Keeping to their Thanksgiving weekend tradition, the Waterloo Regional Kart Club closed of their 2014 season with their 33rd annual Oktoberfest Grand Prix. As one of the longest running karting traditions, the Oktoberfest Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious four-cycle karting titles in Canada.
Since the transition to Flamboro Speedway five years, Mother Nature has served up excellent weather each year and this years event was no different with sunshine and temperatures in the teens.
This years event featured the usual seven Honda four-cycle divisions along with the addition of two new Briggs & Stratton classes. A change up from the usual WRKC race day format had drivers qualify instead of the usual inverted heat race format that club adopts. With 135 entered drivers on track, every division offered up a table-full of excellent racing with many coming down to the wire.
Highlighting the days racing included a very spirited victory by Christian Alger in the Cadet, who duelled with Joey Woolsey in the early stages before pulling away to victory. Jonny Robillard and Cole Quinton joined Alger on the podium as a late race spin knocked Woolsey out of the race up front.
Tyson Wassink and Joshua Bisschop went toe-to-toe in Novice with lap traffic ultimately holding the two back from an epic last lap battle, allowing Wassink to claim the win. While Bisschop settled for second, Mackenzie Clark, son of multi-time Canadian Rotax DD2 Masters Champion Stuart Clark, completed the top-three with a great drive and his first podium after a stellar rookie season of karting.
In Junior Lite, Aaron Turnbull and Liam Rhodes were able to break free from early race leader Ciarra Collison to settle things on their own. Trading the lead often, Turnbull edged Rhodes at the line for the win.
A three-way thriller in Junior Heavy saw Sam Ouimet score the biggest win of his young career by a mere 0.049 seconds over Andrew Whelan and Kaitlyn Neely. Austin Bisschop led in the early stages until contact with Neely sidelined him with a broken spark plug. The three had the crowd on their feet from green to checkers.
25 karts lined up in Senior Lite making it the largest class on hand for the day. Can-Am Midgets racer Adam Racine claimed the win in his first race back in a go-kart this year after a red flag ended the race a few laps early. The red flag came after early race leader Stephen Murdoch attempted to repass Racine for the lead in corner one, but contact saw him flip up and over Racine bringing the race to a halt. Murdoch walked away from the incident unharmed while David Miller and Ryan Brutzki stepped up onto the podium with Racine.
TJ Marshall was unchallenged in Senior Heavy, adding another Oktoberfest trophy to his shelf. Tyler Paquette crossed the line in second after a late race charge almost gave him a shot at Marshall while Kyle Durnin finished third.
Adding one more Oktoberfest title to his record, Jake Collison scored the win in Masters after a very exciting battle with long-time competitor Steve Lyons. Rich Mizener was third.
In the two Briggs & Stratton divisions, Austin Bisschop claimed and easy win in Junior, while David Miller inherited the lead and the victory in Senior on the final lap when leaders Jon Treadwell and Derek Michaud tangled.