The pursuit for the Rotax Junior Eastern Canadian Karting Championship continued at round two of the series in Mirabel, Quebec at the ICAR Circuit, but when the dust settled the halfway point of the championship was crossed, two drivers have set themselves apart from the field.
After scoring victories at the opening round just under a month ago at Goodwood, Samuel Lupien (SH Racing/FA Kart) and Joe Soranno (Energy Corse/Energy Kart) continued the momentum, controlling their competitors at the tricky new ICAR circuit and like Goodwood, they both concluded the weekend with a victory, battling with each other throughout both days of racing.
Lupien scored the victory on Saturday after an exciting battle that also included his teammates Alex Lacroix (SH Racing/FA Kart) and Raphael Forcier (SH Racing/FA Kart). While Lupien and Soranno were eventually able to break free from the pair and settle the race on their own terms, Lupien defended well after taking the lead on lap thirteen and kept Soranno at bay to the finish line. Lacroix won the battle for the third podium step with Roman DeAngelis (KoeneUSA/TonyKart) completing the top-five, edging out Ryan MacDermid (MacDermid Motorsports/TonyKart) at the finish line.
The race had a rocky start as a pair of accidents resulted in a red flag before lap one was completed (see above photo). Walking away from the incidents were Nicholas Hornbostel, Matthew Latifi and Jordan Slipacoff.
On Sunday it was once again Lupien, Soranno and Lacroix at the top and three continued their excellent battle from Saturday. While Lacroix never officially led a lap, he kept his nose in the action all race long while the championship hopefuls pushed each other lap after lap. Side by side down the back straight on the final lap, Soranno defended well and it allowed Lacroix to sneak under Lupien exiting corner four before the quick turn five. This side by side action was all Soranno needed to gap a couple kart lengths and safely hold on to take the victory with Lacroix winning the battle for second.
MacDermid stayed with the leaders in the opening laps but faded back as the laps ticked by, holding on to the fourth position followed by Forcier. Natael Cantin, DeAngelis, Alexandre Legare, Slipacoff and Thierry Cote completed the top-ten.
Heading back to Ontario for round #3, Lupien holds a mere 45 point advantage over Soranno with DeAngelis further back in third.