As its 2013 season continues to take shape, the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship has news today that four-stroke racing will be back on its tracks this summer and organizers are once again firmly behind the Briggs & Stratton LO206 platform. Already well known in North America for producing the most competitive Rotax Max Challenge summer series, organizers are now looking to continue developing their four-stroke classes as well.
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship will offer both Junior and Senior/Masters classes in its fourth edition, once again pairing its program with the ASN Canadian National Karting Championship offerings. It has also created a team incentive for large scale racing outfits hoping to encourage additional participation, and has decided on race entry fees of $95 for each of its Briggs & Stratton classes.
Four-stroke racing has a rich history in Canada, and traditionally developed the fundamentals of drivers while they found their way in karting. Now many young racers develop moving through the Rotax family of engines, but those entering the sport at Junior or Senior age are presented with a much bigger challenge, both in terms of required knowledge and cost. Briggs & Stratton Junior and Senior/Masters bridges the gap from beginner to Rotax, and by developing its four-stroke classes the ECKC is also working toward its goal of helping drivers reach a new level of skill and competitiveness.
“Karters new to the sport or coming out of an Arrive-and-Drive Series and into regional racing are best to hone their skills utilizing a four-stroke package initially,” said Ken Flute, whose Mosport International Karting circuit will host the ECKC opener at the end of May and is also home to a well developed Arrive-and-Drive program. “The sport is quite complex, and costs can become an issue for newer drivers coming in as well, a fact that can prevent them from progressing from Junior into Senior. Now with Briggs & Stratton classes, drivers have affordability and the LO206 has been accepted throughout the sport in both the East and West regions, and the national level as well. Numbers in attendance at the 2012 Canadian Nationals were some of the largest four-stroke numbers in years, and the racing was fantastic!”
The ECKC is looking to match that level of excitement and competitiveness over the course of a championship schedule, and the Briggs classes may just bring more drivers to the championship and keep them involved in the sport for a longer period of time.
“The engines are purpose-built for racing, and drivers are no longer forced to purchase a new engine when moving from Junior to Senior,” Flute continued, further adding to the advantage of the LO206. “They simply change the slide and continue to operate the same engine. This year at Mosport International Karting we will be adding a Junior Briggs class and are anticipating continued growth in the Senior Class as well. And with the first ECKC round at Mosport followed by another at Goodwood - and Ontario hosting the Nationals - we really hope to see the numbers grow again in Ontario this season.”
Goodwood Kartways President Daniel Di Leo, who manages an 850-strong Arrive-and-Drive program of his own and deals with similar issues, concurred with the sentiments. “We've seen during the combined ECKC/Coupe rounds that drivers from Quebec and the Atlantic provinces were quickly behind the Briggs program. Now two of the biggest clubs in Ontario are starting to see re-growth in four-cycle karting as well and both are fully supportive of the new formula. If we can just entice the Coupe drivers to the opening two rounds and have our Ontario club racers join them, then we'll truly be on our way to re-establishing the kind of four-stroke racing many of us recall from days gone by.”
Briggs & Stratton Junior, and Senior/Masters will join Rotax Micro-Max, Mini-Max, Junior, Senior, DD2 and DD2 Masters to complete the 2013 ECKC lineup. Many more details will come as the season draws near, and for all the latest information please visit www.eckc.ca regularly.
2013 EASTERN CANADIAN KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 1 - Mosport International Karting, Bowmanville, Ontario
Friday, May 31, Practice
Saturday, June 1, Race One
Sunday, June 2, Race Two
Round 2 - Goodwood Kartways, Stouffville, Ontario
Friday, June 28, Practice
Saturday, June 29, Race Three
Sunday, June 30, Race Four
Round 3 - Le Monaco de Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec
Friday, August 2, Practice
Saturday, August 3, Coupe du Quebec*
Sunday, August 4, Race Five
Round 4 - Jim Russell Academie de Karting, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Friday, September 13, Practice
Saturday, September 14, Coupe du Quebec*
Sunday, September 15, Race Six