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Race Report: Rotax Pan American Challenge Series

8/26/2010

Article by: rotaxmaxchallenge.com


Round 3 of the inaugural Pan American Rotax Challenge series made the stop at Florida’s popular Homestead Karting center. Tony Schroeder greeted Pan Am officials with a brand new timing and scoring building with a mechanics viewing area on top. A couple of things everyone realizes when you visit South Florida in August are heat, humidity and rain. Mother Nature provided a number of challenges and the racers responded with some great battles on the track. As with Round 2, more countries were represented with racers from Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela on hand.

Friday’s practice was cut short by rain just prior to the last round of practice. Saturday’s events went off without a hitch with very close racing providing hard earned podiums for each class. Sunday morning dawned with more heat and humidity, of course what else should have been expected. While Saturday was a very calm day with little to no problems, Sunday would make up for it. Mother Nature would unleash on the track just at the end of the Senior Pre-Final and continue thru the lunch time.

Just as the Senior Pre-Final was ending the rain started. During the lunch break it let loose with a couple of inches causing some serious flooding of the track. With no way to drain, the standing water becomes a problem. Once the rain stopped officials looked at the problem areas and after discussing what they saw it was determined only a section of the carrousel was an issue. Some cones were used to move the corner outside of the water changing the corner slightly but still race-able. Any more rain and officials knew they would be in danger of losing the track completely. It was also decided that major alterations to the configuration was not an option. The start of the Finals was delayed 45 minutes to allow for needed changes and to get some standing water in other areas swept.

Micro Max

Saturday:

Qualifying
1. Joshua Sirgany 54.224
2. Darren Keane 54.423
3. Juan David Buitrago 54.560

Sirgany went to the top of the chart with his first lap and stayed there. Buitrago challenged with a 54.560 at the 4:46 mark of the 10-minute session and Keane gave it his best shot at 9:17 with a 54.423. Each time someone challenged Sirgany, he dropped a quicker lap to keep all of his competitors behind him.

Pre-Final
1. Juan David Buitrago
2. Darren Keane
3. Joshua Sirgany

Sirgany went to the lead before the field finished the first lap and crossed the strip with Buitrago, Keane, Ian Rodriquez and cousin Justin Sirgany as the early top-five. The group stayed that way thru the first 6 laps until heading into turn 2 when Buitrago got the better of Joshua to grab the lead. For the next couple of laps, the 2 traded places multiple times with Keane getting to second on lap 9. When the checkered flag dropped, it was Buitrago, Keane, Joshua Sirgany, Justin Sirgany and Rodriguez leading the field. Fast time for the Pre-Final went to Darren Keane at 54.209 in lap 3.

Final
1. Juan David Buitrago
2. Darren Keane
3. Joshua Sirgany

The beginning of the Micro Max final saw Joshua Sirgany slip into the second spot relegating Keane to third with Justin Sirgany and Rodriguez in tow. The field stayed in line until lap 12 when Keane slipped by Sirgany to climb into second. At the checkered flag, Buitrago held a 2.5-second lead over second with less than a tenth of a second separating Keane and Sirgany. Buitrago also took home fast lap honors with a 54.182 on the last lap of the final.

Following Saturdays competition the points were;

Juan David Buitrago 397
Max Hewitt 383
Darren Keane 378
Lockland Defrancesco 332


Sunday:

Qualifying
1. Darren Keane 53.934
2. Juan David Buitrago 54.055
3. Joshua Sirgany 54.120

Qualifying for Sunday was just like Saturday with the top 3 the same, just in different positions. Keane would not get his fastest lap until lap 7 while Buitrago put down his best in lap 4. Sirgany turned his best in lap 9.

