The anticipation has been building all summer long and after major karting events across this great country of ours from May through August, Canada’s premier kart racers have come in troops and invaded the Jim Russell Karting Academy in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec for the 2014 ASN Canada FIA Canadian National Karting Championships.
Nine classes will do battle this week and the event will feature approximately 175 drivers from provinces as far west as British Columbia and east as Nova Scotia. Three of those classes will utilize the Briggs & Stratton LO206 engine platform with the remaining six powered by Rotax Max engines.
While every driver will be seeking National glory in their respective classes and entering their names into the record books, four National Champions will earn invitations to join Team Canada at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held this year in Valencia Spain. Those invitations will be awarded to drivers winning in Rotax Junior, Rotax Senior, Rotax DD2 and Rotax DD2 Masters.
CKN is already trackside for the event, with our usual CKN Live Blog for those at home, as well as updates as they happen on the CKN Social Feed and results posted to our competitions page when available. Be sure to check out https://www.canadiankartingnews.com/live to follow the action beginning with Canadian Tire SuperPole Thursday.
With views on predicting who should fare well in working toward those goals, Canadian Karting News has prepared unique class previews for this year’s National Championships, with staffers Cody Schindel, Neelan Nadesan, Nathan Kelly and Jason Holland submitting predictions for each class. Taking into account results from this year in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, Western Canadian Championship and Coupe du Quebec; last year’s performances in Goodwood, and their general track record, drivers were ranked by the CKN panel. Then, taking the average of the four ballots, an unofficial class ranking was created. Drivers that were not listed on all four ballots were issued a score of 11.
A the numbers continue to dwindle the Rotax DD2 class, one bright light this weekend see’s the return of Pier-Luc Ouellette, although now downing the red and white Birel colours with KMS North America. With the small group, the competition is still quite tight and racing is expected to be exciting with a ticket to join Team Canada in Spain on the line.
The highest pick in the 2014 CKN Predictions is non other than two-time Rotax Grand Finals Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette. Although it will be the first race of the season for PLO, three of our analysts believe he can still become National Champion while one believes his lack of seat time will put him out of the running for a podium position.
Maranello North America’s Fred Woodley has and average of 2.5 from our analysts, the second highest. After scoring his first DD2 win at ECKC Goodwood earlier this season, he backed that performance up with another victory in Trois-Rivieres. Competing in the category for the third year, Woodley has really came into his own this season and enters the Nationals as one of the favourites.
Third on our list is the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship points leader Jeff Kingsley who has enjoyed a rather successful season in the category thus far. Kingsley has two race wins, Mosport and Goodwood and heading into the Nationals he has been selected as a potential National Champion by one of our analysts.
After pulling double-duty all season long, Tyler Kashak has set his focus on his DD2 machine at the Nationals and comes in as the fourth highest prediction. A front runner all season, Kashak is still seeking a victory and hopes it will come in Mont-Tremblant.
Brendon Bain has hopes of returning to the Rotax Grand Finals as part of Team Canada, but he enters this weekend with only the fifth highest prediction. A rocky season hasn’t seen Bain do as well as expected, even when he has shown the pace at most of the races.
A wildcard pick see’s Alessandro Bizzotto selected to finish P2 by one of our analysts, while the remaining three think he will miss out on the top-five. Like Bain, Bizzotto has had a very up and down season but that could all change with a solid result at the Nationals.
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