The big show has rolled into Goodwood Kartways as season eight of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship kicks off this weekend. Drawing some of the best drivers from Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and the USA, the competition will be fierce on the tight and twisty Goodwood circuit and we here at CKN are as excited as ever.
Many of the local drivers got to prepare for the race by taking part in last weekends CRFKC regional event at Goodwood and now welcome those from out of the region to challenge them. And with only three events on tap for the 2017 ECKC season it should entice a few more drivers to compete in the full season.
In the first part of our 2017 ECKC Season Preview, we take a look at the Briggs & Stratton categories, including the new kids on the block in Briggs Junior Lite.
**Note: The majority of our analysis comes from those drivers who have pre-registered. Competing but not in our preview? Sorry you missed out, but head over to ECKC.ca now and submit your entry.
Briggs & Stratton Junior
Defending Class Champion: Joshua Conquer
The class that continues to grow, Briggs Junior is full of young talented drivers who will be racers for life. Unpredictable is of a good way to describe the category that saw four different race winners in 2016 and 40 different drivers take the green in at least one ECKC race.
The class should exceed 30 drivers this weekend and battle for the biggest turnout.
While defending class champion Joshua Conquer has graduated up to the Senior ranks, William Chayer, Zachary Vanier, Jordan Prior, Gabriel Savoie and Khloe Drummond have returned after finishing in the top-10 last year. They will be the immediate threats for the top of the podium at this weekend at Goodwood and all season long.
Gianluca Savaglio only entered the Goodwood round last year, but stood on the podium and he is back for another season. As is Kelsey Hann from Nova Scotia.
One driver to keep an eye on will be American Luca Mars. He is a champion in multiple two-cycle categories, but enters Goodwood as a four-cycle rookie and will be interesting to watch.
Briggs & Stratton Senior
Defending Class Champion: Jeffrey Kingsley
Last years most popular category featured 46 different drivers line up for ECKC competition while attracting some of Canada’s best racers period. Rotax DD2 front-runner Jeffrey Kingsley added a Briggs machine to his regular duties and came away with the championship after taking home two race wins and two runner-up finishes while five different drivers scored race victories. It was a spectacular season that featured full fences whenever the class rolled on track to race.
Kingsley will be absent this year as he will race a BMW for Sportscar Boutique in the Canadian Tour Car Championship, opening up for a new champion.
Marco Signoretti also competed in both Briggs and DD2 last year and finished runner-up to Kingsley. He’s back for more Briggs fun as is third place finished Pearce Herder.
A look through the rest of last years top-ten championship standings has all but three drivers back for action, with the likes of Jean-Francois Lafontaine (3x Canadian Champion) listed as a weekend decision. Looking even further down the list at drivers who only competed in select rounds further proves that the Briggs Senior class is wide open and anyone, with maybe a little luck, can step up and take home a podium.
Rookies Joshua Conquer and Gavin Sanders will have their work cutout for themselves after successful seasons in Junior a year ago.
Save your spot on the fence at Goodwood early, Briggs Senior will be a great show and if history repeats, we may have enough entries that two PreFinals will be needed again this year to determine who makes the Finals.
Briggs & Stratton Masters
Defending Class Champion: Dave Anderson
There doesn’t seem to be much change in the look to the Briggs & Stratton Masters group as the veterans are all back for another year.
Dave Anderson looked as fit as ever last weekend at Goodwood while four of the top-five finishers from last years ECKC campaign are all registered including Eli Yanko, Scott Jefferies and Marc Stehle. The big addition this years comes in the likes of Mathieu Demers who have graduated from Briggs Senior and returns after a year off.
Always a class to feature some last minute additions, hopefully we will have someone extra to talk about when the Masters roll of the grid on Saturday morning at Goodwood.
Update: Defending Canadian Champion Jamie MacArthur has confirmed his presence at the ECKC opener at Goodwood and will surely be a threat for victory. He is also a previous ECKC Briggs Masters Champion.
Briggs & Stratton Junior Lite
Defending Class Champion: New for 2017
The ECKC tried out the category last year and it was enough of a success to make it an official class for 2017. Junior Lite is a great addition for those coming up the ranks and possibly trying out the ECKC for the first time after racing club.
There were 30 drivers in the category last weekend and the race winner Connor Pritiko could lead the charge this weekend. Nicholas Christodoulou finished third and he too is registered along with a number of other drivers, many of whom are new to us here at CKN.
No bold predictions for this class, just high hopes that we continue to see more Briggs & Stratton competitors coming through the ranks and into the ECKC.
– Practice is open at Goodwood Kartways on Thursday (10:00AM to 5:30PM) and Friday (9:00AM to 5:00PM) for those hoping to get on track before race one kicks off on Saturday morning.
– Registration will officially close on Friday at 5PM.
– Saturday and Sunday are separate race days, with both days featuring a Qualifying session, Prefinal and Final.
– The event schedule and event supplementary regulations can be downloaded here.
Tomorrow we highlight the Rotax Max classes.