Pre-Final
1. Juan David Buitrago
2. Darren Keane
3. Joshua Sirgany

Heading into turn 1, it was Keane, Joshua Sirgany, Buitrago, Rodriguez and Justin Sirgany. Lap 3, Justin Sirgany passed Rodriguez to fall in behind his cousin Joshua. Coming around turn 1 for the beginning of lap 6, Rodriquez and Manuel Troncoso got together with Mathias Romirez becoming the innocent victim and colliding with the other two. The impact tossed him out of his kart and officials decided to put out the Red Flag after getting to Romirez. The EMTs were on the track quickly and after assessing the situation they elected to move him into the emergency vehicle for further check-up. Officials decided at this point to declare the Pre-Final done and send the rest of the field to the scales. The final results for the pre final were Buitrago, Keane, Joshua Sirgany, Justin Sirgany and Rodriquez. Fast lap was set by Darren Keane at 54.044.

Final
1. Joshua Sirgany
2. Darren Keane
3. Justin Sirgany

To begin the final, the Micro Max drivers were given 2 laps to drive and learn the reconfigured corner before starting their formation lap. Now on rain tires, it would be interesting to see how these young competitors would handle the adverse conditions. The field took the green and Joshua Sirgany came across the strip to complete lap 1 with Keane, Buitrago, Rodriquez and Justin Sirgany right behind. Locklan DeFrancesco ended up into some water ending his Final and Nicholas Bruckner collided with another kart causing him to lose a chain. While these two were out before the completion of lap 1, the rest of the class kept the competition tight. In lap 2, Justin Sirgany moved into fourth followed by Troncoso in fifth. Two more drivers dropped out before the finish but at the checkered flag, it was Joshua Sirgany, Keane, Justin Sirgany, Buitrago, and Rodriquez.

With the points for this weekend added in, the top-five heading into California for the Micro Max Championship are:

Juan David Buitrago 484
Darren Keane 468
Max Hewitt 457
Lockland Defrancesco 355
Joshua Sirgany 354

Mini Max
Missing from the weekend were several Mini Max points leaders. Going into Round 3, Dalton Sargeant held a strong lead over the rest of the Mini Max field but he made a decision to move into Juniors to begin preparation for the 2011 season. Also missing were Patricio O’Ward, the number 2 leader into the weekend and #5 Derek Scott.

Saturday:

Qualifying
1. Kyle Kirkwood 50.515
2. Thomas Issa 50.687
3. Logan Sargeant 50.974

Juan Correa went to the top of the chart on lap 1 with a 51.102. He held this until lap 3 when Sargeant put down a 50.974, followed by Issa with a 50.687 and two seconds later, Kirkwood with his 50.515. Juan Correa produced a 51.007 on lap 7 and Devlin DeFrancesco a 51.085 on lap 6, but the top 3 maintained their places thru the close of the session. Kirkwood was so confident of his time he pulled off after his fifth lap.

Pre-Final
1. Thomas Issa
2. Kyle Kirkwood
3. Logan Sargeant

With the green flag to start the Pre-Final, Issa tucked in tight behind Kirkwood with Correa right on his bumper to make it 1-2-3 and Sargeant falling to fourth place. But Sargeant is such an experienced racer at the age of 9, he did not push the issue and just fell into line knowing there was plenty of time to move up in the next eleven laps. By the end of the first lap, Issa had moved to the front with Kirkwood in second followed by Correa, Sargeant and Versteeg. The top 7 crossed every lap in the same order. In the end, Issa lead Kirkwood to the line by .025 of a second with Sargeant almost 3 seconds behind. Kirkwood backed up his top qualifying time with the Pre-Final fast lap of 50.900.

