(Jacksonville, Florida) The 2014-15 winter season has proven just too long for Margay Racing Canada kart driver Charlotte Lalonde. For 2015, Charlotte is planning on challenging for victory in several different series: the Ottawa – Gatineau Karting Championship (OGKC), the Briggs & Stratton Weekly Racing Series (WRS), the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship (ECKC), and last but not least, the ultimate Crown – the Canadian National Karting Championship. In preparation for her upcoming assault on the 2015 season, Charlotte recently travelled to Jacksonville, Florida to compete in Winter Races #5 and #6 of the Florida Pro Kart Series (FPKS).
For the races in Florida, Charlotte was not only supported by her father and Le Circuit Quyon (LCQ) track owner Paul Lalonde, but also received trackside support from Mike & Mike Greiner of Mikim Motorsports of St. Augustine, Florida. Mikim Motorsports is the authorized Margay Racing dealer covering the south-eastern region of the United States. The FPKS winter racing action was held at the 103rd Street Sports Complex, a track with several decades of racing heritage and owned by the City of Jacksonville, Florida.
The format of each event started with a qualifying session, followed by two heat races, then a final for all the marbles. Charlotte’s first day back in her Margay started off extremely well, qualifying 3rd out of 14 racers, and missing pole position by a mere 1/10th of a second. Charlotte ran in the top two for the majority of Heat #1; however, on the penultimate lap, she had a coming-together with another competitor and tumbled down the order to finish in 10th. For Heat #2, Charlotte kept it fast and clean and ended the race right where she started – in 3rd place. In the final, Charlotte was battling for 2nd place for the first half of the race, fell back to 7th, then dragged herself back up to 5th by the end of the race. The final was close pack racing, with the top five racers being separated by only 0.6 seconds.
On day two, Charlotte put her kart on the 3rd row of the grid, qualifying in 6th position. To put the competitiveness of the racing into perspective, she missed pole position by only 0.3 seconds! In Heat #1, Charlotte made her way up to 4th and hung onto the lead pack for the rest of the race. For Heat #2, she had a fantastic overall race charging into 1st place on the final lap, leading the pack over the finish line and taking her first race win of the 2015 racing season! In the final, Charlotte started on outside pole and was running in a tight pack of six racers, fighting for 3rd position. Unfortunately, at the end of the race, she received a 10-second penalty from the race stewards for a start-line infraction and was officially classified in 9th position.
Overall, the Florida Pro Kart Series proved to be a great warm up for Charlotte in preparation for her challenge for several championships over the 2015 season.
“I am really excited for the upcoming season of karting! It was great to get back into my kart for some pre-season seat time. It was a lot of fun, and the southern hospitality was the best! Big thanks to my Dad, and to Mikim Motorsports, for all the help over the race weekend. I’d also like to give a shout-out to Margay as well, for producing such a great kart! Now come on spring – I want to race!”
The start of the 2015 OGKC and the Briggs & Stratton WRS at Le Circuit Quyon is scheduled for May 3rd.