Keeping a low profile throughout the years, Rotax Mini Max pilot JP Hutchinson would look to change that two weeks ago at the annual ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships. Taking place at Le Circuit Mont Tremblant in beautiful Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Hutchinson proved that he had the speed to run with some of the most experienced Mini Max drivers in the country and was in position for a podium result when disaster would strike on the penultimate lap.
“The weekend started off well for us as this was our first event with the Pserra Racing squad,” explained Anthony Hutchinson, father of JP. “Though JP has driven a Tony Kart in the past, we recently changed teams to see if we could advance further up the grid. Working with the guys from Pserra was an awesome experience and it shows by our outright speed and preparation each and every day.”
Always wanting to compete at the Canadian Nationals but never having the budget to do so, the Hutchinson family made the difficult decision to race locally throughout the 2012 season and save the funds to compete for a national title. While having competed in the regional Eastern Canadian Karting Championships in previous years, this year would see Hutchinson only completing in three local events against a total of twelve drivers, four per race. Despite the lack of seat time, Hutchinson having worked hard off the track with physical and mental training, would travel east to Quebec to take on a talented field of drivers and confidently look for his shot to stand atop the podium.
Making sacrifices throughout the year, it was finally time to head to Quebec. With excellent weather in store, JP was excited to show what he had. Progressing through the two practice days without any problems, JP would qualify his Pserra Racing Tony Kart in the sixth position in Friday’s important qualifying run. This starting position would remain constant throughout the heats as short sprint races would be run with points being awarded to set the grid for Sunday morning’s prefinal.
JP would improve slightly in Friday’s first heat race after not having a great start and being sent into the grass by an over aggressive competitor, he would battle back for a fifth place result. Saturday would not start off well when the Toronto, Ontario resident went out for the morning warm-up with the wrong tires resulting in an ill-handling kart. The frustrations would continue in the second heat race when a bad start would result in JP being sent off the racing surface and spiraling down the running order. But Hutchinson would use his speed and determination to slice his way through the field, gaining five places over eight laps to finish tenth. Saturday would end on a good note with JP’s best result of the weekend in the third and final heat race. With a chassis and engine combination working to perfection, Hutchinson would finally get a good start and drive to a solid fourth place effort. With all three heats complete and points calculated, it was determined that JP would start Sunday morning’s prefinal outside row three in the sixth position.
With a great start and drive through the first lap of the prefinal, Hutchinson slotted himself into the fifth position, where he would begin his march forward. Making a pass for the fourth position around the mid-race distance, Hutchinson would then take advantage of a competitor’s mistake and slip by for third. Building a gap on his rivals, the top three drivers would comfortably maintain their position until the end of the event. Through post race technical inspection without a problem, Hutchinson would start the main event from the third position.
Confident that a podium result and possible race win was on the horizon, Hutchinson and the Pserra Racing crew went to work to ensure that his Tony Kart was in perfect working order for the main event. With a fast motor and a determined driver, JP was both excited and nervous for the final race of the day. Given all the sacrifices he and his family have made, JP wanted to stand atop the blocks and add the title ‘National Champion’ to his resume.
Slotting into the third position, Hutchinson pushed the lead duo as the three pilots were able to open a large gap on the rest of the field. Competing against some of the biggest names and budgets in the Rotax Mini Max class and staying right with them on track, Hutchinson would settle into a rhythm and run in the third position as he was unable to make a bid for the lead.
Taking the last lap board for the final circuit, JP’s kart suddenly slowed and left him pounding his fist off the steering wheel. Into the grass and out of the race, the podium result would not be for a driver that deserved it so much. Inconsolable after the event, Hutchinson and the Pserra Racing crew found that the engine’s pulse line would come off eventually shutting off the motor.
Though the result was not what he had wanted, JP turned some heads with his speed throughout the week. JP would like to thank Pserra Racing, Rock Haven Bed and Breakfast (St Kitts, Eastern Caribbean) and GoDigitalSLR.com for their continued support.
For sponsorship opportunities or for more information on JP Hutchinson, please visit them online at www.DrivenToRace.com or contact Anthony via e-mail at aa.hutch@Rogers.com.