Happy New Year CKN Nation!
We hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday season and just like us, is excited about the upcoming karting season. The break won’t last long as we will be travelling south soon for the Rok Cup Florida Winter Tour, which kicks off in Miami in just two weeks. We’ve also got a good feeling we will be seeing the schedules for the 2019 Canadian season released in the coming days.
To wrap up 2018, we’ve compiled our annual CKN Year in Review Awards. While it’s impossible to include everyone, these awards are our way of noting the hard work, effort and performances of drivers that stood out from the pack to us, at the races we attended and/or covered.
We hope you enjoy them.
Western Canadian Driver of the Year (BC/AB/SK/MB)
Bryce Choquer, Townes Allen, Coltin McCaughan, Griffin Dowler, Enzo Sartor, John Buzza
2018 Winner: Townes Allen
The return of the Western Canadian Karting Championship provided us with three events to see our Western drivers showcase their talents. Although we could only attend two of the events, it was great to see the sport flourishing and the momentum continue rolling into 2019. Now we’re just hopeful that the dates don’t overlap with other major events, so we can continue to be present at the WCKC.
I was really torn between two drivers for this award but as I looked at the final results one more time, I made a decision. Saskatoon’s Townes Allen did a wonderful job in Rotax Junior this year, winning the championship in the final race of the series, and then doing a wonderful job at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. He raced his way into the main event, a superb achievement for a Junior driver making their first major international race start. He did this all as a small father-son operation, and I really appreciate that effort.
Honourable mention: I gotta give a shout out to Enzo Sartor as well. Six podiums in six Western Canadian Karting Championship races, including three victories in a row, helped Enzo Sartor win the Briggs Junior title in fine fashion. The Calgary, Alberta native also contended in Rotax Junior and added two podiums there as well to complete a stellar season.
2017 Winner: Jason Leung
2015 Winner: Kellen Ritter
2014 Winner: Coltin McCaughan
2013 Winner: Coltin McCaughan
Atlantic Canadian Driver of the Year (NS/PEI/MB/NL)
Owen Mahar, Isaac Teed, Aaron Kennedy, James Montgomery, Zachary Hitchcock, Ethan Lowther
2018 Winner: Aaron Kennedy
This is the third time in a row that Aaron Kennedy has been nominated for this award and he’s finally due. At the CKRA SummerFest, I watched Kennedy go toe-to-toe with Mathieu Demers for the race win in Senior Briggs. A year after Demers made it look ‘easy’, Kennedy returned the favour and stood atop the podium against the speedy driver from Quebec.
In the CKRA club championship, Kennedy held off Ben Israel for the overall title, nearly scoring the most points of all the club champions. Now if you only we could get him to race Nationals…
2017 Winner: Callum Baxter
2015 Winner: William Lowther
2014 Winner: Kelsey Hann
Eastern Canadian Driver of the Year (ON/QC)
Zain Ikram, Mathieu Demers, Pearce Herder, Ryan MacDermid, Ayden Ingratta, Etienne LaSalle
2018 Winner: Ayden Ingratta
This was a breakout season for Ayden Ingratta in Ontario. The young driver from Leamington dominated the Briggs Cadet category, winning the Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge with four victories and Canadian National Karting Championship. In addition, he secured the TRAK club racing championship at Goodwood.
He was a front-runner in the Vortex Mini Rok category too, taking home a few victories throughout the year, finishing vice-champion in the CRFKC and was part of an epic three-driver showdown at Nationals for the win.
2017 Winner: Connor Pritiko
Check back in tomorrow for our final day of awards, featuring the Junior, Senior and International Drivers of the Year!