| Christophe Boisclair showcased his DD2 talents with the Round 5 win at Mosport|
(Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)
The Eastern Canada Karting Championship made its return to Ontario this past weekend (June 30-July 1) after debuting Circuit ICAR in Montreal just two weeks ago, and despite the fact that the ‘home field advantage’ was back in the hands of the Ontario contingent for this event at Mosport International Karting in Bowmanville, you would have never known that based on the results.
In the headline DD2 category, Britain’s Ben Cooper and Quebec's Christophe Boisclair were the drivers to beat in Races 4 & 5. Cooper started day one off by capturing the pole with new lap record in his SRA Kating Birel entry. Boisclair, however, initially looked like he would start the weekend off with a win, taking the lead in the Saturday Pre-Final. It was not to be, however, as Cooper retook the top spot just prior to the checkered flag, while Boisclair was sent down the order on the final tour with a deflating tire. At the stripe, Cooper had scored the win over Zach Robichon and returning Italian F3 racer Nicholas Latifi. The Final, after a first attempt was wave off, featured Cooper holding the lead over the chasing pack of Robichon, Latifi, Boisclair, Enrico Menotti, and Pier-Luc Ouellette. While some good dicing and minor contact altered the positions behind, Cooper never came under any threat of note, converting the pole into a win, ahead of Boisclair, Ouellette, Robichon and Latifi.
Cooper continued his run of form at Mosport at the start of day two, securing the pole with a revised lap record (51.179s). The Pre-Final, as expected, witnessed a good scrap for top honors, with Cooper dueling Latifi, after Ouellette experienced engine problems. Latifi ultimately emerged with a narrow win over Cooper, with Boisclair coming home third. The subsequent Final featured Latifi and Boisclair getting good launches to slot into first and second respectively, ahead of Cooper. While Cooper was able to work his way back to the front in the early portion of the race, his race soon came to an end as result of no drive from his kart. This left the trio of Boisclair, Robichon, and Latifi to fight for the win, with Ouellette closing the gap quickly. Boisclair made the most of the fight between Robichon and latifi to build a multi-kart advantage. This proved to be the turning point, as he never relinquished first place from that point forward, capturing the win in his SRA Karting Birel. Latifi was next to the stripe, leading Ouellette, Robichon, and Menotti.
The fight for top Rotax Senior honors at Mosport ultimately was a split decision, with Steven Szigeti and Marco Di Leo each capturing a win. Qualifying on Saturday featured a rare event, identical fast times, with both Di Leo and Austin Milwain bettering the lap record (54.973s). Di Leo, however, earned the pole with the Intrepid North America driver posting the best second-quickest lap. The Prefinal had multiple changes for position among the lead pack, with Di Leo and Szigeti taking turns out front of Milwain, Jesse Lazare, Kevin Monteith. When the checkered flag waved, Szigeti had the win over Di Leo and Lazare. The start of afternoon Final had a six-kart pack dueling for the lead, with Di Leo out front. With Milwain, having taken a turn in the lead, the action further heated up on lap three, when contact between Lazare and Milwain resulted in the duo off-course and in the tire barriers. The order was now Monteith, Di Leo, Szigeti, O’Keefe, and Luke Chudleigh, up from P14 on the grid. Battling for position for several laps, Szigeti seized control of the race on lap eight, taking over the lead and building a gap via a pair of fastest race laps. Behind the new leader, the fight for the final two podium positions lasted to the flag. In the end, Szigeti was victorious over Di Leo, Chudleigh, Monteith, and Reid Arnold, fighting forward from P12 at the start.
