As you may know, last weekend ECKC round 2 took place at ICAR in Quebec. Last year I had a successful two races, so coming into this race I was feeling good and expected another exciting show from Briggs Junior.
So, to get into the racing aspect of my trip to ICAR, I left early Thursday morning and picked up one of my favourite karting people, Glenn Butler, and we had a good talk about the races ahead and how to stay focused on getting to front of the field with the challenge of heat racing looming ahead. I arrived in the afternoon and was greeted by pouring rain and a very wet track and paddock. The track didn’t end up drying up to the extent in which I would consider it worth going out, so I stayed dry and unpacked my equipment for the very busy weekend.
Moving on to Friday practice, I had an average day and spent most of it re-finding lines and getting used to the track after an entire year of absence from the twisty and fast track.
Saturday brought some bad luck and I got hung out to dry by myself and ended up in 9th in Qualifying, a place that I knew would take some hard work to get out of. In the first heat I did exactly what I had planned, getting up to third, but an incident in the last corner ended my first taste of ECKC heat racing and left us with plenty of work to do to get the kart back to race standard.
In the second heat, I lost my aggressive passing edge, and lost two positions in a race that left me thinking about what I should have done, instead of what I did do. I had a thoughtful lunch break and tried to regain my confidence when I am making aggressive passes. We made some changes to the kart and went back out hoping that I would be able to copy some of the moves I made in the first heat so I could recover from the first two heats and improve the day a little bit.
Unfortunately, the final heat didn’t go as I would have liked and the changes we made acted against us providing me with a uphill battle to fight on Sunday, due to the fact I had to start 11th in both finals.
The warm-up on Sunday morning was dry and I hit my first top-5 of the weekend, ending the session feeling good and looking forward to the finals.
In final number one in rainy conditions, I had another duplicate of my heats, gaining just one single position, and plenty of backtracking on my lines and strategy.
But after we fixed my driver mistakes, the rain began to come down even harder and we were delayed almost two hours due to flooding before karts were permitted to go back on track but the rain flooded the track once again and the officials called off the race and it was probably for the better due to the fact the rain wasn’t supposed to stop fully until the next morning.
My ECKC at ICAR ended incomplete.
Looking forward now, I have a TRAK (Toronto Racing Association of Karters) race in two weeks and then we are back at it again, this time at Mont-Tremblant which is a track I know I can use to fight my way back in the ECKC champioship.
Hope to see you at ECKC round 3,
– Gavin Sanders