A change of venue wasn’t enough to slow down Vincent Lalande on Saturday, as the teenaged star won his fifth consecutive race in the feature Canada Cup at the third round of the Canadian Mini Superbike Championship in Grand Bend, presented by the Super Sonic Road Race School.
The series shifted to the bigger circuit – a departure from their usual Lombardy Raceway – as part of a special one-off event alongside the Canadian Superbike Championship, but the new environment didn’t faze emerging young star Lalande as he made his name even more known around the Canadian racing paddock.
The 14-year-old out of Mirabel, QC stormed to pole position in the revised qualifying format aboard his mandated Ohvale machine, posting a best time of 40.82 seconds, and that pace trended into the fifth Canada Cup race of the campaign as he led start-to-finish to maintain his perfect season through six of eleven races.
Lalande was dealt a brief early challenge from Jared Walker, who was joining the feature class while attending the CSBK weekend, but Walker would eventually drift back and lose second place to Benjamin Hardwick, who continues his own streak of runner-up finishes.
Hardwick ultimately ended up just 1.01 seconds slower than Lalande after his late comeback, and his extended podium streak will keep the 13-year-old Sudbury, ON native in title contention as he chases his debut victory in round four.
Walker would hang on to compete the overall podium in third, while also taking home the victory in the GP-1 category amidst a successful MiniSBK debut weekend.
East-coast entry Vincent Wilson also enjoyed a strong first appearance with the series, earning a nail-biting victory in the combined Sport category ahead of nine-year old sensation Michael Galvis.
Wilson was challenged throughout by Galvis, the youngest entry in the MiniSBK field, as the youngster grabbed the holeshot and led in the early going with Wilson and pole-sitter Kyle Newman in tow.
Galvis would eventually concede the top spot to Wilson, launching a few late passes in an attempt to regain the lead, but it ultimately wasn’t enough as he was forced to settle for second place in the Sport category.
Joining the duo on the podium was Newman, who was making his MiniSBK debut as a local entry to the category.
Another notable pair in the Sport category was the husband-and-wife duo of Dwayne and Cindy Bucholtz, with Dwayne battling it out for an eventual fifth-place finish while Cindy managed a strong seventh-place result.
The Canadian Mini Superbike Championship won’t have to wait long before another thrilling weekend of action, with the fourth round returning to the Lombardy Raceway in two weeks time, June 24-26.
- From Professional Motorsports Productions