For the first time in the nine year history of kart racing at the Jim Russell International Karting Center at Infineon Raceway, the final race of the year was held on a rainy day which proved to be a challenge for the competitors. Only the serious racers came out to take on the challenge of the steady rain with two class championships still to be settled. At the end of the race day, a raffle was held to give out three great prizes: Jojo Bayabo won a free set of tires and Michael Torrano and Greg Richter won "free entry fees" for the entire 2011 Red Line Oil Karting Championship season.
Rotax Masters & Masters Light
One of the two classes with a champion still yet to be determined was the Rotax Masters Light class. Two Masters and nine Light drivers took the green in the largest class of the day. Mary Beth Wilson came into the race with a slim seventy point lead over Mert Solis. In Qualifying, Solis puts his Light kart on pole ahead of Masters Champ Andre Eriksen followed by Jojo Bayabo (Light) and Stephan Gaudreau (Light). In the first heat race, Solis took control of the race and came home first, followed by Eriksen, Bayabo and John Breidinger (Masters) with Wilson coming home sixth in class. Wilson's lead was now down to forty-five points. In the second heat, John Breidinger took advantage of the slipping and sliding by most everyone else to come home first followed by Eriksen, Jerry Pretti (Light) and Gaudreau. Solis had problems and finished sixth in class with Wilson fourth in class. Wilson's lead was now up to fifty-five points. In the Main, Eriksen put it all together to take the lead at the green and motor onto a twenty-five second win. Solis was second for first fourteen laps and with his class lead had the championship well within his sights, but on lap fifteen, he slid off turn one and gave up the class lead to Bayabo, returning to the track in third place in class. Following Eriksen across the line were Bayabo in second, Breidinger in third, Gaudreau fourth and Solis in fifth. Wilson finished seventh overall and fifth in class and with it took the Light class championship, just thirty points ahead of Solis.
The Mini Max class proved again to be the most competitive class of the day. Six drivers took the green with class champ Michael Avansino taking the pole ahead of Scott Huffaker and Annie Breidinger. In the first heat, Avansino and Huffaker lead the field at the start, but both spun coming out of turn two with Michael Michoff taking over the lead, one he would not give up for the eight lap race. Huffaker came back to take second with Wilson Skjerven taking third. In the second heat, Michoff again came from his fifth place starting position and cut his way through the field to take the win ahead of Avansino and Huffaker. The fifteen lap Main proved to be a race that no one wanted to lead. Five different drivers lead at various points in the race, but in the end, Scott Huffaker recovered the best to drive on to a ten second win ahead of the consistent Skjerven and a hard charging Michoff. This was Huffaker's first feature win in the RLOKC and with it he won the fifty dollar cash prize for his efforts. Skjerven's second place was his best finish in the series this year.
80 Masters, Rotax DD2 &125 Stock Moto
The other class with a championship on the line was the 80 Masters class with Tom Nelson leading Greg Richter. Nelson took the 80 Masters pole ahead of Richter with Andre Eriksen taking the DD2 pole ahead of Dave Moody. Using a split start, the four shifters started just ahead of the four DD2 karts using a rolling start. Nelson lead most of the race with Eriksen having to make passes to work his way through the shifter kart field. In the end, Erikesen's DD2 got by to take the overall win with Nelson second and Moody third. In the second heat, again Eriksen worked his way through the field to get by Nelson at the end to take a two second win, Nelson came home second, with Richter in third. In the Main, Nelson took the lead at the green but Steve Cameron worked out some bugs in his 125 kart to work his way through the field to take the lead and the win by twelve seconds over Eriksen (DD2) with Nelson in third (80 shifter) January Grove (DD2) fourth, and Dave Moody (DD2) fifth. With the class win, Tom Nelson wrapped up the 80 Masters title for the third year in a row.
Senior Rotax, Italian Motors USA / GoPro IAME TaG & Cambrian Go-Karts Junior Rotax
Raymund Bustamante, Jr. qualified on pole ahead of the seven Rotax karts and one TaG. Josh Feiber jumped up to Senior Rotax for this last race of the year and took second with Matt Weiss in third and the TaG of Michael Torrano in fourth. In the first heat, Bustamante was clearly the rain master taking a nineteen second win over the Junior Rotax of Brody Zink, Weiss in third and Torrano in fourth. In the second heat, Bustamante controlled the race from the green, but the field was getting better in the rain with Weiss and Feiber staying within six seconds of the leader. In the Main, again Bustamante took the lead at the green with Weiss and Feiber close behind. Weiss then spun which left the young Feiber as the sole challenger to Bustamante. At race end, Feiber could never get close enough to actually challenge Bustamante, but he came home only two seconds back, which was a great drive in his first Senior Rotax race. Bustamante took the win, Feiber second, Weiss third, Zink fourth and the Junior win. Torrano was sixth overall and the TaG winner. With the class win Torrano took home the GoPro Hero Camera.
With the final checkered flag, the 2010 Red Line Oil Karting Championship came to an end. This season proved to be a strong year for the Rotax classes, especially for the Mini Max and Masters/Master Light classes. The 2011 RLOKC season is already in the works. The schedule has been set and there are plans for expanded class offerings. Stay tuned for additional announcements. To follow the plans for the 2011 RLOKC season, go to www.cameronkarting.com or www.norcalrotax.com
For more information about the Red Line Oil Karting Championship and the Northern California Rotax Challenge, go to www.cameronkarting.com or www.norcalrotax.com