The second championship series to hit the streets of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec this weekend was the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship. After Saturday’s Coupe du Quebec round, the inter-provincial series took their turn and provided the many fans on site some great racing action all day. Once again Mother Nature played games with everyone in the paddock as rain threatened all day and even drizzled down multiple times during the day but never enough to force drivers to rain tires.
The third round of the ECKC set the tone not only for their final round of the championship, held in September in Mont-Tremblant, but also it was the final major race before this years Canadian National Karting Championships, held at Goodwood Kartways in Ontario.
Christophe Paquet (KCR/PSL) was the quickest in Rotax Junior qualifying ahead of Saturday Winner Alexandre Lacroix (SH Karting/Zanardi), Jeffrey Kingsley (Pserra Racing/TonyKart), Gianfranco Mazzaferro (Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart, and Tyler Ripani (Karts & Parts/LH Kart).
Paquet took the lead at the start of the Prefinal ahead of Kingsley, Ripani and Lacroix. On lap five Lacroix moved to third behind Kingsley as he was all over the points leaders bumper. Mazzaferro would then move to fourth as Ripani started to slide back in the second half of the final. It was a great battle at the front as the top eight drivers were running bumper to bumper and posting laps times to the hundredths of each other. Paquet held on take the heat ahead of Kingsley, Lacroix and Mazzaferro.
After two false starts in the Rotax Junior Final, Paquet and Kingsley were sent back to two row two putting Lacroix and Mazzaferro up front. Lacroix took the lead into turn one with Mazzaferro and Kingsley on his tail. Paquet wasted no time taking third from Kingsley and soon after moved passed Mazzaferro for second. Mazzaferro wouldn’t accept defeat as he would take second back from Paquet the next time by in turn seven. Eventually Paquet would get back by and start to close the gap to Lacroix in the lead.
On lap 14 Kingsley passed Mazzaferro for third as they were now two seconds behind the leader. But at the same time Paquet was all over Lacroix and with two laps remaining he tried to make a move on the inside of turn two but clipped the barrier, and losing group to Lacroix. For Lacroix, the victory earned him the weekend sweep at Le Monaco, as well as taking three victories in his past four races. Paquet would limp around to finish second with Kingsley taking the final podium position as Mazzaferro and Natael Cantin (KMS/Birel) completed the top-five.
With the win, Lacroix and Kingsley each have two victories entering the final round at Mont-Tremblant, while Mazzaferro has utilized consistency to stay up front in the Championship. It should be a great time in Mont-Tremblant.