The Brian Stewart Racing Karting Championship Series travelled down Highway 401 just past Belleville, Ontario for the fourth round of their 2012 Championship season, held at the historic Shannonville Motorsport Park track. The annual BSRKC Canadian Grand National Bear Hunt races, hosted by the Simcoe and Waterloo Regional kart clubs, drew drivers from all over Ontario and Quebec with some of the finest racers lining up to chase the elusive Bear trophy and valuable BSRKC points. Especially crucial were the results in the Sr. Medium and 2 cycle classes as these would determine the championship titles. The five-day event took place from August 1-5, with three official days of racing needed to include the 21 races on hand that featured a total of 282 entries.
The annual event has been a staple in the BSRKC schedule, with many of the drivers and teams electing to spend the entire week in Shannonville, most camping on site and coming together every evening to chat and usually discuss many of karting’s current events. A popular subject throughout the week was the inclusion of the Sr. Briggs and Stratton class.
There were many drivers that stood out over the weekend, but none more than Jaret Stewart. The young teen took home an impressive three Grand National Bears, along with a runner-up podium appearance. Scoring the victory in two classes on Friday, Stewart got off to a great start winning in Jr. Medium and Jr. Pro. Almost doubling up in the Jr. Medium division, Stewart took second place in a drag race to the finish with Kyle Edgar on Saturday. Then on Sunday, Stewart used some early race strategy to win a rain shortened Jr. Heavy final.
In the Senior four-cycle divisions, many eyes were on the duo of Scotty Nagel and T. J. Marshall. The two worked together in every race they competed in scoring three wins and multiple double-podium appearances.
Plenty of attention was given to the Briggs and Stratton Senior class that raced on Friday for the first time in BSRKC history. Supported by Kelly Michaud of KDM Racing and David Klaus of Briggs & Stratton, twelve karts took to the track for the first final of the weekend. In an exciting 20-lap feature, Jon Treadwell bounced back from an early race setback to track down the mid-race leader Maxime Couturier and eventually take over the lead with a handful of laps remaining before seeing the checkered flag for victory. At presentations, the draws for the set of Bridgestone Tires donated by SH Karting, and the $125.00 gift certificate donated by SRA Karting, were won by Cory Cacciavillani and David Laplante.
Friday’s other winners included Jaret Stewart in Jr. Medium and Jr. Pro, Scotty Nagel in Sr. Medium, Aaron Turnbull in Novice, Keidon Fletcher in Cadet, Tyler Kashak in Rotax Jr., and a very emotional victory for Melissa Glaze in Rotax/TaG Senior as she drove by her brother Michael in the closing laps to earn her first ever Grand National Bear.
Saturday’s race of the day was the Jr. Medium Final. In a feature that saw more than six different leaders, a lead pack of eight karts, and drivers shuffling positions every single lap, Kyle Edgar was able to time his drive to the front perfectly, executing a last lap pass on Tyler Turnbull, then drag-raced Jaret Stewart to the finish-line crossing a mere 0.031 seconds ahead at the stripe.
In the six other divisions competing on Saturday, T.J. Marshall scored the victory in Sr. Heavy; Aaron Turnbull scored his second Bear in Novice, as did Scotty Nagel in Sr. Medium. Jake Collison controlled the Masters division, while Chad Campbell got the first major victory of his career in Rotax/TaG Senior and Nico Fattore outlasted his competition in F125 Shifter to earn his first Bear.
With dark and cloudy skies waking drivers on Sunday morning, many in the paddock were unsure if or when the rain was going to fall, and if so, how much. After getting through morning warm-up and qualifying, the rain began to fall during the pre-finals, with the BSRKC officials making the call for an early lunch break with the wild weather changes.
After chasing victory all weekend long, Austin Bisschop finally scored his first victory in the Jr. Lite class by simply driving away from his competition, crossing the stripe nearly five-seconds ahead. Tyler Kashak added a second victory to his resume in Rotax Jr., while T.J. Marshall did the same in Sr. Lite. Jake Collison held off a feisty Ronald Henrie to add another Bear to the Collison Racing collection, while Jaret Stewart became the winningest driver of the weekend when he scored the win in Jr. Heavy. Finally, Curtis Fox got his first Grand National Bear of his career overtaking Frank Launi to win the F125 Shifter class to cap off the weekend’s racing, just before the rain came back.
It was another successful BSRKC Bear Hunt that couldn’t have happened without the generous support of the Series’ many partners, including CF Groups, Briggs & Stratton, KDM Racing, and 401 Dixie Nissan/Infiniti.
To view an outstanding photo gallery of the event by Cody Schindel of Canadian Karting News, be sure to check out http://canadiankartingnews.com/photo-gallery-brian-stewart-racing-karting-championship-round-4-shannonville/ .
Race 5, and the final race of the 2012 BSRKC series, is hosted by the Waterloo Regional Kart Club and takes place on Sept. 8 and 9 at Flamborough Speedway. The official practice day is Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. The classes racing on Sunday are Cadet, Novice, Junior Lite, Junior Heavy, Senior Lite, Senior Heavy, and Masters. The entry form and accommodation details are posted on their website. The WRKC looks forward to welcoming everyone there.
For more information about the Brian Stewart Racing Karting Championship Series, please visit their website http://www.BSRKC.com