The 2013 Coupe du Québec season finally hit the track this past weekend as karters, teams and families all made their way east of Montreal to SH Karting. The facility was in tip-top shape, with lush grass wrapping around the tight and twisting 1KM track. A new format for this years Coupe saw officials toss out the qualifying session and replace it with two inverted grid heat races. With drivers selecting a number at registration, their grid position for heat one would be reverse for heat two, creating lots of action and passing through the entire field of each class. These two heats would be followed up by the usual Pre Final and Final races.
With only nine karts in the Rotax Senior field, the action wasn’t as fierce as past years of the Quebec Cup. 2012 Canadian National Rotax Junior Champion Tommy Lemaire Ouellet (SH Karting/Zanardi) was making his Senior debut, and a strong start saw him win heats one and two.
His impressive pace would continue in the Pre Final as Lemaire-Ouellet went flag-to-flag, while Maxime Couturier (SH Karting/Zanardi) would make it an all Zanardi front row for the Final.
However Lemaire-Ouellet’s run for a perfect day would unfortunately fall into the hands of another first-year senior. Olivier Bedard (Max Karting/Birel) would start the Final from third and by lap three would find himself in the lead and never looking back. As the field separated, Bedard would cruise to victory with Lemaire-Ouellet second and Couturier third, making it an all rookie podium. Maxime Bussier (CRG) and Marc-Andre Levesque (PSL Karting/CRG) would round out the top-five.
This year, the Coupe du Québec will only complete five rounds instead of the usual six, including the final race at historic Grand Mere Karting in July. CKN will have more about this in the near future.
Round two takes place on June 15 and 16 at SRA Karting.