In the Rotax Micro-Max battle this season, a pair of young teammates have dominated the action and entering the season finale in Mont-Tremblant, the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Micro-Max title was anyones race.
Canadian Champion Dale Curran Jr. and Justin Arseneau, both competing out the the Ben Cooper Racing tent on BirelART chassis, have had their moments of up and downs in 2015, clashing many times en route to the checkered flag this season. Both were equally excited for the championship showdown and both brought their A-games to the picture-esc winter resort region that is also the home of their team owner.
Curran struck first for points on Saturday with the PreFinal win after American Paige Crawford (TonyKart), making her first ECKC start since Goodwood, snared the pole-position in Qualifying that saw the top-four separated by only 0.114 seconds.
However after two failed start attempts, along with a spin following the second lap, Curran was relegated to the rear, handing the pole-position to Ryland Duesburry (Energy Corse) with Arseneau alongside.
Finally getting the green flag, Arseneau took control with William Michaud (PSL Karting/BirelART) following in his tracks as Curran looked to make up ground.
Michaud was unable to make any attempt stick on Arseneau who would eventually begin to pull away as the laps ticked off, ultimately taking the checkered flag by 3.3 seconds over Michaud while Curran recovered to third over Crawford and Karsten Defonce (SH Racing/FA Kart).
Duesburry was the quickest in Sunday Qualifying but when it came time to race, once again it was Curran and Arseneau finishing 1-2, this time in the PreFinal.
Some excellent racing in the Final saw six drivers in the mix. Defonce took his shot at the lead on lap one, but Arseneau was back on top to complete lap two. Curran topped the charts on lap four as the action continued setting up a wild final lap of action.
The ECKC Micro-Max season sure ended with a bang as Arseneau looked high and low throughout the entire final lap, seeking a way by his teammate. Curran played it smart and held him off until the final three corners, a tricky and tight downhill right-left combo. With Curran defending on the inside, Arseneau took to the outside, ultimately ending up forcing himself wide and sliding through the grass and into Curran, sending his teammate airborne and allowing Crawford to sneak through.
As the remaining drivers scrambled to avoid the now stuck Arseneau, Curran was able to regain momentum and manage a second place result while Arseneau fell to sixth behind Aidan Fox (TonyKart), Defonce and Ryan Stanton (BENIK Kart). Michaud was also caught up in the action and fell from third to seventh on the final tour.
Knowing the championship race was tight, everyone was in silence at the scale line following the race up until the announcement came over the PA. “Leading by only two points, less than one position, Justin Arseneau is the 2015 Micro-Max Champion.”
A very disappointed Curran was equally upset to lose the race and the championship while the Arseneau’s celebrated their first title. Duesburry completed the championship podium in third ahead of Defonce and Michaud.