The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is celebrating its fifth season of competition in 2014 and it is looking to be one the best seasons to date. The first of four rounds hits the track this weekend at Mosport International Karting and the CKN will be trackside as part of the CKN Summer Tour. The championship class structure remains the same for 2014 with Rotax Grand Finals Invitations up for grabs in Rotax Junior, Senior, DD2 and DD2 Masters once again. For the ever-growing Briggs & Stratton classes, Florida Winter Tour prize packages are available with more prizes to be announced.
ECKC Officials added Tim Hannan over the off-season as the new Series Director as he intends to grow the numbers on track and the presence of the series across North America. With over 150 drivers expected at Mosport, the series is off to a great start and we hope to see the numbers remain throughout all four events in 2014.
As the official media partner for the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, CKN has prepared class by class previews for this weekends event along with the championship perspective. With over 150 participants expected at Mosport this weekend it will surely be an action packed event!
Wednesday will feature previews for: Rotax Senior, Rotax Mini-Max, and Briggs & Stratton Jr.
Thursday will feature previews for: Briggs & Stratton Senior, Rotax Junior and Rotax Micro-Max.
Friday will feature previews for: Rotax DD2, Rotax DD2 Masters and Briggs & Stratton Masters.
For those who cannot attend this weekends event, CKN will be covering the event online via our CKN Live page where viewers can watch live timing, see results, view updates, and ask questions to the CKN panel all weekend long. Daily race reports will also come with photo galleries and video interviews from the event.
Always an exciting category to watch and enjoy, Rotax Junior rolls into Mosport with a whole new look in 2014. While a few drivers are back, a majority of last years championship contenders have moved on or up, including champion Jeffrey Kingsley, meaning there will be a new king, or queen, on top of the podium in September.
We did expect more drivers from Ontario to be in attendance this weekend, but it appears they have better things to do. There is no reason why this class can’t eclipse 30 entries race after race as we know the drivers are out there, but regardless, we move on with a pretty solid list of drivers including some international favourites who look to shake things up.
A favourite going into the weekend is reigning Canadian National Champion Gianfranco Mazzaferro who started the year off with a Florida Winter Tour win in Homestead. Mazzaferro was a championship hopeful last season but came up just short to Kingsley as a rookie. Now with a full season under his belt and some international experience to boot, Mazzaferro will be one to watch for sure. Alexandre Lacroix, who won two races last season, enters the weekend as part of a five-member powerhouse SH Racing operation that includes Cedrik and Samuel Lupien, Charles Robin and Mexican Patricio O’Ward. Cedrik Lupien won the Coupe du Quebec race last weekend with Lacroix and brother Samuel on the podium with him while O’Ward is a national champion who will be fighting for victory.
PSL Karting has a foursome of drivers on board this weekend all with a mixture of resumes. Thierry Cote has arrived from Mini-Max while Charles Regimbal and Alex Murphy have another year of experience under their belts. Finally, PSL has international standout Rinus Van Kalmthout from the Nederlands under their tent as he makes his second start with PSL after standing on the podium last year at the SKUSA SuperNationals.
Entering their sophomore Junior seasons, we expect Nataël Cantin and Jordan Slipacoff to find the podium early and often. The two have shown great speed in the past but now need to earn the results
Taegen Poles is back for her final year of Rotax Junior competition and we know she wants to go out on top, as will Tyler Ripani and Clay Van Eerd. All three will be competing on TonyKart products and have something to prove before heading to Rotax Senior.
J3 Competition enters the championship once again this season making them the sole American outfit to enter the Championship every year since the 2010 Debut. They will have a trio of drivers this weekend with Americans Theo Chick, Ethan Tyler, and David Ilavia leading the charge in Junior Max.
A handful of drivers from Mini-Max have moved up this year including Joe Soranno and Roman DeAngelis, who was very quick at the Florida Winter Tour and SKUSA Pro Tour. Look for these two to grow and mature throughout the season as they make there way to the front of the field.
CKN Championship Contenders:
Gianfranco Mazzaferro: GF is the guy everyone in the paddock knows they have to beat this year if they want to win the Championship. Mazzaferro has improved a lot since last year and we believe he will be tough to beat all year long.
Alexandre Lacroix: He won two races in last years championship on the Zanardi kart, but this year Alexandre makes the switch make to the FA chassis hoping for even better and more consistent results. If Lacroix wants to take the fight to Mazzaferro then he will need to be consistently at the front of the field all season long.
Cedrik Lupien: Cedrik heads into the opening round riding the momentum from a win at the Coupe Du Quebec last weekend and seems to be comfortable in the FA Kart giving him a great chance to win the title this season.
Jordan Slipacoff: If Jordan can keep his head on straight and his kart on track he has tonnes of potential to be in the championship hunt this season. He just needs to avoid the trouble that seems to follow him race after race.
Clay Van Eerd: After spending a week with Ben Cooper in Mont-Tremblant last year Van Eerd has improved a lot with more consistent finishes and had a very good run at the SKUSA Supernats last November. Like Slipacoff, he needs to avoid trouble that he always seems to find when he’s fast.
CKN Dark Horse Selection:
Roman DeAngelis: The KoeneUSA driver has had great results this year in his first season as a Junior and heads home with some momentum that he can use to be at the front of the field and fight for podiums all year long.
Samuel Lupien: Samuel shocked us all when he finished second in the Rotax Mini Max Invitational last year. Moving up to Junior this year brings a lot of challenges to the younger Lupien as the level of competition is significantly higher, for him consistent improvement is necessary to succeed in this years championship.
Natael Cantin: Natael had a rocky season last year as he didn’t live up to expectations after spending the year under the guidance of Ben Cooper. He is back with KMS this year and is another driver who must improve in order to do well in the Championship, but he has the potential.
CKN Unofficial Rotax Junior Entry-List:
|Patricio O’Ward||SHR/FA Kart|
|Samuel Lupien||SHR/FA Kart|
|Cedrik Lupien||SHR/FA Kart|
|Alexandre Lacroix||SHR/FA Kart|
|Charles Robin||SHR/FA Kart|
|Clay Van Eerd||CVE/Tonykart|
|Thierry Cote||PSL Karting/CRG|
|Rinus Van Kalmthout||PSL Karting/CRG|
|Charles Regimabal||PSL Karting/CRG|
|Alex Murphy||PSL Karting/K&P/CRG|
|Joe Soranno||Energy Kart Canada/Energy Kart|