The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is celebrating its fifth season of competition in 2014 and it is looking to be one the best seasons to date. The first of four rounds hits the track this weekend at Mosport International Karting and the CKN will be trackside as part of the CKN Summer Tour. The championship class structure remains the same for 2014 with Rotax Grand Finals Invitations up for grabs in Rotax Junior, Senior, DD2 and DD2 Masters once again. For the ever-growing Briggs & Stratton classes, Florida Winter Tour prize packages are available with more prizes to be announced.
ECKC Officials added Tim Hannan over the off-season as the new Series Director as he intends to grow the numbers on track and the presence of the series across North America. With over 150 drivers expected at Mosport, the series is off to a great start and we hope to see the numbers remain throughout all four events in 2014.
As the official media partner for the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, CKN has prepared class by class previews for this weekends event along with the championship perspective. With over 150 participants expected at Mosport this weekend it will surely be an action packed event!
Wednesday will feature previews for: Rotax Senior, Rotax Mini-Max, and Briggs & Stratton Jr.
Thursday will feature previews for: Briggs & Stratton Senior, Rotax Junior and Rotax Micro-Max.
Friday will feature previews for: Rotax DD2, Rotax DD2 Masters and Briggs & Stratton Masters.
For those who cannot attend this weekends event, CKN will be covering the event online via our CKN Live page where viewers can watch live timing, see results, view updates, and ask questions to the CKN panel all weekend long. Daily race reports will also come with photo galleries and video interviews from the event.
It’s crazy to think that two seasons ago Rotax DD2 was near 30 drivers and growing week after week providing some of the best racing at the ECKC. But now for the second straight season the class is struggling for entries as we can only compile 14 drivers who will be competing this weekend. While the number is low, the competition level is still very high and includes a few drivers from outside Canada that will mix things up for sure.
Last years champion Ben Cooper has elected not to race in Canada this season, instead focusing on growing and developing his KMS North America operation, thus opening up the door for a new champion and new race winners as Cooper has dominated in the win column the past two seasons.
Immediately we have to consider Maranello North America teammates Brendon Bain and Fred Woodley. The two have excellent guidance from team manager Trevor Wickens and consistently placed on the podium last season. Woodley had a very successful Florida Winter Tour campaign, coming so close to the championship podium too. Another driver who was very impressive at the FWT was Jeffrey Kingsley. Last years Rotax Junior ECKC champion graduated to DD2 in the off-season and will be in the hunt. One thing that could hold Kingsley back is his intention to compete in the Formula 1600 Championship, including a race on the CTMP car track this weekend, meaning he will be pulling double-duty.
Alessandro Bizzotto ended last season on a high and we expect him to attack the podium this season along with DD2 newcomer Tyler Kashak. Another driver to watch is Enrico Menotti as he has tasted the ECKC podium in the past and we know he wants to return to it.
Two-time Rotax DD2 Canadian champion Darren White is back in a kart this year and while he has informed us he a little out of “karting shape”, he cannot be left out of consideration each time he enters a race.
Form the USA with an Italian passport, Alessandro Bressan is part of a two-kart J3 Competition team this weekend and we expect big things from him. Also from the USA, Alan Rudolph and Gavin Reichelt are flying the PSL Karting flag along with Milan Dontje from the Netherlands. All three drivers have the potential to be on the podium this weekend.
CKN Championship Contenders:
Fred Woodley: He is riding a high from his best Florida Winter Tour campaign to date and with the momentum we see Woodley topping the podium in the near future and putting in a solid bid for the championship.
Jeffrey Kingsley: Kingsley and Woodley went toe-to-toe at the FWT and we don’t see that rivalry going anywhere anytime soon. The two are sure bets for the championship pending Kingsley can compete in all ECKC events this year with his busy Formula 1600 schedule.
Brendon Bain: It’s been a long off-season for Bain as he hasn’t been in a kart since the SKUSA SuperNationals in November. We know he is very excited to return to the track and that anticipation could push him to the top of the podium this weekend and this season.
CKN Dark Horse Selections:
Alessandro Bizzotto: He’s on the verge of earning his first major victory and it could be what he needs position himself as a definite contender. But he needs a good showing this weekend to kick off his season on the right foot if he wants any shot at the championship in September.
Tyler Kashak: It didn’t take him long to get up to speed in Rotax Senior last season and that speed appears to have translated to his new Intrepid DD2 machine, keep an eye on Kashak this season even if he is the new guy.
CKN Unofficial Rotax DD2 Entry-List:
|Brendon Bain||Maranello North America/Maranello|
|Fred Woodley||Maranello North America/Maranello|
|Alessandro Bressan||J3 Competition/Kosmic|
|Michael Ilavia||J3 Competition/Kosmic|
|Jeffrey Kingsley||PSL Karting/CRG|
|Milan Dontje||PSL Karting/CRG|
|Gavin Reichelt||PSL Karting/CRG|
|Alan Rudolph||PSL Karting/CRG|
|Alessandro Bizzotto||PSL Karting/CRG|
|Dante Lerra||Energy Kart Canada/Energy Kart|
|Darren White||Energy Kart Canada/Energy Kart|