Nick Leone

Nepveu lives up to expectation, but not without a fight in Junior MAX

Thomas Nepveau leads a train of karts
Thomas Nepveau. Photo: Cody Schindel / Canadian Karting News

Thomas Nepveu and Justin White have highlighted the Junior Max category so far, and with the two of them leading the field to green, it was going to be a proper battle for victory. Matheus Morgatto in third was certainly keen on making his intentions clear with Jaiden Pope in fourth.

White got the jump entering turn one as he would move straight into the lead, as Pope and Morgatto would follow, dropping Nepveu to fourth and struggling. Patrick Woods-Toth was looking very racey, as he moved his way around Nepveu into fourth position, chasing the rear end of White who had dropped to third. To our unknowing, an issue with White just one lap later, whether a personal mistake or contact with another driver had dropped to tenth.

The top five with thirteen to go would follow with Morgatto leading, Pope second,  Woods-Toth third, Tyler Gonzalez fourth, and Luca Mars in fifth. Falling as far back as sixth, Nepveu with half way complete began to find his feet once again, and moved around Gonzalez for the fourth position with roughly seven kart lengths to Woods-Toth in third.

It seemed, to our eye, perhaps PSL made a strategic adjustment to allow Nepveu's chassis to come in later in the race. With four to go entering turn one, Woods-Toth made the move on Morgatto for the lead in clean and precise fashion. Now, the fight was only just igniting as the top five had now bunched up, adding Nepveu and Gonzalez to the mix, and with two to go, Nepveu wowed us moving into the lead after an uphill battle all race. Pope made contact with Morgatto, after a questionable move allowing Nepveu to further his lead, and come home to take a brilliant win.

Woods-Toth had finished second, but was hit with a 3-second penalty post race for avoidable contact. Gonzalez got the promotion to second, and Morgatto, after coming ever so close to victory would limp home in a more than disappointing third position, following the contact earlier in the lap.