Daigle startles in RACE event


CBR Cup racers: Robitaille is third from left; Viscasillas at far right. RACE instructor Chris Chapelle is third from right.
Dave Leonty photo

Karl Daigle, the defending No. 1 plate holder in the Shannonville-based RACE series, showed how he got his title win last year at a cold and windy track on the Victoria Day weekend.

On Shannonville’s Long Track (4.3 km) Daigle took his Kawasaki to a clear win over rookie Pro Jodi Christie in the Pro 600 race, then rode the same bike to a superb third in the Superbike contest, giving eventual winner Kevin Lacombe and second-placed Andrew Nelson fits on their Yamaha R1s.

Lacombe is primarily a National series rider and was using the RACE event for some set-up time with his Yamaha Motor Canada bikes prior to the first national at Calabogie next week. He joked that, "I thought I’d have to T-bone Karl to get past him! He rode very well."

On the podium, Daigle passed on the usual racer platitudes to thank Rahul Dua and GoLo Racing for putting on the fourth annual Max Mercier Memorial breakfast. Mercier and Karl were the best of friends, and the legendary Michel Mercier, Max’s dad, has taken on mentoring Daigle’s career since his son was killed in a racing accident. Dua and his team have raised considerable money for a rider safety fund with their annual memorial breakfasts.

The Honda CBR125 Cup series continues to grow. In its second season as a development class for young riders, six new racers have entered the fray so far, evenly split between boys and girls ranging in age from 12 to 15. Loic Viscasillas, 12-year-old son of Women’s Cup/Amateur 600 racer Natalie-Catherine Provost, was looking like the cream of the crop after the first track sessions back in April, but this weekend newcomer Karl Robitaille proved equal to Viscasillas’s aggression, the 14-year-old using some years of motocross and ice racing experience to take the win in the final.

The two youngsters were also invited to run with the GP125 class, and raised a few eyes with their times. The GP bikes were running in the low two-minute area (as were several of the Sportsman and Novice classes on much bigger equipment), while the kids got their CBRs into the low 2:20s, very respectable indeed for bikes with 12.5 hp on a good day.

The future of Canadian racing is looking good if they all stick with it.

The next RACE event is set for June 20-21.

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