Qualifying for Race 5 once again had the Senior drivers breaking the lap record, with the SH Racing TonyKart of Szigeti turning a lap of 54.788s. Things, however, did go as planned for the day one race winner come the start of the Pre-Final, as after three failed attempts, the front row was demoted. It went further downhill when the green did wave, as Szigeti was hit in turn one, retiring from the race. Out front, Lazare was P1, with Taylor Gates second and under attack from Di Leo and Monteith. Di Leo briefly took over the lead, but Lazare was able to retake the position and hold on to the win, with Monteith completing the top-three. After the initial Final start was waved off, Lazare and Di Leo got a great jump on the rest of the field. Gates made the most of the opportunity as well to slot into third, ahead of Chudleigh and Monteith. Thanks to some dueling behind, Lazare and Di Leo had good advantage after just one lap. Di Leo did waste any time making his move, taking over the lead at the end of lap two. That proved to be the race, as Di Leo never relinquished the position. Lazare ran a comfortable affair in second to the stripe. The same could not be said for third, with Gates, Chudleigh, Monteith, Milwain, and by the closing stages Szigeti, having charged from the rear of the field, fighting. Monteith tried a last lap bid for third, but was unable to hold the position, falling back to sixth, behind Chudleigh, Milwain, and Szigeti.
| Zachary Claman-DeMelo was perfect two-for-two in the Mosport ECKC doubleheader|
(Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)
Able to race while appealing a potential one-year ban, Zachary Claman-DeMelo was a perfect two-for-two during Junior Mosport doubleheader. The CRG pilot started things off in the right fashion in Saturday qualifying, by scoring the pole with a new lap record (55.008s). The Pre-Final featured Claman-DeMelo's continued run of form, as he led all but one lap, Olivier Bedard out front, before scoring the win over Bedard and Parker Thompson. While the Final proved to be relatively straight forward affair for Claman-DeMelo, that was not the case behind, as contact between multiple karts had Bedard, Thompson, and Tyler Ripani all flying off-course. While able to rejoin, it was at the rear of the talented field. As a result of the incident, Claman-DeMelo had a big lead over Tyler Kashak, was was equally ahead of Nicolas Dore. The order, however soon shuffled up front, as Dore was forced to pit due to a bumper falling off, promoting Anthony Tolfa to third. Kashak was next to have issues, with an apparent engine problem allowing Tolfa, Samuel Fontaine, Trevor Rancier, Cameron Morrison, and Jeffrey Kingsley to close and challenge for position. With Claman-DeMelo well ahead out front, attention turned to the multi-kart fight for second through fifth. After some great racing, including repeated contact, both light and less so, the order was only determined at the stripe. Claman-Demelo ultimately led Kingsley, Morrison, Fontaine, and Aidan Landauer - penalized two places for contact - on the final scoresheet.
Sunday witnessed Claman-DeMelo picking up right where he left off one day earlier, posting an incredible new lap record (54.655s) in Qualifying. The start of the Pre-Final featured more drama, as behind the lead duo of Claman-Demelo and Ripani, Thompson was spun in the run up to turn two. While the polesitter went flag-to-flag, Ripani was unable to hold off the advances from behind, with Bedard and Fontaine able to finish second and third. When the green waved for the Final, Claman-DeMelo and Bedard wasted little time showing their speed, pulling away from the field to battle for the win. While Bedard was able to take over the lead briefly, Claman-DeMelo was not to be denied, taking home a narrow win. Fontaine, having held station the entire race, was the next racer to the stripe, ahead of the resurgent duo of Thompson and Ripani.
The DD2 Masters racers provided plenty of action at Mosport, with Marc-Andre Bourgeois and Stuart Clark sharing the spotlight. Clark was the early racer to beat on Saturday, capturing the pole with an impressive lap (54.486s) in qualifying. In the Pre-Final, however, it was Paul Carvalho and Bourgeois who led the way, with Carvalho eventually scoring the win over Bourgeois and Clark. The start of the Race 4 Final proved to be highly entertaining, with Carvalho, Luc Sauriol, Bourgeois, and Clark going side-by-side and bumper around the track. Battling tooth and nail all the way to the stripe, the PSL Karting CRG of Bourgeois was the first stripe, over Clark, Carvalhol, Sauriol, and John Cariati. Bourgeois was initially given a one place penalty following the race due to contact, but subsequently re-instated as the winner with a $100 fine.
