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.
Seeking his fifth race win of the season, Justin Arseneau was really challenged by Marcello Paniccia in the PreFinal as the two traded the lead until Arseneau won the race to the checkered flag. However, officials deemed his defensive driving a little over the limit for their liking and handed out a penalty that pushed Arseneau back to fifth.
The Final saw Paniccia get out front early and check out while Anthony Sardelitti and Andrew Maciel found themselves racing for second with Ryland Duesburry and Adam Moor further back racing for fourth.
As the pack spread out, Paniccia went unchallenged to score the win while Maciel got the better of Sardelitti for second.
Even with the rough go, Arseneau heads into Sunday with a significant lead in the championship over Duesburry and Maciel.
Dale Curran, the new guy on the scene this weekend in Rotax Junior, blistered off a lap in Qualifying to take the pole-position. However, Thomas Nepveu pressured Curran early in the PreFinal and came away with the win and the preferred starting spot for the Final.
On a damp track, it was a slippery start to the Final. Nepveu made it to turn one with the lead, but Curran snuck under him to grab the point by corner three.
The lead was pretty short lived for Curran as Nepveu once again pressured him early and went to the lead before the end of lap two, pulling out to four-second win by the finish, his second ECKC win of the season. Curran cruised alone in second, while Xavier Harris wound up third, nine seconds adrift Nepveu.
The win moved Nepveu ahead of Patrick Woods-Toth for the championship lead as Woods-Toth finished fifth.
Marco DiLeo delivered home his fifth ECKC race win of the season on Saturday, maintaining his perfect record in the Final races. Di Leo was under pressure all race long, first from Marco Signoretti and then heavily by Davide Greco, but the veteran was cool to the finish and kept both drivers behind him all race long.
Greco had fallen back a few positions on the start and after charging back up to DiLeo’s bumper it looked as if he was going to challenge for the lead, but it just never happened.
Ryan MacDermid came charging forward as the race laps wound down, catching the lead trio and even passing Signoretti for the final podium spot, but ran out of time to challenge Greco of DiLeo.
Rotax DD2/DD2 Masters
Championship leader Tyler Kashak had some new company to race with this weekend as defending Rotax DD2 champion Jeff Kinglsey made his first start of the ECKC season, challenging Kashak’s unbeaten season opportunity.
Kingsley scored the upper hand in qualifying, but Kashak and Ethan Simioni both overtook Kingsley in the PreFinal to start on the front row of the Final.
The race was close at first as Kingsley quickly moved into the lead and Kashak made a few lunge attempts to get the lead back, but to no avail. Kingsley then pounded fast laps to pull out to a 1.3 second win, while Simioni chased down Kashak and earned the second step of the podium for the fourth time this season.
Joe Crupi brought home another victory in the DD2 Masters race as he heads into Sunday with a chance for a perfect record on Sunday. Andrew Calebrese and Alex Mankovski joined Crupi on the podium.