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Gatorz COA Round 3 & 4 Recap

3/2/2010

Gatorz Challenge of the Americas crams two days of racing into one long Sunday

March 2, 2010 (Fontana, Calif.) – It would end up being a very long day for the drivers of the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas on Sunday at the Calspeed Karting Center in Fontana, Calif. Owing to several circumstances outside of the control of the series, five of the six mains from Saturday were rescheduled to Sunday morning. Owing to flooding of the Long Beach section of the Calspeed track, all of the round three races were run on a shortened modified course, while the round four race used the full Grande Counter Clockwise track.
Round 3
Championship Karting International Rotax Senior
In heavy rain, Garrison Masters led Justin Coplen at the start of the race, but it was Phil Gelinos taking the lead with a move up the inside of the hairpin. Coplen, however, didn’t take long to work past Gelinos to take the lead and began building an advantage. Gelinos held off Masters and Menezes for a while, until Masters passed Gelinos and Menezes crashed at the end of the backstraightaway, putting him out. Coplen had a small advantage over Masters that was negated as soon as the two karts hit lapped traffic. Masters, however, was unable to do anything with Coplen in traffic, and once he cleared it, Coplen streaked off into the distance to take the win, with Masters second and Bobby Kelley finishing third after charging through the field.
Overdrive Karting Rotax Masters
With a wet track that was rapidly drying, the Rotax Masters drivers hit the track with several on slicks and several on rain tires. Jim Busby, Jr., on slicks, led from the start with Paul Bonilla and Scott Falcone right behind. Bonilla and Falcone were able to get away from Busby in the early going and lead the race, but as the track dried out Busby was able to easily catch and pass the two and simply left them behind. Behind them, Bonilla and Falcone were caught by Andre Ericksen and Mike Daniel, and the four put on an entertaining battle for the two podium spots. Daniel earned the unofficial Pass of the Race award when he passed Bonilla and Falcone in one move to take third, but at the end Busby won with Bonilla second and Ericksen in third.
Team Arizona DD-2
This race would need two starts to get going, as Glen Poy-Wing had a solo incident on the first lap that required him to be tended to by the ambulance. On the restart, Erik Jackson jumped out to a lead but Troy Castaneda needed only a couple of laps to catch Jackson and make a pass for the lead into turn six. Jackson would answer a lap later and the two battled throughout the race, swapping the lead several times until the final lap. Jackson and Castaneda battled up the hill into turn nine, and Jackson got underneath Castaneda allowing Matt Ostiguy to slide into second place. Castaneda countered, and as Jackson crossed the finish line in first, Castaneda made contact with Ostiguy as he tried to take back second place, sending both karts spinning past the finish line.
Reaction Karting Junior Rotax
Louie Pagano led the field out of the first corner, with Nicholas Silva and Marcus Brodie giving chase. Pagano began to pull away from the field right away, while there was quite a bit of carnage behind as Silva spun out of second, Austin King was eliminated after he spun and was hit by another kart, and McKean’s race was over after he hit the turn nine barriers. While all this was going on, Daniel Burkett was working his way forward, up to second from his eighth starting position while Raquel Martinez, who started at the back of the field, was charging through the field. Second through tenth was running together, trading positions nearly every lap, but Martinez caught the group and made her way forward. On the final lap, she worked past third-placed Brodie and held it to the checkered. Pagano won his third-straight Challenge of the Americas race, with Burkett second and Martinez third.
Apollo Motorsports Minimax
Parker Thompson led the Minimax race from the start, and instantly began pulling out a large gap from the field behind. Michael Womack, Davey Manthai, Jr., Royal McKee, Blaine Rocha, Alec Bergstrom and Adam Iavelli drove in a train, trading positions two through seven all the way until the final lap. By that point, Thompson was far in front and Womack was in second with a comfortable gap over Bergstrom in third with May right behind. May and Bergstrom made contact on the final lap in the hairpin, with Bergstrom through into third place. Thompson won his second race of the year, with Womack second and Bergstrom third.
