For the second straight event, IPK North America had a very strong showing in Eastern Canadian Karting Championship competition as it once again sent seven different drivers to the podium, this time in six different classes and in both two-cycle and four-cycle categories. IPK was on the Goodwood Kartways podium four times on Saturday, and five times on Sunday, and in each case one driver was leading the way: Zachary Claman DeMelo, after a double-win weekend in Rotax Senior.
“Coming back from a tough season in Europe, it meant a lot to get those wins,” Claman DeMelo said afterwards. “Saturday we used the Prefinal as a test just to learn for the Final, and we knew we had the speed to win so I was not worried, I just wanted to get the lead and pull away. I knew the speed was there, and we did exactly that – we got the right gap and just held it.”
The Saturday win was the first in Senior for Claman DeMelo, and it didn’t take long for the three-time ECKC champion to get his second – it came just a day later after he qualified second, stayed on the front row heading to the Final and outgunned two-time DD2 World Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette in the main event.
“On Sunday I went in really early for the lead because I knew how much Pier-Luc would defend,” Claman DeMelo said of the second race. “Again, we just got enough of a gap and held it for the rest of the race. I gained much experience in Europe and it is definitely showing. I believe we are just as talented as every other driver in the class and now we’ve proved we can race with them.”
Of that there is no doubt, and the haul of 460 points for the weekend also moved Claman DeMelo into the overall points lead through four of six races. Francis Mondou and Elvis Stojko were also on the podium Saturday for IPK, both in DD2 Masters, as was Lauren Fortune in four-cycle Briggs & Stratton Senior. Starting eighth in a field of 25, she advanced to fourth in the Prefinal before going one spot better in the Final and reaching the podium.
“Being on the podium was a dream come true for me,” Fortune said afterwards. “I only started Briggs racing this year for fun, but was very competitive and decided to take it to another level. Starting eighth on Saturday I just wanted to stay in the race and finish, but the Final unfolded exactly how I wanted it to: clean racing all the way through. I had the speed to gain on the leader and second place at the end, but I was happy where I finished.”
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is known far and wide for its Rotax Max Challenge classes, which Fortune has also competed in, and this year its focus has been on developing its four-cycle classes as well, a decision that is leading to more IPK drivers in ECKC competition.
“The re-emergence of competitive four-cycle racing in my opinion is amazing,” she said. “There are many talented people in the class, and as a class it is showing people that not only can two-stroke racing be competitive and fun to watch but so can four-cycle. Many drivers in the class have done both.”
Another team driver that would certainly agree on the viewpoint is Chaston Cullum, as he, too, had a strong weekend. After racing to eighth on Saturday in Briggs & Stratton Junior, he qualified on pole Sunday and was second in both the Prefinal and Final. It was the second of five IPK podiums on day two, following a third-place finish in Rotax DD2 by Marco Di Leo and leading into a third-place finish by Matthew Barry in Micro-Max, Claman DeMelo’s second win and a third-place finish by Francis Mondou in DD2 Masters.
Others just missed podium placement at Goodwood Kartways, as Xavier Harris finished fourth and fifth in Micro-Max, John Cariati was fifth and sixth in DD2 Masters, Christopher Proietto was fifth in Briggs Junior and Keenan Harris, in his first starts back since time away formula car racing, won the Prefinal on Sunday and finished fourth in the Final. Through two events of the Eastern Canadian championship, IPK North America has now had eleven different drivers generate seventeen podium finishes, and had two-cycle and four-cycle podium results from both Praga and OK1 chassis. Full team results from Goodwood can be seen below.
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship resumes August 4th in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. For more information on how IPK North America and its dealer network can assist you there, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
IPK North America Driver Results
Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Round 2, Goodwood Kartways
Goodwood Kartways / Praga Racing Ontario / IPK Quebec
Matthew Barry – 12th, 3rd
Xavier Harris – 4th, 5th
Jeremy Tallon – 7th, 9th
Christopher Chanko – 10th, 7th
Joshua Cunha – 8th, 8th
Dale Curran – 11th, 12th
Jordan Slipacoff – 11th, 23rd
Russell Boyle – 12th, 28th
Gerrit Tiemersma – 15th, 13th
Zachary Claman DeMelo – 1st, 1st
Max Preston – 15th, 7th
Tyler Kashak – 25th, 10th
Artem Korolev – 14th, 11th
Aleki Liverant – 12th, 33rd
Jeff Oswald – 23rd, 32nd
Chris Ernst – 30th, 24th
Daniel Nunes – 33rd, 27th
Marco Di Leo – 5th, 3rd
Francis Mondou – 2nd, 3rd
Elvis Stojko – 3rd, 5th
John Cariati – 5th, 6th
David Nevin – 7th, 7th
Paulo Gomes – 8th, 8th
Briggs & Stratton Junior
Chaston Cullum – 8th, 2nd
Christopher Proietto – 5th, 8th
Nicholas Hornbostel – 7th, 10th
Briggs & Stratton Senior
Lauren Fortune – 3rd, 6th
Keenan Harris – 25th, 4th
Simon Rousseau – 23rd, 20th
*Team Facts: IPK North America is based at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, where drivers can progress from turning rental kart laps to world championships. The IPK North America race team represents the facility at National and International Championships like the Florida Winter Tour, Pan-American Rotax Max Challenge, Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and Canadian National Championships.
It has also had drivers contest SKUSA SuperNationals, the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup, the Rotax European Championship, the Rotax International Open Championship and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. IPK North America operates in conjunction with IPK in Verona, HRS Racing Engines, IMAF Racing Seats and Intremax.