"2012 ECKC Champions Marco DiLeo, Zachary Claman-Demelo, Stuart Clark and Vice-Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette set to take on the world in Portugal"
Article By: Autosports Media Group
Photo By: Cody Schindel / CanadianKartingNews.com
November 26, 2012 – The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship (ECKC) will again be well represented when Team Canada drivers take on the world during the 2012 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF). Taking place this week at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, four drivers representing the ECKC will look to rise to the top during the "Olympics of Karting." Class champions Marco DiLeo, Zachary Claman-Demelo, Stuart Clark along with Vice-Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette make up the highly-talented contingent of ECKC drivers, part of a 14-driver strong Team Canada, and all four have what it takes to put Canada and the ECKC on top during the prestigious event.
One of Canada's most storied names will be back again to represent the ECKC and Team Canada. Marco DiLeo will make his fifth appearance at the RMCGF, as the ECKC Rotax Senior champion. A three-time ECKC Champion, a World Title for DiLeo would only solidify his name among Canada's karting legends.
"It’'s a great feeling to return to the Rotax Grand Finals to represent Canada and the ECKC," DiLeo noted. "I am proud to win the championship in Senior Rotax the last three respective years and it is a great reward to be offered the Grand Finals invite. I will do my best to represent ECKC and prove how this series prepares drivers for top-level international events."
In 2011, DiLeo came from 32nd on the grid at the RMCGF during the final to score Canada a top-ten finish. With another chance to take on the world, DiLeo will look to put an ECKC driver in contention for the ultimate Rotax title.
In the Rotax Junior category, ECKC Champion Zachary Claman-Demelo will make his first appearance at the RMCGF. With European karting experience gained in 2012 and a racy, determined driving style, Claman-Demelo is hoping to bring another World Title home to Canada. The hot shoe has been busy preparing for the event, and was on track recently for the SKUSA SuperNationals. Honoured to represent the ECKC and Canada, Claman-Demelo will be one to keep tabs on in the Junior class.
ECKC DD2 Masters Champion Stuart Clark will make a return trip to the RMCGF, after making his debut at the event in 2011 in Al Ain. Also entering as the reigning Canadian National Champion, Clark made a splash last year after starting the final in 32nd and driving all the way to a ninth place finish. With 2012 a fruitful year for the Campbellville, Ontario native, Clark has been busy utilizing his P1 Fitness plan and is sure to be on his game in Portugal.
"I am very proud to be representing Canada at the Grand Finals in Portugal," explained Clark. "The ECKC brings together the best talents onto one playing field, and the winners benefit by representing their country on the world's stage. Thanks again to the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship series and organizers for putting on a great show in 2012, the bar is being raised every year and I can't wait for 2013."
"Preparing for the Grand Finals is the biggest challenge of all, with all the travel details it's a very busy time for all of us. Staying in peak condition is a must and with help from the guys at P1 Fitness, and working out, I'm on the right track. Balancing work, and of course lots of laps at the track, seat time is the only way to keep your mind and body sharp."
"My goal is for a podium this year at the Grand Finals. Leading up to major events it's important to set goals, and with maximum effort and some luck I hope to represent Canada well this year in Portugal!" concluded Clark.
Completing the ECKC contingent is two-time Rotax DD2 World Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette. Earning the DD2 Vice-Championship in the ECKC, Ouellette was awarded the RMCGF ticket since Champion and two-time RMCGF Senior World Champion Ben Cooper had already qualified via his Florida Winter Tour Rotax Senior title. Ouellette earned his two crowns in 2011 and 2007, both at the Al Ain Raceway in the United Arab Emirates. Going for an unprecedented third World Title, Ouellette certainly has what it takes to put Canada again on top in the DD2 class. ECKC Rotax DD2 Champion Cooper could give Ouellette a run for his money however, as the renowned driver will switch to the DD2 category at the request of Rotax, pinning both drivers in a battle of the two-time World Champs, much as was seen during the 2012 ECKC season.
Karts were raffled off Sunday in Portugal, and drivers will be on track for a single practice session today will two more to follow on Tuesday. The final practice session and qualifying is set for Wednesday, with heats one and two Thursday. The final heat and Last Chance races will take place on Friday, with Prefinals and the Grand Finals completing the event on Saturday. Living timing and scoring, as well as live video, will be available at rgf-2012.kart-data.com/.
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 started off the 2012 season at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario May 26-27 for the first double-header weekend. Circuit ICAR hosted 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 concluded 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 awarded 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 also contested 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.