With the finale round of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship (ECKC) mere days away, the entire Canadian karting community is gearing up for the pinnacle of events. Quickly becoming the marquee race weekend in North American karting, this 14th annual Monaco de Trois-Rivieres, which will host the final round of the 2012 ECKC season on Sunday, is sure to be a spectacle for drivers and spectators alike. The inaugural season of the ECKC, back in 2010, held their penultimate round on the famed streets of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, but with the finale now set for an ultimate showdown at this premier event, excitement and anticipation is at an all time high.
With the circuit moved from its original location along the St. Lawrence River to the site of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres (GP3R) at Exposition Park, ECKC drivers will put their skills to the test along the 1.2km temporary layout. The new circuit, only in place since 2011, will see revisions from last year's layout, with two extra corners added to the unique design. Leveling the playing field, the championships will come down to who is able to master the fast circuit, and who can stay out of the hay bales and temporary barriers that line the track.
The event has attracted some of the biggest names in karting in year's past, including Americans Fritz Leesmann, Santino Ferrucci and Gary Carlton as well as top Canadian talent like Lorenzo Mandarino and Michael Vincec. Leesmann will be back this weekend, joined by his PSL Atlantic teammate and karting legend Alan Rudolph. Two, two-time Rotax World Champions will take to the streets of Trois-Rivieres this weekend, as Pier-Luc Ouellette and Ben Cooper are locked in a battle for the Rotax DD2 title with another top Canadian pilot, Christophe Boisclair.
While many of Canada's best will showcase their talents this weekend, they will follow in the footsteps of many of Canada's motorsports legends. With names like Gilles Villeneuve, Jacques Villeneuve, Ron Fellows, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, and Andrew Ranger having participated in the GP3R, the glamorous event comes with a rich history.
Run by a "not for profit" organization and driven by hundreds of passionate volunteers, the Monaco de Trois-Rivieres is one of the few urban street circuits to draw upwards of 25,000 spectators. With intense racing action, the festival-like atmosphere and the throngs of spectators on site, this year's ECKC finale is sure to be like nothing we have seen before.
"I'm looking forward to a great event again this year!" noted Series Manager Louis-Philippe Gelinas. "The ECKC season was quite full with back to back events, the final at Le Monaco will be the show! I can't wait to see the championship results!"
The ECKC championship finale is set for Sunday, July 29, with the Coupe du Quebec Round #5 slated for Saturday, July 28. Saturday 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.