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.
While our neighbours to the south finally switched to the full-sized chassis for Mini-Max this season, back home we have been using this spec since the class had been introduced to Canada in 2007. It has allowed the younger drivers to make an easier transition into the Junior category as we have seen the likes of Lazare, DeMelo and Mazzaferro move up and not be at a disadvantage once in the higher category. This season another group of karters will be in the category looking to hone their skills before moving up to Junior.
Nepveu has enjoyed a great season so far this year racing in the Florida Winter Tour and should show some great pace early on the ECKC season. Last years ECKC Micro-Max Champion is one of the highest rated drivers coming into the season and thanks to almost a year of testing on the larger chassis he is ready to battle. He was quick in the Coupe du Quebec race in SRA, taking the win on track, but failed post-technical inspection due to what appeared to be some confusion with the new Rotax EVO rules. Even with this hurdle we feel he still can do well this season.
This season has been great so far for Xavier Harris, with the Intrepid driver entering his sophomore season of Mini-Max competition. At the TRAK championship Harris has won every race so far including last weekend at the newly formed Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge. With the experience of running the championship last season he should be able to hold his own this season and score some wins especially at the opening round at his home track of Goodwood.
While his counterpart Nepveu raced in Mini-Max at the FWT, Woods-Toth raced the FWT Mini-ROK championship where he had great pace bringing home a few top ten performances against some of the best 11-13 year old drivers from around the globe. The beginning of May was his first race in Mini-Max and he took the win aboard his new BirelART chassis with Ben Cooper Racing. The new kart seems to suit Patrick and he might be able to make the most of it and bring home the championship this season.
Lucente is back in the Mini-Max category for a third year. While he has improved quite a bit working with Mike Goodyear, brother of former Indycar driver Scott, Lucente still has to find a bit more speed if he wants to battle with the front drivers for the championship. Lucente was on the brand new PSL Mini chassis during the Florida Winter Tour where he ran in the mid-pack for most of the series at tracks he hasn’t visited before. but back home he is familiar with Goodwood and could make a run for the podium this weekend.
While Ortlieb will be making his second ever ECKC start at Goodwood this weekend, he arrives with plenty of confidence and will be racing out of the Maranello North America tent. Working closely with Trevor Wickens, Ortlieb continues to show improvement and as long as Ortlieb continues along this path he should turn into a front runner by mid-season.
A local club racer from Goodwood, Chad Webster was one of the fastest young drivers at the last weekends CRFKC event and now has his eyes on the ECKC podium in his debut in the championship. Unfortunately we are not sure if he will continue throughout the remainder of the ECKC season, but a strong start at Goodwood could see this new driver move on to round two at ICAR.
The Class Rookie
Savaglio was one of the surprising drivers in the Rotax Micro-Max category last season as he was quick all season and he also finished on the podium at the Canadian National Championships. While he has had a slow start to the season in Mini-Max he has done really well in Briggs & Stratton Jr. Lite. With more practice in the Mini-Max kart Savaglio might be able to reach the podium either by the end of this season.
Don’t miss the rest of our ECKC Class Previews this week, only on CKN!