Series News: Championship Karting International – Grand Championships Sunday Report
Championship Karting International, North America's premier national kart racing series completed the final day of racing action for the 2010 season. Cool temperatures and overcast skies were the order of the day with some spots of sun breaking through on occasion. The track continued to get faster as the day went on with lap times dropping from yesterday. After the day of intense racing action the year ended with an awards ceremony that crowned seven class champions and awarded loads of hardware and cash. Special awards for top finishers recognized a season of accomplishments.
"The final day of competition for the 2010 season produced some great racing action," commented Series Manager Kevin Williams. "All the drivers that attended did a great job and had a chance to hone their programs and prepare for the 2011."
RDD Motorsports TaG Senior
TaG Senior continued to produce loads of great action and qualifying was no different. Leading the way is Kartel driver Neil Alberico (Wild Kart) with a time of 37.158 followed Euro ace Antonio Giovinazzi (Top Kart) just 0.067 back with a lap of 37.225. Third quick in the 10-minute timed session was Taylor Miinch (Top Kart) followed by Michael Politis (Merlin) and Chad Brassfield (Birel) to round out the fast five.
In the prefinal it was Alberico with the holeshot into turn one as three drivers fought for real estate. Miinch went quickly to P1 through the thru turn three left hand sweeper. Then Giovinazzi jumped up to the top spot on lap two. Alberico, who was demoted back to third off the start, stepped up into second place on lap three. Alberico then began to close in on Giovinazzi just passed midway point. The win would go to Giovinazzi with Alberico, who set fast lap of the race, close in second and Miinch back in third.
Factory Top Kart driver Giovinazzi made quick work of the final race as he grabbed the lead from lap one and lead all 22 circuits to take the win by 2.099 seconds. Miinch ran in second in the opening stages until Alberico came calling on lap four to take over the second spot from the fellow California driver. The field would string out as Giovinazzi set the pace and the rest looked for a mistake. At the line it was Giovinazzi over Alberico with Miinch completing the podium line-up.
DFR and Supertune KF3
International class KF3 saw Raquel Martinez (Top Kart) earned pole for the prefinal with a lap of 37.431 followed by Mason Chelootz (Top Kart) with a lap of 37.645 and Broc Yocom (Top Kart) slotting into third spot with a lap of 37.937. The short field produced a tight battle with Chelootz and Martinez battling in the early stages of the race. At the line it was Chelootz with a commanding win followed by Martinez in second and Yocom rounding out the top three.
In prefinal the holeshot exiting turn one/two right/right combo was Chelootz followed by Martinez as each wanted to take the lead early to set the pace. This race turned into an absolute bar fight as Chelootz and Martinez traded the lead and side pod stickers throughout the entire 18 lap final race. Both made aggressive moves to take back the lead and on lap 11 they swapped the top spot four times. On the last circuit Martinez, holding the lead, slid out wide while holding back Chelootz on the second to last turn allowing Chelootz through to take first at the line. Martinez would cross in second with Yocom rounding out the podium.
Bondurant Performance KF2
The second internationally run CIK class, KF2 was an incredibly close affair, proof that the KF program is an excellent package. Phil DeLaO (Top Kart) took top spot on the time sheets with a lap of 35.919 just 0.006 of a second over Arie Ouimet (CRG) who ran a 35.925 with Brett Felkins (Intrepid) just .005 back running a 35.900 and Joey Wimsett (CRG) in at 35.996. In the prefinal an excellent race was covered over 18 laps as several drivers looked to take a shot at the lead. A number of lead changes were completed in the opening laps as the drivers began to settle into a groove. At the line it was Felkins over Ouimet followed by DeLaO and Wimsett.
The final was set for a great run as the top class contenders were looking to secure their title hopes. It was Ouimet with the lead into three only to get tagged by Felkins in second and turned around. DeLaO cleared the contact low and jumped to the lead. Felkins would go to P1 on lap four as he swept past DeLaO. Felkins would pace a hard charging DeLaO over the next 20 laps. As the talented teen form Arizona mounting pressure on the leader hoping for an error, Wimsett cruised in the third spot looking for a way past both. Ouimet charged back through the field to grab fourth place in the closing laps. At the waving checkered flags it was Felkins taking the top spot on the box followed through by DeLaO and Wimsett with Ouimet keeping fourth and Madeline Komar (CRG) rounding out the fast five.
Grand Products Comer Cadet
The youngest group in the paddock was the Comer Cadet crew with Zane Smith (Top Kart) topping the charts with a lap of 41.901 followed by Davey Manthei Jr. (Wild Kart) in at 42.068 and Leonardo Stoia (PCR) tapping a lap of 42.120.
Manthei Jr used his solid qualifying run and turned that into a fantastic prefinal race taking the win over Smith by 0.056 of a second. Stoia ran with the leaders in the early stages and was able to cross in third with Robb holding down the fourth spot.
The final race for the cadet class was two-man duel. Manthei Jr. having a great weekend of racing took the lead on lap one off the green flag with Smith and Stoia in hot pursuit. A great battle throughout the race developed as Manthei Jr. and Smith pushed each other for all 18 laps. Manthei Jr. held off several charges by Smith as they gapped the field setting a torrid pace through out the race. At the line it was Manthei Jr. over Smith by 0.070 with Stoia holding on to the third spot. Sting Ray Robb and Christian Peterson would round out the top five.
