Article By: PSL Karting
Photo By: Cody Schindel, Autosports Media Group
Team PSL Karting continued its strong run in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship recently as the team made its second-scheduled trip to Ontario. After logging five wins and fourteen podiums to open the schedule at Goodwood Kartways in May, team drivers produced four more wins and twelve more podiums in challenging conditions at Mosport International Karting in June. The third event of 2011 was the second doubleheader of the schedule, and upon its completion the championship has just a single event remaining. Races four and five put some PSL drivers in command of class championships, while others scored first podiums and wins on the Regional scene.
One among those was PSL Ontario driver Tyler Kashak. After experimenting with two-stroke power last season, the Mosport International Karting Association member has fared well in his first full season of Rotax Junior competition. After top-ten finishes from Goodwood and Trois-Rivieres, Kashak was heading to his home track at Mosport International and rightfully felt positive about what could be achieved.
“I was very confident returning to Mosport because I’ve had countless hours on the track over the years and my two top-tens gave me an extra boost,” Kashak said of the third event of the ECKC schedule. “It’s only my first year in Rotax, but this really seemed like my chance to be among the top drivers. I was ecstatic to be in the top five after qualifying, and it seemed as though things were falling into place.”
While it definitely looked so early, that certainly wasn’t the case in the prefinal where after starting from fourth, Kashak was turned around running up the hill just after the start and forced to retire due to fairing damage shortly after. Things then went from bad to worse just after the green waved in the final.
“In the final I was turned around on lap one again and I thought the race was over,” he said in recalling the Saturday race. “But the rain then began to fall, and by lap six it was just mayhem! As the top three had their fight I saw a big group bunched up and I started to pull them in. After all the karts had cleared and there were few people ahead of me, I knew I must be close to the podium. All I could think is, ‘I’ve made it this far, I have to push for something more!’”
“After exiting the track I knew there were going to be some penalties ahead of me and I also knew that they could possibly take me to the second step of the podium. It felt amazing being on the podium. Just to have the feeling that I overcame the odds and beat the top drivers in Canada in the most outrageous conditions. I really have to thank my dad for keeping the kart in check and all the drivers, mechanics, and family members from PSL Ontario that kept my spirits up, which was really the push I needed in the final race to come from almost last to the podium.”
One of the drivers who was handed a disqualification that opened the door for Kashak was another PSL driver - Alexandre Fortin. The first year Junior crossed second on Saturday, but had his bumper dragging and quickly realized the fate that awaited him. Second would have been his best finish of the season, but he made up for it and more when he ran down the leader and scored a massive win on Sunday.
After qualifying fifth, Fortin advanced to second in the prefinal. He then emerged from a massive scrap on the first lap of the final where he raced from fifth to second, and established himself in the spot in the laps that followed. The time spent left a considerable gap to the leader, but Fortin set to running him down. Taking as much as three-tenths per lap, Fortin closed to the bumper of the leader on thirteen, and took the lead at the final turn. He then stretched it to nearly a second over the final laps in securing his first Junior win beyond any shadow of doubt.
Rotax Senior driver Michael Vincec almost gave PSL a second win on the day but knew even as he raced to a commanding five-second win a disqualification was coming after his air box became disconnected. Austin Versteeg was in Canada racing to qualify for the Pan American Rotax Max Championship event and quickly came to grips with Mosport in winning Saturday and finishing third on Sunday. DD2 drivers Pier-Luc Ouellette and Nicholas Latifi were both on the podium, as was DD2 Masters driver Paul Carvalho and four different CRG four-stroke drivers in the Honda Challenge presented by Vega. Full team PSL results from Mosport can be seen below.
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship concludes July 17th at the Jim Russell Karting Academy at Mont-Tremblant. The race will also serve as a final qualifying opportunity for the PanAmerican Rotax Max Challenge, which has its championship September 22-25 at the Newcastle Motorsports Complex. For more information on how the World’s #1 CRG dealer can help put you on the podium, please visit pslkarting.com
PSL Karting Results from ECKC III / Pan American III - Mosport International Karting
Austin Versteeg - 1st, 3rd
Jeffrey Kingsley - 9th, 4th
Gianfranco Mazzaferro - 5th, 6th
Alexandre Fortin - 30th, 1st
Tyler Kashak - 2nd, 31st, PSL Ontario
Marc-Antoine Cardin - 11th, 5th
Samuel Fontaine - 8th, 12th
Sean McPhee - 15th
Sarah MacKay - 17th, 20th, PSL Atlantic
Sasha Aleksic - 24th, 27th, PSL Ontario
Kevin King - 28th, 6th
Hugo Ouellette - 15th, 7th
Pearce Herder - 33rd, 8th, PSL Ontario
Michael Vincec - 9th, 31st
Gerald Caseley - 19th, 10th, PSL Atlantic
Taylor Gates - 12th, 13th, PSL Ontario
Nick Rivellini - 21st, 12th, PSL Atlantic
Kenneth O’Keefe - 13th, 15th, PSL Ontario
Simon Lauze - 27th, 14th
Johnny Flute - 23rd, 16th, PSL Ontario
Nathan Kelly - 22nd, 18th, PSL Atlantic
Christian Medieros - 24th, 25th, PSL Ontario
Pier-Luc Ouellette - 7th, 2nd
Nicholas Latifi - 3rd, 10th
Eric Simon - 19th, 6th, PSL Ontario
Rotax DD2 Masters
Paul Carvalho - 4th, 3rd, PSL Ontario
Sean Kennedy - 2nd, 9th, PSL Ontario
William Campbell - 3rd, 5th, PSL Ontario
Sarah McKay - 2nd, 2nd, PSL Atlantic
Dalton Jewell - 1st, 5th, PSL Ontario
Russ Kroon - 1st, 2nd, PSL Ontario
Andrew Massey - 7th, 6th, PSL Ontario