Article by: Superkarts! USA
The 2010 season for the Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge South program wrapped up over the August 13-14 weekend in Santa Maria as part of the PKC West Coast Shootout event. All ten categories of the Southern California regional series took part at a North versus South event, pitting the top drivers from each area against one another. Aside from the bragging rights to be earned, the South drivers were competing for class championships, contesting the sixth and final round of the year.
The headline S1 Pro Stock Moto category came down to the final laps of the season. Clinton Schoombee entered the finale as the point leader, with a slim 55-point advantage over Tommy Thompson – while Brad Dunford sat back in third. Things turned for the worse for Thompson’s charge for the title in the opening moments of qualifying. Thompson was making his initial laps in the timed session when he ran across an oil slick and went off course. The session was stopped; however, the damage had been done to Thompson’s machine, forcing him to miss the remainder of the session and the opening heat race. Dunford out-qualified Schoombee to sit third and fourth in the order. The two ran in the top-five in the opening moto while Schoombee ran into trouble himself on the final lap, experiencing a shattered front brake rotor to put him on the sidelines. In the main event, Dunford was primed for a podium finish until spinning while looking to overtake for the second position, falling out of contention. Thompson and Schoombee, however, both drove from the tail of the field to place fourth and fifth as Schoombee earned enough points on the day to claim his first series championship. Thompson would end up second, back 75 markers – with Dunford holding onto third.
Phil Giebler made his return to full-time karting in 2010, and earned the championship of the season by scoring the title in the competitive TaG Senior division. The former Indy 500 Rookie of the Year ran up front all season, standing on the podium in each of the six events – minus the opening round when a broken exhaust took him out of contention. Since then, Giebler went on to earn two wins, two runner-up spots and a third place finish. Giebler overcame minor issues early on in Santa Maria, fighting back to a second place performance. Two-time defending SKUSA SuperNationals TaG Master champion Billy Cleavelin had an up and down season running against the young guns. Recording two podium finishes on the season, Cleavelin held on to finish second in the standings, while Travis Lowe ended up third.
Coming into Santa Maria, the S4 Master Stock Moto category witnessed five different main event winners over the course of five events, leaving the championship up for grabs entering round six. Three-time SKUSA SuperNationals S4 winner Jeff Littrell came into the weekend with a four-point lead over Wayne Mello. The two qualified in the top-five, with Littrell holding the advantage. Through the first moto, the two remained near the front – but it would be the second heat that would change the complexion of the title chase. On lap two, Littrell was looking to advance his position when he hit fluid on the track, which sent him off course. Littrell would end up 20th, losing valuable points to Mello – who finished fifth. In the main event, Mello stayed the course as he placed fourth, while Littrell put in a phenomenal performance to end up eighth, up 12 positions in 15-laps. In the end, Mello would take home his first series championship by 50 points over Littrell, with Phil Dunford completing a successful season in the third position.
The difference between first and second in the S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto standings prior to Santa Maria was 88 markers, with Bryce Miller holding the top spot over Ryon Beachner. Needing the maximum amount of points possible, Beachner had a shot at stealing the title. To the max is how Beachner ran at the West Coast Shootout, sweeping the category each session – only missing out on the 10 bonus points for fast lap in the main event – to earn the class title. Miller qualified in eighth place and gained two spots in the first heat. During the second heat as he was making his way into the top-five, Miller spun on the final lap to end up 14th in the order. In the final, Miller would be able to drive up to tenth; however, it would not earn him enough points to defend the top spot, dropping to second in the standings. Vivek Tandon completed a strong season, placing on the podium four times with two victories. His second place run at the finale moved him to the third spot in the final point tally.
Scoring his fifth title in six seasons, PP Mastro put his name into the record books in G1 competition. Though the season was a dog fight with Roy Montgomery and the rest of the field, Mastro was able to come out on top. With five straight podium finishes, including one win, Mastro was able to score enough points to secure the title. The finale in Santa Maria was not pretty, with Mastro and Montgomery falling to the tail end of the field in the opening lap of the main event. Mastro would be classified seventh, with Montgomery placing ninth. Robert Marks was in contention for the finale victory until lap 13 when he spun to avoid a wreck, classified 10th at the end of the race. His consistency on rest of the season, however, put him third overall in the standings.
Leading the way in the new S3 Novice Stock Moto category all season was Jason Attwood. Utilizing the SKUSA Stock Moto ladder system, Attwood moved from S4 to S3 over the winter and began the season in January at CalSpeed, standing second on the podium. The remainder of the season Attwood stood one step higher, recording five wins – four of which were weekend sweeps. Jessica Sollberger ended the season second in points, with Tristen Orear in third. Luke Bianco captured his second straight S4 Magnum championship, thanks to his weekend sweep in Santa Maria. Bianco finished the season with four feature wins to edge out Marc Lewis for the title. In the S5 Junior Stock Moto division, Matias Podboj earned the series title over Scott Phillips. With three main event wins on the season, Phillips led in the victory column; however, Podboj’s two wins and more consistent results throughout the season put him on top.
Ron Rossetti stood on the TaG Master podium at all six events on the season, helping him claim the season championship. Allan Svela and Kim Ryan spent the year chasing Rossetti, finishing second and third in the points. Andrew Wiener ended the season with the TaG Junior title.
With the PKC South program wrapped up, the drivers will be able to accept their awards at the season-ending banquet, scheduled for September 25. The ProKart Challenge staff is currently finalizing the details of the awards ceremony with the location to be announced in the near future.
Racing is not quite over yet for the season, as the PKC North program will hold its final event over Labor Day weekend – September 3-4 at the Jim Russell International Karting Center in Sonoma, California. Once that weekend is complete, the PKC North champs will be crowned, and then the SKUSA staff and competitors will focus their full attention on the SKUSA Pro Tour finale, the SKUSA SuperNationals XIV, at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on November 17-21. For more information on anything related to SKUSA or the ProKart Challenge, visit the www.superkartsusa.com website or call the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.