It was a wonderful weekend of racing at the Karting Trois-Rivieres circuit where Briggs racers from all regions of Eastern Canada, some travelling as many as 10 hours, converged for the first stop of the Cup Karts Canada Division presented by blackcircles.ca.
With more than 50 karts in the Briggs Senior Lite category, a lot of the attention was focused on them, but there were seven other categories that took to the track and provided some excellent racing as well.
Cup Karts Canada introduced the Vega Red tire and it was well received and maintained its pace throughout the entire weekend of racing. All in all, the introduction of the Cup Karts North America ruleset was welcomed with ease and the focus was put on the racetrack where it should be and not the chatter in the paddock.
Junior: Both Features come down to photo finishes
The 19-driver Junior Briggs field had two of the closest finishes in Cup Karts Canada history as Saturday’s winning margin was only 0.002 seconds while on Sunday it was a scant 0.04 seconds between the top two karts.
The diversity was great the mix of racers from the Coupe du Montreal and KartStars Canada we just wished there were a few more to add to the fun.
Saturday’s Feature had fast qualifier Jacob Messely (CL Kart) alongside Jordan Di Leo (Intrepid) and Di Leo was able to get the jump into the lead. Alexandre Goulet (Formula K) pushed early and he move up to second on lap two and then into the lead on lap five. On the next lap, Di Leo and Messely came together and ended their chances at a podium, falling well down the running order after going off track.
This shuffled the lead pack with Goulet still out front and Declan Black (Intrepid) now on his bumper in second. Seeing an opportunity, Black pounced on the lead on lap eight and the pair were down to two laps to settle the score.
The lead swapped on the final lap but Black was able to regain it entering the tight final corners. They rounded the final corner with Goulet having a big run to get alongside but he came up only 0.002 seconds short on the timing line and Black celebrated the victory by the smallest of margins.
Three seconds back, American John Wade (Ricciardo Kart) completed an epic comeback in the Feature, driving from 17th on the grid to steal third place from Max Franceschelli (Ricciardo Kart) on the final lap with Alexandra Rioux (Kart Republic) nearly getting by Franceschelli at the finish line too.
Sunday’s Qualifying saw Muskaan Sattuar (CL Kart) blister off a wicked fast lap to take the pole position by 0.226 seconds. She was able to win the heat race as well, but was knocked back two spots for ‘failure to leave racing room’ and this elevated Elijah Joshi (Intrepid) to pole position for the Feature race.
Joshi received a nice push from Sattaur at the start and the two were able to clear Black through the opening two corners to lead the pack.
It was relatively calm up front until the halfway mark when Wade moved by Sattuar and then made a push for the lead on lap eleven. His turn up front lasted only two laps when Joshi regained the position. Sattaur also took advantage of Wade and it got exciting on the final lap. Sattaur had enough of a run out of corner three to get alongside Joshi and the two refused to give an inch. Coming together, Sattaur spun off track while Joshi was slowed up enough for Wade and Messely to slip by.
Wade went to the defensive in the final sector and Messely completed the perfect over-under into the penultimate corner to grab the lead and secure his first Cup Karts Canada victory.
Wade completed a solid weekend with his second trip to the podium while Joshi completed the race in third with Black and Di Leo completing the top five.
The Briggs Junior Lites were mixed into the Junior race with Ethan Chan (Intrepid) sweeping both victories over Jade Wilson (BirelART) and Malex Richard (BirelART).
Cadet: Urlin, Pavan and Michaud go head-to-head-to-head
There was a great showcase amongst the youngest competitors to take to the track over the weekend as Hudson Urlin (Nitro Kart), Asher Pavan (Parolin) and Justin Michaud (SodiKart) endured a weekend-long battle.
Saturday’s Feature was led primarily by Pavan with Urlin in tow and Michaud just waiting for an opportunity but the opportunity would only come to Urlin who pulled off a swift last-lap pass to gain the lead and steal the win from Pavan at the very end.
