Round number one of the 2015 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is in the books after a superb weekend of racing at Goodwood Kartways, just north of Toronto, Ontario. Over 170 competitors took the track amongst nice classes, displaying some of the best racing we have ever seen at the ECKC.
Thanks in part to a good local turnout, the Rotax Mini-Max category featured 11 drivers, the largest in recent years and it was filled with drama and excitement, including two drivers who brought home their first career ECKC wins.
The early part of Saturday’s Mini-Max on track action was dominated by Stefano Lucente. The Karts & Parts driver was on a tear in his PSL MINI X2 chassis talking the pole-position in Qualifying and walking away with the win in the PreFinal.
Looking like he was on point to earn his first ECKC victory, heartbreak found Lucente before the Final was even able to get started, as a jammed throttle cable didn’t allow him to take the green flag, leaving him stranded on track to watch his fellow racers. Xavier Harris (Goodwood/Intrepid) would inherit the pole-position with Thomas Nepveu (SH Racing/TonyKart) starting along side. Harris took the holeshot going into the first corner but his pace in comparison to the rest of the field put him down a few spots. Patrick Woods-Toth (Ben Cooper Racing/BirelART) passed both Nepveu and Harris on the second lap in turn five to take the lead. Once out front he would hold the position until the end of the race, cruising to victory. Nepveu finished the race in second ahead of American Dillon Defonce (FA Kart), who was on Nepveu’s bumper all race long. Harris finished fourth ahead of Chad Webster (Goodwood/Intrepid) who had another great run after taking the podium in last weekends Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge event.
Really coming to grips with the track during his first visit, Defonce went P1 in Sunday Qualifying, but it was short lived he drag-raced with Nepveu out of corner one before a rough ride through corners two-three-four saw the polesitter spin out on lap one. Woods Toth would become the eventual winner of the heat with Lucente second and Nepveu third.
In the Final, Lucente would redeem his mechanical failure from the day earlier. Woods-Toth led the first time around the circuit, but Lucente went to the lead on lap two and from there never put a wheel wrong. Driving like a veteran, he built up a lead over Woods-Toth and Harris and thirteen laps later Lucente celebrated his first career ECKC victory with his father up on the fence cheering him on as he crossed the finish line. A very emotional crowd cheered them both on, before rushing to the scales to celebrate with the victor.
Harris put forth a great drive to finish second with Woods-Toth claiming the third step of the podium. Gianluca Savaglio (Goodwood/Intrepid) and Defonce finished out the top-five, followed by Nepveu, Chad Webster, Liam Ortlieb, Chloe Chambers, Liam Rhodes and Simone Masini.