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June 28, 2012 News
Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Heads to Mosport international Karting
 

Pier-Luc Ouellette will look to be back on top of the DD2 podium this weekend in Mosport (Photo: Cody Schindel-CKN)
Pier-Luc Ouellette will look to be back on top of the DD2 podium this
weekend in Mosport
(Photo: Cody Schindel-CKN)

With three rounds of the 2012 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship in the books, series competitors will return to Ontario this weekend (June 30-July 1) for Rounds 4 & 5. Taking place at the famed Mosport International Karting circuit, set just outside turn eight at the world-renowned Mosport International Raceway, the series will start the second half of the six-race schedule this weekend.

Mosport’s long track layout will put ECKC drivers to the test over the Canada Day holiday weekend, as the 1.5-km, 12-turn facility complete with elevation changes provides challenges for even the country’s best. Championship battles in all classes are really starting to heat up, and with four Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals invitations on the line, the Mosport rounds represent a pivotal point leading up to the championship finale at Le Monaco de Trois Rivieres at the end of July. The doubleheader event format will give drivers the chance to showcase their skills for two race days, as well as provide two chances for drivers to stand atop the podium.

“Rounds 4 & 5 in Mosport will be a turning point for the championship!” noted Louis-Philippe Gelinas, ECKC Series Manager. “Ken, Robin, and all the Mosport International Karting staff are working hard to make this a great ECKC event! Paul Cooke is on hand as always providing his extensive knowledge! The set up for the TV crew is also ready!”

Continuing to lead the Rotax DD2 point standings, two-time Rotax DD2 World Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette (PSL Karting/CRG) will look to maintain his status at the top after the two Mosport rounds. A double winner at the series opener at Goodwood Kartways, Ouellette had to settle for a third place podium result in Round 3 at Circuit ICAR. A podium finisher at Mosport in 2011, Ouellette will look to be back on top of the podium this weekend. Not far behind Ouellette in the points, another two-time Rotax World Champion has been tearing up the DD2 ranks in the 2012 ECKC. SRA Karting’s Ben Cooper (Birel) started off his campaign with two second place finishes, but walked away from the last round the victor. With only 15 points separating the two, the Mosport rounds will definitely act as a battleground for DD2 supremacy. Christophe Boisclair (SRA Karting/Birel) is currently third in point, and has yet to take a victory in 2012 ECKC action. He will look to overcome the two World Champions this weekend.

In DD2 Masters, the battle for race wins and the overall championship continues between Stuart Clark (Prime Powersports/Maranello), Luc Sauriol (PSL Karting/CRG) and Marc-Andre Bourgeois (PSL Karting/CRG). All three have a feature win to their credit, with Clark edging out the two PSL Karting teammates thanks to two other podium finishes and three prefinal wins. Sauriol is another double podium finisher, and trails Clark by just 40 markers. Both have Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals experience under their belt, and are bound and determined to make their way back onto Team Canada. Looking to stop both in their tracks, Masters rookie Bourgeois certainly has what it takes to do just that.
 

Steven Szigeti emerged the Rotax Senior points leader after his win at Circuit ICAR (Photo: Cody Schindel-CKN)
Steven Szigeti emerged the Rotax Senior points leader after his win at
Circuit ICAR
(Photo: Cody Schindel-CKN)

Steven Szigeti (SH Karting/TonyKart) emerged the Rotax Junior points leader after a stellar weekend at Circuit ICAR. With two podium finishes from the Goodwood rounds, the 2011 Canadian National Champion came home with the feature win at ICAR to move into the lead by just five points over double final winner Marco Di Leo (Intrepid North America/Intrepid). Szigeti was a 2011 winner at Mosport, and may look to increase his gap over Di Leo this weekend, who struggled at the circuit last year. Szigeti’s teammate Jesse Lazare (SH Karting/TonyKart) remains in the hunt as well, with two podium finishes and a fourth leaving him thirsty for a victory.

With command of the Rotax Junior standings, Western Canada’s Parker Thompson (SH Karting/TonyKart) will look to leave Mosport in the same position. A stellar season to date has seen Thompson take two final victories and one second place finish in the east coast competition. Junior rookie Jeffrey Kingsley (SRA Karting/Birel) and Intrepid North America’s Tyler Kashak (Intrepid) are both looking to derail Thompson. Kingsley has been running a strong campaign with his new team, and Kashak was a podium finisher at Mosport in 2011, and is on the verge of a breakout run in 2012.

In Rotax Mini Max, a mere two point margin separates the top two in points, making Mosport a pivotal point in the championship chase. Alex Murphy (PSL Karting/CRG) holds the edge over Zanardi pilot Gianfranco Mazzaferro leading up to Rounds 4 & 5. Murphy took the Round 1 win, with Mazzaferro scoring the two subsequent wins. Austin Riley (Intrepid North America/Intrepid) will look to fight for the top spot at Mosport, and move up from his third place in the championship.
 

Matthew Latifi enters the Mosport rounds hoping to keep his string of perfection alive (Photo: Cody Schindel-CKN)
Matthew Latifi enters the Mosport rounds hoping to keep his string of
perfection alive
(Photo: Cody Schindel-CKN)

Micro Max pilot Matthew Latifi (Sofina/CRG) enters the next rounds looking to keep his string of perfection alive. With three pole positions, three prefinal wins and three feature victories to his credit to date in 2012, the rookie pilot certainly has been impressive. The Intrepid North America duo of Matthew Barry and Xavier Harris chase Latifi in the points, and will try end the CRG pilot’s streak this weekend.

The Briggs & Stratton classes are expected to see higher entries at Mosport for Round 4 & 5, and those entered will need to chase down Senior points leader Simon Rousseau and Junior leader Brady Dylan.

“The battle at the front with the top contenders will be quite spectacular!” continued Gelinas. “And what I am looking for is the third and fourth places with new drivers emerging…gaining experience and climbing to the top. Guys like Menotti, Burkett, Bain, Marc-Andre Bourgeois, Monteith, Chudleigh, Thompson, Kingsley, Kashak, the Mini Max battle between Murphy, Mazzaferro, Riley, and the Micro Max rookie Xavier Harris!

“This weekend will set up the final event at Le Monaco…and the Championship awards!” finished Gelinas.

Competitors will take to the track for official practice on Friday (June 29), with two complete race days set for Saturday (June 30) and Sunday (July 1). The green flag drops for finals both days at 3:00pm. Full event schedules are available at http://www.eckc.ca

The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is an ASN-sanctioned, four round, six-race series with venues in both Ontario and Quebec. Now in its third year, the ECKC started off the 2012 season at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ont., on May 26-27 for the first doubleheader weekend. Circuit ICAR hosted the third race in Mirabel, Que., on June 17, and is followed by the second double-race weekend at Mosport International Karting in Bowmanville, Ont., on June 30-July 1. The series concludes at the Monaco Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres on July 29, the prestigious street race set at the site of the GP3R at Exposition Park. The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is a Rotax Max Challenge series and will award Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals tickets to the Rotax Senior, Rotax Junior, Rotax DD2 and Rotax DD2 Masters class champions. In 2012, the Briggs & Stratton classes will contest the series six-race series, making up a national four-stroke championship. For more information on the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, please visit http://www.eckc.ca
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