Splendid Day of Coupe de Montreal Racing at SH Karting
121 entries kick off first major race of the year in Quebec!
The 2019 Coupe de Montreal season kicked off with a superb day of racing on Sunday at SH Karting as 121 racers took to the track.
Since the revival of the Coupe de Montreal, it is the largest first event of the season and a great sign of growth across all categories of the sport in the Quebec region, with no less than nine drivers in any class on track throughout the day. While the Briggs 206 classes maintained their strong numbers, the Rotax Max programs are showing great signs of life, giving great hope for the future of two-cycle racing in the region.
Highlighting the day’s races were the Briggs & Stratton 206 Senior drivers, where Kelsey Hann, who was making her official debut in the category, led every lap of competition to drive home the victory. It by no means came easy as the young lady from Nova Scotia was pressured every single lap and held off many charges to the lead by her teammate Gerald Caseley.
The lead pack held from six to ten karts throughout the entire Final race until chaos ensued on the final two laps. William Lowther was desperately trying to hold on to the final step of the podium until he came into contact with Mike De La Plante in the back section. This sent karts into a flurry trying to avoid them, with Sabrina Caron, who had fallen as low as the eleventh position, slipping her way through to advance to third. As Hann defended the final few corners, Caseley made a run for it to the finish line but came up just short. Caron just held onto third, narrowly ahead of Michael Adams, who started the race twelfth and progressively worked his way forward.
Unfortunately for Caseley, he was delivered a three-second penalty for jumping the start, knocking him off the podium.
Briggs Senior Final Top-Five:
- Kelsey Hann
- Sabrina Caron +0.099
- Michael Adams +0.435
- Brandon Stevens +0.738
- Ryan Armstrong +1.237
Another great race on display was featured in Rotax Junior. The grid grew from just a few karts last season to eleven on Sunday at SH. Nova Scotia’s Callum Baxter was making his second Rotax Junior start and was challenged by Justin Arseneau, who just returned from a race in Germany in the FIA Academy.
As Arseneau was coming to grips with the bumpy SH circuit after his arrival on Sunday morning, Baxter posted the fastest time in Qualifying. After jumping out to an early lead, Baxter’s lead shortened in the late stages of the PreFinal with Arseneau on a charge, until he tossed his chain coming to the final lap, meaning he would start the Final from the rear.
Baxter once again got a great start in the Final, but Arseneau was on a charge and by lap three, he had found his way into the lead. A small mistake by Baxter saw him lock up his brakes and stall out his kart to avoid spinning. A learning experience saw him take a few moments to get his engine restarted and when he resumed, he found himself in the seventh position.
Heartbreak a lap later came for Arseneau as he had to retire after losing his side-pod. This opened the door for Simon Beaudoin to take the lead and he never looked back en route to the victory. Baxter charged back forward and regained the second position, while Mikael Labelle completed the podium.
Rotax Junior Final Top-Five:
- Simon Beaudoin
- Callum Baxter +2.442
- Mikael Labelle +5.763
- Justin Roy +6.012
- Maude Grenier +11.200
Briggs and Stratton Masters was a great showcase between two strategists. Eric D’Anjou drove the fastest lap in Qualifying and did all he could to keep Serge Boisvert behind in the PreFinal. Boisvert too many looks to overtake but just couldn’t pull off the pass.
That charged in the Final as Boisvert slotted into second on the start and completed a pass on lap two to gain the lead. Simon Pepin was also in on the action, but the race was for the win and D’Anjou looked left and right every lap but wasn’t able to find any room and had to settle for second.
Briggs & Stratton Masters Top-Five:
- Serge Boisvert
- Eric D’Anjou +0.189
- Simon Pepin +0.347
- Eric Beltrami +4.066
- Jessica Plante +8.576
In the shifter kart divisions, Nathan Gilbert waited out Charles Robin and made his move for the lead with five laps to get and set sail on the way to victory. It was an impressive showing by the driver who kept himself busy this winter with some races in Florida. Dany St-Hilaire was the best of the Shifter Masters to take the victory, just inches ahead of Christian Gysi.
Rotax DD2 featured a crazy final lap. Christophe Rizk led nearly every lap of the Final, until the final one, where he was overtaken by three hard-charging karts. Isaac Marritt may have gotten into Rizk in order to get by as he was the first to take a position and cross the finish line, but he was accessed a three-second penalty for an infraction. This moved Etienne LaSalle to the top, with the DD2 Master driver taking the overall race win. Frederick Sylvestre scored the Rotax DD2 win with an overall second place finish, followed by the penalized Marritt, Rizk and Laurant Boivin.
Open Shifter Final Top-Five:
- Nathan Gilbert
- Charles Robin +0.344
- Dany St-Hilaire (M) +6.534
- Christian Gysi (M) +6.706
- Nicholas Bedard (M) +7.944
Rotax DD2 Final Top-Five:
- Etienne LaSalle (M)
- Frederick Sylvestre +0.255
- Isaac Marritt +2.719
- Christophe Rizk +6.731
- Laurant Boivin (M) +8.168
In Rotax Senior we witnessed a dominating effort by Marc-Antoine Poirer as he steered his new BirelART machine to victory by more than thirteen seconds over Freddy Dubuisson, who was awarded the Driver of the Day award by the Championnat de Quebec. Jean Philippe Raymond put in the best effort of the Rotax Masters drivers to take the win in the same race.
Briggs Junior featured a last lap pass by Isaac Teed to score the victory over Yuchen Ye. Also in the mix was Mathieu Cousineau, who worked with his Ben Cooper Racing teammate to keep up with Teed, but he was forced to retire in turn one with five laps remaining. The trio was the class of the field all day and delivered great, clean racing to lead the field of 21 karts.
Finally, it was a showdown in the Briggs Cadet category between two East Coast teammates. Zachary Hitchcock and Ethan Lowther continued their friendly rivalry at SH with some great passing and tense moments all day long. At the finish line, Hitchcock crossed as the victor by only a tenth of a second, while Bronson Hetherington just edged out Lucas Delongchamps for the third and final step on the podium. Racing through lapped traffic the two also displayed great composure as the leaders did. With nine karts on track, and growing, Briggs Cadet will surely be exciting to watch as this season progresses.
Rotax Senior Final Top-Five:
- Marc-Antoine Poirer
- Freddy Dubuisson +13.777
- Christophe Heront +14.838
- Jean-Phillippe Raymond (M) +21.138
- Stephane Perron (M) +26.182
Briggs Junior Final Top-Five:
- Isaac Teed
- Yuchen Ye +0.344
- Mathieu Ducharme +2.684
- Callum Dunbar +2.798
- Jess Cuillerier +13.548
Briggs Cadet Final Top-Five:
- Zachary Hitchcock
- Ethan Lowther +3.100
- Bronson Heatherington +6.095
- Lucas Deslongchamps +6.546
- Louis-David Boucher +24.100
For full results, check them out on Speedhive.
There is a quick turnaround for the series as the Coupe de Montreal returns to the track in two weeks time with round number two at the Saint Celestin circuit. It will be the first time the track is visited by the series, opening up a new opportunity for racers to test their skills.
CKN will be trackside for round three when the series visits Circuit ICAR on June 22-23. Pre-Order your photo packages now from our CKN Online Store!
To learn more about the Coupe de Montreal, visit their website, http://coupedemontreal.com.