The 2017 club season for the Championship Kart Racing Association (CKRA) came to a close this past weekend at East Coast Karting in Dieppe, New Brunswick. After a grueling season, four drivers were crowned champion and get to celebrate their accomplishments throughout the off-season.
After our visit to East Coast Karting this summer, the championship chases were in full swing at the CKRA Summer Festival, and the second half of the season appeared to be even more competitive with some title chases coming down to the final race.
So we caught up with Reg LeBlanc, the official CKRA announcer to give us a rundown of the final championship standings.
Report by: Reg LeBlanc
As CKRA’s 34th season draws to a close in 2017, we certainly had drama and excitement from all four classes this year!
Briggs & Stratton Cadet
The main challengers in 2017 would be Callum Baxter and Jacob LeBlanc, who proved very competitive in 2016, finishing 5th and 3rd respectively. This season, with drivers moving up to the Briggs Junior class, they emerged as the top guns. However, no one would have expected a rookie to challenge for the title, but that is exactly what Owen Mahar did. Despite being new to Karting, he went wheel-to-wheel with both drivers, and did very well in his first National Championship attempt, running in the top five before finishing 11th after some misfortune. In the end, Callum Baxter was the champion, sweeping both the club championship and the National title! Mahar finished second and LeBlanc third in the club series.
Briggs & Stratton Junior
When the season started, there would be no doubt that Kelsey Hann would be racing alongside the lead pack at CKRA. However, with increased pressure from Myah Knickle, fresh from a dominant Cadet season, and veteran Isla Kants, things shaped up to be a great three-way tussle for that Junior crown. In an era where women are looking to make their mark in sports, there was no better display of female dominance than in the CKRA Junior Briggs class: Hann, Knickle and Kants swept the podium places, again and again, all summer, with Hann emerging as the 2017 champion. Another Cadet graduate, William Lowther, finished a rock-solid fourth overall. Isaac Teed rounded out the top-five in points.
Briggs & Stratton Masters
The Masters class made a return to the club for the first time since 2011. Right away, the top dog in Masters was Bouctouche, NB native Claude Allain. In his first season at CKRA, he won race after race. During the summer, Masters entries dwindled, as it often does in a class’ first season, but Allain remained strong. He even competed in the National Championship and ran there in the top 20! Back at home, he eventually captured the 2017 CKRA title, ahead of Corey Miller. Finishing third in points was a new face, Matt Camenzuli, who joined the series in September. In 2018, they could be the two new contenders in a rejuvenated, larger Masters class. Stay tuned!
Briggs & Stratton Senior
The Briggs Senior class was in a state of evolution. Due to other commitments, both veteran drivers Jared Meade and Aaron Kennedy were limited to part-time duties, which meant that the door swung wide open for two of the club’s brightest young talents to go for the title: Jordan Kennedy, Aaron’s younger brother, and P.E.I. native Alexander Davison. Kennedy started well, carving out a points lead, but Davison kept coming and ate away at his lead as the series went through August and September. As the final race arrived, it was now Kennedy 581, Davison 576. As it turns out, an early-morning collision in free practice would essentially decide the title. The unfortunate incident with another driver severely damaged Kennedy’s kart. Despite valiantly soldiering on with a repaired kart, he was no match for Davison, who clinched the championship. Meade finished third, Eric Rose fourth, and Brett Miller fifth.