Race Report – Races #1 and #2 of the 2017 OGKC Spring Sprint Series

(Quyon, QC) What a time we’ve been having lately in Canada’s Capital Area – several communities in both Ottawa and Gatineau have been hit hard by record amounts of rainfall during late April and early May. This affected the first race of the year (originally scheduled for Sunday, May 7), with the event being postponed until Saturday, May 13. Races #1 and #2 of the OGKC’s Spring Sprint Series were run together as a doubleheader – that’s a lot of racing for one day!

As luck would have it, and as predicted by the weatherman, we had another rainy day on Saturday; however, it was actually a moderately warm day with very light rain for the majority of the time. Participants were racing on a damp to wet track with little in the way of rainfall – for you F1 fans out there, it would have been a great day for ‘intermediates’.

Fifteen racers registered for Races #1 and #2, persevering through the inclement conditions to challenge for the top step of the podium in three different classes: Junior Briggs & Stratton, Senior Briggs & Stratton, and Masters Briggs & Stratton. For a class race to be official, there must be a minimum of three participants. The OGKC Rental-kart Challenge was not held due to the wet track conditions.

The 2017 edition of the OGKC series is also part of the Briggs & Stratton Weekly Racing Series (BriggsWRS), a track-based series enabling Junior, Senior, and Masters competitors to race head-to-head for the BriggsWRS regional crown. Racers are required to participate in eight (8) races at the same BriggsWRS-affiliated track/club, with the top seven (7) results counted toward the overall championship. For more information on the BriggsWRS, please visit the BriggsWRS site.

The feature race podium results were as follows:

Junior Races 1 & 2

  1. Zander Stevens
  2. Connor Bell
  3. Ethan Bell

This race did not disappoint! Zander Stevens, racing at Le Circuit Quyon for his first time, did an excellent job in the tricky conditions to capture first place in both Race #1 and #2 of the Junior category. By the end of the second race, his hands were pretty sore from the challenging “Intermediate Circuit”, which includes some tricky mid-to-high-speed corners as well as a variety of track elevation changes. Connor Bell, who placed second in the 2015 overall OGKC Novice Championship, showed his continuing mastery behind the wheel by finishing in second place in both Final #1 and #2. Connor’s brother Ethan, who was the 2015 OGKC Novice Champion, rounded out the top three in style – it was great to watch the close racing. Hopefully this rivalry will continue into the summer!

Novice Races 1 & 2

  1. Linkin Stevens
  2. Samuel Spurling

Linkin Stevens and Samuel Spurling had a fun time in the challenging conditions. Once you can master racing in the rain, racing on a dry track becomes that much easier. The Novices ran on the track at the same time as the Juniors, and were demonstrating to the crowd that they can definitely stay close to the Juniors on a rainy day – great job Novices!

Senior Race #1

  1. Charlotte Lalonde
  2. Paul Hoffman
  3. Jason Chen

Last year’s reigning champion, Charlotte Lalonde, won both Race #1 and #2, and had leads of over half a lap by the end of both events. She again demonstrated a mastery for the track, putting her Margay at the front of the field. The chasing pack was much closer together, with Paul Hoffman putting in fast lap after fast lap (and avoiding spins) to bring his Margay home in second in Race #1. Jason Chen, driving a CRG for this race, finished a strong third place.

Senior Race #2

  1. Charlotte Lalonde
  2. Phil Stang
  3. Paul Hoffman

Charlotte Lalonde was once again victorious in the Senior category. Phil Stang had a strong and clean race to bring his kart home in a solid second position. This is Phil’s best finish so far in the Senior category, and in inclement conditions – well done Phil! Rounding out the top three is up-and-coming racer Paul Hoffman, finishing the day with a second and a third in the two Finals.  It was great to see such a well-fought and entertaining event – great work Seniors!

Masters Race #1

  1. Brian McCracken
  2. Crawford Kilpatrick
  3. Mike Forget

What a fantastic race for Barrovian Brian McCracken – this is Brian’s first victory in an OGKC race final and it was very well deserved indeed. Brian showed up to the party late, almost missing the event, but managed to set up his CRG just in time to hit the track and take the win. He drove a smooth and calm race in the rain to eek out the win over Crawford Kilpatrick. Track expert and 2016 OGKC Masters Champion Mike Forget, a regular on the podium at Le Circuit Quyon, placed a strong third after some contact in the pack.

Masters Race #2

  1. Mike Forget
  2. Crawford Kilpatrick
  3. Darren Mallette

Mike Forget returned to the top step of the podium for Race #2, taking the win in style. Mike led for most of the race, and demonstrated his mighty racecraft in the wet conditions. On the final lap of the race, Crawford Kilpatrick managed to steal second place from Darren Mallette with a daring inside pass down the final hill before the finish line. Darren made a minor error around the hairpin, which resulted in a side-by-side drag race with Crawford down the hill. It was a very close race, with multiple spins and off track excursions – but no major damage and no injuries.

Congratulations to all of the racers that made the podium, and a big thank you to everyone that participated in Races #1 and #2 of the 2017 OGKC Spring Sprint Series. Great job everyone! With only one race left in the three-race series, who will be the winners? The points for the series can be viewed here.

Special thanks to Race Director Jason Bolton, the track marshals, the great support staff at Le Circuit Quyon, and First Aid personnel for working through the day in the rainy weather to ensure racer safety during the event.

Round #3 of the OGKC’s Spring Sprint Series is scheduled for Sunday, May 28. It will also be Race #1 of the OGKC Rental-kart Challenge, weather permitting. Please click here for more information on the rental series.

See you in two weeks!

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