It was an intense battle that was felt throughout the paddock overtime the Rotax Junior class rolled onto the track at Mosport Kartways this past weekend at the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship. Three drivers entered the weekend separated by only a handful of point in the race for not only the title, but the opportunity to represent their home country at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held this year in Italy.
As Matthew Latifi led the championship entering the weekend, Ryan MacDermid stole the show on Saturday, putting in a perfect performance to sweep the race day and regain the championship lead. An early race battle with Andres de Alba didn’t last too long before MacDermid was able to stretch out a lead and take the win. The points didn’t sway too far though as De Alba and Latifi finished third and fourth, De Alba crossing in second but receiving a penalty.
The three of them were at it again on Sunday with MacDermid on the pole-position in Qualifying and winning the PreFinal while De Alba and Latifi drag-raced to the finish line only 0.004 seconds apart for the second position.
With everything on the line in Sunday’s final, the green flag flew. MacDermid with the jump but De Alba all over him. Latifi was attacked by Woods-Toth early, but he recovered and regained third by lap three. A lap later Latifi overtook De Alba and on lap five he made a move down the inside of MacDermid for the lead, stringing together three stellar laps. As Latifi passed for the lead the following pack all checked up with De Alba getting spun, leaving Cole Hooten and Christopher Chanko with nowhere to go, ending their races while De Alba returned, albeit down a few positions.
Latifi now in the lead and MacDermid on his bumper in second, the two raced hard for two laps before settling in.
The two ran clean from there as Latifi secured his first ECKC win of the year while MacDermid celebrated at the scale line knowing he was champion. A bittersweet result for MacDermid who twice this year had a chance at earning a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals only to come up short.