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Driver Blog: Eric Lessard is Back Karting Full-Time!

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Driver Blog: Eric Lessard is Back Karting Full-Time!

Bonjour CKN!

Some of you might know me, some don’t and some younger folks just can’t; I started kart racing in 1998, age 12 at SH Karting in my home town of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec. Here I am, still behind the wheel, racing young women and men who were born in the 2000s. Some would say it would make them feel old but I feel the total opposite, I’m now 33 and feeling like I’m in my low 20’s again, with a non-stop growing passion for my favourite thing to do on the weekends; racing karts.

For very personal motives, my father and I were away from our beloved go-kart tracks for multiple years from 2008 until I went to see a couple of races in the 2017 summer; trust me, it didn’t take much to bring the idea of a comeback to the table. Ten years, ten long years have gone by before I brought back my good old MBA four-cycle kart to the track in 2018. Adapting to the Briggs & Stratton Lo206 engines and Vega tires wasn’t an easy task with chassis built to race Honda engines and Bridgestone harder compounds, but still was pretty fun.

I had a couple of good runs here and there, one pole, and some good flashes but nothing great. Then, we updated our gear with an Intrepid F4K chassis from Venom Racing Solutions at the end of the year. Right away I felt the difference and knew the 2006 chassis wasn’t good enough anymore to fight for top spots. We knew a good investment was made when I grabbed the win at an SH Karting club race to end the year, also showing great speed with championship contenders in Pointe-du-Lac and St-Célestin.

Enough of the past, right?! It’s 2019 and we’re stoked to be back collaborating with our friends at SH Karting, now official Intrepid dealer. The month of May has been a very busy month with three races in four weekends. First, there was round one of the Coupe du Québec at Karting Trois-Rivières; I couldn’t ask for a better start of a season. I got there being confident I could win the whole thing, and only the pole got away from me. Got the W in both pre-finale and finale, leading almost from start to finish. Solid start.

Then to SH Karting combining the very popular Coupe de Montréal series (Race 1) to the Coupe du Québec (Race 2). I knew we would have fun there with a great field in Briggs Senior, especially seeing many drivers enter from Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia! I really wanted to have great results at home, but it didn’t quite go well. I qualified P7 after having trouble finding someone to team with but still was in a good spot knowing this was gonna be a tight field. Pre-finale, first lap, this is when some people got very dumb and started banging into each other for no reason after two turns. I was caught in the middle of it, dropping to P16 before climbing back the ladder to P10. Starting the finale on the outside of the fifth row, I had to be cautious at the start there, and it went okay. After a couple of laps, I found myself teaming up with Michael Adams and we had some great pace, as he took the sixth spot, I made a cross over move securing the inside so I could follow him and keep our comeback going. This is when I was taken out, ‘accidentally on purpose’ I would say. A heartbreaker in front of my people, at my place, it still hurts. Congratulations to Kelsey Hann for winning the thing and to Sabrina Caron and Michael for their podium finishes, I had what it took to get there, damn it!

On to SC, I’ll make this one shorter; qualified P5, got into a racing incident in pre-finale’s last lap that could’ve result into something way worse than my P21 finish and to be quite honest, I got a bit discouraged even though I ran the fastest lap. The fun thing in starting from the back though; when you know you’re fast, you know this can turn out to be a LOAD of fun. It happened, it was the best racing I got into since I returned to competition last year, I gave it all, on every lap. Got back from P21 to P6 within two seconds of winner Aaron Kennedy, congrats again by the way man! I can’t wait for the next race, and to tell you about what happened in June! Fun is there, speed is there, very promising!

Here’s my message to anyone who already fell in love with the sport and got away from it, for whatever reasons.

Get your a** back to your local karting race track. You can bring your driver’s gear to compete again, you can bring your tools to help your driver go faster, or you can bring all of your passion and energy to cheer out loud for some new young talents or old friends you’re gonna have great times with again.

And for those who are not that familiar with the sport, please come and live the experience with us, you’ll love it! Let’s make karting in Canada great again.

Thank you to my partners, family and friends for any kind of help or support; including my father René at RL Racing Engines, Sacha Gagnon and everyone at SH Karting, Marco Dileo at Goodwood Kartways, James Treadwell at VRS, Gerald Caseley at GCR, and Kelly Michaud at KDM. Also, a big shout-out to CKN for supporting the sport by covering it as well as it can be done. Thanks Cody for letting me take part of it all, long live Canadian Karting News!

Because karting,

Later folks!

Eric Lessard

Want to share your karting experiences with a driver blog on CKN? Contact us and let us know, we’re always looking for great stories from the kart track.

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