Saturday at the Martensville Speedway was a busy one for the Max Karting Group Canada Final as racers hit the track for four competitive sessions to kick off the event.
The circuit has been demanding for racers, and some afternoon rain only added to the challenge of hitting your marks perfectly to get the best lap.
With a format similar to the Rotax Grand Finals, first up was Qualifying. With their only set of slick tires for the weekend mounted up, setting a fast time was vital as it determined the starting positions for the three heat races throughout the day.
The Canada Final has taken an ‘equal points for every session’ approach to determine the overall championship, so getting off to a hot start could pay dividends when the championship wraps up next month in Warburg. To clarify, every competitive session from Qualifying through the heats, to the PreFinal and Final all award the same amount of points and each driver will have two drops to factor in over the course of the two race weekends as well. Consistency is key, just like at the Grand Finals.
Setting the pace in Qualifying, we saw Quebec’s Alexis Baillargeon lead the way in Micro Max, fellow Quebecer Jackson Lachapelle on top in Mini Max, British Columbia’s Ziming Wang the fastest in Junior, while Alberta’s Kevin Foster bested the very talented Senior Max category. In Rotax DD2, Alberta’s Matthew Taskinen was more than a half-second fastest than his fellow competitors, while Alberta’s Jared Freeston was the quickest in DD2 Masters. Rounding out the groups was Alberta’s Skylar Dunning using a nice draft to put down the quickest time in Briggs Senior.
After the first round of heat races was run on a dry track, a slight drizzle began during the second round. Nearly every class managed to race on a dry track except Rotax Senior, who had to battle on slicks as the drizzle picked up and created a very unpredictable track surface. For heat race three, every class bolted on rain tires.
Following the heat races, the grids will be reshuffled before Sunday’s PreFinal and Final races to see who comes out on top of round one.
We will have full class-by-class reports to come following Sunday’s action in Saskatchewan.