Last weekend the final two rounds of ECKC took place at Mosport Kartways and it was a very exciting and dramatic weekend for everyone who took part in the event. Most of the races were close and many people were hoping to have stellar weekends to confirm or take over first place in their respective championships.
From my perspective, I was one of the drivers that was on the outside looking in. Sitting in fourth place (over three hundred points behind), I would need a perfect weekend to take the lead.
My hopes were down after a disappointing and unlucky qualifying session on Saturday left me starting 17th for the pre-final. It would take a lot of work to dig out a top-10 but I believed I could do it.
Off the start, I was able to slide through the marbles on the outside to gain seven positions and a large gap to the draft trains behind and in front of me. Within a few laps, Briggs racing strategy kicked in and the group caught up to me. They began sizing me up for a passing attempt.
After the group passed, I was in twelfth, the middle of the train. I made an aggressive and audacious move going to the inside in corner six with two karts on my outside. This was a mistake that lead to me being launched up and coming down the wrong way, ending my race.
Due to how shaken up I was and the kart’s condition, my dad made the call for me to sit out the final race. This ensured we were able to prepare and fix the kart (and my mind) for the next day of racing. I wasn’t totally in agreement with this decision but it proved to be a smart one. We could fully identify which components were bent on the kart (luckily the frame itself wasn’t bent at all) and I could re-sharpen my mind.
On Sunday we showed a much stronger pace in qualifying and I was starting in ninth place for the pre-final. Luckily I was able to run around the outside off the start once again and finished the race in fourth after a very strong eight laps.
Just before the Rotax Seniors were heading out for the final, the skies became dark and a forecasted sprinkle changed into a brief shower. This led to a wet race format and the different tire choices came into effect.
After watching the impressive pace of the Rotax Senior drivers that went out on slicks, I opted for the non-grooved tires and this payed off. Finishing a close third in the end, this was one of the races I am most proud of. I was able to return to the action and compete in a great battle with my friend Josh Conquer. (Congrats on the title!)
My 2016 ECKC season was an interesting one. I learned a lot and experienced many things that I had never had happened to me before. I had tons of fun making new friends and growing as a driver in one of the most exciting classes in the series. I can’t wait for next year’s championship and hope to see everyone at the Nationals in Mont-Tremblant at the end of August!
Gavin Sanders, Briggs Junior #610