The most intense summer schedule for Intrepid North America began a week ago as some of the best karters on the continent assembled at Goodwood Kartways for the first event of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship. With twenty-three drivers set to contest the entire four event, six-race schedule, Intrepid was active in every Rotax Max Challenge class and it was the team leader showing the way. Marco Di Leo scored a pair of wins, and the team had seven podiums in getting its National campaign off and running.
“The team did a great job and all the Intrepids and Pragas were out to fight at home,” Di Leo said afterward, always quick to slot the team ahead of his personal accomplishments. “There were great runs by Menotti, Schutte, and Kashak; Riley hit the podium and the young guys were looking better and better with each session. ECKC always brings out the best drivers from Canada and it’s always good fun when we hit the track. This year the Senior class is made up of some thirsty young blood with lots of seat time and resources, which makes it extra sweet winning for an old man like me!”
Speaking specifically on scoring back-to-back wins for the second straight season, the veteran karter, who is anything but old, noted they came in much different fashion. Saturday was a march from fifth to a win, while on Sunday he started off-pole and used his HRS power to get a jump on the field and run flag-to-flag.
“I knew I had to move fast on Saturday so a leader didn’t get away from the field,” he said of his first win of the season. “When I got to second I knew I would have the pace late in the race to close on the leader. I planned to pass with two to go, but made a bobble which delayed me past the last lap board. I was planning for turn five, but when I saw some daylight entering turn four I dove in along Chudleigh thinking it might be my only shot and it worked out. Sunday all I wanted was a clean turn one. I got a good jump to grab the lead and put in a monster opening lap and never looked back!”
Another Intrepid driver who was turning some monster laps on the weekend was Bryson Schutte. After testing DD2 last season, Schutte is back in more familiar territory this season and was running among the quickest kids on the block all weekend.
“Being back in Senior was a total blast,” he said afterwards. “It was definitely the toughest competition I’ve been up against, and it was steep learning curve after being out of a kart for so long. But all-in-all running in the top ten was a real eye opener and with some more seat time I think there are big things to come this year. All I’m interested in now is improvement and I’m only going to see that with racing. Having proved my ability right at the start of the year it definitely makes me want to go right back out and do even better!
Oddly enough, though he was inside the top ten in five straight sessions of qualifying and racing, it is the Sunday final and P17 that left the biggest impression on the Uxbridge driver.
“I believe my best race of the weekend was the final on Sunday because I was taken out twice but still managed to close large gaps and finish 17th,” he said of recovering from 29th and dead last on lap two. “I didn’t give up, I put down consistent lap times and was passing karts at a number of places on the track. It was a really good run.”
Tyler Kashak was in a similar situation, as Intrepid’s top Junior driver was in and around the top five but was knocked around in the Saturday final before a big charge from P19 to sixth on Sunday in his first National weekend with Intrepid North America.
“I am happy with my results, but a podium was right there for the taking and unfortunately contact dropped me back some positions,” Kashak said of the ECKC opener. “Saturday something was not right and I struggled to keep 9th. It turned out the left front wheel was destroyed and the frame was bent. We worked late Saturday night to replace the frame for Sunday, but that left me a session behind on race day.”
Dialling in a new chassis on Sunday meant starting deep in the field, but Kashak had no concerns about getting back to a more rightful position, and is very confident going forward. “The Intrepid chassis is very fast and the Di Leo family has been a big help in getting me up to speed quickly,” he said. “I feel very confident with the Cruiser M2 and I expect great results in the upcoming rounds. The chassis works well rain or shine, and we’re ready for anything. I am looking forward to the rest of the schedule very much. Better results will come. Our program is very quick and getting quicker!”
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship resumes June 15th at Le Circuit ICAR with a test day before race three on Sunday, June 17th. For more information on how Intrepid North America can assist you there, please visit intrepidnorthamerica.com.
*Team Facts: Intrepid North America is based at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, where drivers can progress from turning rental kart laps to world championships. The Intrepid North America race team represents the facility at National and International Championships like the Florida Winter Tour, Pan-American Rotax Max Challenge, Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and Canadian National Championships.
It has also had drivers contest the SuperKarts! USA SuperNationals, the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup, the Rotax European Championship, the Rotax International Open Championship and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Intrepid North America operates in conjunction with Intrepid Kart Technology, HRS Racing Engines, IMAF Racing Seats, VPD and Intremax.
Intrepid North America Team Results, ECKC Races 1 and 2
Matthew Berry – 2nd, 2nd
Xavier Harris – 3rd, 3rd
Yuga Furutani – 4th, 4th
Max Horbik – 5th, 5th
Jeremy Tallon – 6th, 6th
Austin Riley – 3rd, 4th
Jacob Ewaniuk – 5th, 5th
Tyler Kashak – 9th, 6th
Marco Signoretti – 11th, 7th
Russell Boyle – 18th, 25th
Marco Di Leo – 1st, 1st
Reid Arnold – 31st, 7th
Bryson Schutte – 9th, 17th
Chris Ernst – 12th, 9th
Max Preston – 25th, 12th
Alejandro Liverant – 24th, 22nd
Elvis Stojko – 23rd, 28th
Lauren Fortune – 26th
Luis Schiavo – 27th, 27th
Enrico Menotti – 4th, 6th
Rotax DD2 Masters
Francis Mondou – 7th, 5th
John Cariati – 10th, 6th
Andrew Calabrese – 9th, 8th