry list and doing some surveying ourselves at the CKN offices, we have prepared a class by class preview based on who we expect to be racing this weekend.
Here is part 1, featuring Rotax Junior, Briggs & Stratton Junior, Mini-Max and Micro-Max.
There is a very different look and feel to the Rotax Junior lineup for 2016 with many drivers from last season graduating up to the Senior ranks, making way for someone new to take over the reigns after Samuel Lupien dominated a season ago. This is also one of the smallest contingents of Junior drivers we’ve ever seen.
After their long winter battle in Florida, sophomore Juniors Matthew Latifi and Ryan MacDermid appear to have a step up on their competitors entering the Canadian season and we expect them to lead the way this weekend. Andres De Alba also spent some time down south this winter, showing great pace and potential. We can also expect Goodwood locals Cole Hooton and Christopher Chanko to battle for the first podiums of the year while rookies Xavier Harris, Matthew Barry, Patrick Woods-Toth and Stefano Lucente will be looking to put their names on the map this season.
There are also some drivers from the USA making their way to Goodwood including George Stojakovic, Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Emma Dellatre.
|EAMON LOWE||Energy Kart|
|LIAM ORTLIEB||Maranello Kart|
|MARC-ANTOINE POIRIER||FA Kart|
|ANDRES DE ALBA||BirelART|
Briggs & Stratton Junior
There are plenty of new faces in the Briggs & Stratton Junior category this year, but there are also some familiar ones back for another year of 4-cycle racing. The class that keeps on growing, especially in Ontario, looks to eclipse 30 entries this weekend, after a stellar 29 showed up last weekend for the Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge.
Standing out on the list is 2015 vice-champion Xavier Dorsnie, Joshua Conquer, Zachary Vanier, William Chayer and Zachary Latimer, all who have found themselves on the ECKC podium in the past. But there are many more that could surprise us this weekend including Kelsey Hann, who has travelled from Nova Scotia to race, Gavin Sanders, Ciara Collison, Khloe Drummond, Mackenzie Clark, Tyson Wassink, Gianluca Savaglio and more.
There will also be some local additions from the TRAK club that could also put their hands in the mix. When their LO206 engines fire up, it will be worth watching these young guns on track this weekend.
|GABRIEL SAVOIE||K&K Kart|
|MACKENZIE CLARK||Maranello Kart|
|OWEN CLARKE||Ricciardo Kart|
|JORDAN PRIOR||Maranello Kart|
|WILLIAM CHAYER||K&K Kart|
|ZACH LATIMER||K&K Kart|
|GAVIN SANDERS||Kosmic Kart|
With the top-3 championship finishers from last year all graduating to Junior, Rotax Mini-Max is wide open this season.
Thomas Nepveu, Gianluca Savaglio and Chloe Chambers are the only drivers entering with Mini-Max experience, while Ryland Duesburry, Dale Curran and Adam Moor have graduated from Micro-Max. We anticipate any of these six to take home the glory this weekend with Mackenzie Clark and Liam Rhodes potential threats as well.
Unfortunately, we don’t anticipate anymore than 10 drivers this weekend in Mini-Max.
|RYLAND DUESBURRY||Energy Kart|
|ADAM MOOR||Maranello Kart|
|LIAM RHODES||Maranello Kart|
|MACKENZIE CLARK||Maranello Kart|
A trio of drivers stand out on the list of Micro-Max drivers making their way to Goodwood this weekend. Justin Arseneau won the title last year and has registered for Micro-Max however it appears he has made a last minute jump up to Mini-Max. This opens things up for Marcello Pannicia and Austin Boyle, who are no stranger to Goodwood Kartways.
Anthony Sardelitti and Lorenzo Morsillo are also back for another season of Micro-Max racing while Ayden Ingratta will make his ECKC Micro-Max debut this weekend.
We could see a few more names on the list this weekend with the addition of some local club racers.
|MARCELLO PANNICIA||Maranello Kart|
Please note: All pre-entry lists are unofficial.