Round number one of the 2015 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is in the books after a superb weekend of racing at Goodwood Kartways, just north of Toronto, Ontario. Over 170 competitors took the track amongst nice classes, displaying some of the best racing we have ever seen at the ECKC.
The largest class of the weekend and the fan favourite as well, Briggs & Stratton LO206 Senior was a blast at Goodwood as 32 karts roared around the 7/10 of a KM racetrack. But when the dust settled, and there was lots of dust, there were two drivers who broke free from the pack.
As only the second class to hit the track for their PreFinal, everyone in the paddock had already made their way to the fences knowing how fierce the competition was and they weren’t left disappointed. Incredibly close racing for the lead saw drivers using every inch of the racing surface, and maybe a little of the grass, to make a gain. Coming out on top was Kyle Herder (Karts & Parts/Awesome Kart), who made his way back out of retirement for the weekend, while past champion Jon Treadwell (VRS/K&K Karts) had a rocky final couple of laps, surrendering the lead and eventually falling to ninth at the finish line.
The frenzy continued in the Final as Herder led through lap one with Kyle Edgar (BirelART), Simon Belanger (SH Racing/FA Kart) and Jean-Francois Lafontaine (BirelART) in tow, while plenty of opening lap melee spread apart the rest, with Ryan Mohan (Praga) at the helm.
Lafontaine worked his way by Belanger and Herder as Edgar went to the lead and the activity broke up the leaders into a two pairs, with Edgar and Lafontaine breaking free to settle the race amongst themselves.
With the last lap board shown and Lafontaine in the lead, Edgar looked left and right for an opportunity. It didn’t come until the final two corner as Edgar snuck underneath as the two drag raced up the hill side-by-side. Utilizing the momentum down the hill Lafontaine powered back in the home stretch and crossed the finish line a mere 0.039 seconds ahead to claim the first win of the season over Edgar. Herder got the best of Belanger to complete the podium while Mohan held on for fifth. Chad Campbell, Hunter Gibson, Matthew Radaelli, Zach Boam and Treadwell completed the top-ten.
Looking to redeem himself, Treadwell earned the pole-position on Sunday, nipping Edgar by only 0.004 seconds in Qualifying. But the two traded positions in the PreFinal as Edgar was able to break free from Treadwell, Alex Murphy (CRG) and Lafontaine as the three jockeyed hard in the final two laps.
Treadwell jumped to the lead in the Final with Edgar and Lafontaine in tow and while the race up front wasn’t as exciting as Saturday, it once again came down to the same two drivers for the win after Edgar and Lafontaine disposed of Treadwell by the halfway mark.
This time Edgar didn’t wait until the final corner to make his move and overtook Lafontaine into corner six. Side-by-side up the hill and through the very tricky turn eight the crowd roared as Edgar gained the advantage down the hill into turn nine. Staying on the defensive, yet ensuring he could get a run out of nine, Edgar executed it perfectly and all Lafontaine could do is watch as Edgar fist pumped at the finish line to claim his first ECKC victory after coming so close, so many times before.
Treadwell held on for third while Herder won the scrap for fourth that featured Belanger, Campbell, Proietto and Murphy. Ryan Brutzki and Frank Launi completed the top-ten.
There is no doubt that Briggs & Stratton LO206 racing is on the rise and as the first big race of the year proved, anything is possible and it’s only going to get better as we get closer to the summer season and the Canadian National Championships!