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August 26, 2012 News
Canadian National Champions Crowned in Mont-Tremblant

Trevor Rancier emerged from a superb Briggs & Stratton Junior final as the Canadian National Champion (Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)
Trevor Rancier emerged from a superb Briggs & Stratton Junior final as the Canadian National Champion
(Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)

A total of nine karters are now Canadian National Championships, following the conclusion of the 2012 ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships on Sunday (August 26) at Le Circuit Karting in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

Ben Cooper is the 2012 Rotax DD2 Canadian National champion after a superb drive forward in the early afternoon Final. Prior to the battle for the national crown, the talented DD2 field rolled on-course for the morning Pre-Final. In what would ultimately be a precursor to his success later in the day, Cooper rapidly took over the top spot in his Birel entry. The polesitter Darren White (Tony Kart) and Zach Robichon (Birel) had other ideas however, with both racers taking turns out front. Unfortunately, mid-race contact between White and Christophe Boisclair (Birel) ended the duo's chances at good result in the race, and likely the Final. As a result, Robichon inherited a sizeable lead, which led to a comfortable win over Pearce Herder (LH Kart). Completing the top-five were former World Champion Daniel Morad (Maranello), Nicholas Latifi (CRG), having moved up from eighth, and Daniel Burkett (LH Kart), who started 13th. Cooper, who apparently was saving his tires for the final, crossed the line in seventh. When the green flag waved for the national championship race after the lunch break and opening ceremonies, Robichon and Herder set the pace early on. Attention, however, soon turned to the pair of multiple World Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette (Birel), having taken the green in 25th and last, and Brendon Bain (Maranello), having lined-up eighth, with the duo steadily passing karts as they charged to the front. The order shuffled up-front when a pass for position among the lead trio witnessed Herder getting caught out and losing multiple positions. As the race entered the closing stages it became readily apparent that Cooper had saved his tires and energy, with the former World Champion taking over the lead and building a slight gap on Robichon. Behind the duo, the order was only decided when the checkered flag waved. In the end Bain completed the podium, ahead of Ouellette and Daniel Burkett (LH Kart). With Cooper having already secured a spot in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal, Robichon earned a place on Team Canada.

The Canadian Briggs & Stratton National Champion is Trevor Rancier, following a thrilling Final in Quebec. After what was a very exciting Pre-Final at the end of day two of the Canadian Karting Championships, every was expecting a thrilling Final...and they were not disappointed. In a repeat of the Heat races and the Pre-Final, the national championship affair witnessed Rancier's K&K entry dueling Sara McKay's CRG kart for top honours. That being said, the duo elected to run nose-to-tail lap after lap early on in order to build a gap on Justin Beers (CRG), Kyle Edgar (K&K), and Kaleb Sauve (Arrow), having quickly recovered from an early race on-and-off. While the chasing pack reduced the advantage in the closing stages, the fight for the Canadian title remained a two-kart affair. As expected the win was only decided in what was dramatic final lap. Rancier, having been content to sit second until the last few corners, executed a bold outside pass at the end of the long back straight to take over the lead. McKay tried to counter going to the checkered flag, but came up just short, giving Rancier the win. Braxton Terry (Birel), completed a superb drive from 12th on the grid by crossing the stripe in third, just in front of Sauve and Beers.

An impressive drive has earned Gianfranco Mazzaferro the Canadian Rotax Mini Max National title. Setting the grid for the afternoon Final, the morning Pre-Final witnessed plenty of battles for positions. Unwilling to just sit in second, Mazzaferro's CRG repeatedly swapped places with Devlin DeFrancesco's CRG out front, with Thierry Cote (CRG) and polesitter Natael Cantin (Birel) right behind. Unfortunately, Cantin's chances at win vanished early on when he flew off course. With the lead pack changing several times a lap, the win was only decided at the stripe, with Mazzaferro setting the stage for his eventual title run by taking the victory ahead of DeFrancesco, JP Hutchinson (Tony Kart), Stephan Bachalo (LH Kart), up from eighth, and Cote. As expected, the start of the Final witnessed a renewal of the fight for supremacy between Mazzaferro and DeFrancesco. While it was DeFrancesco who led the way early on, Mazzaferro made his presence known as the race progressed, taking over the P1 position and steadily building a gap, Behind the lead pair, Cantin was the driver on the charge, turning the fastest laps to close up on the pack of Hutchinson, Cote, and Joe Soranno (LH Kart) fighting for third through fifth. Everything changed in that pack just past the halfway mark, when Cote spun and Cantin and Soranno had nowhere to go but off-track, thus promoting Bachalo and Alexander Murphy (CRG) into the top-five. The star of the race though was Mazzaferro, with a impressive four fast lap run ensuring he captured the National Championship title in dominating fashion. Second to the checkered flag was DeFrancesco, ahead of Bachalo, Murphy, and Jeff Fullham (LH Kart), who had started 11th. While there is no Mini Max class at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, Mazzaferro earned a place with Team Canada, allowing the young racer to go to Portugal to support his teammates and experience the world championships.