Gobirel.com Micromax
Nicky Hays dominated the main, leading flag to flag with Connor Robustelli finishing second with Annie Breidinger pushing him for third.
Round 4
Championship Karting International Rotax Senior
Stepanova Nakeel led the final with Round Three winner Justin Coplen, Mason Marotta, and Steven Barros giving chase. Coplen immediately tried a move on Nakeel that didn’t work, and he lost two spots, allowing Marotta the chance to pressure Nakeel for the lead. Marotta couldn’t keep it up, however, and Nakeel began to pull ahead while Neil Alberico, Phil Gelinos, and Ben Schermerhorn caught the group battling for the podium spots. Alberico moved through the group, up to second, while Schermerhorn was doing the same thing. He made his way up to fourth, right behind Marotta, when Marotta slowed and pulled off the track with a mechanical problem. On the final lap, Barros passed Schermerhorn for third place, while Gelinos muscled past Schermerhorn in turn nine for fourth. Way out in front, however, Nakeel took the win ahead of Alberico and Barros.
Overdrive Karting Rotax Masters
Round three winner Jim Busby, Jr. led from the green flag with Mike Daniel and Ken Maxfield behind. It didn’t take long for things to get interesting, as Paul Bonilla, Scott Falcone, Andre Ericksen and Ron Rosetti got together in turn nine. Falcone and Rosetti fell well back behind the field as a result. At the front it was the same story all over again, as Busby simply began to drive away from the battle for second between Daniel and Maxfield. Hayashigawa and Bonilla ran fourth and fifth, while Jarrod Bradley held off Jon Kimbrell for sixth. In the end, much like he did earlier in the day, Busby took a dominating win and Daniel held off Maxfield for second and third.
Team Arizona DD-2
Jackson led the field out of turn one with an outside move on polesitter Troy Castaneda. It didn’t take long, however, for Castaneda to battle back with a pass into turn one on the next lap. Jackson fought back but Castaneda shut the door, and immediately began to pull away. Jackson would fall back into the clutches of Matt Ostiguy, but Ostiguy was unable to find a way past. Behind them, Tim Otto and Noel Dowler battled throughout the race for fourth place. In the top three, however, the order would stay the same until the end, with Castaneda winning, Jackson second, and Ostiguy third.
Reaction Karting Junior Rotax
The first attempt at a start didn’t work, as a large crash taking out half the field led to a red flag and a full restart. On that restart, polesitter Luis Tyrrell jumped out to a huge lead while off-pole starter Louie Pagano went backwards to fifth, with Austin King jumping up to second and Jeremy Kane moving to third. Kane made an immediate move for second and began to draw away from King as Spaulding and Pagano began to put pressure on King. Pagano passed Spaulding, then King, then began to work on the large gap that Jeremy Kane had built over third. At this point, Tyrrell had a massive lead and was beginning to work lapped traffic. Four laps from the end, Pagano made the pass on Kane for second place, but he would have no opportunity to catch Tyrrell. Tyrrell won his first Gatorz Challenge of the Americas race in domination fashion, with Pagano’s win streak broken by finishing second, and Kane in third.
Apollo Motorsports Minimax
A large melee in turn one of the final shuffled the order at the front of the field, with round three winner Thompson leading Blaine Rocha, Zane Smith, Michael Womack and Davey Manthai, Jr. Rocha, however, didn’t let Thompson get away and took the lead with a pass in turn six. A lap later, Womack did the same move on Thompson to move him to third. The two drivers continued to trade positions, allowing Rocha to pull away and race unchallenged to the checkered flag. On the final lap, with Thompson in second, Womack attempted a pass in the hairpin and the two karts came together. Womack fell way back, Thompson could not get his kart going, and Smith inherited second place with Manthai, Jr. inheriting third.
Gobirel.com Micromax
Polesitter Nicky Hays spun and contacted the barriers at the start of the race, allowing Connor Robustelli to take the lead with Annie Breidinger in second and Toni Breidinger in third. Robustelli held the lead until the final lap, when he spun exiting turn nine, allowing Annie Breidinger to pass his kart and take the win. Robustelli finished second, with Toni Breidinger in third.

425 Motorsports