Preview: Eastern Canadian Karting ChampionshipsTweet
As melting snow gives way to green grass and fresh flowers, the dawn of spring rouses any Canadian karter from their winter blues.
And with the start of the country's premier karting championship just around the corner, drivers and teams will soon begin their preparations for the start of the Canadian karting season.
Series promoters have long started their preparations for the 2012 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, with the official race schedule announced back in January, and are still working to bring a renewed vigor to the third year of the popular series.
New tracks, new teams and new partners have already stirred excitement for the 2012 series, and a new focus on drivers and teams is certain to offer series participants the best in Canadian karting.
"I am very grateful to be part of the ECKC for a second mandate as Series Manager," explained Louis-Philippe Gelinas. "To be part of the best karting championship and to work with outstanding people all dedicated to the sport is quite an opportunity for me, and at the same time an extraordinaire fast track to earning a professional karting bachelor's degree!"
With less than two months until the series gets underway at Goodwood Kartways, the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship is gearing up to be the best season yet. The announcement of two new venues for 2012 for the single race events in Quebec is an exciting addition to the 2012 schedule. Taking to the Circuit ICAR for round two, series drivers will be treated to a challenging and unique 1 km layout, designed by 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. A return trip to Mosport International Raceway in June for the second double-header event weekend will set up the championship battles as the series finale will take on the streets of Trois-Rivieres at the prestigious and glamorous Monaco Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres at the new location at Exposition Park. Known to draw upwards of 25,000 spectators, and also set to be televised on RDS, the finale event of the 2012 ECKC series is certain to be one for the ages.
"My goal is to offer competitors the best karting events, in terms of organization and venues! ICAR is a great facility and the track is a blast! Le Monaco's new location on the GP3R site provides drivers a glimpse of that incredible feeling to race in front of thousands of spectators! And you can take my word on those two!" continued Gelinas. "If the drivers are having a great time, the spectators will come! See you at the races!"
As the premier series in Canada, the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship will welcome several new teams in 2012. With intense competition and an amazing array of awards and tickets to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals on the line, new teams are coming to take on the challenge. A renewed focus on teams and drivers will be a prevalent part of the 2012 season, as the ECKC will add a manufacturer's championship as well as new prizes and awards for series drivers. A new Rotax points system will also be introduced, adding to the prestige of the Rotax Max Series that will see four drivers awarded direct tickets to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF). Two-time Rotax Max Challenge DD2 World Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette is preparing to defend his 2011 ECKC DD2 championship, in hopes of securing a return ticket to this year's RMCGF with Team Canada. Ouellette is one of many drivers who set the bar in terms of competition at the ECKC, and this year is certain to continue the trend of attracting the greatest drivers from across Canada, North America and the world.
Many new and returning sponsors and partners have been confirmed for 2012, with the ECKC pleased to announce now a full Briggs & Stratton championship, as the four-cycle classes will take to each of the four rounds, contesting all six races. Classes including Junior, Senior and Masters will make up a national four-stroke category, thanks to the efforts of ASN Canada's Paul Cooke and David Klaus of Briggs & Stratton. The growing popularity of the classes prompted series officials to put the full championship in place for 2012, adding to the Rotax Max Challenge program to create a full spectrum of class options for the new season. A contingency prize is also being offered to any Briggs & Stratton competitor who competes in a minimum of four races in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Series. Briggs and Stratton will provide a $100.00 CDN payment at the end of the series to each driver who meets the eligibility requirements. All Briggs & Stratton classes will run on Bridgestone tires, with further announcements forthcoming.
"The 2012 ASN Canada FIA National Championships program is a short time away with its opening event at Ontario's historic Goodwood Kartways, the oldest continuously operating track in Canada," noted Paul Cooke, ASN Canada FIA Director of Karting. "The Eastern Canadian Karting Championships has established itself as the premier kart racing east of Manitoba to the shores of the Atlantic. The Championship offers exciting class competition for Rotax and Briggs & Stratton to teams, drivers and families at some of Canada's best kart racing facilities in Ontario and Quebec."
"Today, there are four Rotax drivers who will stand on the top step of the ECKC podium as champions in their class and who will on the grid at the Rotax Grand World finals in Portugal in November," continued Cooke. "Who will they be? We have to wait and see!"
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 start off the 2012 season at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario May 26-27 for the first double-header weekend. Circuit ICAR will host 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 will conclude 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 will award 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 will contest 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.