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.
In our final preview, we look at the Rotax DD2 Masters, Briggs & Stratton Masters and the newest addition to the ECKC roster, Briggs & Stratton Junior Lite.
Rotax DD2 Masters
There will most likely be a new champion this year in Rotax DD2 Masters as Luc Sauriol, champion in 2015, has opted to miss out on the opening round in Goodwood. His closest rival from a year ago, Stuart Clark, will also not be competing this year, opening up the Masters category to someone new.
The Maranello North American outfit has three drivers to keep an eye on, particularly John Cariati, who was a ECKC race winner at Goodwood a year ago. Paulo Gomes is another driver to keep an eye along with David Nevin and Dean Cotton.
We shall see what happens in DD2 Masters.
|EDUARDO YGLESIAS||Maranello Kart|
|JOHN CARIATI||Maranello Kart|
|FERNANDO TAVARES||Maranello Kart|
Briggs & Stratton Masters
When we first received the pre-entry list for the Briggs & Stratton Masters category, we were convinced that most drivers just haven’t pre-registered and we are still hoping that is the case.
The category featured 29 drivers a weekend ago at Goodwood for the CRFKC and we should see no less than 20 when things get rolling this weekend.
Looking at the entry list now, we should see some great battles between Marc Stehle, 2015 Canadian National Champion, David Anderson, 2015 ECKC race winner, Eli Yanko, James Dunn and Corey Walsh.
Scott Jefferies, Michel Forget and Greg Jewell should find themselves up front as well.
|JAMES DUNN||Margay Kart|
|ALESSANDRO DE LUCA||Intrepid|
|MICHAEL FORGET||Margay Kart|
|ELI YANKO||FA Kart|
|MARC STEHLE||Ricciardo Kart|
|DAVE ANDERSON||Awesome Kart|
|SCOTT JEFFERIES||Kosmic Kart|
|KYLE AULENBACK||K&K Kart|
Briggs & Stratton Junior Lite
New for 2016 at the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship will be the Briggs & Stratton Junior Lite category. Taking part in the two Ontario rounds of the series, Junior Lite will showcase the future drivers in the Briggs & Stratton LO206 program.
At last weekends Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge, 29 young drivers took part and we are expecting many of them to compete again this weekend. In only the second year of competition in Ontario, the class has shown impressive growth and interest, leading to what could be a permanent place on the ECKC roster in 2017.
The Pre-Entry was quite slim for the new category, so we will leave them off the preview and let them show us who to watch for this weekend at Goodwood!
Please note: All pre-entry lists are unofficial.