Jerry Peterson won the opening segment from the front row and then raced from the back of the field to the podium twice en route to claiming the overall victory in the inaugural PGP Enduro on Wednesday night at PGP Motorsports Park.
The team of Cameron Grimes-Hess and Jessica Dana claimed second-place honors and Eric Franzen, who like Peterson raced alone, finished third overall.
“(PGP) did a great job running the event,” said Franzen. “It all seemed to go so smoothly which is incredible considering how large the turnout was. I had such a great time.”
In all 46 drivers divided into 21 teams took part in the 90-minute Enduro, with five of the racers going it alone in single-person teams. PGP’s full .82-mile course was used for the three segments of event, with the racers running counter-clockwise — known as the normal heading for PGP regulars — in the first and third segments and clockwise in between.
The racing was close in the opening segment, with 21 tightly-packed karts vying for position, but it was Peterson who won after taking the lead when polesitter Cameron VanLierop was a victim of circumstances in Turns 3-4. After working forward from starting 15th, the kart ofTeam Gulickson-Cheng was second and Grimes-Hess started and finished third for Team Hess-Dana.
In addition to changing the racing direction, to make things more interesting in the second segment karts were shuffled and the starting grid was inverted, putting first segment winner Peterson dead last.
All that change created an exciting start to the second segment as 21 karts flew into “The Rollercoaster” turn. Track experience was a plus as many of PGP’s Rental Kart Racing Series regulars were able to survive the chaotic start and gain positions through the early laps.
After finishing fifth in the opener, Franzen charged through the field to the lead en route to winning the middle segment by a large margin. Close behind Franzen on his charge to the front were runner-up Dana, who gave Team Hess-Dana a second straight podium finish, and Peterson.
With a segment win apiece, Peterson and Franzen looked to be the favorites heading into the final race, with Team Hess-Dana also in the mix as Grimes Hess once again took the wheel. All three started at the rear after the karts were shuffled and the track direction shifted back to counter-clockwise.
PGP regular Maurice Sawver of Team Maurice-Mario-Stewart drove to the lead at the start and he began to pull away from the field in the early going. Grimes-Hess, Franzen and Peterson steadily moved forward until the first two drivers became locked in a battle for fourth place. After several laps of dueling, Franzen got by only to give the position back to Grimes-Hess when he spun after being blocked by a lapped kart.
Peterson was able to get past the other two contenders for the overall title and move into second place, cutting into Sawver’s lead as the laps wound down. Both Sawver and Peterson have raced PGP many times, and each put down near-flawless laps as darkness closed in and cut the final race short. Just inches separated them as Sawyer took the checkered flag, but finishing second was enough to hand Peterson the overall victory.
Grimes-Hess finished fourth and Franzen was fifth in the final segment, cementing their spots in the overall top three. Sawver’s segment win propelled Team Maurice-Mario-Stewart to finish the Enduro in fourth-place and William Johnson rounded out the overall top five.
“(The) Enduro was great, it really made my summer,” said Johnson. “I woke up this morning with a smile on my face and that never happens.”
Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who took part in the inaugural PGP Enduro, PGP Motorsports has scheduled another 90-minute endurance race for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4.
Inaugural PGP Enduro results
Wed., July 28, 2010 at PGP Motorsports Park in Kent, Wash.
1. Team Peterson (winner of Segment 1)
2. Team Hess-Dana
3. Team Franzen (winner of Segment 2)
4. Team Maurice-Mario-Stewart (winner of Segment 3)
5. Team Johnson
6. Team Allen
7. Team Pinter
8. Team Gulickson-Cheng
9. Team VanLierop
10. Team Perrigo
11. Team Johnson-Clapshaw
12. Team Hees-Egert-Richardson
13. Team Malon-Neider
14. Team Wageman-Trickett
15. Team Hess-Musch
16. Team Blakely
17. Team Shoemaker-Witlock
18. Team Oleg-Matthew-Keith
19. Team Provo-Lee-Burns
20. Team Tyler-Terry-Orson
21. Team McKinstry
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About PGP Motorsports Park: PGP Motorsports Park is the Northwest’s premier multi-purpose racing facility and is located in close proximity to the greater Seattle metropolitan area. Named “Best Guys Weekend Destination” for 2010 in the KING 5 Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington contest, the track is easy to get to and inexpensive to utilize, making PGP a rare combination of top-level racing excitement and affordability. For more information on PGP events and services, visit www.pacificgp.com or call (253) 639-7223.