The second round of the 2013 Coupe du Quebec hit the track this past weekend at SRA Karting International as drivers and teams entered the beautiful facility north east of Montreal. The second race of the fifth race championship sets the tone for title contenders and pretenders and this weekends action was exciting. The weekend started out with bright sunny skies for Satuday’s official practice, and the sun resumed Sunday morning but for a short time. Clouds rolled in as the first round of heat races hit the track and just as round two was on grid the skies opened up and the rain came pouring down for the remainder of the day. The conditions at SRA are very challenging to begin with, but the heavy rain made for some tense moments as drivers navigated the 1.2km track.
There was a great display of talented Rotax Junior drivers on hand at SRA Karting as the class welcomed two drivers that have been completing at major events around the world. Kami Moreira-Laliberte has been racing full time in Europe in the premier KFJ division while Gianfranco Mazzaferro returned to his home province as he competes in Rotax races around the globe.
Leading the way in heat one, Christophe Paquet (KCR Karting/CRG) topped Cedrik Lupien (CSL Racing/Birel) by three seconds at the line with Mazzaferro (Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart) and Laliberte (SH Karting/Zanardi) in tow. Heat two would see Alexandre Couturier (SH Karting/Zanardi) top the charts in the quick six-lap heat ahead of Mazzaferro and Charles Regimbal (PSL Montreal/CRG).
In an excellent Pre Final, Paquet and Mazzaferro pushed each other to their limits as the rain really fell and created many large troubling puddles. Even after dropping a wheel exiting the final corner, Mazzaferro was able to hold on ahead of Paquet with Couturier, Maxime Laurin (Birel) and Laliberte all in the hunt.
Mazzaferro took the holeshot in the Final as one again the rain picked up. But this time Paquet didn’t waste any time getting to the lead as he tookover before the end of the first lap. Mazzaferro would hold second until he spun off track on lap three, moving Laliberte to second. With Laurin and Lupien trading the third spot the front two were able to break away with Paquet cruising to victory. Laliberte stood on the podium in second with Lupien completing the top three. Mazzaferro rebounded to finish fourth while Maksim Ireshchenko (PSL Montreal/CRG) completed the top-five.
Round three of the Coupe du Quebec happens July 13 and 14 at Karting Grand-Mere and will be the final event at the facility. A special ceremony will be held in part to celebrate the many years at Karting Grand Mere.
CKN will have a full photo gallery from the event online on Tuesday.