Article By: Efrain Olivares
Several new Winners in Phoenix on Sunday at Gatorz Challenge of the Americas Opening Weekend...
January 24, 2010 (Glendale, Ariz.) – The second day of competition at Formula K Raceway north of Phoenix saw what can only be described as perfect weather from beginning to end, providing perfect track conditions for the six classes of Rotax competition. As fast and furious as day one in Phoenix was, more of the same was expected on day two.
Toni Breidinger took control of the pre-main from the start and won handily, with Connor Robustelli finishing second with Annie Breidinger right on his bumper in third.
The main would be a different story, as Robustelli took the lead at the beginning with an outside pass in turn 10. He would spend the entire race fending off the Toni and Annie Breidinger, with their best chance at making a pass coming when the trio encountered lapped traffic through the esses. He took to the dirt and got some airtime to get past, but Robustelli pulled it off and drove to victory. Toni Breidinger finished second, but was later removed from the results, promoting Annie Breidinger to second and Jayden Larsen to third.
Reaction Karting Junior Rotax
Junior Rotax was a sweep by Louie Pagano on Saturday, and Sunday would prove to be no different. Pagano took pole position ahead of Luis Tyrrell and Nicholas Silva, with Saturday’s runner up Raquel Martinez in fourth.
Pagano controlled the pre-main from start to finish, while Martinez worked up to second with Tyrrell holding off Silva for third.
Martinez shot ahead of Pagano for the lead at the start of the main, but her lead was short-lived as Pagano took the spot back a lap later. While Pagano stretched his lead over Martinez, a race-long battle for third broke out between Tyrrell, Kiel Spaulding, Jake Craig, Nicholas Silva and Daniel Burkett. While running third, Tyrrell went off track as a result of contact with Spaulding, which would ultimately result in a penalty for Spaulding. But, at the end of the race, it was Dickerson who was sitting in third place.
The results would change afterwards, as Martinez was excluded, and Spaulding’s protest was upheld. The final results put Pagano first, Dickerson second, and Spaulding third.
Apollo Motorsports Minimax
Blaine Rocha took his second pole position of the weekend, with Davey Manthai, Jr., in second and Saturday’s winner, Parker Thompson, third.
The three drivers broke away from the field and had a three-way battle for the lead, until Rocha got into the back of Thompson in turn eleven, and then made contact again with Thompson at the exit of the corner, sending Thompson over a curb and throwing his chain. Rocha would win the race but was penalized a position for the contact, making Manthai, Jr. the winner. Trenton May finished third.
Manthai, Jr. and Rocha led the field away from the start, but Thompson was in a hurry and picked his way through the field in a hurry, making his way to third by the eighth lap. Unfortunately, he would throw another chain, putting him out of the race. The lead was settled on the 18th lap when Rocha passed Manthai, Jr. for good in turn 10. Rounding out the podium was Trenton May.
Championship Karting International Rotax Senior
Gustavo Menezes owned Rotax Senior on Saturday, but Sunday was all about Mason Marotta. Marotta grabbed pole position, with Justin Coplen just behind in second and Menezes third.
Coplen’s second in qualifying would be the highlight of his day, as he sank through the field like a rock almost from the green flag. Marotta led the first eight laps with Menezes right behind, but Menezes made a pass for the lead in turn 10 with two laps remaining. Marotta had no answer and would settle for second, while Stepanova Nakeel came home in third.
When the green flag fell for the start of the main, Marotta’s kart jumped ahead the field as the powerplant in Menezes’ kart lost fire, jamming up half the field. Menezes’ race – and kart – came to a stop on the exit of turn four. Marotta led early but was pursued by Lupton, who took the lead for a two laps before Marotta took it back and began to stretch out an advantage.
Behind that battle, several karts running in a train took a shot at third place. Jordan Jadallah held the spot for most of the race ahead of Nakeel, local Bud Grossenbacher, and Phil Gelinos before he was shuffled back. In the end, Marotta ran away with the win, Lupton was second, and Gelinos was an impressive third after starting ninth.
Overdrive Karting Rotax Masters
For the second straight day, Paul Bonilla qualified on pole with Mike Daniel second and Joey McGuire third.
Throughout the first eleven laps of the pre-main, the three ran in that order until McGuire had an axle snap under braking for turn 11, pitching him off the track and into retirement. Bonilla and Daniel finished first and second while Falcone inherited third.
Daniel took the lead from Bonilla at the start of the race, with Falcone doing an impressive job to hang onto the leading duo in the early laps. Behind them, McGuire was making his way through the field when he had another mechanical problem, ending his day and capping what was easily the most unlucky weekend in Phoenix with a total of three DNF’s.
Up front, Bonilla spent several laps stalking Daniel, looking for an opportunity that finally came on lap twelve as he dove under Daniel in turn 10. The two karts made contact, with Daniel falling off the track and rejoining in third, with Bonilla inheriting the lead and Falcone second. The three karts ran that way until the checkered, but after the race, Bonilla was handed a two-position penalty for his contact with Daniel. As a result, Scott Falcone became the winner, with Daniel second and Bonilla third.
Full Throttle Karting DD-2
Troy Castaneda swept Saturday’s DD-2 action and Sunday would be no different, but he did have his hands full in the pre-main as Eric ‘Action’ Jackson took the lead at the start and held it for several laps as Castaneda hunted for a way past.
Castaneda found his opportunity exiting turn eight onto the back straightaway, and the two drivers went wheel-to-wheel until Jackson had to concede the position.
Castaneda and Jackson finished first and second in the final, with Noel Dowler finishing in third.
The next stop for the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas will be rounds three and four at the CalSpeed Karting Center in Fontana, Calif. on February 22-24.