There was plenty of hype leading up to the Open Shifter National Final with one of the main questions pondering if the lower horsepower ROK Shifter was able to keep up with the KZ2 engines.
The front row for the standing start featured SuperPole winner Zachary Shearer (GP Kart) and double heat-race winner Pier-Luc Ouellette (BirelART).
Shearer took the holeshot ahead of two-time Rotax DD2 Grand Finals Champion Ouellette but Ouellette kept pressure on the young GP kart driver through the opening laps of Sunday’s final. Ouellette passed shearer for the lead on lap six in the turn five hairpin but Shearer utilized his extra power back up the hill to regain the lead entering the next corner.
Attempting the same move a lap later, Ouellette made the move stick in the hairpin and began to pull away from a fatiguing Shearer.
The third position changed hands multiple times during Sunday’s final. Michael Marjaba (FA Kart) leaped frogged Indy Lights driver Mikael Grenier (BirelART) at the start of the final but surrendered the position to Grenier on lap two. Chad Campbell (GP Kart) also worked by Marjaba for fourth as the pack of four drivers all duked it out for the final podium position.
It seemed as though Grenier was going to complete the final step of the podium until he withdrew with a mechanical only a couple laps from the finish allowing Campbell to finish third and Marjaba fourth. American Driver CJ Cramm (BirelART) finished in fifth after a race long battle with Dominic Legrand (CRG).
At the finish line Ouellette claimed the title over Shearer by two seconds.