Final
1. Kyle Kirkwood
2. Logan Sargeant
3. Thomas Issa

With the green flag and the field heading to turn 1, Sargeant used his 3rd place start following the leader into turn 1 for second place heading down the long back starting to turn 2. Behind them Correa, DeFrancesco and Kirkwood fell in line. Kirkwood got by DeFrancesco in lap 3 to move into fourth. Behind DeFrancesco, Austin Versteeg, Jonathan Law and Cole Glasson were trying to put on a challenge. In lap 7, both Sargeant and Kirkwood set their fastest laps trying to get to the bumper of Issa. In lap 10, Kirkwood got a huge run out of 1 heading to turn 2 to get by both Issa and Sargeant. In lap 11, the fourth place driver Correa dropped out moving DeFrancesco up one and Jose Brito into the top five. At the end, Kirkwood received the checkered flag and first place win seven-tenths of a second ahead of Sargeant with Issa, DeFrancesco and Brito completing the top 5. In the Final Kirkwood completed the fast lap of the element sweep with a 50.979.

At the end of the day with Saturdays points added in Sunday would begin with Sargeant holding a 19 point lead over DeFrancesco, followed by Versteeg and Glasson.

Logan Sargeant 418
Devlin DeFrancesco 399
Austin Versteeg 355
Cole Glasson 342


Sunday:

Qualifying
1. Kyle Kirkwood 50.609
2. Logan Sargeant 50.625
3. Thomas Issa 50.643

Qualifying results for Sunday were almost a duplicate of Saturday. Kirkwood was again at the top with Sargeant and Issa reversing the order from Saturday. The top 8 were only separated by six-tenths of a second. Versteeg held the fifth fastest time but when his tires were checked with the scanner they turned out to be the wrong ones, disqualifying his times.

Pre-Final
1. Logan Sargeant
2. Devlin DeFrancesco
3. Juan Correa

At the end of lap 1, it was Sargeant, Kirkwood, Issa, Correa and DeFrancesco holding the top 5 positions. In lap 6, DeFrancesco moved past Correa for fourth. As they crossed the line it was Sargeant, Kirkwood, Issa, DeFrancesco and Correa. Kirkwood was assessed a 2 position penalty for driving and Issa a five-second penalty for a start infraction. After the penalties were assessed it moved Sargeant and DeFrancesco to the front row to start the Final.

Final
1. Devlin DeFrancesco
2. Logan Sargeant
3. Thomas Issa

Mini Max would be on rain tires also as the rain had stopped but with plenty of water on the track no one was willing to take the chance with slick tires. When the green flag dropped, DeFrancesco jumped into the lead ahead of Sergeant with Versteeg in tow, followed by Law and Issa. Issa and Versteeg switched positions on lap 3 as Law dropped out and Glasson moved into fifth. On lap 5, Sargeant moved up to the lead only to have DeFrancesco regain the lead the next lap. The remaining top 5 after 6 laps were Versteeg, Issa and Correa. On lap 7, Versteeg spun coming into the carousel where the track had been changed for standing water, bringing out a caution that remained in the corner for a couple of laps. The next time by with DeFrancesco in the lead and Sargeant second, DeFrancesco went wide into the turn and Sargeant dropped low, passing after they exited the turn. It would be later ruled that Sargeant passed under yellow and would be put back one spot. For the remaining laps, DeFrancesco could get to Sargeant but not enough to pass him so at the strip it was Sargeant, DeFrancesco, Issa, Correa and Glasson. On the start, officials declared DeFrancesco had jumped the start and was penalized five seconds, but with the passing under yellow penalty the final results placed DeFrancesco first and Sargeant second. A protest did not change the final ruling so the final results stood.

Leading into California the points are close and some positions are up for grabs, including the championship.

Logan Sargeant 508
Devlin DeFrancesco 488
Austin Versteeg 429
Cole Glasson 417


Junior
Beginning the weekend it appeared the competition would be for the second spot at the Rotax Grand Finals for Juniors. Sebastian Ordonez began the weekend with a commanding 54 point lead in the standings followed by Dore Chaponick, Ethan Ringel and Alec Udell. Keep in mind that Ringel is already headed to the Rotax Grand Finals via his third place finish at the US Grand Nationals. Two, three and four were only separated by 11 points so we could expect some hard racing in the always competitive Junior class.

