By Emily Billings for Canadian Karting News.
As Covid-19 Restrictions ease this summer in the city of Toronto and businesses try to recover, we find ourselves not only busy with work but also freer to do what we enjoy. As for the only karting race club in Windsor-Essex County, the hustle n’ bustle has been no different.
Just 3.5 hours Southwest of Toronto, is Leamington, Ontario which is home to nearly 28,000 individuals, some of them being our friends at Point Pelee Karting Club (PPKC). The establishment managed by Jason Papp has catered to some of our finest Canadian Karters Since 1997 and as PPKC enters their 25th year of operations next year, they’re home to a number of well-known faces, including a couple of KartStars 2019/2020 successors. Christian Papp (Novice winner KartStars 2019, third place in Briggs Cadet final 2020), Nathan Dupuis (Briggs Junior Lite fifth place runner-up finalist 2020), and our local boy Ayden Ingratta (landing third place for Rok Junior 2020) all harnessed tremendous strength on the track and set an enticing bar in last year’s championship, as we now look forward to the upcoming KartStars Round 2 for 2021.
With PPKC welcoming Ontario drivers to the track, practices are already underway while the home crowd and racers are rumbling with pride as they will be hosting our upcoming KartStars Canada Round 2 on Saturday and Sunday, July 24th and 25th running the Suzuka East circuit.
We will see Point Pelee Karting showcase a windy 3⁄4 mile track including a 690ft straightaway that lays 28ft wide for our KartStars racers. The track has six different course layouts and was designed with Formula One-style entry and exit curbs to provide the ultimate outdoor driving experience. You will see a wide range of the racers participating as they start as young as seven in the Cadet class working all the way to Briggs Masters (30+). The karting track offers unlimited practice memberships to all members who span across Southwestern Ontario, many of which will be making their way over to prepare for the big event.
Club member Earl Lajoie, Coach of ‘Lajoie Racing’ and past president and karting racer at PPKC, wouldn’t have it any other way. The Lajoie’s have been racing for many years, slowly growing their team at Point Pelee. Most recently the family made their way up to the Goodwood KartStars race in Stouffville, Ontario to kick off the season with their
Jacob Parker (TNT Tornado) having a shy finish in Round 1 at P10 for Briggs Junior Lite, then finishing P15 in Kartstars Junior, and Natalie Parker-Lajoie (BirelART) with P10 in Briggs Junior, following up by the most positions gained after having multiple incidents on the track, leaving her at P9 from her P19 start in the KartStars Junior Round 1 opener.
After this year’s KartStars Round 1 highlighted a number of excellent racers at the Goodwood track, we take a look at the upcoming Point Pelee competition as Christian Papp (BirelART) swept first at the final in Briggs Cadet with Rocco Simmone (BirelART) holding best lap right behind him. followed by Quinn Tyres (Intrepid) 4 seconds later finishing in third. PPKC’s Nathan Dupuis (Intrepid) raced in Briggs Junior Lite and finished second behind Stefano Picerno (Exprit Kart) who floored his way to first place with the best lap leading the pack as Luka Jakimovski (Intrepid) took the third position. Ayden Ingratta (RedSpeed) also took first in Rok Junior followed by Christian Valverde almost 7 seconds behind, and Ethan Pollack (Intrepid), who ended third with an additional 2-second gap, but also came second just before Braedon Fowler (Intrepid), taking third place in the Briggs Junior final with the best lap time behind Micheal Ing (Awesome Kart), who finished first.
Energies keep rising as we begin to make our way through the KartStars Tour 2021. Racers are reminded that Pre-registration for Round 2 at Point Pelee Karting closes Tuesday, July 20th at 8 pm. Following the Leamington race, participating Point Pelee Karting Club members will make their way to Round 3 at Shannonville Motorsport Park for the next KartStars National Championship race Aug. 13th-15th.
KartStars Canada Round 1 Winners:
- Briggs Cadet: Christian Papp (Goodwood/Intrepid)
- Briggs Junior: Michael Ing (Awesome Kart)
- Junior Lite: Stefano Pincerno (Exprit)
- Briggs Senior: Jonathan Treadwell (BirelART)
- Briggs Masters: Daniel Demaras (Intrepid)
- KartStars Junior: Gavin Goldie (Intrepid)
- KartStars Senior: Jonathan Treadwell (BirelART)
- Mini Rok: Jensen Burnett (Energy Corse/Energy Kart)
- Rok Junior: Ayden Ingratta (AI Motorsports/Redspeed)
- Rok Senior: Nolan Bower (NBM/Exprit)
- VLR Masters: Cayden Goodridge (New Speed Motorsports/Intrepid Kart)