2017 CKRA Race #2 Race Report – May 28th
Club Release by Reg LeBlanc/Photo from Hann Racing on Facebook
May 28th 2017
Weather: Sunny, 17 degrees.
East Coast Karting in Dieppe, New Brunswick was flooded by the welcome sound of 4-cycle kart engines! Round 2 of the CKRA season arrived after a three-week break, and drivers were anxious to get on the track.
Cadet Class (Ages 8-12)
The pace that was set in Cadet during practice gave us an indication that this could be a record-breaking day on the track in terms of laptimes. In Heat 1, the battle for the lead was between rivals Jacob LeBlanc and Callum Baxter. LeBlanc led the race from the beginning and built a considerable early cushion, but Baxter tried furiously to close the gap, and set a new track record for a Cadet driver in the process (28.043 seconds). LeBlanc would eventually hold on to win Heat 1.
Technology and racing knowledge sure has advanced : Digging through the club archives, a lap time of 28.0 seconds was considered quick for a Senior and Masters driver, as recently as the late-1990s! Even more recently, in 2005, a mid-field driver in the Senior class ran laptimes only a few tenths quicker than this. It is well within the realm of possibility that a Cadet driver could dip below the magic 28 second barrier at some point this summer. Certainly keep an eye on both lead drivers in the class, as they could be the ones to achieve it!
Back to the racing… the LeBlanc/Baxter duel continued all day, as Baxter won heats two and three. In the final, they raced wheel-to-wheel again, and with two laps to go, LeBlanc dove past Baxter and took the lead, and the win. Owen Mahar, new to the series this year, continues to impress, and finished 3rd to complete the Cadet podium.
After two rounds, Callum Baxter holds the championship lead with 175 points. Jacob LeBlanc is his closest competitor at 167. Third is Owen Mahar (152), fourth is Ethan Lowther (134) and fifth is Ben Lawlor (124).
Junior Class (Ages 12-15)
The Junior field consisted of a solid field of 12 drivers.
From the start of the day, the top driver in the class was 2016 Junior Champion Kelsey Hann. Due to a difficult first round, Hann had a good initial grid position for round two (the day begins with an inverted grid from the previous round). Bad luck the previous week translated to some clean laps in the early heat races and wins in both heats one and two. The other driver in the field with particularly quick lap times was Myah Knickle, who had to start the day much deeper in the field.
In Heat 3, a pack of drivers including Knickle, Isaac Teed, Ryan Musson, Devin Wadden and William Lowther were racing wheel-to-wheel until a collision sent both Musson and Teed flying off the track. Teed had a particularly rough tumble, but he was able the shake off the crash and return for the Final, finishing an admirable 7th . In the end, Kelsey Hann cruised to victory, with Ben Israel 2nd, and Isla Kants 3rd. Knickle fought through the field and eventually finished 4th and set the fastest lap of the day, in the early races.
Kelsey Hann currently leads the Junior championship with 152 points, while Ben Israel was able to string together two solid events so far and holds second at 148. Myah Knickle is third (132), Isla Kants is fourth (129), and Isaac Teed is fifth (121).
Senior Class (Ages 15+)
For most of the day, the Senior class was a case of sibling rivalry.
It began as a tough day for Kennedy brothers Aaron and Jordan. Neither of them saw the chequered flag in the first heat race, owing to mechanical gremlins, despite setting the two fastest times. In the heat, Alexander Davison took the chequered flag. However, the Kennedy brothers dominated the rest of the day’s events. Younger brother Jordan won heat two, and elder brother Aaron won heat three. This set up a head-to-head battle in the final. Jordan was able to hold off the constant and relentless pressure of his older sibling for a gruelling 25 laps and took a very satisfying chequered flag.
So far this season, Aaron Kennedy holds the lead in the Senior category with 165 points. Younger sibling Jordan Kennedy is second with 155 points. Jared Meade is third (144), Alexander Davison is fourth (140), and Eric Rose is fifth (114).
Masters Class (Ages 30+)
On this occasion, only one Masters driver registered for the event. The #825 machine of Claude Allain gave the Senior drivers all they could handle. Although scored separately, Allain ran with the lighter Senior class and finished second behind only Alexander Davison on track in the first heat. For the rest of the race day, he had a spirited battle for 5th overall on the time sheets with Eric Rose. By default, he collected a perfect 90 points for the race day.
After two events in the rebirthed Masters class, Claude Allain tops the standings with 178 points. Brian Bent is second with 83, Corey Miller is third (77) and Bob Prosser is fourth (73). Since drivers count their best 8 of 10 points events at the end of the year, things could still get interesting in the Masters class!
The CKRA season continues with Round three being held on June 11th. As ever, daytime racing starts at 10am, and admission is free!
The series runs ten points events from early-May to late-September, all at East Coast Karting off Exit 474 of the Trans-Canada highway, on the outskirts of Dieppe, New Brunswick.
For more information and latest news on the series, visit www.ckranb.com , or find the “Championship Kart Racing Association” page on Facebook!