It was a strong event for our young Canadian drivers competing in the final round of the inaugural SKUSA Winter Series in Ocala, Florida this past weekend. Highlighting the results was a near victory for Thomas Nepveu, who had his strong Saturday performance stripped away after the race while on Sunday all four Canadian drivers finished inside the top-eleven of a sold-out X30 Junior category.
Saturday was Nepveu’s day at Ocala as the driver from Quebec qualified second, only hundredths of a second slower than the pole-position. He then stormed to victory in the PreFinal and was lights out in the Final, crossing the finish line first and looking like he had made a significant move towards the top of the championship standings. However, officials deemed he, the pole-sitter, jumped the start and relegated Nepveu to fifth in the results after accessing him a 3-second penalty. With his championship hopes dashed, Nepveu just didn’t quite have the pace again on Sunday and had to settle for a hard fought fifth.
Behind Nepveu, Justin Arseneau was strong all weekend, keeping himself inside the top-ten. Tenth on Saturday followed by an impressive sixth place on Sunday was a big leap for the young driver making only his second Junior start. Mackenzie Clark overtook 29 karts in the Saturday Final to finish an impressive thirteenth and he bettered it on Sunday, finishing eighth, again moving forward in the Final, up eight spots from where he started.
The fourth and final Canadian in X30 Junior was Dale Curran. A relatively quiet weekend for Curren aboard his REM Kosmic, he slipped six spots from where he started to twenty-first on Saturday but recovered on Sunday to finish tenth.
Two more top-tens for Lupien in X30 Senior
Samuel Lupien was once again the lead Canadian in the X30 Senior category. While Italian Lorenzo Travisanutto drove away with Saturday’s victory and secured the title, Lupien was only able to muscle a ninth-place finish, dropping one spot from where he started. It was a similar showing on Sunday, taking tenth at the finish line. Ryan MacDermid had a solid drive in the Saturday Final to advance ten spots and finish just behind Lupien, but his luck ran out on Sunday when he was unable to complete the opening lap of the Final.
Racing Edge Motorsports teammates Logan Cusson and Mark Davis seemed a little off this weekend, with Cusson only able to place sixteenth on Saturday and a disappointing twenty-fifth on Sunday. Davis was twenty-sixth on Saturday and thirty-first on Sunday.
In his first SKUSA Mini Swift start, it was a weekend of learning for Frankie Esposito, enduring a DNF on Saturday but recovering on Sunday to finish twenty-fourth, up eleven spots from where he started the Final. He will be back in Ocala this weekend for the Rok Cup FWT.
Yanko Takes Home Briggs Masters Title with Another Win
A first and a second were plenty enough for Eli Yanko to secure the Briggs 206 Masters title at the SKUSA Winter Series. Yanko raced to the same results as he did in Homestead and with it, brought home the title to Canada after a hard fought weekend with Dan Breitenstein and Joey Miller.
In the Senior Briggs races, on track at the same time as the Masters, our Canadians struggled against their American competitors and failed to reach the podium. Alex Murphy and Jordan Prior scored the best results, placing fourth and fifth respectively on Sunday. Jac Young was also in attendance, posting a weekend best result of eleventh on Saturday.