Article By: Intrepid Canada
Photo By: Cody Schindel, Autosports Media Group
Intrepid Canada wrapped up its Eastern Canadian Karting Championship campaign a week ago as the series travelled to beautiful Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, for the sixth and final round. Once again one of the most productive teams in the paddock, this time out Intrepid drivers added season-long podiums and championships to their customary race wins. Key among those was Marco Di Leo, as he successfully defended his Rotax Senior Championship and for his efforts this year - was awarded a position on Team Canada for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Six other Intrepid Canada drivers were on the podium at Tremblant, and when Russell Boyle topped the blocks in Micro-Max, Intrepid became the only chassis to post a win in every Rotax Max Challenge category this year.
“The 2011 season has been a fantastic one for Intrepid Canada thus far,” said Di Leo, Team Manager for Intrepid Canada. “In the early months we gained attention from around the globe and entered drivers from Canada, Japan, Austria, Ecuador, Colombia, and of course our amigos from Venezuela, in the Florida Winter Tour. Then our team expanded with the introduction of Intrepid Quebec through Francis Mondou, and they have had great results from the beginning as well. Intrepid chassis have been very fast at all the tracks on the ECKC schedule, and the fact we were able to score a win in every category just confirms it.”
One of those winners came from Tremblant as Boyle scored his first-ever Regional win in Micro-Max, adding to at least one win Intrepid had already registered in Mini-Max, Rotax Junior, Rotax Senior, DD2, Rotax Masters and DD2 Masters. In fact, ten different Intrepid drivers topped the blocks over the ECKC season and the team scored twelve wins altogether. A first is always a special one though, a sentiment not lost on the team leader.
“To see a young Intrepid driver win is the best part of my job,” Di Leo continued. “I really enjoy seeing the kids putting in the effort to get good results and then maturing and gaining confidence with every trophy they win, working toward that first big win.”
For his part, Di Leo prepped for his final showdown by finishing second in the Quebec Championship race on Saturday at Tremblant, but suffered a DNF on Sunday, therefore dropping the event from his season tally. He’d already done enough to win the championship though, and in retrospect had a situation where one point lost in any race prior would have cost him the crown; Di Leo didn’t have to look far back to find drive that made the difference.
“Round 5 at Mosport was a particularly difficult race for me as I made a pass for the lead early in the final, but soon realised that my front right tire was going flat,” Di Leo said. “With nothing but winning on my mind it was hard for me to accept, but after relinquishing the top spot I immediately began to think ‘points’ and tried to maintain the highest finishing position possible. The chassis was literally dragging on the tarmac and refused to turn left by the end, but I was able to finish just outside the top ten and earn enough points to keep my lead.”
Di Leo then had that lead stand up at the finale and became the Rotax Senior Champion for the second-consecutive year. He also remains the only driver in ECKC history to record multiple wins in the Rotax Senior class, his tally now being four. Other Intrepid drivers added to win and podium totals at Mont-Tremblant as well: John Cariati warmed up for the weekend with a win on Saturday, then clinched the Masters Championship by crossing second on Sunday. Teammate Alex Mankovski was second in the class overall, and was also on the podium from the race, finishing third. Intrepid Quebec matched the feat with a double-podium of its own in the overall Masters DD2 Championship. Francis Mondou was second on the season and Dany St-Hilaire was third in the race and overall championship.
Full team results and championship highlights can be seen below. With the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship now complete, Intrepid Canada now sets its sights on the biggest of races the country can offer. “The biggest race of the year is the Canadian Nationals and all the Orangeman will make a return trip to Mont-Tremblant to battle for chance to become the nation's champion,” Di Leo concluded. “A big effort is put into this race and many of our drivers will look to become champion, some with the opportunity to join Team Canada at the World Finals in Dubai.”
Intrepid Canada Driver Results
Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, Jim Russell Karting Academy
Russell Boyle - 1st, Series Runner-up
Jacob Ewaniuk - 5th
Jordan Slipacoff - 11th
Austin Riley - 19th
Rotax Max Junior
Artem Korolev - 8th
Jesse Lazare - 25th
Rotax Max Senior
Reid Arnold - 5th
Marco Di Leo - 22nd, Series Champion
Rotax Max Masters
John Cariati, 2nd, Series Champion
Alexander Mankovski, 3rd, Series Runner-up
Reid Arnold - 8th
Cory Luciano - 10th
Bryson Schutte - 20th
Rotax DD2 Masters
Dany St-Hilaire - 3rd
Francis Mondou - 6th, Series Runner-up
*Team Facts: Intrepid Canada is based at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, where drivers can progress from turning rental kart laps to world championships. Home to the Arrive & Drive Canadian Rookie Karting Championship and the Toronto Racing Association of Karters club program, the Goodwood Kartways/Intrepid Canada race team represents the facility at National and International Championships like the Florida Winter Tour, Pan-American Rotax Max Challenge, Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and Canadian National Championships.
It has also had drivers contest the SuperKarts! USA SuperNationals, the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup, the Rotax European Championship, the Rotax International Open Championship and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Goodwood Kartways/Intrepid Canada operates in conjunction with Intrepid Kart Technology, HRS Racing Engines, IMAF Racing Seats, VPD, Chapman Racing Services and Intremax.