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Briggs & Stratton Master
- 1 » Martin Coursol • 430
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Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Rotax DD2 Championship Fight Sure to be an Exciting Affair
26 July 2012
PSL Karting/CRG team member Pier-Luc Ouellette
Photo by: Cody Schindel/CanadianKartingNews.com
With just days before the series finale of the 2012 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship (ECKC), the excitement is building for what is sure to be an epic event. Two, two-time Rotax World Champions are in the hunt for the ECKC Rotax DD2 championship title, with the finale round during the Monaco de Trois-Rivieres set to decide the champion. 2007 and 2011 Rotax DD2 World Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette enters the weekend the current points leader, while 2008 and 2011 Rotax Max World Champion Ben Cooper sits third. Eight-time Team Canada member Christophe Boisclair is sandwiched between the two, however the one race drop moves Cooper up to the lead, 45 points over Ouellette and 70 over Boisclair. The streets of Trois-Rivieres will determine the winner, and to the victor goes the spoils, as the champion will earn the coveted Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals invitation.
Not only will Ouellette by vying for a repeat ECKC title, but also a chance to defend his Rotax DD2 World title. After taking the two wins at the Goodwood round, Ouellette has not made it back to the top step of the podium but has visited the third step three times. The recent Mosport round has made Ouellette hungry to get back on top, and he is focused and determined on the task at hand this weekend.
"For the last round of the ECKC, the championship battle is very interesting between the three of us," explains Ouellette. "We have worked hard between the races, and we will do our best for the last round. We are confident that we can win."
Confidence aside, Ouellette’s passion to excel and outright determination are the driving forces behind his success.
"I can’t wait to get out on track," Ouellette continues. "I am excited for this event, I love street races and it's always good for the public. If I win or if I qualify myself for the World Finals, I will have accomplished my goal. And my next goal would be to add another big trophy, but I will start by focusing on my weekend here and I am sure we will do well."
Cooper, in his first year running the ECKC series, already has one championship in hand from 2012, the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max championship. With less pressure to secure a trip to the Rotax Grands, Cooper enters the event with a different mindset.
"Obviously it will be a great achievement to win the championship for the first time of trying," explains Cooper. "Also, it will be a huge confidence boost going into the end of the year and the World Finals. But on the other hand, as I have my ticket for the World Finals already, there is no pressure to win."
SRA Karting/Birel teammates Ben Cooper and Christophe Boisclair
Photo by: Cody Schindel/CanadianKartingNews.com
Cooper has spent much the ECKC season learning the ropes of the two-speed Rotax DD2 class, and his two feature wins have set up the interesting dynamic for the finale.
"So far the ECKC has been great for me," continues Cooper. "It's been a big learning curve as Goodwood was my first DD2 race. So it's all been about learning the DD2 driving style and the kart set up. Just one race left and hopefully it will end up well."
"I think I've put myself in a good position for the championship but going into the last round against the DD2 two-time world champion on a street course could make it interesting."
Cooper's SRA Karting/Birel teammate Christophe Boisclair could be the dark horse in the DD2 championship. With the one race drop, Boisclair feels the championships may be out of reach, yet the demands of a temporary street circuit might hamper even the best of karting.
"I think we are too far in points to win the championship, but we can aim for second place which is going to be hard work," Boisclair explains. "I can't win unless they both crash or something like that, so even if I win it's going to be by luck. Only thing I can say is that we are really prepared for the race and we are aiming for a victory, and we'll see what happens for the championship after the race."
"I am really happy of my season so far," concludes Boisclair. "We worked really hard to match the speed of Pier-Luc and Ben and it feels great to be neck to neck with two world champions."
The ECKC championship finale is set for Sunday, July 29, with the Coupe du Quebec Round #5 slated for Saturday, July 28. The Saturday action will also feature KZ action, as shifter karts hit the streets of Trois-Rivieres with top speeds reaching 160km/h.
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.