Saturday:

Qualifying
1. Dore Chaponick Jr 48.819
2. Tristan Nunez 48.920
3. Sebastian Ordonez 49.074

Nineteen Juniors would hit the track with Chaponick setting the pace in qualifying. On his second lap he went to the top of the field with a 48.819. At the 5:15 mark of the 15 minute session, Tristan Nunez challenged but fell short with a 48.920. In his ninth lap, Ordonez delivered his best effort with a 49.074. Alec Udell ended the session fourth and Jamaican Collin Daley fifth. In the end the top 5 drivers were separated by less than 3/10 of a second and the top 15 were less that 1 second apart.

Pre-Final
1. Sebastian Ordonez
2. Dore Chaponick Jr.
3. Alec Udell

The top 5 order from qualifying did not even hold up thru the first lap as Ordonez crossed the finish line in the lead followed by Chaponick, Udell, Ringel and Jack West. Daley slipped to sixth and Nunez all the way to seventh. West moved into fourth past Ringel on lap 2. Rounding out the top 10 after lap 3 was Nunez, Ethan Low, Daley, Ashley Rogero and Evan Mehan. On lap 4, AJ Myers, Jordan Perry and Ryan Rupp all made their way past Mehan. On lap 6, Nunez finally worked his way up to fifth and then past Ringel for fourth the next lap. The top 5 remained that way with the checkered flag falling on lap 15. Nunez set the Pre-Final fast lap of 49.346 on lap 15.

Final
1. Sebastian Ordonez
2. Alec Udell
3. Tristan Nunez

At the end of lap 2, the field crossed the strip with Ordonez leading the parade followed close by Udell, Ringel, Chaponick, Nunez, Myers, Rogero, Low , Rupp and West. Low moved past Rogero on lap 3, and then Myers on lap 4. On lap 5, West made his way into seventh behind Low. At the half way point of the 23-lap Final, it was Ordonez, Udell, Chaponick, Ringel, Nunez, West, Rupp, Low, Daley and Myers in the top 10 order. In lap 16 Chaponick got by Udell for second. In lap 18, some contact shuffled the top 5 with Ringel moving to second followed by Nunez and Chaponick as Udell fell from second to fifth. By lap 20, Udell had moved back into second, leading Nunez, Ringel and Chaponick. That was the way they crossed the finish line on lap 23 with Ordonez out front.

Points totals including Saturdays events left the top 5 as;

Sebastian Ordonez 458
Dore Chaponick, Jr. 395
Ethan Ringel 387
Alec Udell 384
Collin Daley 291


Sunday

At the beginning of the day officials issued a supplemental regulation for all classes to deal with drivers using more than the official track around turn 1 to get faster times. Drivers were notified that if their left tires went past the left side of the curbing each lap that the violation occurred, a 1 second penalty would be assessed. For several drivers this affected their qualifying times dramatically. Considering the top 15 on Saturday qualified within a second this was a huge penalty but a necessary one to curb the constant infractions.

Qualifying
1. Dore Chaponick Jr. 48.689
2. Alec Udell 48.705
3. Jack West 48.744

Chaponick, the top qualifier on Saturday, duplicated his effort on Sunday with his third lap turning a 48.689. After that he took one more lap and pulled it in. Ordonez, a perennial top qualifier missed something as he finished sixth in the time charts. Udell put his best time up at the 5:36 mark and West at 5:35. Just like Saturday the top 14 were within 1 second. A couple of more could have been in the mix but penalties for turn 1 situation dropped them down on the time sheet.

