The end of a race season can be an opportunity for a driver to secure a championship or if a driver is in a transition season, move up early and get a taste of what is to come the following year. It can also be a chance for a driver to test out equipment they have never driven before with hopes of progressing up. For Callum Baxter and Jordan Prior, that is exactly what they got to do at the Coupe de Montreal season finale in Mont-Tremblant this past weekend.
Baxter, the reigning Briggs Junior Lite Canadian Champion, not only moved up to Briggs Junior for the weekend, but he also got to try his hand in a PSL Karting prepareed Rotax Max Junior machine for the first time. Prior, on the other hand, jumped at the opportunity to race a Rotax DD2 kart with Ben Cooper Racing, a prize he earned for his efforts at the Canadian Open a few weeks prior in Tremblant.
With both drivers tackling two classes, it made for a busy weekend and constant adjustment in driving styles and techniques, given the two completely different beasts they were driving. For Baxter, a young driver with an incredible amount of potential in every sport he tries his hand at, he was quick to acknowledge the challenge and found it actually made driving his Briggs kart a little easier.
“I had so much fun in the Rotax. It was much faster than Briggs and the braking is different. Rotax is harder to drive and a lot more tiring. When I got back in the Briggs it seemed so much easier to drive than before and I liked switching between the two. It’s not hard to do once you are used to the differences. Both are really fun to race.”
On the track, Baxter swept the Rotax Junior competition, taking home the victory in fine fashion. It now presents him with the question of what category to race in 2019.
Prior’s response to the experience was quite similar. I could tell he was loving every minute of it as every time I passed by him in the paddock, he was smiling from ear to ear.
“Racing a DD2 in Tremblant was an amazing experience and was a good opportunity for me to see what a two-stroke kart is like. For me the biggest challenge in racing DD2 was that I had less time to react, as the corners come to you at such a higher speed than Briggs. Over the race weekend I was able to adjust from Briggs to DD2 without difficulty. This was my first two-cycle race and I hope for more possibilies in the future, but I know that I love the style of Briggs racing.”
He raced toe-to-toe with Christophe Boisclair, a former Canadian champion, and qualified on the pole position in tricky conditions. However, an accident at the end of qualifying slowed him down in the Prefinal, falling to sixth, before he was able to recover to finish second in the Final, to Boisclair.
With their seasons now complete, they both have plenty of time to decide on what to race in 2019.