Happy New Year CKN Nation!
We hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday season and just like us, is excited about the upcoming karting season. The break won’t last long as we will be travelling south soon for the Rok Cup Florida Winter Tour, which kicks off in Miami in just two weeks. We’ve also got a good feeling we will be seeing the schedules for the 2019 Canadian season released in the coming days.
To wrap up 2018, we’ve compiled our annual CKN Year in Review Awards. While it’s impossible to include everyone, these awards are our way of noting the hard work, effort and performances of drivers that stood out from the pack to us, at the races we attended and/or covered.
We hope you enjoy them.
Junior Driver of the Year
Dale Curran, Avery Miller, Gianluca Savaglio, Callum Baxter, Enzo Sartor, Townes Allen
2018 Winner: Dale Curran
There was not a more dominant driver in 2018 than Dale Curran. From June through August, Curran went unbeaten in every major competition he entered in Canada, including a successful defence of the Canadian National title in Rok Junior. Four victories in the first four Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge races helped him build up a big enough gap that he was able to sit out the final round and take it as a drop and secure that Rok Junior title as well.
His dominance earned him an invite to the Rok Cup International Final where he really showed off his skillset. Qualifying fourth out of nearly 100 competitors from around the world, Curran went on to stay up front and even win a heat race before heartbreak struck in the Final and he was left with a DNF.
A young man still small enough to race in Mini, Curran has mentioned he will likely make the transition to Senior in 2019, quite possibly as early as the Florida Winter Tour.
2017 Winner: Gabriel Savoie
2015 Winner: Samuel Lupien
2014 Winner: Gianfranco Mazzaferro (Rotax) / Roman DeAngelis (Briggs)
2013 Winner: Jeff Kingsley
Senior Driver of the Year
Ryan MacDermid, Jon Treadwell, Marco Signoretti, Bryce Choquer, John Buzza, Darren Kearnon
2018 Winner: Jon Treadwell
It’s one thing to win back-to-back Canadian Championship titles, but it’s another to do it in arguably the most competitive class in Canada over the past half decade. Every race this season that Treadwell entered, he was an immediate contender and there were only a few where he left without the first place trophy.
In addition to winning his third ASN Canadian title in four years, Treadwell scored two race wins and added two runner-up finishes in the Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge to secure that overall title as well aboard his VRS Intrepid Kart.
In 2019 we would love to see Treadwell venture outside the province of Ontario and showcase his skillset across the country.
2017 Winner: Marco DiLeo
2015 Winner: Cedrik Lupien
2014 Winner: Zachary Claman Demelo (Rotax) / Jean-Francois Lafontaine (Briggs)
2013 Winner: Pier-Luc Ouellette (Rotax) / Jean-Francois Lafontaine (Briggs)
International Driver of the Year
Thomas Nepveu, Ryan MacDermid, Samuel Lupien, Ben Cooper, Mackenzie Clark, Joshua Conquer
2018 Winner: Ryan MacDermid
All six of our nominees have showcased our Canadian talent on the international stage this season, putting the Maple Leaf on the podium in many instances. A couple of major victories come to mind when thinking about this award, including Thomas Nepveu at the Florida Winter Tour and US Open, Ben Cooper at the SKUSA SuperNationals, Samuel Lupien at the US Open as well as earning the National #2 plate in the SKUSA Pro Tour, and Joshua Conquer in the Gearup F-Series, but two headline worthy wins by Ryan MacDermid was the icing on the cake.
MacDermid bested 77 entries in the IAME X30 Senior Final at the SKUSA SummerNationals in New Castle, Indiana and he added another major win at the ROK the RIO event in Las Vegas in Rok Senior. Two weeks later he finished fifth at the SuperNationals in a barn-burner week of racing and closed out the year as the Canadian representative at the BirelART Richard Mille Young Talent Shoot Out in France, making it all the way to the end in a bid for a full season of Formula 4 racing.
MacDermid may very well have been the busiest Canadian driver internationally as well, taking part in countless races all season long in North America and honourably running the number 6 at the SuperNationals as a tribute to friend and mentor Robert Wickens, who was involved in a horrible Indycar crash this summer and remains in recovery.
2017 Winner: Antonio Serravalle
2015 Winner: Lachlan Defrancesco
2014 Winner: Devlin Defrancesco
2013 Winner: Ben Cooper
This wraps up our 2018 CKN Year in Review Awards, now on to 2019!