Tommy Lemaire-Ouellet converted the pole into a Rotax Junior National Championship title and spot on Team Canada (Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)
Tommy Lemaire-Ouellet converted the pole into a Rotax Junior National Championship title and spot on Team Canada
(Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)

The 2012 Canadian Rotax Junior National Champion is Tommy Lemaire-Ouellette following superb flag-to-flag run at Le Circuit Karting. The real story of the day in the class though happened before the Pre-Final, as Zachary Claman-DeMelo, having secured the pole and won all three Heat races, crashed in the morning warm-up. A significant incident, his weekend was done due to chassis damage. As a result, it was Lemaire-Ouellete's Tony Kart which led the field to the green in the morning Pre-Final. Making the most of the P1 starting position, the Quebec driver never put a wheel wrong en route to a comfortable victory. Behind, things were a little less straight forward, particularly for Jeffrey Kingsley (Birel) who went off track in the opening corner, falling from fourth to rear of the field, and Zacharie Scalzo (LH Kart), who retired with an apparent mechanical issue. The fight for the final two podium positions featured several passes for position, before Oliver Bedard (Birel) ultimate took home second at the stripe, ahead of Nicholas Faure (Tony Kart), Christophe Pacquet (CRG), and Adam Martin (Maranello). When the green flag waved after lunch for the Final, it was quickly evident that Lemaire-Ouellette was focused on capturing the national crown. Pushing right from the get go, he steadily pulled away from Bedard, who in turn built a gap on Faure, Pacquet, and Tyler Kashak (Intrepid). The order among the pack for third shuffled however when contact witnessed Kashak losing several places. Up front, Lemaire-Ouellette ran trouble free lap after lap, eventually taking home a well deserved win for the National Championship and place on Team Canada at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Bedard was second to the flag, followed by Nicolas Dore (Birel) charging up from 11th, Kingsley, advancing from 17th, and Anthony Tolfa (Maranello).

Matthew Latifi is the 2012 Rotax Micro Max Canadian National Champion after taking a strong win in Quebec. The talented Micro Max youngsters began their championship Sunday with William Chayer (Birel) leading the field to the green flag in the Pre-Final. It was, however Latifi's CRG that was out front almost immediately, with Chayer and Matthew Barry (Intrepid) in hot pursuit. Behind the lead trio, disaster struck for the top qualifier Thomas Simard (Birel) and Andres Philippe De Alba (Tony Kart), as the duo both went off-track. While De Alba dropped to the rear of the field, Simard was able to rejoin not far behind the pack chasing Latifi. Turning laps upwards of a second quicker than any other racer, Simard quickly caught Chayer and Barry. The run though wasn't to last though, as spin by Barry resulted in Chayer and Simard contacting one another. That promptly gave Latifi a huge lead over Xavier Harris (Praga) and Sam Macri (Tony Kart). Never coming under any threat of note, Latifi captured the Pre-Final win over Harris, Macri, the recovered Barry, and Thomas Nepveu (Zanardi). Returning to the driver's seat later in the day, Latifi was again the driver to chase right from the waving of the green flag in the Final. In a repeat of the previous affair, the opening stages witnessed Simard and De Alba suffering yet another setback, as the duo again went off-track after what appeared to be contact. With Latifi running mistake-free laps, the best battle for position was among the chasing pack of Harris, Barry, and Chayer. Never separated by more than a few kart lengths, it came down to the final two laps. In the end, Latifi secured the Canadian Micro Max National championship with an easy win over Chayer, Barry, and Harris. Simard, in what was a great recovery drive, completed the top-five.

