The 2013 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship finally got under way as a record turnout of drivers filled the grids at Mosport International Karting, just north of Bowmanville, Ontario. The weather kept everyone on their toes as it switched from dry to rain, back to dry, back to rain, and then dry to complete the day. Regardless of the weather, the racing action was intense in nearly every class and those who stayed to watch got a great show.
The Rotax Senior division saw 32 karts on the grid, the largest class of the weekend it didn’t disappoint. Olivier Bedard (Birel) set the fast time in Qualifying as he enjoyed a great start to his Senior campaign, while local hero Johnny Flute (PSL Ontario/CRG) just edged out Kevin Monteith (Racing Edge Motorsports/Birel) for second as Zacharie Scalzo (Summit GP/TonyKart) and Tyler Kashak (IPK North America/OK1) rounded out the top five.
The Pre Final saw Monteith do everything he could to maintain the lead, and when he did lose it, it wasn’t for long. Trading the top spot with Flute, Bedard and Zachary Claman DeMelo (IPK North America/Praga), the foursome put on a show and built up the momentum for the Final. Monteith would come out on top, while Flute would settle for third ahead of DeMelo and American Andrew Palmer (J3 Competition/Kosmic).
The rain returned for the second time of the day before the Rotax Seniors hit the track and left drivers and mechanics in a flurry to decide what direction to go as the rain had stopped during the race before them. Also, many had the ECKC race at Mosport two years ago on their minds, where those who risked a rain setup paid off and it was Rui Teixeira scoring an impressive victory.
But a majority would bolt on the dry tires and Monteith led the way to green. Right away, Monteith and Flute broke away as the field made their way around lap one with Palmer moving up to third. With the two out front pulling away, Palmer had his hands full of De Melo, Steven Szigeti (SH Karting/Zanardi) and Kashak with Szigeti working his way to third by Demelo in corner one and Palmer falling to sixth.
Just after the two-thirds mark, the lead duo would encounter lap traffic as those who elected rain tires were well off the pace. Navigating through, Monteith lost the small lead he had built up and Flute took a look to the inside in turn one but with no luck. He would then get by in corner five, but Monteith waited no time and regained the spot four corners later. With two to go, lap traffic really became an issue as two near accidents nearly took the leaders out of the race. A dive to the inside of turn five on the final lap gave Flute and everyone at Mosport hope, but Monteith would once again counter the move and from there would hold on to take the victory, his first ECKC win on a Birel chassis under his own Racing Edge Motorsports banner. Flute would take second while DeMelo would complete the podium ahead of Szigeti and Kashak.
It will be another great run tomorrow.