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.
Similar to the Rotax Micro-Max class, Mini-Max has displayed some great racing in 2013 as the class continues to grow and produce great Canadian talent. A great year by Antonio Serravalle (Pserra Racing/TonyKart) meant he only had to start the prefinal in Mont-Tremblant to secure the title, and after qualifying on the pole-position he ran only a couple laps of the prefinal before pulling off and letting his competitors race for victory.
The Mini-Max Final saw plenty of action as Thierry Cote (PSL Karting/CRG) led the field through the first corner. Samuel Lupien (CSL/Birel) and Charles Deschenes (SH Karting/Zanardi) followed suit with JP Hutchinson there too. Lots of shuffling on the opening lap allowed Hutchinson to take a shot at the lead in corner one on lap two, but he overshot his braking point and fell back to fifth, turning the lead to Deschenes with Lupien on his heels. The two traded the lead often as Cote and Hutchinson would duke it out for the final podium step throughout the second half of the race.
Making his move to the lead on the long back straight, Deschenes looked to secure his second win of the weekend, but Lupien pulled the over-under exiting the corner to retake the lead and then won the drag-race to the line in a thrilling finish! Hutchinson held off Cote to join the two on the podium.
As Serravalle secured his second title of the season, Lupien earned the runner-up spot in the Championship with Hutchinson third. Earning the tickets to the Grand Finals as part of Team Canada in the Mini-Max Invitational division were Hutchinson, Tommy Simard (TonyKart) and Joe Soranno (Karts & Parts/LH Kart) joining Serravalle, Lupien, Cote and Roman DeAngelis who were already qualified.
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!