IPK North America returned to action a week ago as the third Eastern Canadian Karting Championship event merged with the famed Monaco de Trois-Rivieres street race in kicking of GP3R race week. A Goodwood Kartways, Praga Racing Ontario and IPK Quebec merged squad of eighteen was on hand, representing in every Rotax Max Challenge class along with Briggs & Stratton Junior and Senior. Four different drivers found the podium steps and ten had top-five finishes in what many feel is the best event on the schedule.
“The rush you get from driving as close as possible to the barriers and hay bales is a feeling that is unmatched on any permanent layout,” said Rotax Senior driver Tyler Kashak. “I truly enjoy temporary tracks over permanent layouts. 3R is great because it has mix of high speed corners along with technical sections as well. It is a very complete track which I feel is the most enjoyable venue on the schedule.”
Kashak led the IPK Rotax Max contingent after posting P2 in Saturday's Coupe du Quebec race and finishing P4 in Sunday's ECKC event. The results were a return to form for the rookie senior, as after opening the season with a pair of top fives at Mosport, nearly everything that could go wrong, did, at Goodwood during event two.
“Two top 5 finishes at 3R was a fantastic bounce back from Goodwood,” Kashak continued. “I knew going into 3R I had to put Goodwood behind me and just push forward, and I feel I did just that. The temporary track at 3R really suits my driving style and I truly enjoy driving street courses. It's so important to find the balance between aggression and being smooth through the technical parts of the circuit. The track can be described the same way the formula one drivers of today describe Monaco: The more you attack it the more it pays you back.”
Briggs & Stratton Junior driver Tyler McCullough was also looking for that payback on track, and similar to Kashak, was looking for a rebound event after a trying weekend at Goodwood during races three and four. The Briggs Juniors had a just a single event on Sunday, and the day had a pair of Praga drivers on top starting with McCullough edging Christopher Proietto by just 0.029 seconds in qualifying!
“It has been that way all year in the Briggs class,” McCullough said of how tight the times were. “I remember the pole lap because after we had all decided to leave a large gap between us so there wouldn't be any drafting, I could tell I was catching the kart in front of me.”
Proietto then took the Prefinal win to secure pole for the Final, a race where the pair again crossed one-two before Proietto was excluded after his silencer came off its header. It was a race where all came good for McCullough though, and produced his first win of the season.
“We gambled a bit with the tire pressures and gear ratio and it took five laps for it all to come together,” McCullough said of the Final. “I tried to hold on early as I fell to fourth and was stuck there for a few laps, but then my kart was super fast and handled awesome! The guys ahead started to battle for positions and that gave me a chance to stay with them and then pass them when the kart came in. After a tough weekend at Goodwood in races three and four where everything seemed to go wrong for us, Trois-Rivieres was an awesome weekend of racing and hanging out with friends at the track and downtown.”
With one race left to run in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship a number of IPK drivers have put together solid campaigns, some with a chance yet to clinch class championships. In DD2 Masters Francis Mondou once again finished second, the position he holds in the championship as well and that spot could well lead to a Grand Finals appearance at season's end. Marco Di Leo is second in DD2, and he has already qualified for the Rotax Grand Finals. McCullough is now second in Briggs Junior points, and Zachary Claman DeMelo is second in Rotax Senior points with an eye on returning to the Grand Finals. Nicholas Hornbostel is third in Briggs Junior, Xavier Harris is fourth in Micro-Max, and Lauren Fortune is fifth in Briggs Senior. All team results from Trois-Rivieres are listed below.
The Eastern Canadian Karting Championship concludes Sunday, September 15th, at the Jim Russell Karting Academy in Mont-Tremblant, but focus for IPK North America and its Canadian dealers now turns to the 15th Annual Canadian National Karting Championships to be held at Goodwood Kartways beginning August 23rd. For more information on how IPK North America can assist you there, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
IPK North America Driver Results
Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Race 5, Le Monaco de Trois-Rivieres
Goodwood Kartways / Praga Racing Ontario / IPK Quebec
Xavier Harris – 4th, 11th
Joshua Cunha – 10th, 5th
Matthew Barry – 8th, 8th
Marco Signoretti – 9th, 17th
Tyler Kashak – 2nd, 4th
Zachary Claman DeMelo – 24th, 6th
Aleki Liverant – 21st, 11th
Max Preston – 22nd, 15th
Marco Di Leo – 4th, 6th
Francis Mondou – 5th, 2nd
John Cariati – 6th, 6th
Elivs Stojko – 10th, 10th
Paulo Gomes – 9th, 9th
Briggs & Stratton Junior
Tyler McCullough - 1st
Nicholas Hornbostel - 3rd
Christopher Proietto – 5th
Briggs & Stratton Senior
Lauren Fortune - 10th
Simon Rousseau – 12th
*Team Facts: IPK North America is based at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, where drivers can progress from turning rental kart laps to world championships. The IPK North America 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 SKUSA SuperNationals, the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup, the Rotax European Championship, the Rotax International Open Championship and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. IPK North America operates in conjunction with IPK in Verona, HRS Racing Engines, IMAF Racing Seats and Intremax.