The second championship series to hit the streets of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec this weekend was the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship. After Saturday’s Coupe du Quebec round, the inter-provincial series took their turn and provided the many fans on site some great racing action all day. Once again Mother Nature played games with everyone in the paddock as rain threatened all day and even drizzled down multiple times during the day but never enough to force drivers to rain tires.
The third round of the ECKC set the tone not only for their final round of the championship, held in September in Mont-Tremblant, but also it was the final major race before this years Canadian National Karting Championships, held at Goodwood Kartways in Ontario.
The Prefinal saw Pier-Luc Ouellette (PSL Karting/CRG) managing his pole-position from start to finish while Kevin Monteith (REM/Birel), Maxime Couturier (Zanardi), and Olivier Bedard (KMS/Birel) all battled it out for second. After starting the prefinal fourth, Zachary Claman DeMelo (IPK/Praga) had a tough start and would spin off track in the tricky turn four section of the opening lap. Behind Ouellette, Couturier managed to keep second while Bedard finished third. A tough final lap for Monteith saw Tyler Kashak (IPK/OK1) move by for fourth and Monteith fifth.
Ouellette once again converted his pole-position into the early lead, this time with Bedard hot on his heels. Monteith moved up to third on the wild start with Kashak fifth and DeMelo into the top-five by lap two after starting mid-pack. Up front things ran static until DeMelo caught Monteith for third. The two raced hard with DeMelo running wide in turn two to making contact with the barriers, falling down the order for the second time of the day. With all kinds of action mid-pack, it didn’t take long for DeMelo to return to sixth, while up front Ouellette continued to lead Bedard.
The final lap saw Bedard and Ouellette drag race down the long back straight towards turn seven. Muscling his way to the inside, Bedard would take the position and from there hold off Ouellette to take the victory. A very impressive pass. Monteith completed the podium with Kashak fourth and Couturier fifth.
Like Rotax Junior, the points championship will come down to the wire at Mont-Tremblant. Four drivers have a legitimate shot at the title and a trip to New Orleans for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.