Season six of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is upon us and we here at CKN are very excited! Over the next three days we will break down all nine official ECKC classes utilizing a fun new format. For each category we have selected three drivers we think are championship favourites, three drivers who could play spoiler and one rookie who we feel could make an impact in their first campaign in the category.
Kicking things off, Wednesday features all three Briggs & Stratton classes followed by Junior Rotax classes on Thursday and the Senior Rotax classes on Friday leading up to all the action at Goodwood. We will be trackside all weekend bringing you all the action on the site and our social networks.
As with every year in the Rotax Junior category, many of last years front-runners have moved on and up to Senior, including 2014 class champion Gianfranco Mazzaferro and his closest rival Cedrik Lupien. This has opened up the doors to a new class champion and there were many that came on strong towards the end of 2014 and will take advantage early in 2015. While we are not too impressed to the see the entry numbers in the category on the decline, there are still a solid few who we expect to battle for the championship.
Roman DeAngelis has been fast since the calendar turned to 2015, no matter what he has driven; Rotax, ROK, and IAME. However lady luck was barely on his side and some rough races didn’t allow him to showcase the results he deserved throughout the winter. The reigning Briggs & Stratton Junior Canadian National and ECKC champion will enter Goodwood with only one go-kart to manage as he has dedicated his efforts on qualifying for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals and represent Team Canada in Portugal this November.
After gaining a taste of the Rotax Grand Finals in 2014 courtesy of a stellar weekend in Mont-Tremblant to earn the ECKC ticket, just nipping DeAngelis, Samuel Lupien will challenge anyone in the category this season. He competed the winter in Florida with strong results and has what it takes earn the championship this season.
Being the only favourite on the list to not have raced so far this year will definately put Lacroix to a disadvantage. However he has won quite a few races in the past few seasons in Rotax Junior including one race at Goodwood two years ago as a rookie. The only bad news for Lacroix could be that the one race he has dominated at in the past few years, Le Monaco de Trois-Rivieres, is not on the schedule for 2015. If Lacroix can start of on the right foot at Goodwood we can potentially see a battle royale between these three drivers this season.
The local ringer has been quick thus far at Goodwood and while he won’t be racing for the championship, he does have a chance to score a win this weekend over the other drivers in the championship. Boyle has won three of the first four races in the TRAK championship including last weekends Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge race at Goodwood so the pace is there, but we will see how he reacts when the competition stiffens.
Slowly working his way onto the scene, Raphael Forcier caught many of us by surprise when he powered himself into the SuperPole qualifying session at the Florida Winter Tour finale in Ocala. A change in colours for 2015 has him teaming up with Lupien and Lacroix at SH Racing and he will compete full time this year after running only partial seasons the last two years. He was quick at the Coupe du Quebec opener two weeks ago at SRA and we expect him to be within the top-five at Goodwood.
While Cantin will be on the same chassis he was on last year, he has changed teams for 2015, joining PSL Karting in hopes to achieve better results. Along with racing in Canada this year Cantin will be competing in the Rotax Max Euro Challenge with the exception of this weekends race in Casteletto, Italy. The experience he will gain in Europe should help him towards becoming a regular on the podium and who knows maybe this summer we will actually see Cantin at his full potential.
The Class Rookie
After making quick work on the Mini-Max category in 2014, earning a trip-fecta of championships Alexandre Legare has stepped up and will take on Canada’s best junior drivers as a rookie. He will have his hands full but he was awarded a victory already this season, winning the Coupe du Quebec opener at SRA. With continuous improvement Legare has the potential to be one of the driver to best in the Junior division for years to come.
Don’t miss the rest of our ECKC Class Previews this week, only on CKN!