It’s Canadian Championships race week and racers from across the country and rolling into the Hamilton Karting Complex to begin their journey towards a National title.
There are over 200 entries thus far and we’re sure a few more stragglers will add to the list before Qualifying officially begins the event on Friday. With 14 classes on the agenda, it’s going to be a busy week and race organizers have split the schedule up into morning and afternoon groups. The Rotax portion will run in the morning while the Rok Cup classes will compete in the afternoon with the Briggs classes split between the two.
After looking at the Briggs and Rotax Max categories it’s time to divulge into the Rok Cup racers.
There are only three Rok Cup categories this weekend with the VLR Seniors getting the weekend off and still no ROK Shifters joining the party. But when you crunch the numbers, they have the highest average number of competitors per category this weekend with 19. Rok Senior isn’t quite over 30 like it has been the last couple of years, but the competition is still very stout.
Here are our 10 Rok Cup racers who could score a surprise win at the Canadian Karting Championships.
- Mackenzie Milwain
- Frankie Esposito
- Anthony Martella
- Gianluca Savaglio
It is tough to pick anyone other than Patrick Woods-Toth to win the Rok Senior title, even if he hasn’t been a kart that much this year, but behind him, there are at least a dozen hungry wolves waiting for their opportunity to pounce this weekend.
Mackenzie Milwain shocked everyone at the MRFKC race, driving to a dominating victory in the rain. That puts him in the surpriser category this weekend with anything possible.
Home track, plenty of race wins, consistently up front. Frankie Esposito has all the cards in his favour this week and we think he’s got a chance to put them all together and get it done on Sunday.
At the start of the year, Anthony Martella was a rocket ship but over the past couple of months, he’s been driving and racing just about anything. He’s shown great versatility and now it’s time to focus on Nationals and returning to the top two years removed from winning Briggs Junior Lite as a rookie.
Not really a surprise but a driver who could get it done, Gianluca Savaglio has settled in nicely with PRO this season and has kept himself busy in a kart in all disciplines, Briggs, Rotax DD2, ROK. When he’s racing a lot he is at his best and we’re expecting him to take it to Woods-Toth this week for the ROK Senior title.
Wildcards: Andrew Maciel, Brady Clapham, Marco Filice, Ryan Maxwell
- Lucas Deslongchamps
- Jensen Burnett
- Mayer Deonarine
We got a few more Juniors in ROK this week than Rotax but it’s a very similar lineup of drivers, especially those we expect to be at the front. Christian Menezes is the defending champion looking to keep everyone behind him for the second year in a row.
Lucas Deslongchamps will make his first official start in Rok Junior at the Nationals and he very well could continue his 2023 unbeaten streak with Vortex power.
As we mentioned in the Rotax preview, Jensen Burnett is back in his homeland for the race weekend and brings his race experience from the European Championships to Hamilton. He started the year off with a win and we expect him to improve on his fourth-place showing from last year.
Possibly one of the most dedicated racers we’ve seen is Mayer Deonarine. When he’s not on track putting in practice time, he is spending most days coaching the future racers of our sport. We have high hopes for Deonarine this week with the chance to surprise the entire Rok Junior grid come Sunday.
One driver we’re missing this weekend is Pearce Wade. Sadly, Wade was injured in a crash at the MRFKC race a few weeks ago and has to sit on the sidelines this weekend.
Wildcards: Aristeides Theodoropoulos, Johnathan Petrone, Christian Papp
- Olivier Chasse
- Cole Medeiros
- Nicholas Lorusso
There are 17 in ROK Mini this week, and this might be the most competitive it’s been yet. Anyone is possible to score the National crown on Sunday afternoon. Edward Kennedy will attempt to defend his title from a year ago with a handful of racers nipping at his rear bumper.
Cole Medeiros has two MRFKC wins to his credit this year, showing he knows how to get the job done, just not consistently yet. Olivier Chasse is one of many drivers who will pull double duty this weekend in Rotax and Rok and if he gets ahold of the Rok powerplant it wouldn’t completely surprise up that he puts himself up front.
Finally, Nicholas Lorusso could just be the one that surprises everyone this weekend. He’s been a contender all year long just waiting for his breakout moment and it very well could come this weekend at Hamilton.
ROK Mini has proven that anything is possible this year and we can’t wait to report on who gets the job done on Sunday.
Wildcards: Ryker Magro, Sebastian de Moissac and Hudson Urlin