The final major karting event of the Canadian season wrapped up this past weekend as the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship completed another at the Jim Russell Karting Academy in beautiful Mont-Tremblant, QC. It was a cool and overcast weekend as the event hosted the Coupe du Quebec on Saturday before setting up the ECKC Championship finale with some classes coming down to the wire for titles and for who would join Team Canada for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.
The championship in Rotax Junior came down to the wire with three drivers having a shot at the title. The trio of Jeffrey Kingsley (TonyKart), Gianfranco Mazzaferro (Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart) and Anthony Tolfa (Summit GP/TonyKart) have enjoyed a great season thus far and brought their ‘A Game’ to Tremblant, but it was a new face that stood out in the race itself.
Christophe Paquet impressed many at the recent Canadian Championships with his drive to the podium, but this weekend in Tremblant he was a rocket! Leading Saturdays Coupe du Quebec race, he would fall victim to a lost chain with two laps to go, but he returned Sunday morning destined for the top of the podium.
Paquet converted his pole-position into the lead at the start of the final, but a late braking move by Nataël Cantin (KMS/Birel) for the lead would see the Birel driver overshoot the corner and fall well down the order. From there, a five-kart breakaway would form with Paquet out front followed by Tolfa, Kingsley, Mazzaferro and Clay Van Eerd (TonyKart). Van Eerd would fade after a couple laps as the front four matched each other lap after lap after lap. No mistakes were made and nearly every lap one of the four would post a new fast lap of the race!
Leading flag-to-flag, Paquet finally earned that first elusive victory with Tolfa and Kingsley completing the podium. Third place was enough for Kingsley to take the title and the ticket to the Grand Finals with Mazzaferro second and Tolfa third.
The event caps off yet another successful year for the ECKC, showing growth at nearly every event this year. With a strong support and huge growth in the Briggs & Stratton classes as well as growth in the youngest categories of Rotax, the series has plenty to look back on this year as we know it is already looking forward to 2014!