It was another spectacular day to cap off a great weak of racing at the 2016 ASN Open Canadian Karting Championships in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.
The weather couldn’t have been any better with clear blue skies and picture-perfect temperatures that included a light breeze.
On track, there was a full day of action, featuring ten Championship Finals to determine this years twelve Canadian Champions. In every category we were impressed with the action with the majority coming right down to the wire. There was more emotions in todays races than we have seen in years, including heartbreaks and headaches for some and fist pumps and celebrations for others. All in all, it was a superb weekend.
It was also noted that the medical unit did not move once all weekend and from the start of qualifying all the way to the final Championship race, there was not one red flag, that being a feat of it’s own and credit going to the drivers.
Here is our quick breakdown of the National Final races.
To see the results from the weekend check out our Competitions section.
It was an early start to the day for the Finals as Rotax Junior was first to leave the grid.
After Matthew Latifi fell back down the order after a tough start from the outside of row one, Andres De Alba, Antonio Serravalle, Griffin Dowler and Ryan MacDermid lead the way. Latifi worked back forward, but a hiccup in the chicane with Tommy Simard allowed MacDermid to sneak by both.
From there, Dowler faded down the order, ultimately retiring with a flat tire. MacDermid closed in on De Alba and Serravalle as they battled for the lead. Trading the top spot back and forth, De Alba survived the melee in the final two corners to take home the win by 0.023 seconds over Serravalle with MacDermid third. Latifi recovered to finish a distant fourth with Patrick Woods-Toth fifth.
With his victory, De Alba earned his position on Team Canada and will travel to Italy later this year to compete in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals for the first time in his career.
Briggs & Stratton Senior
There was carnage at the start of the Briggs Senior final as Gerald Caseley went through the first corner pointing in the wrong direction, claiming a handful of victims with him.
After the dust settled a lead pack of six had formed led by Samuel Lupien with Alex Da Silva, Pearce Herder and more in tow.
Lupien held on to the top of the running order as the positions behind him changed often and even though Herder looked left and right for a chance at the lead, Lupien was unstoppable and he scored the victory in his debut in the Briggs Senior category (after switching from Rotax Senior this season).
Herder and Alex Murphy completed the podium with Isaac Marritt and Marco Signoretti completing the top-five.
The driver that travelled the furthest to compete this week secured the victory in Micro-Max as Georgie Zouein is taking his Canadian title back to Dubai. Although currently living in the Emirates, Zouein is Canadian and after three attempts to win the Nationals, he finally earned the glory.
A great battle for second saw Marcello Paniccia just edge Austin Boyle for the position while Anthony Sardellitti and Lorenzo Morsilla were fourth and fifth.
Courtesy of his efforts this season, Sardellitti will represent Team Canada at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Italy later this year.
Briggs & Stratton Novice
Making their debut at the Nationals, Briggs & Stratton Novice put on a great show in Mont-Tremblant. After dominating throughout the week, Myah Knickle had to work for it on Sunday as Ethan Donkers and Alec Drummond took advantage on opening lap. After working by Dummond, Donkers put up a great fight for the top spot.
Ultimately Knickle found her way by and broke free en route to the victory, becoming the first winner of the Novice Briggs category at the Nationals. Donkeys and Drummond joined her on the podium followed by Nick Gilkes and Brayden Lindgren.
For the most part, all the action in the Mini-Max Final occurred on the opening lap. Dale Curran bounced up on the entry to turn one and when he came down, he landed on teammate Justin Arseneau, cutting down his tire and actually shearing in off the axle.
Further down the circuit, leaders Jak Crawford and Thomas Nepveu made contact, sending Nepveu spinning wide and down to the bottom of the running order.
For Crawford it was smooth running to the finish, the same for Jason Leung who had now moved up to second. The two held their positions for all sixteen laps to finish 1-2. On the move from the rear, Nepveu slowed picked off each driver that was ahead of him, eventually catching up to Mackenzie Clark with two laps to go. When passing Clark down the back straight, Clark got caught on the outside and he fell back sixth at the finish line while Nepveu made it back to a podium position.
However, the results were altered post-race as Crawford received a 5-second penalty for his contact with Nepveu and Nepveu also received a penalty for contact while coming through the field, meaning Leung took home the title to British Columbia (the first victory for a driver from Western Canada in more than five years), Crawford was second Gianluca Savaglio was third.
It was bittersweet for Nepveu though as his near perfect season earned him the opportunity to race the Rotax Grand Finals in Italy later this year, representing Team Canada.
Stay tuned for part two, featuring Rotax Senior, Rotax DD2/DD2 Masters, Junior Briggs, Open Shifter and Open Shifter Masters.