The second half of the 2014 Western Canadian Championship is official underway as drivers invaded the Greg Moore Raceway in Chilliwack, British Columbia.
Friday kicked off the action with race one of three on tap. Wonderful weather was on display as the GMR circuit is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of mountains and scenery.
Here is a rundown of the action from Friday as five classes were on track.
McCaughan Wins the War in Rotax Senior
Alberta’s Coltin McCaughan (CKN/TonyKart) and Saskatchewan’s Garret Britton (K&M/Birel) were the fastest in Qualifying, but when the racing began, Bryce Choquer (BBR/Kosmic) immediately joined the party, as did American Luke Selliken (RPG/Kosmic).
The Final was a battle in the opening stages as Choquer dove up the inside of pole sitter McCaughan to take the lead and he brought Britton with him. Then Britton went for the lead before the first lap was complete, only for it to backfire when Choquer countered the move and Britton fell well down the order.
The action continued through the next handful of laps and McCaughan went for the lead, but Choquer wouldn’t lose the position long before regaining it as the lead pack of six traded positions through every corner. Ultimately Britton spun entering the final corner and Skylar Dunning (KGK/Kosmic) went for a wild ride through the inside of the final corner before things settled down.
Choquer was able to build a lead by the midpoint as McCaughan and Selliken raced for second, but the two would catch the leader with five to go. This time McCaughan wouldn’t allow Choquer to regain the point after making the pass and he would go on to take the win. Selliken looked to pressure Choquer in the closing laps but he pulled off the track with a mechanical issue and Derek Wang, another American, would claim the final podium spot.
The win for McCaughan was his third of the WCC, but the second place by Choquer keeps his championship hopes alive. This battle will come down to Sunday’s Final as we know both drivers still have plenty left to settle before the championship is decided.
Van Eerd Drives Away With Win in Rotax Junior
Blistering off a time over a quarter of a second quicker than his competition, Clay Van Eerd (CVE/TonyKart) earned the pole-position in Qualifying and as the day progressed, he never looked back on his fellow competitors.
He cruised to an easy win the PreFinal and did it again in the Final as he continually posted laps that his competitors just couldn’t match.
Second place on the day went to Jessica Dezell (Kosmic) as she ran a very smooth and easy going Final, doing all she could to keep up with Van Eerd in the early stages while maintaining a gap to the action behind her.
The race for third was exciting as Jeff Fulham (KGK/Kosmic), Kellen Ritter (BBR/Kosmic), Nolan Vogel (BBR/Kosmic) and Ryan Martin (RPG/TonyKart) put in their best efforts. Martin worked his way forward after starting from the rear in the Final to claim the final podium spot as Fulham relinquished the position in the closing laps before spinning on the final lap in and incident. Ritter and Vogel completed the top-five.
The win for Van Eerd matches his with Martin as both drivers have two wins thus far and are separated by only a few points. Tire strategy will be important as this one will go down to the wire this weekend.
Mini-Max win for Austin Torgerson
Thirteen Mini-Max drivers are on track in Chilliwack this weekend. Friday’s racing action saw American driver Austin Torgerson (Ruthless Karting/TonyKart) dominate leaving his fellow competitors to race for second.
In that race for second, championship contenders Marco Kacic (PSL West/CRG) and Carson Vogel (BBR/Kosmic) went to war.
After a tough start that saw him fall outside the top-five, Kacic blistered off lap times faster than the leader to track down Vogel just past the mid-point of the race. Trying his best to find a way by, the two would make contact on the exit of corner six with both drivers using the grass and struggling to return to the track before the other. Vogel was the first to get back going as he was able to build a gap big enough that Kacic couldn’t work his way back before the race was complete as both drivers remained in the top-three and earned podium finishes behind Torgerson.
Edward Portz (BBR/Birel) grabbed the fourth position with Levi Schmidtke (CRG) fifth, who was just ahead of Kadie Sinclair (SKZ/Energy Kart).
Jonathan Portz Ahead in Micro-Max
All the action in the Micro-Max class happened in the PreFinal as Jason Leung (PDB) and Ryan Dezell (Kosmic) were battling with Jonathan Portz (BBR/Kosmic) and Ashton Torgerson (Ruthless Karting/KGB) for the lead until Leung and Dezell came together in corner six and seven, stranding both karts on track and forcing both drivers to start the Final from the rear.
When the green flag flew, Portz got out to an early lead but he was under pressure for Torgerson while Brad Bachalo (RPG/Kosmic) ran alone in third.
Dezell’s drive forward came to a halt early as a flat rear tire held him back from the pace he showed earlier in the day while Leung was on a charge to the podium.
By halfway Portz had pulled away from Torgerson and Leung made his way by Bachalo and into third and that is how they settled. Portz claimed the win, Torgerson second, making it a USA 1-2 with Leung in third place as the highest finishing Canadian.
Briggs Junior II: Jessica Dezell just ahead of her sister in the Final
With only three drivers in the category, Briggs Junior II is a bit of a disappointment this weekend as more drivers were expected to join the action.
Jessica Dezell (PCR) came away with the win, beating her sister Christina to the finish line by 0.094 seconds as the two went head-to-head in the Final. Sting Ray Robb was the first to cross the finish line, but he was disqualified following the race for an error with the Briggs & Stratton seal.
Drivers will do it all again on Saturday as they complete race five of the championship.