Over the past five seasons, the Briggs & Stratton Masters category has been one of the most competitive categories in Canadian karting and this year more than ever it has been some of the most intense racing seen on the track. But there is also another aspect that has made the Masters so enjoyable to watch: emotion. We’ve witnessed incredibly memorable moments that will stay with us decades from now when we remember the twenty-teen years of Canadian karting, many of which have brought these veteran drivers to tears as they celebrate their victory.
The emotions were just as high on Sunday. As a group of racers over the age of 32, it was impressive to see the front row for the National Final shared by a pair of drivers over the age of 50 with Stephen Goebel and Eli Yanko leading the way. The two each had a teammate on row two as well setting up a chess match.
Goebel took the early lead followed by Yanko, Jamie MacArthur, and Darren Kearnon. Darryl Timmers and Steve MacVoy had great starts and slotted into fifth and six, only a couple kart lengths back of the lead four and quickly closed that gap in the opening couple laps.
It was quite quiet up front in the early running while further down the order a pair of drivers were coming forward from the back. David Anderson and Marc Stehle were up to twelfth and thirteenth by lap four.
MacVoy would eventually fall back from the lead draft and on lap eight the first pass of the race was made up front when MacArthur went by Yanko for second. Yanko fell to fifth and Kearnon then tried to gain second from MacArthur, hoping to keep the two K&K Karts spread apart, but to no avail.
A lap later, MacVoy and Yanko came together in the final corner, ending their race win chances while Anderson was now up to eighth.
The K&K pair led the way until Timmers moved into second with two to go. Kearnon also got by MacArthur in turn five to take third on the penultimate lap.
Being as defensive as possible after leading the entire race, Goebel stuck to the very inside of the track coming down the hill into the hairpin. Seeing no room underneath, Timmers slipped to the outside for a better entry into the corner. Goebel went in too deep, caught some dust and slid through the corner allowing Timmers to sneak underneath and into the lead. The crowd roared so loud those at the CTMP track could hear.
Exiting the corner it was three-wide for second and a drag race up the hill. Kearnon came out of it with the position and went in pursuit of Timmers.
Safely through the final chicane and rounding the final corner, Timmers managed the lead and erupted at the finish line with a massive fist pump! Kearnon and Goebel joined Timmers on the podium while Mathieu Demers and Anderson completed the top-five.
“When I finally came around for my victory speech the feeling was surreal like it was all a dream. I was speechless. My whole career I’ve chased this title and to finally have it was crazy.”
Rounding the cool down lap, the majority of drivers took a moment to give Timmers a fist bump as he slowly completed the lap. Receiving his interview at the start/finish line moments later, he was in tears, still in shock of the moment. The crowd cheered the loudest it had all day. He truly was the fan favourite.
And to top it all off, Timmers, who was making his Masters debut and only decided to race a week ago, took a moment during his podium interview with Paul Cooke to call up his girlfriend and propose to her. It was an absolute “yes” for the new National Champion.