The grids were full in the Briggs & Stratton classes this weekend at Goodwood Kartways as racers took part in the first stop of the MotoMaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship. While threatening weather was a small concern heading into the weekend, it was picture-perfect all weekend long and everyone was rewarded with excellent conditions to compete for victory.
While the Rok Cup categories saw a number of different race winners over the two days of competition, the Briggs 206 classes featured three drivers who sweep their respective Finals and jump out to an early lead in the points championship, but with deep fields and intensely close competition, these championships are far from over.
Gianluca Savaglio (Intrepid Kart) was a young man on a mission this weekend, driving home both race victories in Briggs Junior. The defending Canadian Karting Champion in the category had to flex his muscles on Saturday to get the job done, while on Sunday he controlled from the drop of the green flag and was in the right position at the right time to get the victory.
Saturday’s Final saw a lead pack of three emerge, initially led by Savaglio and followed by Jake Cowden (Awesome Kart) and Steven Navratil (Awesome Kart). After working his way into second, Cowden took his turn in the lead on lap ten but he was shuffled back to third two laps later when Savaglio retook the lead. A lap later, he was swallowed up by the chasing pack, led by Callum Baxter (Ricciardo Kart) and Adam Ali (Kosmic) and his chances of victory were over.
Navratil tried his best to get by Savaglio for the lead, and made a late dash up the hill for the lead, but crossed 0.063 seconds short of Savaglio. After the race Navratil received a one-position penalty for contact earlier in the race. Taking advantage of the penalty after a notable performance was Nova Scotia’s Baxter, who was making his first Briggs Junior start after claiming the Briggs Junior Lite championship a year ago.
On Sunday the Juniors had a hard time playing nice with the race featuring two red flags for accidents in turn four. The opening laps saw plenty of movement with fast drivers Zain Ikram (Kosmic), Lily Flintoff (K&K Kart) and Marco Felice (BirelART) all falling out of the top-ten early after contact with other drivers.
After Adam Ali went to the lead on lap three, he slipped back to fifth on lap five when Savaglio retook the lead. Now, his 360 Motorsport teammate Nicky Palladino was in tow and things settled down a little bit. A great start and some awesome manoeuvres by Matte Ferrari (Intrepid) saw him work his way up to third and close in on the leaders with the help of a push from Cowden.
The first red flag flew on lap ten when fifth and sixth-place runners Ali and Maddox Heacock made heavy contact in turn four and sent the barriers flying. Ali was unable to resume while Heacock returned to the race at the rear of the grid. The restart set up a five-lap shootout where Palladino made a move on his teammate on the final lap but had the position reversed when the red flag flew again before the group made it back to the finish line, giving Savaglio the win. Cowden stood on the podium in third while Nicholas Gilkes (Kosmic Kart) and Alec Drummond (TonyKart) snuck into the top five.
Briggs Junior Lite
There were two dominant performances in Briggs Junior Lite on the weekend and they came from two drivers who are also competing in Mini Rok this season.
On Saturday, Ayden Ingratta (Ricciardo Kart) led every lap from the drop of the green flag to secure his first of two victories on the day. It was an impressive performance by the young driver making his first start in the category after graduating from Briggs Cadet last season. In the race for second, Gavin Goldie (TonyKart) was able to work his way by Caden Drummond (TonyKart), Ethan Bound (TonyKart) and Elias McKenzie (Intrepid) to earn the position, with Bound joining him on the podium.
After driving from the rear of the grid to seventh in the Saturday Final, Cooper Simpson (BirelART) took control on Sunday. He too would lead every lap of the Final and edge out both Goldie and Bound, who found themselves on the podium for the second straight day with great drives. Ingratta had to settle for fourth after slipping back to seventh early on in the final and working his way back forward.
The third and final Briggs driver to sweep the race wins in their category was familiar name around the Goodwood Kartways circuit. Jordan Di Leo (Intrepid), the son of track owner Daniel Di Leo, showed that he has worked hard in the off-season and was rewarded at his home track. Di Leo was lights out en route to a seven-second race win on Saturday and he followed it up on Sunday with a race win after a hard crash in his Mini Rok PreFinal shortly before he was set to take the track.
Ryan Maxwell (Energy Kart) was the runner-up on Saturday beating Joey Lecce (Intrepid) to the finish line. On Sunday there were two different drivers standing at the sides of Di Leo, as American Ashton Henckel (BirelART) and Major Makovskis (Intrepid) were the second and third-place finishers with great drives.
Next up for the MotoMaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship is round two at the Canadian Mini Indy in Hamilton, Ontario on June 15 and 16. After the excitement at Goodwood, we’re expecting even more fireworks when the series returns to the track that made its debut with the series a year ago. To learn more about the MRFKC, visit http://kartsportcanada.ca.