It took the entire weekend of racing, but Justin Arseneau (Ben Cooper Racing/Exprit) finally completed the comeback to score the win in Rotax Junior at the Canadian Open, solidifying himself a spot on Team Canada for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.
After being disqualified in tech following Qualifying, Arseneau was forced to sit out the SuperPole session and had to start each of the heat races from the rear of the grid. He charged forward in all of them, winning all three, but received a pushback bumper penalty in the third to rank second overall.
In the Prefinal he went toe-to-toe with polesitter Callum Baxter (GCR-PSL Karting/BirelART), setting the fastest lap and eventually pulling out a two-second victory.
Starting from the pole position for the first time of the weekend in the Final, Arseneau made no mistakes. Baxter challenged him into turn one, but held the outside too long and lost the second spot to Nicholas Gilkes (REM/Kosmic) by corner two and by the time Baxter returned to the second spot, Arseneau had checked out and was gone.
His Ben Cooper Racing kart was in cruise control from there, eventually taking the win by 3.4 seconds and setting the fastest lap of the weekend on his final tour of the circuit. Only in his first season on Rotax racing, Baxter can hold his head up high after finishing second and keeping Arseneau honest all weekend, while Gilkes gets a tip of the hat for jumping in a Rotax for the first time this year and driving home a well-earned podium finish in third.
At the Rotax Grand Finals this fall, Arseneau will compete at the Sarno International Circuit in Italy, where he recently finished fourth in the FIA Academy Trophy.