Official competition at the 2015 ASN Canadian National Karting Championships finally got underway at Mosport Kartways on Friday. Anxious drivers, teams and families were finally able to see where they stacked up against Canada’s best drivers in their respective classes as Friday featured Qualifying following by Pfaff SuperPole Qualifying for the top-6 drivers in each category, along with the first round of heat races. It was a very busy day and Mother Nature also played her hand with up and down temperatures, threatening dark skies mixed with sunshine and all around a much different day than what we’ve become to expect at Mosport this summer.
The benefit of SuperPole Qualifying put all of the emphasis on the driver and their individual kart as each of the top-6 in each category returned to the track by themselves; no drafting, following or pushing, just a pure lap based on speed. Pfaff Motorsports stepped up to support the days action with nice cash prizes for the top-3 qualifiers in each class as well.
An afternoon of heat racing also set the tone for the weekend with plenty of excitement out of the gate as some drivers were already in catch-up mode following some poor qualifying efforts.
Briggs & Stratton Masters
The competition in Briggs & Stratton LO206 Masters is extremely close this weekend. While Kyle Aulenback (K&K Kart) had a blistering lap to grab the provisional pole, positions two through five were covered by a tenth of a second, filled by the likes of Steven MacVoy (BirelART), defending champion David Patrick (BirelART), Michael Rogers (K&K Kart) and Marc Stehle (BirelART), while Eli Yanko (FA Kart) was also able to sneak into the SuperPole session.
The grid shuffled in SuperPole as Rogers was able to post the quickest time only 0.067 seconds quicker than Patrick. Aulenback struggled on his own falling to sixth behind MacVoy, Yanko and Stehle.
Crazy events happened in the heat race. Patrick grabbed the lead from the drop of the green only to be accessed a penalty for a lane violation and it only got worse for Patrick as he and MacVoy tangled while leading the race entering corner six a couple laps later, ultimately falling to the rear. The incident in six caused even more of an issue when MacVoy attempted to return to the track as oncoming traffic approached, eventually getting clobbered by David Anderson (Intrepid).
In the end Rogers claimed the win over Stehle and James Dunn (Margay) with Yanko and Corey Walsh (BirelART) completing the top-five.
Rotax DD2/DD2 Master
With the Rotax DD2 and DD2 Masters categories combined this weekend, track space was precious in Qualifying as multiple groups staggered around the track made it difficult for many to put in the flying laps they were hoping for. Tyler Kashak (Intrepid) set the pace while Alessandro Bizzotto (BirelART) and Dante Lerra (Energy Kart) just snuck into SuperPole with last lap flyers while Stuart Clark (Maranello) was the quickest of the Masters.
Resetting the times, Bizzotto elevated his pace to claim the SuperPole for DD2 over Fred Woodley (Maranello) and Kashak while Luc Sauriol (BirelART) bettered Clark for the DD2 Masters top spot.
In the heat race Woodley jumped out to the early lead until he ran into issues with Bizzotto in the bowl section, ending Woodley’s race on lap two. This opened things up for Jeff Kingsley (BirelART) to take the win over Kashak, who had Bizzotto all over him in the late stages. Lerra and Brendon Bain (Maranello) completed the top-five in DD2.
Sauriol led the opening lap in DD2 Masters until the group approached a stalled DD2 driver. Scrambling to avoid contact, Clark erupted with the lead with Sauriol and Elvis Stojko (Maranello) in tow. The three cruised from there with Dany St-Hilaire (BirelART) and defending champion Francis Mondou (FA Kart) completing the top-five.
The much anticipated return of shifter karts hit the track for their qualifying session with American driver CJ Cramm (BirelART) topping provisional qualifying session over Indy Lights driver Mikael Grenier (BirelART) and Dominic LeGrand (CRG) with Chad Campbell (GP Kart), Pier Luc Ouellette (BirelART) and Zachary Shearer (GP Kart) joining the top-three in SuperPole.
Shearer bettered the initial qualifying times to take the SuperPole in fine fashion over Grenier and LeGrand while Cramm fell to fifth.
The tough luck continued for Cramm at the start of the heat race when he tangled with Giancarlo Filicetti in corner two, ending both of their races. Up front Shearer led Ouellette through the opening laps until Ouellette was able to make a move stick in corner six. Shearer pressured the multi-time Rotax champion, but ultimately settled for second with Campbell third. Michael Marjaba drove up to fourth after a flat tire in Qualifying forced him to start at the rear with Grenier sixth.
This years Mini-Max class has featured endless battles between a handful of drivers including the likes of Patrick Woods-Toth (BirelART), Thomas Nepveu (FA Kart) and Stefano Lucente (CRG). Woods-Goth struck first in provisional qualifying but it was Nepveu who left with the SuperPole, bettering his rival by over a tenth of a second. Xavier Harris (Energy Kart) moved up a few spots to claim third over Lucente, Gianluca Savaglio (Intrepid) and Liam Rhodes (Maranello).
The battled ensued in the heat race as Nepveu and Woods-Toth broke free from the pack. The two engaged in a great race until contact from Woods-Toth in the final complex of corners on the final lap that ultimately ended with Nepveu upside down and Savaglio sneaking through to take the win. Lucente, Harris, Rhodes and Marco Kacic (BirelART) all elevated up a pair of spots on the final lap to complete the top-five with Nepveu and Woods-Toth out.
To see the rest of Friday’s class rundowns, check out Part 1.
Saturday will feature heat race two and a PreFinal race for all categories.
Be sure to continue tuning into our CKN Event Page throughout the weekend for full event coverage!