Official competition at the 2015 ASN Canadian National Karting Championships finally got underway at Mosport Kartways on Friday. Anxious drivers, teams and families were finally able to see where they stacked up against Canada’s best drivers in their respective classes as Friday featured Qualifying following by Pfaff SuperPole Qualifying for the top-6 drivers in each category, along with the first round of heat races. It was a very busy day and Mother Nature also played her hand with up and down temperatures, threatening dark skies mixed with sunshine and all around a much different day than what we’ve become to expect at Mosport this summer.
The benefit of SuperPole Qualifying put all of the emphasis on the driver and their individual kart as each of the top-6 in each category returned to the track by themselves; no drafting, following or pushing, just a pure lap based on speed. Pfaff Motorsports stepped up to support the days action with nice cash prizes for the top-3 qualifiers in each class as well.
An afternoon of heat racing also set the tone for the weekend with plenty of excitement out of the gate as some drivers were already in catch-up mode following some poor qualifying efforts.
Briggs & Stratton LO206 Junior
Kicking things off, Zachary Vanier (BirelART) snagged the top spot in Briggs & Stratton LO206 Junior qualifying. Khloe Drummond (Intrepid) found the speed she needed in the initial session to hold the provisional position, but Vanier was able to post the quickest time in the two-lap SuperPole session to earn the pole-position for both heat races. Logan Cusson (Kosmic), Zachary Latimer (K&K Kart), Braxton Terry (K&K Kart), Drummond and Andre Fiorini (K&K Kart) rounded out the order in SuperPole with Drummond taking the biggest fall.
But everything changed when the group hit the track for heat one. Some crazy opening laps came to an early halt when the red flag was brought out for William Chayer. Following the restart it was a threesome of Intrepid Karts who took over as Tanner Hamilton (Intrepid) who came out on top followed by Tyler McCullough (Intrepid) and Gianluca Savaglio (Intrepid), a Mini-Max regular who is making his first big LO206 start. Vanier ended up fourth, Xavier Dorsnie (BirelART) fifth, Joshua Conquer (K&K Kart) sixth followed by Florin, Gavin Sanders (Intrepid), Drummond and Latimer.
Briggs & Stratton Senior
Split into two groups for qualifying as 39 karts make up the Briggs & Stratton LO206 Senior category, the largest of the weekend, it was Zach Boam (GP Kart) who held the provisional pole and eventually was the only driver from the first group to advance to SuperPole. Joining him from group two would be Simon Belanger (FA Kart), David Miller (K&K Kart), Kyle Herder (Karts & Parts), Kevin King (BirelART) and Kyle Edgar (BirelART) mere milliseconds of gaps between each driver.
On their own it was Herder with fastest outright time to earn the Pfaff SuperPole over Edgar and Belanger.
Edgar and Herder were able to break free from the rest in the heat to earn an easy 1-2 finish while King and Sean McPhee recovered from some tough opening laps to third and fourth, overtaking Gerald Caseley (BirelART) in the closing laps. Jon Treadwell (K&K Kart), Miller, Christopher Proietto (Intrepid), Darryl Timmers (Intrepid) and Michael Glaze (BirelART) rounded out the top-ten in a race full of action.
Competing in his second Canadian Championships, Georgie Zouein (BirelART), a Canadian who now calls Dubai home, held the provisional pole in Micro-Max Qualifying, but in the SuperPole it was Dale Curran (BirelART) who claimed the top spot over his teammate Justin Arseneau (BirelART), Adam Moor (CRG) and Zouein.
Curran and Arseneau broke free early in the heat race but some late race battling allowed Zouein to close in. Curran used a brave over-under move in corner ten to overtake and take the win followed by Arseneau and Zouein, with Matthew Marrocco (Intrepid), Ryland Duesburry (Energy Kart) and Marcello Paniccia (Intrepid) round the top-six.
Traffic was an issue in Rotax Junior Qualifying as drivers all sought after drafting partners to gain their best time, often getting the way of other drivers on their flying laps.
Using a huge flyer on his final lap, Ryan MacDermid (FA Kart) advanced himself into the SuperPole session with the fastest time following by Nicholas Hornbostel (Energy Kart), Samuel Lupien (FA Kart), Alexandre Lacroix (FA Kart), Matthew Latifi (TonyKart) and Natael Cantin (BirelART).
The three SH Racing drivers topped the SuperPole session with Lacroix jumping to the top, MacDermid back to second and Lupien third with Cantin, Hornbostel and Latifi capping out the group.
A great race between Lacroix, Lupien and Cantin ensued in the heat race as MacDermid fell down the order early, struggling to settle in line and tangling with Roman DeAngelis before the first lap was complete.
Lupien came out on top after exchanging the lead with Cantin on the final lap with Raphael Forcier advancing up to third ahead of Lacroix and Hornbostel. Latifi fell back to sixth after coming into to contact with Lacroix on the final lap while battling for third.
Ontario’s Marco Di Leo (Intrepid) and Alberta’s Coltin McCaughan (FA Kart) maintained the 1-2 positions in Rotax Senior on Friday as Di Leo lead provisionally until McCaughan claimed the SuperPole over Cedrik Lupien (FA Kart), Anthony Tolfa (TonyKart), Gianfranco Mazzaferro (TonyKart) and Marco Signoretti (Energy Kart).
The first heat saw McCaughan and Di Leo break away with no challenge coming from Di Leo throughout the twelve lap run. Lupien held on for third after overtaking Tolfa on the final lap with some contact before holding off a hard charging Zachary Claman DeMelo (FA Kart), who got off to a slow start on Friday. Tolfa closed out the top-five.
Mazzaferro retired early in the heat with an apparent issue in the bowl section.
Saturday will feature heat race two and a PreFinal race for all categories.
Be sure to continue tuning into our CKN Event Page throughout the weekend for full event coverage!