Pre-Final
1. Collin Daley
2. Jack West
3. AJ Myers

Turn 1 is always a trouble spot for classes and the Junior took their turn. Several drivers were involved including Udell, who retired after 2 laps. Ordonez, Ringel, Low and Mehan all encountered incidents during the pre-final that resulted in an early end to their race. At the completion of lap 1, pole sitter Chaponick held the lead followed to the stripe by West, Daley, Myers and Cozzaglio. On lap 2, Daley moved past both West and Chaponick to lead the rest of the pre-final race. At the end of 5 laps, Daley lead West, Myers, Low and Cozzaglio across the line. On lap 8, Mehan fell out followed by Low on the next lap. In the end the results looked different than any finishing order for the weekend with Daley leading the finish. Tristan Nunez who finished seventh held fast lap with a 48.487.

Final
1. Jack West
2. Sebastian Ordonez
3. Collin Daley

With the track still wet the Juniors stayed with rains but it was evident with the sun and heat the track would begin drying during this 23 lap final. This would also be a challenging race with several fast experienced drivers towards the back. The drive of the weekend would also take place in this element by Alec Udell. Starting in 18th he would start his charge from the drop of the green. Daley led the field to the first lap with Myers, West, Rupp and Perry as the top 5. Meanwhile, Udell had already gained four spots to move into 14th. On lap 2, Rupp went to second dropping Myers back with West staying in third. At the end of 5 laps, it was Daley, West, Rupp, Perry and Nunez with top qualifier Chaponick in 12th, and points leader Ordonez in seventh ahead of Udell, 4 seconds behind the leader. On lap 6, West got by Daley to take control of the race with everyone in pursuit. At the end of 10, it was West, Rupp and Udell in third - 22 seconds back of West. The rest of the top 10 was Daley, Ordonez, Nunez, Perry , Myers, Ringel and Rogero. On lap 17, Udell got by Rupp and was only one-second behind West turning laps nearly eight-tenths of a second faster. Crossing the strip for the 19th lap, Udell was only three-tenths of a second behind the leader and closing fast. At the 180 turn 7, Udell made his move on West dropping inside but suddenly went straight, not making the turn. His race from the back ended in bitter disappointment. At the finish, it was West, Ordonez, Daley, Ringel, Rupp, Nunez, Chaponick, Myers, Perry and Low. When Udell returned to the pit he held a brake bleeder screw in his hand that had worked loose.

Heading to the final round in October the players will be;

Sebastian Ordonez 530
Dore Chaponick, Jr. 469
Ethan Ringel 455
Alec Udell 439
Collin Daley 375


Wes Phillips and Derek Wang
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Masters/DD2/DD2 Masters
A low turnout in the three classes provided an opportunity to combine the categories and shorten the race day which everyone welcomed. Two of the Masters drivers came from Monterey, Mexico to compete along with two American drivers, which included series regular James Hunnel. Missing from the Masters class was Mike Daniels, the points leader after rounds 1 and 2. In the DD2 Senior class, Derek Wang and Wes Phillips competed with Phillips moving from a CRG chassis at New Castle to an Arrow chassis for this event. Filling the lone DD2 Masters position was Florida native Todd Ulmen who qualified for the Grand Finals thru the US Grand Nationals. Missing in Florida was points leader Jim Busby who will be at the CalSpeed event.

Saturday:

Qualifying
In the Masters competition on Saturday, Andrew Longe posted the fastest qualifying time on his fourth trip around the Homestead circuit with a 51.496. Mexico driver Salvator Bortoni finished with the second fastest time less than one-tenth of a second behind. They were followed by Luis Perez and James Hunnell.

In DD2 qualifying, Derek Wang set fast lap at 48.785 and Todd Ulmen in the Masters category at 48.731.

Pre-Final
The Pre-Final was uneventful with DD2 Masters driver Todd Ulmen actually beating both Senior drivers to the checkered flag with Wang crossing ahead of Phillips. In Masters, the field started bunched up but spread out pretty quickly with Longe taking the win followed by Perez, Bortoni and Hunnell.

Final
The final saw Wes Philips grabbing the lead over Ulmen and cruising to victory. On lap 21, Wang made contact with a Masters driver forcing him to retire. In the Masters class Bortoni took the win with Longe second, followed by Hunnell.

