The 2013 Coupe du Québec season finally hit the track this past weekend as karters, teams and families all made their way east of Montreal to SH Karting. The facility was in tip-top shape, with lush grass wrapping around the tight and twisting 1KM track. A new format for this years Coupe saw officials toss out the qualifying session and replace it with two inverted grid heat races. With drivers selecting a number at registration, their grid position for heat one would be reverse for heat two, creating lots of action and passing through the entire field of each class. These two heats would be followed up by the usual Pre Final and Final races.
The Rotax Junior category in Quebec has a very new look this year as many new faces help fill the grid for this weekend’s Quebec Cup event. However early on it was Junior sophomores Christophe Paquet (CRG) and Alexandre Couturier (SH Karting/Zanardi) who led the way in heat one while American Gavin Reichelt (PSL Karting/CRG) drove from the rear of the field to finish third. Heat two was all Reichelt as he cruised from the pole position to score the heat win.
The two heat winners would go heat to head in the Pre Final, with Paquet getting the edge at the completion setting him up on the inside of row one for the Final, while Reichelt and Couturier completed the top three.
In the Final Paquet got out to an early lead while Reichelt slid into third on the start. Working his way back into second, Reichelt waiting for his moment to pass for the lead, and patiently it wasn’t until lap fourteen that he did it. Continuing to put down quick laps, Reichelt was able to stretch a lead while Paquet would struggle to hold onto second as Cedrik Lupien (Birel) and Couturier would eventually work their way by. But up front it would be all Reichelt to finish with Lupien holding onto second and Couturier taking third.
This year, the Coupe du Québec will only complete five rounds instead of the usual six, including the final race at historic Grand Mere Karting in July. CKN will have more about this in the near future.
Round two takes place on June 15 and 16 at SRA Karting.