The amateur ranks produced a quartet of exciting races at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Sunday, capping off a thrilling opening round of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship.
Despite plenty of preseason hype for Andrew Cooney, it was instead Mavrick Cyr who proved to be the primary amateur to beat, jumping out to an early lead in the AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike race and never looking back.
The Rizzin Racing Triumph rider would beat Cooney by over eight seconds in a surprisingly dominant appearance, with the Fast Company Honda rider settling for an equally distant second over Matt Vanderhorst.
The BMW-mounted Vanderhorst would complete the podium, winding up on top of a thrilling three-rider battle over Bobby Desjardins and Alberta’s Philip Degama-Blanchet.
It was a similar result for Cyr in the Scorpion EXO Amateur Sport Bike class, though not so much for Cooney as he ended up only sixth – a shocking finish for the rider many tabbed as the runaway champion of 2023.
Taking his place behind Cyr was local rider Jordan Decarie, who managed to push the younger rider for majority of the race before finishing just over a second short.
Desjardins would complete the podium in third, while graduating Amateur Lightweight champion Bryce DeBoer impressed in fourth, narrowly holding off Degama-Blanchet and Cooney at the line.
Rising star Vincent Lalande capped off a perfect weekend in the Super Sonic Race School Amateur Lightweight class, winning a thrilling race two from Jack Beaudry.
The two teenagers battled intensely late on after Lalande led and Beaudry played catch-up, with both hitting the front at various points in the final four laps. The 15-year-old Lalande timed his final move to perfection, however, making the decisive pass just prior to hitting lapped traffic on the penultimate lap.
That allowed the SpeedFactory67 rider to put some distance between himself and Beaudry, holding off the Manitoba native aboard his TPL Racing Kawasaki in the final moments.
The two then collided on the cooldown lap, with Lalande heading for a brief checkup with medical – though the reigning MiniSBK champion was thankfully uninjured. His victory was put in even more impressive context afterwards, however, as he revealed he was racing with a broken quick-shifter after his crash on Saturday.
The win puts Lalande comfortably out front in the Lightweight championship standings, after taking 57 of a possible 58 points – losing out only to Beaudry in qualifying.
Vincent Wilson completed the podium in third, beating Justin Marshall to the line as the New Brunswick native rebounded from his crash in race one. Marshall’s fourth-place finish will still prove to be crucial, however, as he leaves SMP second in the title fight to Lalande.
The effects of Lalande’s shifter issues unfortunately knocked him out of the battle for the EBC Brakes Lightweight Pro/Am victory early on, as Ryan Vanderputten cruised to the pro win while Wilson swept the amateur division.
Vanderputten crashed out on Saturday but left little to chance on Sunday, winning by almost ten seconds from Wilson, while race one winner Stacey Nesbitt finished third on-track and second in the pro category.
Johann Plancque finished fifth overall to become the third pro and claim the final podium spot, while Beaudry in fourth and Grant Nesbitt in seventh completed the rostrum in the amateur splits.
The full results from the amateur classes can be found on the series’ official website.