For the second year in a row we present the CKN Year in Review Awards. We here at Canadian Karting News decided to create our own set of awards, all pertaining to categories we feel worthy and throughout the final weeks of 2014, we will highlight an award for categories such as Junior and Senior driver’s of the year in both the Rotax Max and Briggs & Stratton divisions, helmet design of the year, Canadian event of the year among many others.
While these are all the opinion of CKN, you can let us know who you think deserved each award. Using the comments below each article, let us know who you feel was worthy of the award and a short blurb why you believe so.
**2014 Hard Luck Driver**
2013 Winner: Kevin Monteith
– Stuart Clark
– Skylar Dunning
– Taylor Gates
– Cedrik Lupien
– Pier-Luc Ouellette
– Dany St-Hilaire
Winner: Cedrik Lupien
The majority of our focus here at CKN points towards the success’s and strengths of our drivers and teams of our sport, but each year there are drivers who have had the potential, only to have it taken away from some very hard luck.
A quick look at our nominees has a variety of drivers from across the country who all fell short of expectations based on events almost completely out of their control. Dany St-Hilaire blowing a spark plug cap while leading at the Canadian Championships which was very similar to Pier-Luc Ouellette having a battery fail him at the same event while leading. Taylor Gates season lasted a mere corner as a fractured ankle was the result of a very scary crash in the first round of the Eastern Canadian Championship in Mosport, and where do we start with both Stuart Clark and Skylar Dunning, two drivers who entered the year as defending champions in their categories only to falter with hiccups all season long.
But given all of these, there was one that really stood out to us. Entering the final weekend of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, Rotax Junior driver Cedrik Lupien just needed to start the weekends races to secure the vice-championship and a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals in Spain. But disaster struck in the days leading up to the race as a fluke practice accident resulted in a broken wrist and the end of his season with the prize literally starring back at him. Not only did Lupien fall off the Championship podium, he was unable to compete a month later at the Rotax Pan American Challenge and close out his Rotax Junior career on a high.
The bittersweet twist for Lupien was that his younger brother Samuel was able to overcome the odds and finish second in the ECKC championship to score the Team Canada invitation and compete in Spain at the Rotax Grand Finals where Cedrik was able to travel with him and provide support.
You never know when lady luck will strike and for some drivers it happens to them more than others but it is almost always predictable.