PCA Canadian Go Kart Championship
Thompson Wraps Up His Second Championship in Two Years
by Mark Russell
Well folks, another great season in the books, and lots of new stats:
Our April event settled several really close battles in the seasonal standings, and there was a fair amount of movement in the final standings. The night got off to an easy start with nice weather and a congenial congregation in the parking lot before the event.
Our standings from March showed a close race for first with McQuillan, Thomson and Russell. Trudeau and Baker were one point apart in the fight for fourth, and the rest of the top ten were within 12 points of each other.
Qualifying saw Ian McQuillan score another Pole position, and saw Colin Hillcoat suffer yet another unfortunately slow kart and net second-last place. This situation underscores how important impartiality is for our system. Karl and I were inclined to let Colin have another try since we knew he'd had bad luck with kart selection 2 other times this year. The problem is that if we'd let him go out again it would have been because we know he's a good sport and a nice guy. That means that if we didn't know someone who asked for another shot, they wouldn't get one, and if we did know them, they would. The best policy is to stick to the rules. So Colin got screwed again. It's interesting though, if you look at the data for total points with qualifying reduced by 50% (see the worksheet "Rank-Qual 50%"), Colin only moves up one position, despite suffering 3 really bad qualifying sessions this year.
So, after qualifying McQuillan seemed to have solidified his lead in the standings with a Pole win. Russell had out-qualified Thomson by 4 points, moving him in front of Thomson by 1 point. The karts used for qualifying were very equal (with the exception of the one Hillcoat got stuck with). Six of nine karts were within 0.4 seconds of each other. A seventh kart was also within that group, but one driver who was outside the FIA's 107% rule brought that kart's average down.
That brings up an interesting point - there was one driver at this event who was well outside of the 107% rule the FIA uses in qualifying for F1 (if you're not within 107% of Pole, you don't get to race). That driver unfortunately played a role in how the top three finished for the season. Since our series has been open to drivers outside of the Porsche Club we have maintained a very high standard of competitiveness. Of six events this year, only twice have we had a driver qualify outside of 107%. And in both cases it was only one driver.
The caliber of driving in our series is likely the highest of any indoor karting series extant. I know this to be true because last year I attended a pickup event at ProKart that was attended by the Sprongle brothers, Jud Buchanan, Joe Camilleri and a host of other SCCA, GM/Players Challenge, and Rothman's Challenge drivers. I wiped the floor with all of them (all humility aside), and I'm not even our fastest driver - the stats prove that. The simple fact is that a guy who beats all of his officemates in a pickup karting event would be lucky to be anything but last in our series.
So, back to our races. The first race was really busy for the first stint. Even though there were only 7 karts on the track there was a very close dice among the front three and the last three. After the teams settled into their pace for later stints there was minimal racing. Except for the McQuillan team, who had the driver outside of the 107% deal and they continued to move backward. The end of race 1 saw the Trudeau, Thomson, Karl team with the win, followed by the Liddle, Sturman, Lue team. The win for Karl Thomson would prove to be decisive in the final points, as was the last place for McQuillan.
To add insult to injury for the McQuillan team, because they had finished last (even though they had the fastest kart), their fast kart would be awarded to the Thomson team for race 2 (last place kart goes to the winning team). The Thomson team made good use of this kart in race 2 but they were only able to get to third. Race 2 was won by the Baker, Davidson, Hillcoat team, followed by the Russell, Creba, B. Sutherland team. Again, not really a lot of racing going on with only 7 karts on the track. We may have to come up with some new ideas next year to keep the racing close.
Top man on the night was Jody Trudeau with 57 points. Jody also won the rookie race for the season, followed by fast rookies Bill Sturman and Peter Dworschak.
Final Series Champion was Karl Thomson with 251 points, followed by Mark Russell with 250 points, and Ian McQuillan with 248 points. That is really close racing! If you look through the "Rank-Drop 1" worksheet you will see where the top ten stood last month and can compare that to the final standings.
I've also done a separate calculation for the top 20 where I reduced everyone's qualifying points by 50% to see what that would do to the final standings. Not much, it turns out. I was looking to see if there is any merit to reducing the amount of points we give out for qualifying - not many real racing series give a lot (or any) points for qualifying. Our series is really a combination of individual (qualifying) and team (endurance-style) racing. So I like to have as many points available for qualifying as we have for racing. That way it is an even combination of both individual and team effort.
For those looking to see how there individual performance was for the season I have provided qualifying-only points, with one event dropped for each driver. The driver with top individual bragging rights is Terry Baker with 150 qualifying points, followed by Mark Russell with 144 qualifying points, followed by Ian McQuillan with 143 qualifying points.
After our races, swag was distributed by Karl Thomson, with a nice windbreaker incorporating a tastefully subdued Porsche logo going to all of the regular drivers. Formula Kartways also got into the swag party and held a raffle, distributing hats and Porsche seatbelt pads among other things to at least half of the attendees. FK did a really great job preparing the karts and running our events this year and this was a nice extra for them to provide.
So another year is committed to the books. I hope to see everyone out again next year for more rubbin' bangin' and racin'. Cheers!
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