What a weekend at Mosport! Over 150 kart racers from Ontario, Quebec and the USA emerged at the freshly renovated Mosport Kartways for the third round of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship.
Here is a look at some of the action that went down throughout the weekend. To review the results and race winners, be sure to check out our event page.
New track configuration and asphalt adjustments adds exciting new challenge
While many wondered what the racing would be like following the adjustment to the back section of the track that resulted in an additional corner and the flattening of the Ron Fellows bowl, this weekends racing proved that track managers made the right decision. The new corner six was a challenge and a major passing opportunity in every category and was very exciting to watch drivers climb up the hill and attempt to go wheel-to-wheel.
Early in the week the track also received a last minute asphalt adjustment after it was noticed that the new surface was coming apart. CTMP officials cut out and replaced the apex sections of most corners with a much more adhesive mixture. The update dropped lap times as drivers were able to take advantage of the grip. However Friday practice was very challenging when the rain came falling down when drivers were forced to choose which part of the track to utilize.
Regardless of what happens before the National Championships next month at Mosport, we are very impressed with the facility upgrades.
Lupien brothers race with heavy hearts
Early in the week the Lupien family was delivered the sad news about the passing of Jean-Guy Boucher, the grandfather of Rotax racers Samuel and Cedrik Lupien. Planning on returning home to Montreal, Quebec for the funeral on Sunday and skipping the race, their family members urged them to stay and race in memory of their grandfather. Battling the difficult conditions, both Samuel and Cedrik delivered for their late grandfather, scoring a combined three victories and a second place result in four races, dedicating their success to him.
Hot temps, hotter tempers
It was very hot and humid and there was no shortage of excitement off the track this weekend at Mosport where many drivers and team members felt the need to express themselves about the actions that happened on track following their race or even after the race days were complete. ECKC officials took the brunt of the criticism when teams didn’t agree to their calls and decisions, which seems to be the norm these days at ECKC events, but there were also some intense driver to driver interactions that simply aren’t needed. Maybe it’s time that everyone reviews the rulebook about the actions of not just the drivers, but their crew members too.
Poor driving across the board
We are not too sure what was in the air this weekend, but it appeared that some drivers just lost their heads. Poor driving was on display in every class this weekend, that resulted in many broken karts and hearts. Racing is racing and we like seeing drivers pushing to their limits and putting on a show, but the nonsense on display this weekend was simply disrespectful to fellow competitors. One driver was even excluded for Sunday’s event after a dangerous string of incidents on Saturday.
Hopefully the dust will be settled when everyone returns to Mosport for the ASN Canadian National Championships in August and we will see true wheel-to-wheel racing and a little respect between drivers, competitors and their machines.
Where did the rain go?
All week, heavy rain was in the forecast for Sunday and there was even a good chance for it on Saturday. But when the weekend was complete and trailers were leaving the facility, only about a minute of slight drizzle had fallen, even after some very dark clouds rolled into the area with Mini-Max on the grid.
The paddock was buzzing throughout the day Sunday, some with some even hoping for rain, but it simply never came to cool off the intense heat and humidity that challenged drivers all weekend long.
Tire conservation comes into play
The new surfaces at Mosport along with the intense heat actually forced drivers in the Rotax Junior, Senior, DD2 and DD2 Masters categories to conserve their tires with heavy wear each session. On Saturday Marco Di Leo was passed late by Cedrik Lupien and unlike usual DiLeo was unable to mount an attack back at the top spot as he said the tires just went away. The Mojo D3 tires on the DD2 machines looked the worst with most of the dimples simply gone by the end of one race day.
Many drivers receive fines for not obeying blend lines
A major discussion in the paddock this weekend was the number of drivers who did not obey the blend lines going on and coming off of the track and thus receiving a small fine from ASN Canada. This practice has been used before, although not at every event, and drivers do need to be aware of the track entrance and exit rules, but we are still a little confused why it’s only utilized during race days when track entry is controlled and not on practice days when the track is hot and drivers are entering a busy track throughout an entire session not just in the opening moments when the track is clear.
Regardless, drivers will need to pay close attention to the blend lines again next month at the ASN Canadian National Championships.
The next round of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship falls in September at the Jim Russell Karting Academy in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, where each of the nine class champions will be crowned.