The 2013 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship finally got under way as a record turnout of drivers filled the grids at Mosport International Karting, just north of Bowmanville, Ontario. The weather kept everyone on their toes as it switched from dry to rain, back to dry, back to rain, and then dry to complete the day. Regardless of the weather, the racing action was intense in nearly every class and those who stayed to watch got a great show.
Marco Di Leo (IPK North America/Praga) was the Pole sitter in Rotax DD2 just four-hundredths of a second ahead of reigning Rotax Grand Finals DD2 Champion Ben Cooper (KMS North America/Birel). Brendon Bain (Maranello North America/Maranello) was third in his first race of the season ahead of Enrico Menotti (PSL Ontario/CRG) and Cory Cacciavillani (CF Racing/CRG). The top six drivers in the session were all separated by less than two tenths of a second and all drivers liked their chances heading into the Pre Final.
Di Leo took the lead from the start with Bain following right behind as the Pre Final got under way. Cooper would have a poor start and drop four kart lengths behind Bain but regained the second position with a late braking pass into turn five. Once he took second away from Bain it took Cooper only two laps close the gap to Di Leo and take the lead of the race. Fred Woodley (Maranello North America/Maranello) had a good run as he came from sixth on the grid to finish in third and posting the fastest lap of the race ahead of Bain and Cacciavillani.
Right before the DD2 Final there was a brief shower which made for mildly damp conditions on the track. The majority of the front runners in the field stayed on the dry tires, where as further back competitors chose to gamble on rains as dark clouds could be seen in the distance. Cooper took the lead off the start and just walked away from the field in superb fashion. Further behind, Bain had an impressive start from the outside of row two to take second over Di Leo and Woodley. During the opening laps, Bain pulled away from the two behind him and looked good for a second place finish but unfortunately for him an engine failure coming out of turn four forced him out of the race. However the Maranello North America team would not be disappointed as Woodley who has impressed many throughout the Winter Tour and this weekend was able to get by Di Leo and match the times set by Cooper in the lead. Di Leo finished the race in third ahead of Cacciavillani and Dante Lerra (Summit GP/Tonykart) who earned his first top-five in his short ECKC career.
With the weather forecast up in the air again tomorrow, it’s anyones race but we regardless of the conditions Cooper will be tough to beat.