Together, at last!
The Valley Karting Series was introduced in early 2018, pitting the racers from Le Circuit Quyon and Lombardy Karting together in a combined effort of the two karting clubs, split by the provincial border of Ontario and Quebec in Canada’s capital region. For years the two groups didn’t see eye-to-eye and it was difficult for either to draw significant numbers and consistent membership and all classes, but that has finally changed this year with the Valley Series.
We were trackside on Fathers Day for race number four of the Valley Karting Series and it was a fun-filled day with a relaxed club racing approach. Only four classes are raced in the Valley Karting Series and they are all powered by Briggs & Stratton. Novice, Junior, Senior and Masters all utilize the Briggs 206 engine platform that we have all come to love for club racing across Canada.
For us, Le Circuit Quyon is a blast from the past. The original portion of the track is narrow and full of elevation changes, really challenging the driver, while the extension provides the speed and passing opportunities needed to really make it raceable. The Lalonde family continues to do a great job as owners of the facility and doing their best to keep it in top shape and attract new racers. One way they do that is by inviting their arrive and drive racers to compete in a race during club events, like the Valley Series, to give them the feeling of what it’s like to be a part of the race day.
For the Valley Series, the Novice and Junior classes use the inverted heat race format to give the drivers opportunities to pass and develop as a driver while the more experiences Seniors and Masters get to use the Qualifying format.
Dominating the Junior division and winning by a large margin was Ryan Armstrong, who also took home the honour of CKN Summer Tour Driver of the Day. Armstrong has been a contender in the Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge and he uses these club races to work on his skill set and best prepare him for the bigger events. Joining Armstrong on the Junior podium was Nathan Glover and Jake McKneely.
The Master’s leaders ran nose to tail throughout their Final, but nobody made a move on James Dunn, who shortly after the finish came to a crawl and needed a push from fellow racer Michael Forget to get back to the scale line. Forget finished third behind Dunn and Darren Mallette as Margay Karts swept the podium.
Thomas Lemaire had his hands full on Bronson Hetherington in the Novice Final, that is until lap traffic came into play. Lemaire found his way through the slower karts a little easier in the late laps and was able to create a gap en route to his race win. Hetherington settled for second while Wyatt McKneely finished third.
Finally, there was a sibling rivalry in Senior as William and Charlotte Lalonde went toe-to-toe for the victory with Jordan Hounsell just waiting for an opportunity to swoop in. In the early laps, the two traded the lead with William leading the majority. At the halfway point it appeared William had a slight speed advantage but Charlotte clawed her way back to his rear bumper. However, that was as far as she could get as William scored the win with Charlotte second and Hounsell cruising to third.
Race number five of the Valley Karting Series will take place in a few weeks time as racers will make their way back to Ontario to Lombardy Karting on July 8.