Race action at the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship kicked off on Saturday at Goodwood Kartways as sunshine and cool temperatures provided a great racing atmosphere for the intense action that the ECKC continually provides.
The Briggs & Stratton drivers provided all the action we continue to expect from these 4-cycle racers, racing clean and hard with nearly all the finals coming down to the final laps of each race. To read our Saturday report of the Rotax Max classes, click here.
In their first official race as an ECKC class, Briggs Junior Lite roared into corner one with fifteen karts in tow.
After completing a clean first lap, the second and third place karts of Maddox Heacock and Jake Cowden came together entering turn three. This sent the rest of the pack scrambling for space as the speedy off-camber corner, claiming victim to many drivers.
All the action spread out the leaders, especially Nicholas Christodoulou and he would go unchallenged for the win.
Nicholas Gilkes also had an uneventful run to finish second while Connor Pritiko rebounded from a run through the dirt after avoiding the accident to finish third.
It was a tough start for polesitter Mathieu Demers in the Final as Steve MacVoy was able to get the jump on him into turn one and it left Demers struggling to get in line, eventually finding himself in fifth place.
With an early push, MacVoy and Stephen Goebel broke free while Sal Ditta was duking it out with Demers. Coming from the tail of the field, Dave Anderson and Marc Stehle were already knocking on the door of the top-five, only a handful of laps in.
Dismissing Ditta at halfway, Demers set his sights on the leaders and with five to go, he found the rear bumper of Goebel. At the same time, Stehle and Anderson worked their way by Ditta for fourth.
Sneaking by Goebel with two laps to go, Demers set himself up for a shot at MacVoy for the win, but some great defense kept the lead and win in the hands of MacVoy while Demers fell to third at the finish after Goebel beat him in a drag race up the hill out of turn nine.
Jordan Prior scored quite possibly the biggest victory of his young career on Saturday, holding off an extremely hard charging Gabriel Savoie.
Leading from the pole-position in the Final, Prior initially had the support of his Prime Powerteam teammate Liam Ortlieb but that lasted only a lap as Savoie snuck by and sent Ortlier scrambling to get back in line.
A pair of tandems then broke out as Savoie was pushing Prior while Orlieb got in behind Stefano Lucente while Gianluca Savaglio and Kai Dalziel were a little further back, hoping to catch the leaders.
Lucente and Ortlieb got close a few times but just weren’t able to stay with the leaders, even when lap traffic occasionally got in the way.
Holding his position out front, Prior did well to manage Savoie and held the lead as the last lap sign waved. Defending through each of the passing zones, Savoie just couldn’t find a way by as Prior played it perfectly to score his first ECKC win. After trying to crossover exiting corner nine, Savoie got a slow exit, but he defended well to keep Ortlieb at bay, while Lucente crossed in fourth.
In Briggs Senior, Tyler McCullough got the push he wanted to convert his pole-position to the lead while off-pole started Joshua Conquer was hung to the outside and didn’t slide into line until he was in sixth place.
Having to start mid-pack after a lap kart forced him into the wall in the PreFinal, Michael Glaze was on an early mission and by lap six he was in second place with Gavin Sanders, Conquer, Logan Cusson and Simon Belanger all in tow.
Glaze tried all he could to push McCullough away from the chasing pack but he was unable to do much. Unfortunately for Cusson and Belanger, they lost the leaders just past halfway.
It was quiet until the final two laps when Glaze dove to the inside of corner one on McCullough and he brought Conquer with him.
Going on the defensive, Glaze was now in control and Conquer was all over him. That is until turn four on the final lap where he swung wide hoping to get a run on Glaze. Except McCullough accepted the opportunity to pass. It didn’t work out for either as contact sent McCullough into a spin.
That was all Glaze needed to secure the win while Sanders snuck through for second. Conquer was able to keep enough momentum to hold on to third while McCullough had to settle for twelfth.
Race two of the weekend will take place on Sunday.