While their Rotax counterparts kick off their official Qualifying on Friday morning, Briggs and Stratton and Shifter drivers will be rolling into the Jim Russell Karting Academy in Mont-Tremblant for the Canadian Open around lunchtime Friday to begin their schedule of events in the afternoon. Official Qualifying kicks off on Saturday morning for the Briggs and Shifter drivers, leading up to all of the classes competing in their Finals on Sunday afternoon.
There is a decent number of racers in the Briggs classes, led by 25 in Briggs Junior. The strength of the Coupe de Montreal has helped aid the Canadian Open this weekend, with a mixture of drivers from Quebec, Ontario and Eastern Canada coming together to battle. In addition, 14 drivers will compete in Open Shifter, split between the Seniors and Masters.
We are really excited to see the Briggs Juniors hit the track. Coupe de Montreal championship leaders Isaac Teed (GCR/Ricciardo), Yu Chen Ye (BCR/BirelART) Mathieu Cousineau (BCR/BirelART) will face off against some of Ontario’s best as Gianluca Savaglio (REM/Kosmic), Marco Filice (Prime/BirelART), Daniel and Adam Ali (REM/Kosmic) and Logan Ferguson (Prime/BirelART) have made the trek to Canada’s most beautiful race circuit. Add in great competition from the east, including Owen Mahar (GCR/Ricciardo) and Calum Dunbar (GCR/Ricciardo), as well as Zack Lalonde from Ottawa and this race is going to be tight at the top!
In Briggs Senior the class is currently just under 20 drivers, but we’re still expecting fireworks. Nova Scotia’s Kelsey Hann (GCR/BirelART) has two wins this season in Coupe de Montreal action and looks to lead the way. Just behind her in the standings is Sabrina Caron (REM/Kosmic), who will look to keep the Open Championship title in her home province, but has a stout group of drivers from Ontario to challenge her including Jordan Prior (Prime/BirelART), Alex Murphy (BirelART), Tyler McCullough (BirelART) and Michael Adams (GCR/BirelART). Coming off of a win at the Coupe, Brandon Stephens (NR/Ricciardo) could be a wildcard for the win, as will Mikeal Aubin-Poirier (PSL/BirelART), Aaron Kennedy (GCR/BirelART), Eric Lessard (Intrepid) and Mike De La Plante (K&K Kart).
Unfortunately, there are only six drivers entered in Briggs Masters, but it will still be exciting to watch Jamie MacArthur (K&K Kart), Mathieu Demers (GCR/BirelART) and Simon Pepin (Kosmic) go to battle with Sylvain Coulombe (Kosmic), Tyler McMahon and Daniel Courtemanche.
With 14 racers signed up to shift gears on the very fast Jim Russell Karting circuit, these racers are going to fly down the back straight.
In the Senior group, American Cooper Becklin (PSL/BirelART) has made the trek to compete against Charle Robin (SH/Formula K), Dominic LeGrand (Maison de Roti/BirelART), Xingran Tang (Prime/BirelART), Henry Knox (NR/Ricciardo), Nathan Gilbert (CENA/Kosmic) and Sebastien Parmasad (Premier/TonyKart).
The Masters will see Michel LeGrand (Maison de Roti/BirelART), Frank Launi (Innisfil/GP Kart) battle Christian Gysi (BirelART), Thierry St-Onge (PSL/BirelART), Tony Demarco (Innisfil/GP Kart) and Giles Gallie (Innisfil/GP Kart). It is great to see the number of drivers from the Innisfil Indy program come to race.