Clearly one of the fastest karts since the event kicked off, Ontario driver Clay Van Eerd (CVE/TonyKart) had found himself in the wrong places at the wrong times through races one and two, forcing him to recover in both of the final races.
Sunday was much different, as a different tire strategy left him as the only driver in the Rotax Junior category with one full set of tires remaining.
Van Eerd was the quickest in Qualifying, besting his competition by over two tenths of a second, and only utilizing two of his four remaining tires. Matthew Taskinen (OverDrive/TonyKart) was the second quickest in qualifying as he too has shown great pace but without much luck this weekend while Jeff Fulham (KGK/Kosmic), Jessica Dezell (Kosmic) and double-winner Ryan Martin (KGK/TonyKart) completed the top-five.
The prefinal saw Van Eerd check out early, simply pulling away from his competition and once again pacing more than 2.5 tenths of a second quicker than his competition. Taskinen held on for second as did Fulham in third, with Martin jumping up a spot and Austin Riley (Racing with Autism/Energy Kart) fifth.
With three drivers on the grid with two fresh tires for the Final, it appeared the gap Van Eerd had built could dissipate. Instead, it was a carbon copy of the prefinal as Van Eerd grabbed the holeshot through the first corner, ran a clean first lap and then built his lead each and every lap after en route to the win.
The battle for second was dicey early on as Taskinen tried everything to hold the position. Fulham eventually got by, but it took Martin a couple laps to find his way past, allowing Fulham to create a small gap.
But once into third, Martin tracked down Fulham and gave him a run for his money in the closing laps. Fulham remained calm to maintain the position and earn his second podium appearance of the weekend. Riley wound up fourth as he won a great battle with Taskinen in the final laps.
With the opening round now complete, Martin’s two wins places him ahead of Van Eerd in the championship chase as the series now heads to Chilliwack, British Columbia.