In addition to the Rok Cup Canada categories that wrapped up their weekend of action on Sunday in the opening round of the Kart Stars Canada Championship, a trio of Briggs and Stratton classes went to battle.
After combining the two classes on Saturday, Senior and Masters were back in their regular groups while a mix of Juniors and Junior Lites made up a great grid in the new Kart Stars Junior class.
All before lunch the classes endured through hot and sticky conditions to complete Qualifying and a pair of heat races, but then the rain came pouring down before the PreFinals, with the Juniors getting red-flagged for nearly 30 minutes as the heaviest of the storm passed through. But the sunshine prevailed before the day was out and all three classes competed on slick tires in their Finals.
Alex Murphy (BirelART) is off to a hot start in 2020 as he managed to score his second victory of the weekend, this time in Briggs Senior.
A three-kart showdown unravelled in the Final between Murphy, Logan Ploder (Charles Leclerc Kart) and Jake Cowden (Awesome Kart) and it all came down to the wire. Murphy jumped to the lead and as the three karts scrambled out of corner nine, the trio drag-raced up the hill towards the finish line.
Edging out by just 0.071 seconds, Murphy was ahead of Ploder, while Cowden had to settle for third. Fourth went to Chad Webster (Intrepid) and fifth to Keidon Fletcher (Charles Leclerc Kart).
On the grid for the Kart Stars Junior Final was a completely split group of racers. The drivers on the inside line all opted for slick tires on the fast-drying track, while nearly every driver on the outside line had selected rain tires, including Saturday winner Steven Navratil.
The ideal choice was slicks and it was proven immediately after the green flag flew. Mixing it up through the opening two laps, it almost looked like a concession kart race with the mixture of speed between drivers, but quickly those on rain tires had fallen to the rear of the field.
Nicholas Gilkes (BirelART) rebounded from his misfortune in the Rok Junior Final to jump out to an early lead and he never looked back. Checking out to a 2.2-second victory at the finish line, Gilkes was back on the podium for the second day in a row, this time on the top step. Michael Ing (Awesome Kart) quietly cruised in second place all race long and earned himself a nice trip to the Kart Stars podium, while Gavin Goldie (Exprit) drove through the field to finish third.
Following the Juniors, all of the Masters drivers made the move to slick tires for their Final.
Early on it was Eli Yanko (TonyKart) leading Darren Kearon (TonyKart) and David Miller (FA Kart) while Marc Stehle (Charles Leclerc Kart) was in hot pursuit of the leaders a few lengths back. After a lap of shuffling at the top that saw Yanko slide from first to fourth, Stehle was right in the mix.
With three laps to go, Stehle had worked his way into the lead and Kearnon and Miller were now the ones giving chase.
As they circulated the final lap positions were shuffled and like the Seniors, it was a drag race up the hill coming to the finish line. With the preferred line on the inside, Stehle just barely held on to the finish line, winning by a margin of only 0.076 seconds over Kearnon, while Miller was only 0.096 from the win. An incredibly close finish. Yanko held of Levon Beaudin (BirelART) on the final lap to secure fourth.
It’s a quick turnaround for Kart Stars Canada as round two takes place next weekend at Innisfil Indy. Online registration opens on Monday, July 20 via the http://kartsportcanada.ca website.