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May 23, 2012 News
EKN.ca One-on-One: ECKC Series Coordinator LP Gelinas
 

Series Coordinator LP Gelinas is excited about start of the 2012 Eastern Canadian Karting Championships
Series Coordinator LP Gelinas is excited about start of the 2012 Eastern Canadian Karting Championships

Canadian karting is extremely fortunate to have a very structured and streamlined program of classes and series, led of course by coast-to-coast support of the Rotax Max Challenge. The Western Canadian Championships got underway in Chilliwack last weekend and in just two days, East Coast karters will get their opportunity to sample the new pavement at Goodwood Kartways when the Eastern Canadian Karting Championships (ECKC) fires up its 2012 campaign. Spots on Team Canada for this year’s Rotax Grand Finals in Portugal will be on the line for the frontrunners, so it’s easy to see why racers are now getting excited. To get things kicked off, eKartingNews.ca Editor-in-Chief Rob Howden sat down with ECKC Series Coordinator LP Gelinas for a quick chat to discuss this year’s program.

eKartingNews.ca – We’d like to begin this interview by thanking you for taking the time to speak with us. You’re no doubt extremely busy getting everything ready for the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship at Goodwood Kartways on May 25-27. There appears to be a great deal of momentum building for the new ECKC season, and a number of exciting new components have been added for 2012 to launch the new year, such as the facility upgrades at Goodwood. What were your thoughts on this project when you were first let in on the secret?

LP Gelinas – The 2012 season will be the third year of the ECKC, and my second mandate with it, and this year has been much easier getting everything in place. We have a great team and everybody is driving in the same direction! SRA and Rotax are doing an incredible job, as always. ASN’s Paul Cooke is hands-on to help put in place everything that we need and things we sometimes don’t think of as well! He actually already did all the track inspections to make sure they are ASN approved! And the new relationship with Briggs and Stratton will help the sport and bring new drivers to a national series.

The greatest news, which is no longer a secret, is the Goodwood makeover! This is excellent for the sport, and proves once again the level of dedication that the Di Leo family is putting in the sport. And, at this time, they are taking care of some repairs that happened this past week end on the season opener, to make sure everything is 100% .

EKN.ca – This really is going to be a season of ‘new’ experiences for the ECKC racers, and that’s not just limited to Goodwood. The series has added a pair of venues that have not been part of the program before. What do you think this will bring to the level of competition?

LP Gelinas - The two new tracks - ICAR and Le Monaco - will offer racers new challenges and also demonstrate the capacity of learning new tracks and set-ups. ICAR is a very challenging track, the cement surface plays an important role, it has technical grip, it is fast, not like ‘top speed fast’ but it has fast sections, and the V shape hairpin requires a totally different gear ratio to get out of the corner. The speed bumps have made their reputation! Some you jump…some you don’t! The fact that the track is completely on cement, and has no grass surrounding it, you feel secure since you can’t really get ‘off’ track! We’ve had some club races already, and the times are already in the mid-46s in DD2, so the 46.02-second record will be broken for sure this year!

EKN.ca – Now what about Le Monaco? This sounds like an incredible addition to the ECKC program. What are your thoughts?

LP Gelinas - Le Monaco, the new track put in place in the GP3R racetrack last year, was great! Paul Cooke’s expertise made it a superb event! And this year, Paul and Le Monaco team already made the perfect changes to make it even better! But, let me tell you…from the driver’s point of view… to drive between racetrack guardrails at vey very high speeds is quite a rush! And in front of grandstands filled with thousands of spectators is something you need to live as a driver, at least once! Trust me! Last year, returning on the back of the pick-up truck after slightly touching a plastic barrier…I made the crowd do a wave!

EKN.ca – Let’s wrap this up, as I know you need to get back to work for this coming weekend’s events.

LP Gelinas - New tracks, new sites, new people. We have some exciting visibility for the drivers, new sponsors and returning partners, new teams, new brands…the ECKC is offering the best karting events and it shows. Being pretty new to the karting world, I learn every day, I love the sport, and work hard at getting it proper visibility, well at least the one it deserves! The other day, I was speaking with Bill Wright from the Florida Winter Tour, believe it or not I have never met him, and he told me that the ECKC was a great series and that he tells his drivers to go up to Canada and race the ECKC! It made me realize that the ECKC is off to a solid start!

EKN.ca – LP, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Good luck this weekend!


For additional EKN.ca One-on-One features, please visit HERE
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