There was no shortage of drama at the opening round of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship in the Briggs & Stratton Senior category as a series record 45 drivers turned up at Goodwood Kartways this weekend to take part in the event.
With only 34 grid spots on the grid for the Final, the group would be split up into two Prefinals after Qualifying, with the top-17 from each advancing to the Final each day.
Featuring a grid stacked full of talent, the racing was beyond exciting as we predicted and expected.
After Jean-Francois Lafontaine (BirelART) topped the charts in Qualifying, it didn’t take long for a grid shakeup in the first Prefinal as a mad scramble through the tight turn two-three section saw Alex Murphy (BirelART) launch over the inside curb and into front-row starter Kevin King (BirelART), sending both drivers into the outside barriers. Murphy was able to resume but King was done, ending his Saturday early.
Winning the two PreFinals were Jonathon Treadwell (Intrepid) and Marco Signoretti (Energy Kart), earning them front row starting spots for the main event.
Treadwell led the race early with a long chain of drivers in tow including Frank Launi (Launi Kart), Signoretti, Jeff Kingsley (Awesome Kart) and Lafontaine. Unfortunately for Launi, his race came to a halt with a mechanical error entering turn four, surrendering the second position and Taylor Gates (Kosmic) entered the lead group.
At halfway, Gates and Lafontaine came together in corner six, ending their chances and shaking up the lead pack with Zachary Claman DeMelo now in the mix with Treadwell, Signoretti and Kingsley.
As the leaders shuffled and the laps counted down it all came down to the Final lap with Treadwell still in the lead. Defending well through a majority of the lap Treadwell entered the second last corner with Signoretti and Kingsley hot on his heels. Giving Treadwell just enough help through the middle of the corner, Signoretti was able to get underneath Treadwell on exit and a drag race to the finish line saw Signoretti cross first with a push from Kingsley to take second, relegating Treadwell to third. DeMelo wound up fourth followed by Pearce Herder (Awesome Kart).
Lafontaine topped the time charts again in Qualifying on Sunday nipping Gates with his fast time.
There was a little less drama in the PreFinals with no front runners ending up on the sidelines this time as Lafontaine and Kingsley scored the heat wins.
Lafontaine jumped out to a huge lead on the first lap as drivers scrambled behind him, but a lack of drafting partner left him as a standing duck when Kingsley, Signoretti, Herder, Gates and King tracked him down.
Full Results from the weekend
After getting hung out on the outside, Lafontaine and Signoretti came together on lap seven, sending both drivers down the order and allowing Kingsley and King to break free with Launi and Herder also taking advantage and moving up to third and fourth.
Saving his best until the final lap, Kingsley held off any challenge King threw down on him in the final laps to cross the finish line a mere 0.014 second ahead after a drag race to the stripe.
Launi held on for third followed by Herder why Lafontaine recovered to finish fifth after running as low as tenth.