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Nanji Doubles Up at SH Karting with Impressive Rain Performances

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Nanji Doubles Up at SH Karting with Impressive Rain Performances

Our Coupe de Montreal Rotax + Shifter report.

A perfect result came in imperfect conditions for Lucas Nanji as he kicked off his 2024 Coupe de Montreal championship pursuit with a pair of victories at SH Karting.

In Rotax Senior, which featured a massive 47 entrants and was the largest grid of the weekend, Qualifying was led by Gianluca Savaglio (REM/Kosmic) as the improving track conditions benefitted the second group to hit the track, securing the top seven positions. Savaglio was just ahead of Timothe Pernod (PSL/BirelART), Nolan Bower (SH/SodiKart), William Bouthillier (HMP/Kart Republic) and Ari Korkodilos (Premier/TonyKart) with five top teams having representation in the top five.

From there, the group was split into two PreFinals with the top fifteen drivers in each advancing directly to the Final and the rest requiring the Last Chance Race to make it.

On the pace lap of PreFinal A, fast qualifier Savaglio came to an early halt with a mechanical issue, ending his race before it even started. Korkodilos made some strong moves in the dry conditions to take the heat win over Bower and four drivers HMP; Nanji, Alex Mercil Perron, Thomas Simard and Nathan Nichols.

In PreFinal B it was Ryan Maxwell (REM/Kosmic) making his way to the lead and holding off Pernod and Bouthillier, followed by Lucas Deslongchamps (TAG/CRG) and Arnaud Sabourin (BCR/BirelART).

Returning on Sunday morning, the Rotax Senior LCQ was the second to go on track. Colder temperatures and a mist in the air forced everyone to rain tires to dance around the circuit. The star of the race was Savaglio, advancing from the rear of the field to take the win and secure a spot in the main event along with Dominic Legrand, Christian Menezes, Callum Moore, Theo Silveira and Maude Grenier.

Lining up for the Final, the skies really opened up and rain fell hard on the SH Karting circuit. It was a treacherous opening few laps where both Maxwell and Korkodilos ran wide in corner one and opened the doors for Bower to lead lap one. However, he collided with Pernod on lap two, knocking both drivers down the running order and moving Nanji into the lead.

From there, Nanji drove a mistake-free race to lock down a huge victory. Matthew Miles (KGR/CRG) held the second position until lap seven when he made a punishing mistake and slipped off track, returning after the entire field passed by. Deslongchamps inherited second from there followed by his teammate Mayke Nederer (TAG/CRG), who was very quick in the closing laps and put pressure on Deslongchamps. Carlo Sasso (TonyKart) and Savaglio completed the top five as Savaglio moved up 25 positions in the 14-lap race.

Rotax DD2 took to the track during the hardest rainfall of the day. The spray off the back of each kart was heavy and the increased wind created very challenging conditions.

For Nanji, he jumped out to an early lead from the pole position and never looked back. Navigating the circuit with confidence, he would pull away to a 17-second margin of victory.

Francois Dulac (CRT/TonyKart) cruised along in second place the entire race to earn his first of two podiums on the day while Branco Juverdianu (PSL/BirelART) completed the podium after Alexis Vaillancourt (BCR/BirelART) held the position for most of the race, but a mistake relegated him back to tenth with three laps to go. Matt Verville (BirelART) and Noah Lapolla (BCR/BirelART) rounded out the top five.

In the Rotax Mini Max Final, Louis-Charles Camirand (PSL/BirelART) led teammate Jeremy St Cyr (PSL/BirelART) for the entirety of the 14-lap lap Final to score the victory with the two holding a commanding lead over the remaining drivers. Brando Londono (HMP/Kart Republic) completed the podium, pulling off a late race pass on Leo Da Silva (REM/Kosmic) for the position and Nicholas Lorusso (KGR/OTK) was fifth.

Last lap action between the leaders shuffled the finishing order of the Junior Max Final. Olivier Mrak (REM/Kosmic) led nearly the entire race, but an overzealous lunge by Alexis Baillargeon (PSL/BirelART) in the grid corner ended with the two making contact and Mrak slipping off track. Baillargeon would be the first to the finish line shortly after, but received a penalty for the contact and that elevated Major Makovskis (PSL/BirelART), who started the race at the tail of the field, to victory. Baillargeon and Mrak completed the podium followed by Cole Medeiros (REM/Kosmic) and Mindy Croteau (BirelART).

Martin Lemay (SodiKart) led all but the last two laps of the Max Masters Final as Sebastian Cloutier (LN Kart) gained the position at the right time and scored the race victory. Cloutier was also overtaken by Sylvain Chenard (TonyKart) late in the race, but Chenard was excluded for a technical violation after the race. This moved Lemay up to second place and Christophe Heront (BirelART) onto the podium in third place ahead of Michel Legrand (BirelART) and Christian Lafortune (BirelART).

Leaving his mark in the final race of the day, David Laplante (Premier/TonyKart) dominated the Rotax DD2 Masters race in the cold rain. Laplante pulled out a 9.6-second victory over Francois Dulac (CRT/OTK). Taking third place was Maximilien Gareau (CRT/MG Kart) who just edged out his teammate Alexandre Gauthier (CRT/RedSpeed) for the position. Fifth went to Martin Verville (BirelART) while we want to give a shout-out to sixth-place finisher Tyler Givogue (Nonstop/Formula K), who marked his return to karts after nearly 20 years away from the sport.

Finally, in Open Shifter it was Oliver Pichette (PSL/BirelART) who scored the victory. Pole sitter Davide Greco (PSL/BirelART) slipped off the track on lap three and was unable to continue, briefly handing the lead to Nicholas Bedard (PSL/BirelART) until Pichette passed him on lap five. Runner-up went to Jeffrey Petriello (TAG/CRG), who recovered from 18th on lap two all the way back to second place. Third on track went to Bedard, the highest ranking Shifter Masters driver, meaning Charles Gauthier (PSL/BirelART) was third in the Senior division while Bedard was joined on the Masters podium by Dany St Hilaire (PSL/BirelART) and Frederic Simard (TAG/CRG).

Round two of the Coupe de Montreal will run at the ICAR Circuit on June 1-2.

Don’t forget to sign up for your Coupe de Montreal Photo Package on the CKN store, http://canadiankartingnews.com/store

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