Vicci Apparel Leopard Junior
Yesterdays second place finisher Kiel Spaulding (Top Kart) set fast lap in timed qualifying with a 37.675 followed by yesterdays winner Mason Chelootz (Top Kart) just 0.026 back with a lap of 37.701. Raquel Martinez (Top Kart) clocked through in third spot with Canadian Austin King (Birel) and Broc Yocom (Top Kart) rounding out the fast five.
The junior classes continued to deliver excellent wheel-to-wheel action and TaG Jr was no exception. The prefinal had loads of passing in the opening stages until Spaulding pulled the trigger and drew a slight gap. Chelootz pushed Martinez forward to close in on Spaulding and run for the win. At the line it was Spaulding, Martinez and Chelootz taking the top three spots.
In the final a great start was a sign of things to come as the front rows piled into corner one with several drivers looking to take the lead. The advantage went to Spaulding as he emerged in first with King in second followed Chelootz, Yocom and Martinez demoted back to fifth. Spaulding pulled out a lead as the chase pack battled. Martinez moved up to P2 by halfway and was up on the wheel looking to chase down Spaulding. Chelootz pushed Martinez for several laps hoping the two could track down the leader but decided to take back the lead with a handful to go. Spaulding would go flag-to-flag for the win with Chelootz in second and Martinez rounding out the podium. King would cross in Fourth with Yocom rounding out the top five.
RLV Spec PRD
This new class for the CKI Grand Championships produced some of the best racing of the weekend. In timed qualifying Antonio Giovinazzi (Top Kart) took pole for the prefinal with fast lap of 37.543 over Taylor Miinch (Top Kart) and yesterdays winner Matt Johnson (Maddox) in third, Nick Johnston (Maddox) in fourth and Dylan Nobile (Maddox) rounding out the fast five.
In the prefinal Giovinazzi made quick work of the field taking the holeshot into turn one and gapping the field quickly to pull out a solid lead. At the line it was the Giovinazzi over Johnson, Johnston and Miinch having a great battle for the runner up spot.
In the final the field was not going to let the Italian import have his way this time out. Giovinazzi grabbed holeshot from his pole position as the front five ran nose to tail for the opening three laps. The tight racing cost Giovinazzi as he lost bumper while leading on Lap 5. The Top Kart Factory driver dove into the pits for some repairs and went back out a half lap down. Johnson inherited the lead with Miinch in a close second and Johnston in third. The front three ran nose to tail in close formation leaving it to the final laps to settle the outcome. Johnson held in tough to take the win over Miinch who was pressuring the leader and trying to hold off Johnston who took third.
DFR and Supertune Rotax Mini Max
Saturdays pace setter Davey Manthei Jr. (Wild Kart) is again top of the sheets with a lap of 38.809 in qualifying. He will share the front row for the prefinal with Zane Smith (Top Kart) who set a lap of 38.970. The second row will include Trenton May (Birel) and Nick Ramirez (Top Kart).
Washington State driver Manthei Jr. lead the way in the prefinal and kept just ahead of Las Vegas driver May who pushed him for the entire race. Ramirez took third while McKee held on for fourth at the stripe.
A great start by Manthei Jr. gave him the lead and he would set the early pace as the six-kart field ran nose to tail. Looking to show his strength Ramirez took P1 at halfway from Manthei Jr. and turned up the wick. Manthei Jr. answered back and took the lead again lap later. May moved up to second from third and then one lap later took his shot P1 with Manthei Jr. back to second. With the front five still running nose to tail, Manthei Jr. went back to first putting May to second, Ramirez third and Royal McKee pushing from fourth. McKee moved to P3 with two to go looking for a podium. On the last lap Manthei Jr. held off a hard charging May in second and Ramirez in third.
Haddock Limited KPV Junior 2
The newest class to be added to the CKI program, KPV Junior 2 had Jared Campbell (Intrepid) run the fast lap of 38.651 in the seven minute session to take pole. Jack Freese (Intrepid) set the second quick time with Mike Graves (Intrepid) rounding out the top three. The prefinal was a quick stash for the lead off the drop of the green flag with Campbell leading out of one and through two. Freese slotted into second with Graves in third. The field spread out quickly as Campbell set a very quick pace early on. At the stripe it was Campbell with a solid lead over Graves and Freese who struggled with a mechanical gremlin. In the final it was another excellent race as the field would again be chasing Campbell. After several circuits the field began to string out as Campbell set a super quick pace on the parking lot temporary course. After 20 laps it was Campbell going flag-to-flag to take his second straight win with Freese taking second and Graves rounding out the podium.
"It was great to crown our first CKI National Champions this weekend," comments Series Manager Kevin Williams. "2011 planning is going great and we look forward to making some announcements shortly."
A complete report on all the class champions, award winners and prize-giving recipients will follow shortly. CKI is currently completing the calendar and classes for the 2011 season. Be sure to visit www.championshipkartracing.com for more details.