Round one is in the books for the Western Canadian Karting Championship. Taking to the track in Strathmore, Alberta, 148 entries rolled into Northstar Raceway and put forth their best efforts to drive home with a victory in a number of categories. After two days of racing and some great competition on the track, a few drivers have asserted themselves as championship favourites, but with two rounds left to race, nothing is for certain.
Here is our WCKC Briggs & Stratton report. Check out our WCKC Rotax Max report here.
Briggs Senior Lite
There was a sibling rivalry in Briggs Senior Lite, the largest Briggs 206 category of the weekend with 21 karts. Haley Gulash (BirelART) and her brother Wyatt Gulash (BirelART) each took home a victory trophy after controlling the show on track.
Saturday was Haley’s day as the older sibling qualified on the pole and won both the PreFinal and the Final. She had Wyatt all over her bumper throughout the entire race, while John Buzza (BirelART) was only a few kart lengths back all race, unable to close in enough to make a pass.
Unfortunately for Haley, her chance at sweeping the weekend ended on lap one of the Final as she spun out of the fourth position in turn four. While karts scrambled to avoid her, Buzza along with Skyler Dunning (Kosmic) and Wyatt broke away from the pack. The three ran in line until three laps to go when Wyatt overtook Dunning for second place, setting himself up for a shot at the leader. The pass for the lead came with just under two laps to go and it made Buzza vulnerable to Dunning. The two would race for second and end their chances of the win as Wyatt rolled to victory. Buzza and Dunning made some contact on the final lap, but ultimately Buzza held on to second ahead of Dunning. Levi Schmidtke and Whitney Stevens were fourth and fifth.
James Altamirano and Cooper Becklin split the victories in Briggs 206 Junior after spirited affairs came down to the final lap in both Finals and in both instances it was Enzo Sartor who wound up second and just short of the win.
On Saturday, Altamirano and Sartor were in a battle of their own and spent the second half of the Final trading the top position. Even with all their scrapping, they still managed to keep their lead near the ten-second mark, with Altamirano getting the upper hand on the final lap to get ahead of Sartor.
Sunday’s race featured three karts going for the win with Sartor climbing through the top half of the field after starting seventh on the grid. It took until lap eight for him to catch the leaders, Becklin and Kiefer Peet, but once in the mix, he took his shot. But this race went to Becklin, who overtook Peet on the final tour. Sartor also snuck by Peet on the final lap to earn his second runner-up finish of the weekend.
Briggs Senior Heavy
Just like he was in Rotax Max Masters, John Kwong was the man in Briggs Senior Heavy, ripping around Northstar Raceway in a circa 2003 DC One chassis.
In both Finals he had his hands full with Adam Dowler. In fact, Dowler actually pulled off a perfect pass in Final 1 to win the race, but was found to have the wrong spark plug in tech and was excluded, awarding the win Kwong, with Jason McCumber and Franco Sartor completing the podium.
On Sunday it was again Kwong vs Dowler, this time with Dowler leading almost the entire race, only to be passed by Kwong on the final lap to steal the win. Alan Haggarty, who surrendered his fourth place starting spot on the pace lap of Final 1 with an issue, rebounded well and finished third in his K&K Kart.
Briggs Junior 1
Aidan Carruthers was a young man on a mission this weekend in Briggs Junior 1/Cadet. He had to overcome a spin in the Saturday PreFinal, but his efforts in both Finals earned him the victory trophy.
Saturday saw Celkin Mercado-Wong finish second ahead of Mathias Boschmann, while Geroge Deadman and Matthew Hanna completed the top-five for the youngest drivers in the paddock on the weekend.
Boschmann improved to finish second on Sunday with Deadman almost improving to finish on the podium. Mercado-Wong slipped back to fourth while Hanna was fifth for the second straight day.
Round two of the Western Canadian Karting Championship will take place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on July 6-8.