Season six of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is upon us and we here at CKN are very excited! Over the next three days we will break down all nine official ECKC classes utilizing a fun new format. For each category we have selected three drivers we think are championship favourites, three drivers who could play spoiler and one rookie who we feel could make an impact in their first campaign in the category.
Kicking things off, Wednesday features all three Briggs & Stratton classes followed by Junior Rotax classes on Thursday and the Senior Rotax classes on Friday leading up to all the action at Goodwood. We will be trackside all weekend bringing you all the action on the site and our social networks.
Briggs & Stratton LO206 Junior:
It was a slow start but for the past few seasons the Briggs & Stratton Junior category has been on the rise, introducing many young drivers into the sport as well as becoming one of the most competitive classes on the grid. With 25 drivers entered at the Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge event at Goodwood Kartways this past weekend, it looks like another record high turnout could be in the cards for the ECKC season opener. There will most likely be a new champion in the class as it appears reigning champion Roman DeAngelis has decided to focus on his Rotax Junior campaign opening up the opportunity for someone new to take control of the Briggs & Stratton Junior category.
After an impressive debut in the series two years ago, Bisshchop appeared off last year after running the complete ECKC championship for the first time. However bad luck hindered his ultimate result in the championship coming home third in the championship winning only once in round three at Goodwood. This year Bisschop is back in the Junior class and is the most experienced driver in the field. After displaying good speed in his Collison Racing BirelART machine in the CRFKC race last weekend he will be a definate threat for the championship.
Conquer was one of the most improved drivers in the class last season ending the year finishing on the podium at the Canadian National Championships in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. This season Conquer will trade in his Tony Kart machine as his DMR race team recently made the switch to K&K Kart during the off season. Even with the switch Conquer and his father Dave, are determined that this can be a big year for Josh if he can keep his pace up from late last season.
How can you have a favourite list for any category and not count in a former National champion. Like Bisschop, Tyler McCullough didn’t live up to his potential last season where he finished off the ECKC championship campaign with a fourth place finish in the Championship. 2015 will be McCullough’s final season in the junior ranks and he wants to make this season count. He has been quoted saying he wants to win the Canadian Nationals at Mosport, ECKC, and CRFKC championships this season, big goals but all attainable. While he had a rough weekend at the Goodwood for this past weekends race the season is still young and McCullough still has the potential to achieve all of his goals for this season.
Four years ago Jordan Latimer enjoyed an excellent season en route to the Briggs & Stratton Junior championship and this year his younger bother Zachary is itching to do the same. Finally out of his brothers shadow Zachary is ready to shine a light of his own. Winning races at Innisfil, Sutton and most recently the CRFKC race at Goodwood Kartways, Latimer has a lot of momentum carrying himself into the ECKC race this weekend and can potentially capture his first National victory.
Midway through 2014, Quebec’s Xavier Dorsnie traded in his Mini-Max powerplant for the popular LO206 platform. It took him a few races to get up to speed, but a summer spent testing with Ben Cooper in Mont-Tremblant helped Dorsnie capture victory at the ECKC season finale at his home track. He was also quick at the Canadian Championships too. We know he will be fast in Quebec, however it has yet to be determined whether he can be fast when it comes to the Ontario tracks where he has limited track time in comparison to the rest of the drivers in the field. Lookout for the bumblebee, we know he will be buzzing all season long.
Somewhat of an unknown when it comes to national competition, Tanner Hamilton has had a strong club season to start the year and joins our spoilers list. He has finished at the sharp end of the field in both TRAK and MIKA events so far and could just make an appearance on the ECKC podium this weekend and throughout the year.
The Class Rookie
Many people will remember Matthew Barry from his Micro Max days when he was battling with Matthew Latifi and Xavier Harris for the title in the ECKC Championship. Well Barry is now returning to the National scene transitioning to the Briggs & Stratton category quite well and last weekend he drove to a third place finishing ahead of championship favourite Austin Bisschop.
With intensely close Briggs & Stratton racing on the tight confines of Goodwood Kartways on tap for this weekend, it really is anyones guess who could stand on all three steps of the ECKC podium. Only time will tell.
Don’t miss the rest of our ECKC Class Previews this week, only on CKN!