There was a lot of build up to the Briggs & Stratton Junior Final on Sunday at the 2017 Canadian Karting Championships. The 30 kart grid was packed full of talent and the Junior’s have displayed some of the most intense racing of the weekend at Mosport leading up their big race.
A great start for Jordan Prior saw him convert his pole-position into the early lead followed by Zachary Vanier who slotted into second with Gianluca Savaglio third, Kelsey Hann fourth and Stefano Lucente fifth.
A big mix up on lap three saw Lucente jump up to second while Savaglio fell to fifth after colliding with Vanier who held on to third. However, Vanier slid back by Lucente before the lap was complete.
Coming from deep in the field, Gabriel Savoie was on a charge and moved up to seventh by lap four but had a big gap to the lead six.
Hoping to push away from the pack, Vanier was glued to Prior’s bumper and initially, it was a three kart pack with Lucente hanging on for a few laps until he lost the draft at halfway. Quickly, Lucente was caught by Avery Miller, Hann, and Savaglio and the battling for the third spot allowed Savoie and William Chayer to catch up.
Out front, Prior and Vanier continued to pull away setting up the last lap battle.
Managing the lead through the first half of the lap, Prior looked in control as he raced up the hill to turn seven. Still, in the lead exiting the bowl, all he had left was the final chicane. Staying to the inside, it meant Vanier had to swing wide and hope he could have a shot at the undercut into the final corner. Throwing his kart in deep in the final corner, Vanier touched the grass before climbing up on top of Prior bringing both karts to the halt dead in the middle of the corner.
Scrambling to avoid the two karts, the pack racing for third suddenly was going for the win and erupting from the final corner first was Lucente in a drag race with Savoie.
At the line, it was Lucente over Savoie and Miller while Chayer and Hann were also within a second.
However, the race didn’t end there. Unfortunately for Lucente, his engine failed to pass technical inspection by the Briggs & Stratton representatives, meaning his superb drive went unrewarded. It was also determined by officials that Savoie would be penalized for contact earlier in the race with Chayer meaning when the dust settled it was Avery Miller who was crowned the 2017 Canadian National Karting Champion for Briggs & Stratton Junior!
After the race, he also shared with CKN that this was the first race he has ever won.