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.
We kickoff our previews with the headline Rotax Senior division. With over 30 karts expected to compete it will be one of the largest classes on hand at Mosport and with the stellar lineup of drivers entered the racing will be astounding.
Many of last seasons top drivers are back seeking the championship including defending class champion Zachary Claman DeMelo is back and looks stronger than ever after a very successful winter of racing. Last years Mosport double-winner Kevin Monteith will be looking for a repeat while Steven Szigeti has changed teams and hopes to return to the top of podium where he finished off last season. Last years surprise fourth-place finisher Maxime Couturier is riding some momentum and appears as a threat for this year along with Zacharie Scalzo who is back with familiar tuner Kevin Glover.
Only three of last years top-ten will not be attendance at Mosport as Olivier Bedard has moved up to formula cars, Johnny Flute is on hiatus and Pier-Luc Ouellette is busy with the family business.
One driver to keep an eye on this weekend is Jordan Lennox as the CRG factory driver from the United Kingdom has joined PSL Karting for the event. Another is Marco Di Leo, as the three-time ECKC Rotax Senior champion returns after a year in Rotax DD2.
This years rookie crop includes Albertan Coltin McCaughan, as well as Ontarian’s Anthony Tolfa and Marco Signoretti. While all three were very fast in Rotax Junior last season, they must prove they have the speed to compete with the big dogs in Senior.
CKN Championship Contenders:
Zachary Claman DeMelo: Over the past twelve months DeMelo has grown up as a driver and is now considered a favourite in every competition he enters. After a rocky start at Mosport in 2013, DeMelo will be looking to improve on his performances and his make his road to the championship a little easier exiting Mosport.
Kevin Monteith: He was a double-winner as Mosport last year, but thats where his luck ran out and he ultimately finished off the championship podium after such a strong start. With another year under his belt as driver and a team manager, Monteith will be a threat for the championship if he can get off to another good start to the season.
Marco Di Leo: How can a driver who has won the championship every season he’s entered not be considered a favourite? While Di Leo is much older than his competition, his driving abilities are on par with the best of them and we all know the he can control a race when he needs to. His biggest challenge may come from his Goodwood teammate DeMelo but we don’t expect any team orders, at least not at Mosport.
Zacharie Scalzo: Scalzo’s season was very rocky in 2013 as he was up front often, but also on the sidelines too often, ultimately resulting in a sixth-place finish in the championship. If he can manage to stay on track, podiums and victories are in order this driver from Drummondville, Quebec.
Steven Szigeti: He may not be with SH Racing for the first time in eight years, but we still expect Steven Szigeti to make a statement in 2014. He’s on the same package that helped him win a Canadian Championship three seasons ago and he’s no stranger to the ECKC championship podium, including a third-place finish last season.
CKN Dark Horse Selection:
Michael Kundakcioglu: The man with the toughest name in motorsports caught many of us off guard last season when he was constantly in the top-ten en route to championship result. Under the guidance of Trevor Wickens at Maranello North America, Kundakcioglu continues to improve and with a little luck we could see him on the podium this ECKC season.
Tyler Kashak: Another driver to make a statement in 2013, Kashak was rocket fast at the Canadian championships, qualifying on the pole and ending up third overall. He has taken on the Rotax Senior and Rotax DD2 classes in 2014 and he may just find himself overworked come race weekend. But a little focus will go a long way in Kashak returning to the podium.
Maxime Couturier: As mentioned, he finished fourth in last years championship by finishing every race and always putting himself in contention. He has another fast race package for 2014 and we have a good feeling that he will find the ECKC podium at some point this season.
CKN Unofficial Rotax Senior Entry-List:
|SH Racing/FA Kart
|Energy Kart Canada/Energy Kart
|Energy Kart Canada/Energy Kart
|Zachary Claman DeMelo
|Marco Di Leo