In Sunday’s main event, Pavan and Urlin were able to break free from Michaud, who ended up having a battle with William Choquette (Formula K) for the third position.
After trading the lead in the opening laps, Pavan settled in and this time he didn’t leave any opportunities, leading all the way to the checkered flag and securing the race victory. Urlin settled for second place while Choquette was third on track but a tram lane violation knocked him back to fifth and elevated Michaud to third.
Masters: A masterclass weekend from Demers
A phenomenal weekend for Mathieu Demers (Kart Republic) to sweep the victories in the Briggs Masters division.
He was challenged by Mike Larouche (Formula K) and Gregory Scollard (TonyKart), the two fastest qualifiers, along with Mario Martin (Formula K), Kevin May (Ricciardo Kart) and Steven MacVoy (Ricciardo Kart), but in the feature races, nobody was able to stay ahead of Demers in the closing laps of the race.
On Saturday it was Martin and Scollard on the podium while on Sunday it was Larouche and May joining him in second and third place.
Legends: Lyons proves he’s still got it
The Legends category is something we don’t see very often but at Cup Karts North America, they acknowledge those racers over the age of 50 who still enjoy jumping into a kart and competing.
Steve Lyons (BirelART) has been a competitor for decades now and over the past ten years he’s spent more time racing a sprint car, he still likes to get in a kart from time to time and he proved he’s still got it.
Lyons pulled away from fast qualifier Jamie MacArthur (Ricciardo Kart) in the Saturday feature, eventually crossing the finish line 1.251 seconds ahead of his competition to score his first victory of the weekend.
Sunday’s race day was more difficult as Yanko found some speed overnight to lead the way in Qualifying and the heat race. He even opened up a small lead in the Feature but Lyons was able to track him down in the second half of the sprint and make a race out of it.
The pair swapped the lead on lap ten with Lyons getting the advantage. Yanko did all he could to keep the pressure on but Lyons was just too much and he maintained the lead to the finish line. MacArthur and Sylvain Coloumbe (EOS Kart) worked together to try and catch the leaders but ran out of time when they finally caught Yanko.
Senior Heavy: Rothman dominates both features
Jason Rothman (Awesome Kart) was unstoppable all weekend long in Senior Heavy.
His challengers kept him honest as Christopher Mitchell (BirelART), Mario Martin (Formula K), William Lowther (Kosmic) and Gregory Scollard (TonyKart) remained close to Rother in the Feature races, but aside from Martin leading the opening lap of the Saturday Final, Rothman led every lap of the main events.
Mitchell and Lowther joined him on the podium for both races, with each getting a runner-up and third-place trophy for their efforts on the weekend.
Senior Medium: Savaglio and Murphy share the wins
A few drivers from Senior Lite took the opportunity to compete in Senior Medium as well over the weekend as well as a couple who opted to compete in the smaller category altogether.
Saturday’s fastest Qualifier Jon Treadwell (Kubica Kart) had to start the feature from the rear after forgetting to stop at the tech table and that left Alex Murphy (CL Kart) and Christian Savaglio (OTK) to duke it out for the win.
Trading the lead multiple times on the final three laps, Savaglio was able to outduel Murphy on the final lap to lock down the Saturday victory while Treadwell was able to rebound to finish the race in third.
On Sunday, it was a showcase between Murphy and Treadwell for the win. Murphy led the first half of the race and Treadwell led the second until the penultimate corner. Trying to defend his lead and driving with one eye looking over his shoulder, Treadwell drifted wide on the exit of the corner and caught the tire barriers, bringing his kart to a quick stop. Murphy drove around him and took the win with Zach Boam (BirelART) and Jason Rothman (Awesome Kart) gaining a position on the final lap to stand on the podium as Treadwell was unable to finish.
The Cup Karts Canada Division presented by blackcircles.ca will be back in action in four weeks’ time when the series shifts to Ontario for round two. Racers will visit the Lombardy Karting track near Smiths Falls, many for the first time, on July 8-9. Registration will open soon on CupKarts.com.