When the DD2 Masters drivers returned to action on Sunday, it was again Clark who led the way in qualifying, earning the pole. After an initial wave off, the Pre-Final witnessed Clark running flag-to-flag. Behind the race winner, Carvalho very briefly held second place, before relinquishing the position to Bourgeois, an order than remained unchanged to the stripe. The Final again featured Clark out front from start to finish. Never putting a wheel wrong, he further benefited from Carvalho and Bourgeois dueling. Carvalho initially appeared up to the challenge from behind, however, the loss of his right side pod meant a trip to pitlane. The end result was comfortable win for Clark over Bourgeois, Sauriol, Cariati, and Carvalho.
In Micro-Max, Xavier Harris and Matthew Latfi emerged with the Mosport wins. Harris, having qualified third, showcased great racecraft on day one, winning both the Pre-Final and Final, with Matthew Barry second and Matthew Latifi third, having tried a last lap pass for the win.
Day two for the Micro-Max witnessed Latifi on pole for Race 5, ahead of Barry and Harris. The order reversed in the Pre-Final, with Barry beating Harris and Latifi. In what was an great display of racecraft, the Final had Latifi, Barry, and Harris dueling all the way to the stripe. Latifi ultimately returned to his winning ways, edging Barry and Harris.
| Joe Soranno secured the Race 4 win at Mosport with a last turn pass|
(Photo: Cody Schindel-CKN)
The Mini-Max class had two winners, with Joe Sorranno and Gianfranco Mazzaferro each making a trip to the top step of the podium. While Mazzaferro was on pole for the Pre-Final, it Sorranno who was first to the line when the checkered flag waved. He continued the winning run in the Final, executing a final turn pass of Austin Riley to score the victory. Jacob Ewaniuk was third in the race that also witnessed Mazzaferro retiring on the warm-up lap.
Mazzaferro was on pole for the second straight day on Sunday, having repaired his kart. The Pre-Final proved to be an entertaining affair, with Roman DeAngelis initially in second, before surrendering the position to Sorranno and Riley. The Final had the same trio out front, and while Mazzaferro never came under any pressure of note, the duo behind were in close contact all the way to the flag. In the end, Mazzaferro secured the win over Sorranno and Riley.
The combined Briggs and Stratton Junior, Senior, and Masters, races had plenty of action. Senior Cory Cacciavillani led the way in Race 4 qualifying, while Andre Oliver was the fastest in Masters, and Dylan Brady was the fastest in Junior. The trio repeated as the fastest three in Pre-Final. Cacciavillani was first across the line in the Senior Final, with Mathieu Demers and Tyler Frederick completing the podium. Three Masters then crossed the line in less than a second, with Russ Kroon completing a back-to-front win, ahead of Steve Durkac and Oliver. The Juniors had Brady taking a big win over Braeden Alexander and Christopher Proietto.
The fast qualifiers in Briggs & Stratton on day two were Frederick in Senior, Oliver in Masters, and Brady in Junior. They, however, were not the racers out front in the Pre-Final, with Cacciavillani topping Senior, Kroon winning Masters, and Alexander victorious in Junior. The Final witnessed Cacciavillani scoring a convincing win in Senior, over Rouseau, and Frederick, the later duo emerging from a heated dice for position. Oliver ended as the Masters winner, ahead of Durkac and Kroon, while Brady made it two-for-two in Junior, leading Alexander and Proietto to the line.
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship concludes on July 28-29, with the season-finale part of Le Monaco de Trois-Rivieres race week. Champions in Rotax DD2, Senior, Junior, and DD2 Masters will earn tickets to represent Canada at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal. For more information, please visit eckc.ca
Full Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Race 4 results HERE
Full Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Race 5 results HERE