The year and the decade have come to a close and with it, we wrap up the 2019 karting season with annual CKN Year in Review Awards. Recognizing the efforts of our drivers from coast to coast at events that we attended, we have nominated and selected our annual group of winners after careful thought and discussion.
It was another very busy season for CKN as we attended more than 30 races for the third year in a row. From local, regional and national races in four different provinces to international competitions in the USA and Super Finals in Italy, there was no chance to lift our foot off the gas pedal until this December holiday season.
As always, we appreciate your visits to our website and the reading content we create, as well as your support at all of our races through photo prints and photo package purchases. Since our launch in 2012, karting continues to be our passion and with your support, we can continue doing what we love the most and giving back to the sport in the form of media.
In final sets of award winners, we present the New Helmet Design of the Year and Mechanic of the Year.
New Helmet Design of the Year
- David Barnes (Polen Designs)
- Callum Baxter (Luc Sauriol Designs)
- Frankie Esposito (Savage Designs)
- Jared Freeston (Lone Palm Design)
- Zack Lalonde (BKD Speed Paint)
- Thomas Nepveu (SMART Race Paint)
Winner: Jared Freeston / Lone Palm Design
This award gets harder to select each year as our skilled racers turn to very talented helmet painters to make them stand out on the track.
There was no helmet more unique to us this year than the Lone Palm Design work of Taylor Gates for Jared Freeston. He took the world of Marvel Comics and Stan Lee and applied to into a very special design for Freeston that pops not only off the track, but off it as well when you get a close of the details. Gates even adjusted his logo to resemble the Marvel logo for the visor strip.
Freeston won the Western Canadian Karting Championship in the Rotax DD2 Masters division, earning him and his kickass helmet a trip to Italy to compete at the Rotax Grand Finals, where he drove himself into the Final amongst the worlds best DD2 Masters drivers.
Lone Palm Design was very busy pumping out a number of helmets this year and that deserves Taylor a shout out. Be sure to check out his Instagram below for more shots of Freeston’s helmet and the rest of his work.
2018 Winner: Ayden Ingratta / Censport Graphics
2017 Winner: Michael Glaze / Lone Palm Design
2015 Winner: Ryan MacDermid / Savage Designs
2014 Winner: Kellen Ritter / Censport Graphics
2013 Winner: Austin Boyle / Polen Designs
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Here it is! After a ton of research, improving of techniques and time. Jared Freeston’s 2019 “EXCELSIOR” Arai SK-6 is done! This helmet really hit home for us and is one that we have dreamt of doing since we started. Marvel being one of the biggest inspirations to us it was only fitting that we combine both racing and comics in one. Starting by picking some of Jared’s favourite characters, we worked their suits/head pieces into the design. From the front, we used the 2018 Black Panther inspired suit with the purple glow. Moving to the sides, it was one of his main requests to have Thor’s helmet. So using some silver leaf as the base we airbrushed the layers in to give it a true metallic look. Coming around the back one of our personal favourites, we used Spider-Man’s Suit and colouring. Right in the center of the back it was only fitting to airbrush in Iron Man’s Arc reactor to tie everything together. Including the Infinity Stones surrounding the reactor, tied in a nice little tribute to the Last 11 years of the MCU. Going with a comic book base which we layered everyone individually, this helmet has some many little details that photos just can’t pick up. Altering our logo for this one off project and creating Jared his own logo with the Avengers logo theme was one of the fun little aspects to this project. Naming the project “Excelsior” as a nod to the late Stan Lee, we couldn’t be happier with how this helmet turned out. @canadianstig88 @helmetculture @araiamericas @styledbymarvel @ckn_live #lonepalmdesign #northerndetail #lonepalmnation #customhelmetpainting #customhelmets #realhelmetpainters #airbrush #arai #karting #becausekarting #marvel #styledbymarvel #blackpanther #thor #spiderman #ironman #endgame #infinitywar #stanlee #excelsior #comics #canadianmade #canada #racing
Mechanic of the Year
- Glen Butler (Nicky Palladino)
- Gerald Caseley (Gerald Caseley Racing)
- Kenneth O’Keefe (Patrick Woods-Toth)
- Jason Prior (Jordan Prior)
- Lou Savaglio (Gianluca Savaglio)
Winner: Jason Prior
For every driver that takes to the track, a mechanic is right alongside helping ensure everything nut and bolt is tight and the engine fires. Whether it’s a Mother or Father working alongside their child, or a full-time mechanic making the rounds, these helping hands are just as important as every other piece needed to take to the track.
Jason Prior has turned the wrenches for his son Jordan since they began karting and in 2019 the pair celebrated their biggest career victories, first at the ASN Canadian Karting Championships in a thrilling Final and then capping off the year in New Castle, Indiana winning at the Cup Karts North America Grand Nationals Senior Briggs Final ahead of nearly 80 racers.
Both Priors are meticulous in their preparations and their kart and race package could easily be considered the best appearing as well.
As always, we can’t recognize all of the mechanics each year but we appreciate your efforts to help keep our racers on track in a competitive and safe manner.
2018 Winner: Tom Allen
2017 Winner: Wesley Schindel
2015 Winner: Brian Bettencourt
2014 Winner: Alex Louet
2013 Winner: All Mechanics
This caps off our 2019 CKN Year in Review Awards. With the calendar now turned to 2020, we look forward to seeing who can step up and position themselves for our 2020 awards.