The championship chases took a turn on Saturday as the fifth race of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship took place at Mosport Kartways. With close points battles coming into the finale weekend, tight racing was expected and the drivers delivered with a great battles for the podium as the show once again was led by the Briggs & Stratton classes.
Briggs Junior Lite
Connor Pritiko took a bite of Nicholas Christodoulou’s championship lead on Saturday, taking home the win in the Prefinal and steering to a third place effort in the Final, but it was Jake Cowden who stole the show, delivering his second ECKC victory of the season on a very slick track.
Rain began to sputter just as the Junior Lite’s rolled onto the track, but not enough precipitation fell to cause for any real concern. Drivers were challenged on the slippery track, but Cowden found the fast line and pulled away to victory. Anthony Boscia cruised alone in second place for most of the race with Pritiko and Christodoulou closing in on the final laps, but he held on to stand on the podium in second place.
Separated by only 30 points heading into Sunday, Christodoulou holds the advantage over Pritiko, but will need to up his effort in order to maintain the top spot.
Jordan Prior made the right moves at the right times to drive home his second ECKC victory of the season in Junior Briggs.
It was once again a tight pack of racers duking it out in the Final and when push came to shove, fast qualifier Kelsey Hann led the way as the last lap board was shown. But Gabriel Savoie had a great run down the main straight and passed her on the outside to gain advantage up the hill with Hann losing her momentum and sliding back outside the top-five. Racing down the hill to turn five it was three karts wide as drivers scrambled for position, Savoie left just enough room for Kai Dalziel to slide underneath in turn five, but he pushed wide, allowing Prior to slide underneath both and race up the hill to turn six with the lead.
Three and four wide behind Prior, the packed raced to turn six when Avery Miller tried to slide inside to block Savoie, only to spin across Savoie’s front bumper and spin 180 degree’s, slowing up Savoie big time.
Entering the final corners, William Chayer looked for a place to get by Prior, but it was to no avail as Prior made it to the finish line first followed by Chayer and Gianluca Savaglio, with Chad Webster taking fourth just head of Hann. Savoie ended up seventh.
The win for Prior moved him ahead of Savoie for the overall championship lead by 44 points with Chayer a little further back. But one thing is for certain, the championship race is far from over.
The pack of Briggs Senior drivers surely shrunk this weekend but that didn’t slow down the championship contenders from putting their best on display. From the drop of the PreFinal, drivers pushed their way to the front at all costs seeking any and all points.
Joshua Conquer wound up with the Prefinal win and he took the early lead in the Final but it was noticeable that Jonathon Treadwell, who isn’t in the tight championship race, had a point to prove and he quickly moved from fifth to the lead within a couple of early laps.
Separated by only one point heading into the weekend Gavin Sanders and Marco Signoretti were right in the mix as well, along with Pearce Herder, Isaac Merritt and Simon Belanger.
The group lost Marritt with a few laps left as he was hung outside in the Ron Fellows bowl and cut some grass.
As the last lap board was out, Signoretti found his way to the lead when Herder and Treadwell made contact racing for the lead in turn five and slid wide. Managing to keep the pack at bay through three-quarters of the final lap Signoretti looked to be in control, but Treadwell swung out very wide in turn nine and as Signoretti stayed inside for turn ten, Treadwell blew past him on the outside before the two even got to the left hander. That was all Treadwell needed to get back in the win column as he sealed the victory after what has been a rough season for the past ECKC champion. Signoretti and Herder completed the podium, followed by Sanders and Belanger.
The runner-up finish was enough for Signoretti to slot into points lead, now holding a slim 39-point lead over Sanders going into Sunday. Belanger moved up to third with Conquer also moving up the rankings to fourth while Alex Murphy and Alex DaSilva slid back after enduring rough outings.
Mathieu Demers may be out of the championship running but he put forth one of his best efforts in Briggs Masters Saturday, taking home the victory in impressive fashion. Pole-position in qualifying, Demers kept Championship hopefuls Eli Yanko and Corey Walsh at bay in the PreFinal and then did the same in the Final when the group also included Steve MacVoy.
The lead was traded often, but Demers always managed to get back out front and then defended well on the final lap to take the win over MacVoy and Walsh. The win did move Demers up to fifth in the championship, but he has too many points to overcome on Sunday to catch Walsh or Yanko, who maintained the top two spots.