Jesse Lazare completed at weekend sweep in Rotax Senior by capturing the National Championship and a place on Team Canada (Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)
Jesse Lazare completed at weekend sweep in Rotax Senior by capturing the National Championship and a place on Team Canada
(Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)

The 2012 Rotax Senior Canadian National Championship belongs to Jesse Lazare after another perfect day in Mont-Tremblant. After earning the pole and winning all three heat races, Lazare's Tony Kart not surprisingly was the one to watch when the morning Pre-Final got underway. That being said, the action behind grabbed a lot of the attention, as contact ended Austin Milwain (Energy), Kieran Oxley (Birel) and Alex VanSnick's (CRG) chances of a top result. With Tyler Wheeler (PCR), Kevin Monteith Birel), Steven Szigeti (Tony Kart), Johnny Flute (CRG), and Bryce Choquer (Birel) dicing and battling, that promptly left Lazare alone up-front. Continuing his perfect run at the National Championships he scored the win, ahead of Wheeler, Szigeti, Monteith, and Choquer. While Lazare would ultimately continue his winning ways in the Final, it was not an easy affair. Szigeti, having quickly slotted into second when the green waved for the Final, as Wheeler went backwards, stayed within striking distance Lazare lap after lap. As the duo steadily pulled way, the fight for the final podium position heated up. Among those in contention for the place was Choquer, Monteith, and Marco Di Leo (Praga). As expected, both the win and the order among the top-five was not truly finalized until the starter waved the checkered flag. Lazare in the end completed a weekend sweep with a flawless flag-to-flag win over Szigeti. Choquer joined the post-race podium, leading Di Leo and Marc-Andre Levesque (Tony Kart) to the line. The win not only gave Lazare the national title, but also a place on Team Canada at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal.

Stuart Clark is the Canadian DD2 Masters National Champion after completing a perfect weekend in Quebec. As had been the case in every session thus far at Le Circuit Karting, Clark's Maranello kart was the one out front from start to finish in the Pre-Final. While the win was never up for grabs, the fight behind for second through fifth was. Martin Verville (Haase) held the early advantage over Marc-Andre Bourgeois (CRG), David Ivichek (MS Kart), Luc Sauriol (CRG) and Scott Campbell (CRG). Ivichek proved to be the driver on the move in the group, overcoming some contact with Bourgeois, who retired, to slot into second. When the checkered flag waved, it was Clark taking home yet another win, beating Ivichek, Verville, Sauriol, and Campbell. Rolling back on-track later in the day, the start proved to be the key moment in the Final. Clark made the most of his P1 starting position by immediately pulling away from his pursuers, while Campbell jumped up to second. With the lead duo rapidly separating from the chasing pack, attention turned to the fight for third. Being as both Clark and Campbell had already earned places in the Rotax Grand Finals, the fight had extra significance via a Team Canada spot on the line. Dueling all the way to the flag, Jean Phillippe Raymond (Tony Kart), Sauriol, and Ivichek were in contention for third. In the end, Raymond took the position. The class story, however, belonged to Clark, completing a perfect event with the win over Campbell. Post race, Raymond was disqualified for a tire infraction, promoting Sauriol and Ivichek to third and fourth and Verville to fifth.

Gerald Caseley captured the Briggs & Stratton Senior National Championship following a thrilling Final in Quebec (Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)
Gerald Caseley captured the Briggs & Stratton Senior National Championship following a thrilling Final in Quebec
(Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)

Gerald Caseley and Cameron Nabert are the 2012 Briggs & Stratton Senior and Masters Canadian National Champions respectively after a thrilling Final at Mont-Tremblant. With the grid having been set one day earlier following an exciting Pre-Final, the green flag waved for what would be a very entertaining Final. Polesitter Jean Francois Lafontaine led the charge into the opening turn. Given the equality of the karts in the class, it came as no surprise, that after some brief shuffling through the opening corners, the lead pack elected to slot into formation. Lap after lap, Lafontaine's Birel led Caseley (CRG), Steven Szigeti (Tony Kart), John Buzza (LH Kart), William Peters (Tony Kart), and Nicholas Michaud (CRG) around the track. The large lead pack eventually became a four-way break-away group, with Lafontaine, Caseley, Szigeti, and Buzza planning on when to make a move. Szigeti was the one who eventually got the ball rolling, jumping out front with five laps to go. This, however, was premature, as the win was not to be decided until the final charge down the back straight and the final two turns. Going three-wide, Caseley emerged out front exiting the final corner, holding off Lafontaine at the line to secure the national crown. Completing the top-five were Szigeti, Buzza and a distant Michaud.

Part of the same race, the Masters title fight proved to a one-man affair. Nabert, using the draft from some Senior class karts, the Tony Kart driver not only held first place from start-to-finish, but was able to build a gap on Steve Durkac (awesome) to win the National Championship. Shane Cluff (LH Kart) completed the top-three.

With the completion of the 2012 edition ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships, attention now turns to Team Canada and it pursuit of the World Championship titles during the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal on November 28 to December 1.

Full Results available HERE

The eKartingNews.ca event page available HERE

Canadian Karting Championship Photo Gallery care of Gregory Lussier available at http://www.babelphotos.ca
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