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Coupe de Montreal Working on Building a Strong Foundation

Coupe de Montreal Working on Building a Strong Foundation

For most people who attended the Coupe de Montreal race this past weekend at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec, the turnout was less than ideal. After many years of deep and highly competitive grids throughout the province of Quebec, things have changed over the past few seasons, with many fewer drivers currently taking part in races, and now the inevitable has arrived, it’s time for a rebuild.

Splitting the region up and reintroducing the Coupe de Montreal in 2016, a program that was very popular a decade ago, SRA Karting has focused their efforts on a program for the long term, hoping to develop a series focused on the local and regional racer, especially those that don’t have an entire week to prepare for a big race. SRA Karting has been around a long time and Michel Boisclair and his core group of employees, all with a major passion for karting, know that times are tough but it will turn around soon.

The single day events in 2016 are very laid back and are built to ensure everyone has their fair share of track time and the ability to race. Some classes were combined this weekend, while others showed they are here for the good. The morning drivers meeting is very open as well, with organizers taking time to listen to anyone who has questions and suggestions whether they are new to the sport or a veteran with some solid advice.

The series has some great support in 2016 with Continental Tires kicking back gift certificates and prizes that should appeal to more than just the racers, but the families as well, especially those in need of a new set of tires for the family vehicle. Each race also features a driver of the day award, handing out a very cool prize to a driver worthy of his or her accomplishments, with this weekends winner, Simon Belanger, earning the chance to ride shotgun in a Ferrari for a few laps around the ICAR car circuit.

There was no doubt that the fear of dismal weather was reason that a few drivers failed to show up, but thanks to next weekends Eastern Canadian Karting Championship event at ICAR, those entries were made up by a handful of out of town drivers looking to get an early advantage on their ECKC competitors.

Check out our selection of photos from the day here.

Taking a look at the contingent of drivers taking part, it was nice to see the shifter kart community having a known place to race this year. Briggs & Stratton Senior is showing it’s not just a big class in Ontario with a dozen on hand at ICAR while the Rotax classes were covered from Micro to DD2 too. There is no doubt the depth isn’t quite there yet, but there were drivers of all experience levels taking part and that is a positive sign when you look at the future of the sport. There needs to be that balance and for this reporter to see a few new faces hitting the track, that is definitely a good sign. Seeing the organizers doing all they could to help anyone and everyone, well that was a great sight to see too.

After a great day of racing, here is how the podium’s looked in each category.

Briggs & Stratton Junior
1. Mackenzie Clark
2. Gabriel Savoie
3. Owen Clarke

Rotax Micro-Max
1. Charles-Etienne Boucher
2. Maude Grenier

Briggs & Stratton Senior
1. Simon Belanger
2. Sebastien Laviolette
3. Brandon Stephens

Rotax Mini-Max
1. Thomas Nepveu
2. Justin Arseneau
3. Chloe Chambers

Rotax Junior
1. Patrick Woods-Toth
2. Matthew Latifi
3. Ryan MacDermid

Shifter
1. Jean-Francois Lafontaine
2. Dev Gore
3. Sam Guerin

Shifter Masters
1. Dany St-Hilaire
2. Martin Janson
3. Nicolas Bedard

Rotax DD2
1. Bruno Legrand
2. Alain St-Louis
3. Pierre Bureau

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@codyschindel

News Manager and Senior Photographer for CKN.

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