Mother Nature added a twist the final day of competition for the 2014 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and Coupe du Quebec. Heavy rain was forecasted for the afternoon but a dry morning had everyone in limbo as to what conditions they would be competing in with ominous clouds hovering all day long at the Jim Russell Karting Circuit in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.
Adding another challenge to both drivers and mechanics was the fact that although it was not raining all morning, the track remained wet and when Rotax Senior rolled off the grid for their Qualifying session, some drivers opted for slicks and some for rain tires given the ever changing conditions.
Slick tires would be the right call as Marco Signoretti (Energy Kart Canada) topped the time sheets by almost half a second over Kevin Monteith (REM/Praga) and Saturday winner Steven Szigeti (SH Racing/FA Kart). For drivers like Max Timmermans (PSL/CRG), Zacharie Scalzo (KGK/FA Kart) and championship points leader Zachary Claman DeMelo (ZCD-Goodwood/Intrepid) who all attempted to lap on rain tires, they found themselves in the final positions about three-seconds off the pace.
Szigeti held off Signoretti in a dry PreFinal with Monteith and Christophe Paquet (KCR-PSL/CRG) in tow while DeMelo recovered ten positions to finish seventh.
But everything changed for the final as the rain arrived and a heavy downpour began with the Rotax Seniors on the grid.
Two botched starts forced officials to move Signoretti to row two and when the green finally waved Paquet jumped to the lead from his newly acquired front row starting spot. Monteith was forced off in corner two, as was Signoretti; both ending up in deep water.
In a flag to flag run, Paquet never looked back en route to victory. A very spirited drive by Belgian driver Timmermans saw him work all the way up to second at the finish line with Maxime Couturier (SC Performance/TonyKart) completing the podium. Szigeti wound up fourth after a very exciting battle with DeMelo.
A stellar season by DeMelo crowned him the ECKC Rotax Senior Champion for a second year in a row. Paquet’s victory secured his vice-championship position and with DeMelo already qualified for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals Paquet earned the invitation to join Team Canada in Spain. Alberta driver Coltin McCaughan (CKN-SH Racing/FA Kart) completed the championship podium in third place, ending and impressive season that saw him on the overall podium in the East, West and National Championships.
In the coupe du Quebec final standings, Paquet scored the title over Tommy Lemaire-Ouellet (PSL/CRG) and DeMelo, who only made four of seven starts in the series.