The Rotax Junior ECKC championship points standings were thrown into a blender entering Saturday’s race day. While points leader Gianfranco Mazzaferro (Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart) had a healthy points lead, second place Cedrik Lupien and third place Tyler Ripani are absent from this weekends event, all but securing the title for Mazzaferro and opening up a whole new can of worms for those battling for vice-championship position and the ticket to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.
Entering the day, Alex Lacroix (SH Racing/FA Kart) assumed the position, with Roman DeAngelis (Koene/TonyKart), Samuel Lupien (SH Racing/FA Kart) and Natael Cantin (KMS/Birel) all within earshot of the runner-up championship position.
Saturday’s mix of weather added to the drama as on and off rain in the morning really challenged both drivers and mechanics in Mont-Tremblant.
Qualifying saw Cantin top the charts over Lupien and Mazzaferro. A shifty start to the PreFinal had both Mazzaferro and DeAngelis run wide exiting corner one and both joining at the tail of the field. Lupien scored the win over American David Illavia (J3/Kosmic), Cantin and Lacroix.
With the field set for the Final all eyes were on the championship contenders. Lupien jumped out to the early lead while Illavia was collected up in the first lap and out of the race. Lacroix went to P2 with Cantin in tow. DeAngelis and Mazzaferro worked their way back to the front after starting mid pack and just like that a lead group of six was formed with Joe Soranno (Energy Kart Canada) also in the mix.
As the lead changed hands often, Lacroix went to the lead at halfway, bringing DeAngelis with him and shuffling Lupien back to fourth. But one lap later DeAngelis pulled the same move in corner four to take the lead and the positions shuffled again with Lupien back up to second and Mazzaferro now third.
Lupien then came under pressure from Mazzaferro as the laps wound down. The last lap battle allowed DeAngelis to pull away to his first ECKC Rotax Junior win, with Mazzaferro advancing to second. Lacroix was up to third for a corner but unable to hang on, Lupien regained third while Lacroix lost a spot to Cantin.
With his win, DeAngelis jumped up to second in the points, Mazzaferro confirmed his championship, while Lupien closed the gap to teammate Lacroix.
Now it all comes down to SuperSunday! Cue the Sunday Night Football music.