As has become accustomed, the Jim Russell Karting Academy in Mont-Tremblant once again hosted an exhilarating season finale for the Coupe de Montreal, with 184 entries spread across 14 categories and two days of intense competition to determine this year’s class of champions.
The weather was perfect with cool mornings leading to warm afternoons with beautiful sunshine enlightening the fall colours; perfect racing conditions.
Even the mandate of the Quebec vaccine passport didn’t slow down the number of entrants travelling to Tremblant, with the finale being one of the largest turnouts of the season.
As with many high-stakes races, some tempers flared and there were some dramatic moments that officials needed to deal with, but all in all, it was all in good spirits.
For the full race results, be sure to visit SpeedHive.
Double domination from Greco in Shifter and DD2
There was plenty of excitement leading up to the Rotax DD2 Final as the likes of world champions Pier-Luc Ouellette (BCR/BirelART) and Ben Cooper (BCR/BirelART) suited up for a special appearance as did Shifter ace Davide Greco (PSL/BirelART).
Cooper led the field to green, but it didn’t take long for Greco to make his presence known. After advancing from third on the grid into second on the start, Greco pressured and then passed Cooper on lap two, with Christophe Rizk (ETI Racing/CL Kart) also moving by.
The pair pulled away from the BCR trio of Cooper, Ouellette and Lucas Pernod as the laps ticked away and with only a couple to go, Greco really turned it up a notch, setting the fastest lap and gapping Rizk, taking home the win by 1.1 seconds.
The race for third saw Cooper run wide of the final corner for an off-road adventure with two laps to go, but he recovered the position on the final lap when Pernod went for a move on Ouellette after the back straight, with Cooper using the outside line to overtake both.
In the Shifter Final, Greco gapped Nathan Gilbert (SH Karting/SodiKart) early and eventually crossed the finish line 3.5 seconds ahead. Charles Robin (SH Karting/SodiKart) managed third for most of the race, but a mistake with four laps to go saw him make a run through the grass and lose two spots to Alex Tagliani (TAG Autosport/CRG) and Marc Antoine Poirer (CRAD/BirelART).
Dany St-Hilaire was the winner of the Masters and with it, earned himself an invite to race in Mexico courtesy of PSL Karting.
Deslongchamps controls the Mini and Junior Rotax divisions
Making his debut in the Rotax Junior class along with his regular duties in Mini Max, Lucas Deslongchamps (BCR/BirelART) finished out his season in fine fashion, driving home two victories on Sunday afternoon.
When the green flag flew, Alexis Baillargeon (BCR/CL Kart) was the early race leader with a lead pack of five emerging.
On lap four, Deslongchamps made his move to the lead and on the next lap, Jackson Lachapelle (BCR/BirelART) and Edward Kennedy (TRT/Parolin) also overtook Baillargeon, relegating him back to fourth.
Deslongchamps checked out from there and took the win while Baillargeon recovered back to finish second with Kennedy third, just ahead Frederique Lemieux (PSL/BirelART) and Lachapelle.
The Rotax Junior Final saw Deslongchamps lead every lap ahead of Christophe Legrand (BCR/BirelART) and Louis David Boucher (TAG Autosport/CRG) in a relatively uneventful race.
Easy Rotax Senior win for Woods-Toth
Making his second Coupe de Montreal start of the season for PSL Karting, Patrick Woods-Toth (BirelART) was in cruise control all race long and went unchallenged to the victory, a style of win he is well known for.
His instant pace was more than enough to pull out an early race lead and then solid race management kept him well ahead of the pack.
The race for second saw Justin Arseneau (ICAR/TonyKart) overtake American John Burke (PSL/BirelART) for the position on lap four and then settle in for the remainder of the race.
Burke then had an exciting battle with Olivier Bedard (Premier/EOS Kart) and Laurent Legault (BCR/BirelART) for the final podium position. After losing the spot in the middle of the race, Burke recovered with a couple of laps left and held on for the podium while Legault gained fourth on the final lap. Nalin Shah (Premier/EOS Kart) was also able to sneak by Bedard on the final lap to lock down a top-five finish.
Bryan Richard (TonyKart) was the highest finishing Max Masters driver in the race.
Baillargeon adds another win in Briggs Cadet
Taking home his second win in as many weeks in Mont-Tremblant, Alexis Baillargeon (BCR/BirelART) showcased his talents in Briggs Cadet by holding off a race-long challenge from Mathis Brunetti (SH Karting/SodiKart).
After his impressive performances at the Canadian Open and Coupe de Montreal finale, we’re excited to see what Baillargeon has in store for 2022.
Not to be left out, Edward Kennedy (TRT/Parolin) displayed a great never give up drive in the Final. After starting on the front row, Kennedy ran wide on the exit of corner two and spun out, falling well behind the pack when he rejoined the track.
Putting his head down, Kennedy caught up to the pack and passed thirteen karts before the checkered flag to stand on the podium in third and be awarded the Driver of the Day honours.
Last-lap pass for Belanger in Briggs Senior
The largest class to take the track on the weekend was Briggs Senior with 31 entrants.
A three-kart race emerged in the Final, led early by Michael Valente (Premier/EOS Kart) followed closely by Mike De La Plante (TNT Racing/TNT Kart) and Simon Belanger (SH Karting/SodiKart).
De La Plante went to the lead just before the halfway mark with a push from Belanger and the trio settled in until the final lap.
With a great move, Belanger scored the lead and then held off the pair, celebrating the race win in style.
In the exciting race for fourth, Nova Scotia’s Kelsey Hann (GCR/BirelART) emerged with the position ahead of Raphael Tremblay (BirelART).
Other winners on Sunday
Etienne LaSalle (ETI Racing/CL Kart) took home the win in Rotax DD2 Masters, holding off a late-race surge from David Laplante (Premier Karting/TonyKart). Timothe Pernod (BCR/BirelART) recovered from fourth to first in the final two laps and edged out his BCR teammate William Bothillier by 0.02 seconds at the finish line in the Briggs Junior Final. Finally, Kristopher Ryan Bissonnette (TNT Kart) overtook Mathieu Demers on the final lap of the Briggs Masters Final to get the win with Anthony Novak (Kosmic) and Jessica Plante (SodiKart) slipping by a slowing Demers just before the finish line.
The Coupe de Montreal will honour their 2021 champions at SC Performance on October 2 with a dinner and an endurance race to close out another successful race season.