Cool, clear weather brought some new racers to PGP Motorsports Park and helped produce additional horsepower, resulting in exciting racing and new track records during Round 2 of the Stars of PGP Kart Fall & Winter Series on Sunday.
Running clockwise (reverse) on the full .82-mile long course configuration, the final round of kart racing in 2010 at PGP can be viewed on-demand from eventbuilder.com by following the link on www.PacificGP.com. The Stars of PGP Kart Fall & Winter Series returns to action on Sundays in 2011, with Round 3 on Jan. 2, Round 4 on Feb. 6 and the finale on March 6.
The most exciting group of the day, Rotax Senior saw the epic battle between Kyle Byers and Derek Wang continue from the first round of the series, with Wang driving a new Kosmic chassis this time around. Byers repeated his opening-round success by sweeping the day, qualifying fastest — making a late grab of the pole from Wang, who held it most of the session — as well as taking the checkered flag in both the final and pre-final races.
Wang put up a fierce battle in the pre-final, trading the lead with Byers several times. As the two took the white flag, Wang moved to the inside of Byers, who was taking a defensive line into the first corner. Forced off the racing line onto the dirty side of the course, Wang won the braking battle but didn’t have the grip to make it through PGP’s Roller Coaster corner, instead heading off into the grass. Wang was able to keep his kart heading the right direction to finish second behind Byers.
In the final Wang would again put the pressure on Byers, but even though he clocked the fastest lap of the day, he was unable to find a way past. There was also plenty of action behind them as Kory Estell marched to the front to finish on the podium after a disappointing qualifying run. Estell was just beaten to the line for third place in the pre-final, but his pace and determination pushed him forward in the final as he passed Jessica Dana for third place in the early going. Dana finished fourth.
Records were set in the Rotax Master and Micro classes, by Jerry Peterson and Connor Wick respectively. Wick returned to PGP in a big way in the Micro class, breaking the class mark by several tenths with a lap of 1:13.453. Wick also won the final over Caleb Daniells, who holds the track record for the counter-clockwise (normal) direction. In Rotax Master, Peterson set a new track record of 1 minute, 04.022 seconds while debuting a new motor.
In Rotax Junior, Jake Preston made a clean sweep of the class, taking the pole in qualifying and winning both the pre-final and final races. Second overall was Jacob Delavergne in his return to PGP after nearly six months away racing elsewhere. Third overall was Tessa Daniells, who adjusted to her new Rotax package nicely by setting the fastest lap in the final.
The Hammer Nutrition team put on an exciting show in the Stock Moto Light class, with Steve Perdue taking the checkered flag in the final after Brandon Scheiber dropped out with engine problems. Up to that point, Scheiber had dominated, turning laps a half-second faster or better than his competitors. The man on the move in the final was Jim Lilleberg, who dropped back at the start. Showing better pace as the race session went on, Lilleberg used his superior pace and some fantastic late-braking moves to first dispatch teammates Craig Sender for third and then Brian Frank for second before running out of time in his pursuit Perdue and the win. Sender stole the final podium spot from Frank with a late move at the finish line. And although denied his shot at the win, Scheiber still got the last word on the day, heading back out once repairs were made to clock the fastest lap of the race.
In the Open class, John Wright returned to PGP after taking a two-month break to win the final while Matt Russe won the pre-final in his first PGP event.
Jerry Filgiano made a big splash in his PGP debut in the growing World Formula class, sweeping the day with a new track record, the fastest lap in qualifying and wins in the pre-final and final. An experienced World Formula racer, Filgiano was the class of a field that also saw an exciting battle for second between Jim Campbell, and Kevin and Nick Larson. Kevin Larson edged the others for the runner-up trophy in one of his best races to date while his son Nick rounding out the podium after Campbell suffered both a spin and a mechanical failure. The third-place finish was a pleasant surprise for Nick Larson, because by the closing laps he had lost all grip in his front tires and the former track record holder was just trying to stay on the course.
Randy Taylor brought the Yamaha class to PGP for the first time and set the bar for anyone else who wants to come out with a lap of 1:09.234. In 4-stroke action, Jeremy Bolstad re-set his own track mark, driving his Yamaha F200-powered kart around PGP with a time of 1:08.105.
In the B-Spec (rental) class, there was a mix of series regulars and some new faces — and experienced ones at that — but it was class veterans Cameron Hess-Grimes and Maurice Shawver who took the checkered flags in the final and pre-final respectively. Shawver also won the pole in qualifying, besting a field of racers that included ICC pilot Bob Kim and Rotax Senior drivers Stepanova Nekeel and Derek Wang, who traded in their competition karts for PGP’s spec Birel rentals. In the final, Hess-Grimes and Shawver put on a clinic for the rest of the drivers on how to maneuver a B-Spec kart around PGP’s .82-mile course, trading the lead back and forth. En route to the victory Hess-Grimes turned the fastest lap of the race, but it was just .001 better than Shawver.
Fellow B-Spec veteran Jerry Peterson took home a comfortable third place after gapping the rest of the field while Wang, Nekeel and relative B-Spec newcomer Brian Raymond battled for fourth. Raymond, responsible for running the cameras for PGP’s live broadcasts, took a break to jump in the action, handing off the camera duties to “Afro Matt.” Trading paint all the way to the line, Wang would come out ahead in the battle for fourth, with Raymond and Nekeel crossing just behind.
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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.