by: Jason Holland/ECKC.ca
While it has just one event in its books, the 2013 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is already at its one-third mark and the upcoming second event will take the championship into its second half! The Ontario events at Mosport International Karting and Goodwood Kartways, are both doubleheader events, so when the championship heads East to Quebec this summer, four of six races will already be complete! Points are therefore always at a premium, both for drivers with championship aspirations and those looking to produce personal-best tallies.
ECKC events have a points’ payout in both prefinals and finals. The top ten finishers score points in prefinals, with the first kart scoring 50 and the points receding at 5 per position down to tenth place. In a final, an ECKC winner is awarded 200 points, second place 180, and the points recede at intervals of 10 through fifth position; 8 through eleventh position; 6 through seventeenth position; 4 through twenty-third; 2 through twenty-ninth; and each finisher after that is awarded a single point – and a single point can make all the difference in the world when looking to take on the world!
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship this season is awarding an incredible ten tickets to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals: three from both Micro-Max and Mini-Max, and champions in Rotax Junior, Rotax Senior, Rotax Masters DD2 and Rotax DD2 – with an *asterisk to the latter. Rotax DD2 is a special circumstance, first in that it is an Open Class, but more so in that P3 may be the place to be. The class champion will be headed to the 2013 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, but if the current point order were to be maintained, Ben Cooper (Birel) and closest pursuer Marco Di Leo (Praga) would finish one-two, the same positions they finished in the recent Florida Winter Tour. The fact is very relevant to DD2 racers, because it means both Cooper and Di Leo have each already earned tickets to the Grand Finals.
Looking then at the class standings through Mosport, Fred Woodley is actually in the Team Canada Seat! Woodley (Maranello) was in fine form on opening day and after finishing third in the prefinal he upgraded to second in the final to tally 220 points on the day. A mechanical retirement in the Sunday prefinal slowed his progress, but Woodley charged back to P5 in the final, earning an additional 150 points toward his weekend total of 370. Brendan Bain is next in line, and after dealing with an even larger DNF on Saturday, Bain produced 200 on Sunday and currently sits at 331 points, just a single point ahead of Tyler McEwan! The CRG driver was out of sorts in race one earning 125 points, but was on the podium at the end of Sunday and sitting with a 330 total. The race within the race in DD2 is certainly worth keeping an eye on as the championship progresses.
The closest championship through event one continues a theme, as Tyler McCullough leads Jordan Latimer (K&K) by just a single marker in Briggs & Stratton Junior! McCullough was on the podium in both Mosport runs, third on Saturday and second on Sunday to tally 430 points. Latimer, meanwhile, was seventh in the Saturday final but swept the Sunday action with wins in both the prefinal and final for a perfect 250 points on the day and a 429 total. Latimer’s Senior teammate Jon Treadwell has an identical 429 total, but in his case it is good for top spot over another K&K driver, Marc Stehle at 370 points. The senior order was rocked by a dry tire/wet tire contest on Sunday when the track dried, and the Goodwood races will go a long way toward clarifying things if conditions remain consistent. Briggs & Stratton Masters already has a trio of drivers clear of the 400 point barrier, as Martin Coursol, 430, leads Russell Kroon, 413, and Jamie MacArthur, 410.
The largest point spread through opening weekend sits in Rotax Senior where Kevin Monteith (Birel) swept the weekend winning both prefinals and finals. The perfect run led to 500 points, and Steven Szigeti (Zanardi) is 110 behind, Olivier Bedard (Birel) 116 behind, and Johnny Flute (CRG) 138 back! All will be looking for big points in races three and four. It’s a similar situation in Rotax Junior, where Anthony Tolfa (TonyKart) hit the same spot every run, but in his case it was twos across the board and a 450 point total to lead the class. Christophe Paquet (CRG) is second at 390 points, Davide Greco (TonyKart) third at 380 points, race one winner Nicolas Dore (Birel) fourth with 360 points and Gavin Reichelt (CRG) fifth at 360 points. It isn’t until P6 that Jeffrey Kingsley (TonyKart) appears, and he swept the day on Sunday!
Rotax Mini-Max and Rotax Micro-Max are in quite different scenarios, despite the class leaders producing very similar weekends at Mosport. Matthew Latifi (TonyKart) ran to 1-1-1-3 in Micro-Max and has a 75 point lead over Sunday winner Xavier Harris (Praga) and 89 on Alexandre Legare (Zanardi) in third. Antonio Serravalle (TonyKart) went even better in Mini-Max at 1-1-1-2, but his class lead is just 10 points because JP Hutchinson went 2-2-2-1 to stay very much in touch! The Micro and Mini-Max drivers also have special circumstances around their Team Canada invitations, much like those in DD2, though no driver has yet qualified. In Canadian karting, the Western Canadian Championship, National Championship, and Eastern Canadian Karting Champion are each classified as National Series. This means as North American Championship series’ are prioritized, they each have equal value, and each will be awarding three tickets to the Grand Finals! So, in Micro-Max for example, if Latifi, Harris and Legare were to finish 1-2-3 at the Canadian Nationals and also finish 1-2-3 in the ECKC, the drivers in positions 4-5-6 will be invited to participate at the 2013 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals!
The leader in the final ECKC class, and the one that wrapped up competition at Mosport, is very familiar with the Grand Finals as Stuart Clark (Maranello) has been twice and has his eyes on a third trip after winning both races opening weekend. Clark has 485 points and leads Francis Mondou (OK1) by 50. Mondou was also on the podium twice, a second and a third in his case, as was Luc Sauriol (CRG) who finished third and second. Sandwiched in between the pair and sitting third in points is Martin Verville (Haase), who added a pair of fourth-place finals to his prefinal points.
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship resumes June 28 at Goodwood Kartways where races three and four will be contested over the weekend. To check full point standings, update driver information and register to compete, please visit eckc.ca