In my quest for the best poutine in Canada, I travelled to Trois-Rivières, Quebec. Coincidently, there happened to be a big karting event that very same weekend! After a delicious plate of poutine, I went out for a rip at Le Monaco de Trois-Riveres! All kidding aside, it was time for rounds 5 & 6 of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship.
After a successful weekend in Goodwood, and later in Regina, my goals were set high for the race on the streets of Trois-Rivières. Although I entered the weekend in sixth place in the championship, I hoped to stir up the competition and improve my results in the overall points standings.
Being the premier street race in Canada, this was the perfect place to host a big event such as the ECKC. The configuration for this street course is outlined with concrete barriers (similar to those used in highway construction), and plastic barriers fortified by non-forgiving hay bails. Contact with any of these barriers would cause major damage and bad news for those involved. With barely any runoff, normal accidents often became big pileups. Like any road course, the on-site dealers sell lots of parts and straighten many chassis’. That’s what makes an event like this a nightmare for many.
Since the track was rained out on Thursday afternoon, I had to spend the majority of Friday learning the lines and breaking points. What I thought would be a quick practice day filled with lots of laps, turned out to be a long day filled with red flags and short sessions. When Saturday arrived, I wasn’t anywhere as prepared as I wanted to be, but I was determined to get good results. I had a decent start to the day, qualifying seventh and following up with a fifth place finish in the pre-final. We made a few minor changes, but all I could manage was a fifth place finish in the final.
“It was a challenging circuit with zero margins for error and it demanded total focus and attention from even the best drivers.”
Super Sunday started out nice and bright, similar to my attitude. I spent numerous hours on Saturday evening working with Alex Vincent reviewing data and walking the track with hopes to find the few tenths I needed to run at the front of the pack. Unfortunately, I struggled in qualifying with a P12 posting but I had full confidence that I could work my way though traffic in the pre-final. And that I did, posting the second fastest lap and a seventh place finish. Now that I was back on the inside row, I felt comfortable to attack early once the green flag dropped. Immediately, I was able to gain two positions and broke away with the lead pack in sight. After battling for fourth position, the lead pack slipped away and despite having the second fastest lap of the race, I was unable to catch them. My fourth place finish didn’t get me on the podium, but it was still a reasonable end to the weekend.
At the end of the weekend, I managed to stay clean with no damage to either my kart or myself. Under the circumstances, with all the wrecks and red flag incidents, I was happy to leave Trois-Rivières in one piece. Le Monaco de Trois-Rivières was one heck of an experience. It was a challenging circuit with zero margins for error and it demanded total focus and attention from even the best drivers. If you’ve never experienced a street race like this, give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.
An event like this requires an extreme amount of organization and dedication from volunteers and officials. It’s never an easy job to work these positions, especially under the pressures of red flag conditions and major setbacks in the schedule. But without these volunteers and officials, an event like this would not be even remotely possible.
As always, my attendance at an event like this would not be possible without the help of certain individuals and sponsors including Canadian Karting News, Coldstone Creamery, Bell Helmets, Polen Designs, Freem Racewear, Kart David Graphics, SH Racing, AV Performance, and most importantly my family for supporting my racing program to the fullest. Thank you all!
Next weekend I’ll be in Chilliwack, British Columbia at the Greg Moore Raceway for the final round of the Western Canadian Championships. Stay tuned to CKN for updates on the event and to see which drivers will be crowned the Western Canadian Rotax Champions.
Finally, I’d like to wish Ayrton Climo a speedy recovery. I witnessed the horrific accident and nobody should ever have to go through what he did. #KeepFightingAyrton
Until next time,