Mother Nature did her best to dampen the spirits at Point Pelee Karting on June 8, but the loyal club members along with those who travelled to join the club for their annual PPKC Memorial Shootout outlasted her in order to enjoy a successful day of racing and memorial activities.
Sunday’s event started out with a drizzly rain and cool temperatures. The conditions weren’t ideal and club officials elected to wait out the weather knowing sunshine was in store for the afternoon. With much on the line, the drivers in attendance agreed and in turn got to enjoy some downtime at the racetrack with their fellow racers, kicking back and relishing in conversations throughout the paddock. The very loyal club membership all stayed with the exception of one or two who had afternoon commitments.
The cloud cover began to break around noon and the action kicked off with the annual parade laps in memory of those past club members. Eight karts rolled out onto the front straight all with drivers flying flags in tribute to someone close to their hearts and the PPKC. As these drivers lapped the PPK facility, the entire paddock in attendance filled the front straight to cheer them on. It truly is a remarkable tribute of appreciation with so many past club members and families making their way back to Leamington to honour their friends and family members who loved the sport.
With the celebration complete, the race day began it’s full schedule. A couple rounds of practice helped dry up the track before the racing began, utilizing the standard club racing structure; inverted grid heat races and a Final to crown the daily race winner. The came out as the heat races began, making the delay worth the wait.
The Briggs & Stratton LO206 Junior Medium class was the first up on track. Roman DeAngelis was able to put the international experience he has gained this season to work en route to victory, earning $500.00 in the process. Blake Casey made a late race pass on Johnny Nooyen to earn the second step on the podium with Nooyen settling for third and Lucas Poisson, with all three of them earning $100 gas cards for their results.
Senior TaG featured a two-kart battle that lasted right up until the final corner. Spencer Moore and Brett Rickeard pushed each other to their limits with neither backing down. A final corner pass coming to the checkered flag secured the win for Rickeard who celebrated his birthday a day earlier. For his win, Rickeard earned a $500.00 payout. Brodie Myer was third.
Next on the agenda was the growing PPKC Novice class with eight karts on the grid. Really coming into his element and driving just like his older brother, Tommy Quinlan was on cruise control out front and never looked back on his competition to claim the win. Connor Pritiko battled back from a tough start to finish second overall with a great battled ensuing behind him for third. Ryan Brady became the benefactor of a lap kart late in the race to finish third as Calvin Quinlan and Sarah Brady completed the top-five. At their podium celebration, each driver entered in the Novice class earned their share of a massive selection of toys donated graciously by Quinlan Inc.
With only one race left on the agenda, everyone in attendance made their way to the fences for the feature event. The Senior Medium Briggs & Stratton LO206 class featured 23 drivers, all vying for the $1500.00 winner take all prize. The format for the race was a 10 lap heat, before a competition caution regrouped everyone for a five-lap dash for the cash.
After the two heat races, Grant Quinlan led them to the green flag with Marc Stehle alongside. Michael Glaze and David Patrick filled row two with Ryan Brutzki and Brett Rickeard on row three and plenty more behind them.
Stehle jumped out to the early lead with Patrick and Quinlan in tow as the front three broke away. Glaze, Rickeard and Gary Klutt made up a second pack of three. Each lap the lead changed hands between Quinlan and Stehle as both drivers fought for the top spot as Patrick waited in the wings for his opportunity.
Stehle won the race to the caution, placing on the pole position for the final restart, but this time it was Quinlan who got the jump into corner one. This time it was a four horse race for the win as Glaze joined the action.
Quinlan managed his lead through the first four laps driving a defensive line around the circuit but coming to the white flag there was contact between Quinlan and Stehle, forcing the leader to the marbles. Stehle benefitted and Glaze came along with him as Quinlan shuffled back to third. As Quinlan attempted to muscle back into second, Stehle had broke away and had the checkered flag in his sights. Stehle crossed the line first, Glaze second, Quinlan third, Patrick fourth and Matt Abram fifth.
However a one-position penalty was presented to Stehle following the race as the race director felt he moved Quinlan out of the way on the final lap, elevating Glaze to the victory. For the victory, Glaze claimed the $1500.00 winnings, plus a $500.00 bonus for being the highest placed out of town driver. Stehle’s second place payout earned him $375.00, with $175.00 went to Quinlan, $150.00 to Patrick and $125.00 to Abram. Abram and Jon Treadwell also earned out of towner bonuses, while Gary Klutt won a brand new Briggs & Stratton LO206 engine.
The entire event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the clubs loyal supporters and the hard work of the club membership themselves. The awards were graciously sponsored by Windsor Mobile Wash, Quinlan Inc, Willis Service Centre, CF Industrial, DeAngelis Construction, Venom Racing Solutions, CanadianKartingNews.com and Steve MacVoy.
With the sun setting on another successful Point Pelee Karting Club Memorial Race Shootout, all signs point to next years event being even bigger and better.