Points totals following Saturdays competition

DD2 Senior
Derek Wang 549
Wes Phillips 358

DD2 Masters
Todd Ulmen 441
Jim Busby 368

Masters
James Hunnell 473
Mike Daniel 360


Sunday:

Qualifying
In the DD2 class it was Wang getting the better of Phillips. Ulmen did not present himself for the session due to some injured ribs from the day before. For the Masters division, Longe set fast time followed by Bortoni and Hunnell.

Pre-Final
In the DD2 class, it was Phillips taking the point with the green flag and leading thru lap 11 when he was overtaken by Wang, who led to the finish. For the Masters drivers, Longe led the entire race with Bortoni dropping out on lap 3 and Hunnell on lap 5.

Final
As the junior race came to a completion the DD2s and Masters on the grid recognized it was time to change back to slicks. As the first class to return to slicks the first few laps were interesting in a few spots. There was still enough standing water in places that a mistake could make your cleanup efforts very extensive.

With the green flag, Wang won the race to turn 1 leading Phillips and the Masters drivers Longe, Hunnell and Bortoni. Everything stayed in this order with Hunnell dropping out on lap 6. On Lap 8, Phillips got by Wang and they finished in this order. Phillips set fast time for DD2 with a 48.983.

The points in DD2 will end up qualifying Phillips and Wang for the Grand Finals. The DD2 Masters spot is currently headed by Todd Ulmen with Jim Busby waiting to compete at the October event in California. For Masters it is James Hunnell in the lead now with Mike Daniel waiting for him in California.

DD2 Senior
Derek Wang 549
Wes Phillips 358

DD2 Masters
Todd Ulmen 441
Jim Busby 368

Masters
James Hunnel 473
Mike Daniel 360


Senior
You always expect the Senior class to be a exciting race. With 15 Senior drivers the talent level was as good as it could get. Coming into the weekend the top 5 were all within striking distance of the 2 Grand Final spots, it would just depend on who had good and bad weekends. In the third position coming into Saturdays elements was Troy Castaneda, who has already qualified as a DD2 Senior driver thru the Challenge of the Americas. This left 4 drivers to battle for the 2 trips to Italy in November.

Saturday:

Qualfiying
1. Daniel Formal 48.728
2. Jesus Rios Jr 48.880
3. Nick Neri 48.959

The field left the grid, Daniel Formal warmed up his tires on the out lap, laid down a 48.728 completing lap 1 and it would hold for the entire 15 minute session. Rios put down his fast time in lap 4 and Neri in his third lap. All 3 are Florida drivers know the track and these 3 were the only ones to break into the 48s. This set the stage for a very interesting Pre-Final start.

Pre Final
1. Daniel Formal
2. Gabby Chavez
3. Jesus Rios Jr.

From the drop of the green flag, Formal and Rios went at it all the way to turn 1 with Rios getting through the corner first. At the end of lap one it was Rios, Formal, Gabby Chavez, Neri and Mario Solares. Points leaders Dunne and Pedrosa found themselves in seventh and 13th. In lap 2, Formal took the lead from Rios. In lap 5 Dunne moved to fifth and Pedrosa up to 11th, both knowing they needed good finishes but DNFs would be very bad for points. In lap 11, Pedrosa moved into the top 10. At the completion of the 15 lap Pre-Final, it was Formal, Rios, Chavez, Neri and Dunne with Pedrosa working his way up to seventh. Fast lap went to Formal with a 49.417. A 3 second penalty assessed for jumping the start and crossing the acceleration line before the pole sitter Formal moved Rios down to third and Chavez up to second for the results.

Final
1. Daniel Formal
2. Gabby Chavez
3. Jesus Rios Jr.

