As Canada’s leading racing series, it comes as little surprise that four 2012 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship (ECKC) champions became Canadian National Champions this past weekend at the ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships at Le Circuit Karting in beautiful Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Continuing on trend, where two ECKC titleholders earned National crowns in 2010 and three repeated the effort in 2011, four ECKC champions were able to double up in 2012 Canadian karting action via the efforts Ben Cooper, Stuart Clark, Gianfranco Mazzaferro and Matthew Latifi.
In Rotax DD2, ECKC Champion Ben Cooper used a smart strategy to claim the 2012 Canadian title. The two-time Rotax Senior World Champion started his weekend off with a sixth place in Friday’s qualifying, and then went on to post sixth, second and fifth in the heats. A seventh place finish in the prefinal set Cooper up perfectly for the Rotax DD2 final, as the SRA Karting/Birel pilot’s reserved energy and tire management allowed him to take a nearly one second victory to take his second DD2 title, and third overall title in 2012.
Stuart Clark added another title to his 2012 tally, as the Prime Powersports/Maranello driver completed a perfect weekend in Mont-Tremblant in the Rotax DD2 Masters category. On top of every session, Clark took the Canadian Tire Super Pole on Friday, and backed that up with all three heat race victories. Unstoppable in both the prefinal and final as well, Clark’s dominating weekend culminated with being honoured as the 2012 Rotax DD2 Masters Canadian National Champion.
ECKC Mini Max champ Gianfranco Mazzaferro also earned top honours in Mont-Tremblant. After placing third in qualifying, the Ferrolati Corse/Zanardi pilot earned one win and two second place finishes in the heats, solidifying himself as a contender for the title. Taking the win in the prefinal, which gave him pole for the all-important final, Mazzaferro turned up the wick during the 16-lap race. Battling for the lead early, Mazzaferro was able to make his bid for the title stick by the halfway point. Posting consistent fast laps, Mazzaferro was able to build up a nearly two second lead to take the 2012 Canadian Mini Max title.
The final ECKC Champion to take a National title as well came via Ferrolati Corse/CRG’s Matthew Latifi. The Rotax Micro Max rookie impressed during his first ECKC season, and the youngster continued to shine while in Mont-Tremblant. A fifth place qualifying effort lead to third, fifth and first place results in the heats. Racing action on Championship Sunday saw Latifi complete his Nationals campaign with a dominating win in the prefinal followed by a convincing victory in the final to earn his first Canadian National title.
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is an ASN-sanctioned, four round, six race series with venues in both Ontario and Quebec. Now in its third year, the ECKC will start off the 2012 season at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario May 26-27 for the first double-header weekend. Circuit ICAR will host the third race in Mirabel, Quebec June 17 followed by the second double-race weekend at Mosport International Karting in Bowmanville, Ontario June 30-July 1. The series will conclude at the Monaco Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres July 29, the prestigious street race set at the site of the GP3R at Exposition Park. The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is a Rotax Max Challenge series and will award Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals tickets to the Rotax Senior, Rotax Junior, Rotax DD2 and Rotax DD2 Masters class champions. In 2012, the Briggs & Stratton classes will contest the series six-race series, making up a national four-stroke championship. For more information on the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, please visit www.eckc.ca.