A lot of contact heading into the first turn shuffled the field. Pre-Final winner Formal ended the first lap in third and Rios leading followed by Chavez. Solares and Orsolon finished the top 5 followed by Neri, Pedrosa, Dunne, Casteneda and Wilson Hurtado. Polesitter Formal did not wait long to regain what was his as on the second lap he moved back to the point and led all the way to the final flag. Behind him things continued to happen as Dunne fell out on lap 8 with a rear bumper issue. Orsolon dropped out on lap 15 with a mechanical problem. On lap 9, Chavez got by Rios for second and stayed there. At the checkered flag it was Formal, Chavez, Rios, Solares and Pedrosa worked to fifth to salvage his points day.

Going into Sunday the points were still very close

Jesus Rios Jr 411
Victor Pedrosa 399
Troy Castaneda 392
Andy Dunne 377
Luca Forgeois 354


Sunday

Qualifying
1. Nick Neri 48.614
2. Jesus Rios Jr 48.643
3. Gabby Chavez 48.776

Less than half a second separated the top 7, setting the stage for some of the best racing of the weekend. Nick Neri set the fast lap on his second time past the stripe with a 48.614. Almost all of the fast laps were set within the first 5 laps in this class.

Pre-Final
1. Nick Neri
2. Mario Solares
3. Daniel Formal

The start of this one got a couple of the front runners, with Dunne, Pedrosa and Orsolon all retiring before completing 1 lap. Solares grabbed the initial lead until Neri took it away on lap 8. At the end of 10 laps it was Neri, Solares, Rios, Chavez and Formal. On the last lap, Formal went from fifth to third ahead of Rios and Chavez.

Final
1. Daniel Formal
2. Nick Neri
3. Jesus Rios Jr.

With the track close to dry this promised to be the race of the day. With 10 drivers all capable of winning on any given day this was it. Neri and Chavez brought the field to the green flag. Everyone made it thru the first lap with Neri bringing them around to start lap 2. In the back, Dunne had already moved up 4 places. One of the points leaders it was important for him to get points with as good a finish as he could but he had to finish. On lap 2, Chavez moved around Neri with Formal, Solares and Rios the rest of the top 5. After 5 laps, Chavez still led but Formal moved in front of Neri, Rios and Solares. At lap 10, Rios was now in the lead followed by Chavez, Formal, Neri and Solares and Dunne had now made it into the top 10. At the completion of lap 15, more position changes with Chavez now back in front leading Formal, Neri, Solares and Porto as Rios was back in sixth. At the completion of lap 15, less than two seconds separated the top 5. Lap 20, Chavez still leading but Formal and Neri in set their fastest laps of the race were on a mission. Lap 21, Formal went to the lead with Neri following through into second. Chavez fell down to third as Rios was up to fourth with Solares on his bumper. By this time Dunne is now in seventh, looking at sixth real hard. Lap 22, the order was Neri, Chavez, Formal, Rios, Solares, Porto and Dunne. On the last lap, Formal was able to work by Neri while Rios moved to the final podium spot over Chavez. Solares completed the top-five ahead of Porto and Dunne. Fastest lap was done by Nick Neri with a 49.559.

This is the championship that will be decided in California and is closer than it appears. Rios appears to have a comfortable margin but when all the scenarios and drops are figured this is still anyone’s class and Grand Final spots to win. Looking at the standings headed to the final event;

Jesus Rios Jr 496
Troy Castaneda 464
Victor Pedrosa 459
Andy Dunne 447
Luca Forgeois 422
Daniel Formal 341
Stepanova Nekeel 294
Ryan Kinnear 269
Michael Pagano 256

Heading into California everyone is figuring points to see what they need to do. With a system that gives points for every element, drivers have to be thinking all the time about smart and bad decisions. The first 3 rounds have set the stage for the final with Championships on the line. The fourth and final event will take place at CalSpeed Karting in Fontana, California on October 1-3. For more information, visit rotaxmaxchallenge.com/panamerican/

Article Credit: rotaxmaxchallenge.com
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