The Big Game was later in the day but rather than spend hours in front of the TV being bored with pre-game filler, a good crowd of racers headed out to PGP Motorsports Park last Sunday for Round 3 of the Stars of PGP Kart Fall-Winter Series.
The weather and PGP’s track crew had some extra challenges in store for the field. Competitors started on a wet track thanks to early-day rain, but with no additional precipitation the surface dried out during the course of the day and some teams gambled on using slicks instead of wet-weather tires.
PGP tried out a revised start procedure for clockwise races that was positively received by the racers in attendance. Under this revision, all competitors started on the front straight and took an immediate right onto the north part of the oval, bypassing the North end of the track on the first lap and keeping the racers in view of spectators in infield longer.
Round 3 of the Stars of PGP Kart Fall-Winter Series 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 with the series finale on March 6.
Rental class (B-Spec)
The largest field of the day included series regulars making their class debut, newcomers and drivers from other disciplines. Class veterans and series regulars Maurice Shawver and Jerry Peterson were once again the class of the field, with Shawver sweeping the day by qualifying on the pole and winning the pre-final and final races.
Shawver had to work to win the final, however, recovering from early-race contact and threading his way through the field before passing Peterson for the win. Mario Ayers finished third in the final, a nice rebound after an up-and-down pre-final.
Kory Estell got in some wet-weather racing while his Rotax Senior package was being prepared for the regular season, while PGP Lap Attack regular Hiroshi Kanno raced a kart for the first time. Paul Robertson and Nick South made the move from the Saturday-morning Rental Kart Racing Series while Bree Jacobs and Donald Baker made their Winter Series debuts as well.
Nick Larson swept the class, winning the pole position as well as the pre-final and final, by putting together a solid day of racing. Kevin Larson recovered from contact at the start of the final to earn the runner-up position on the podium, with Jim Campbell coming back from a tough pre-final to earn third place in the final.
Stock Moto Light
The second largest class of the event put on a great show all day long, with Shifter Pro Matt Jaskol and teenager Brandon Scheiber battling from qualifying through to the final.
Jaskol won the duel in qualifying, taking the pole by just .04 seconds, but Scheiber prevailed in the pre-final, coming hard off the line to take the lead in turn 1 and then holding on for the victory. Jaskol returned the favor in the final, capitalizing on a hole-shot start to grab the lead en route to the checkered flag.
Brian Frank had been ahead of Parker McKean throughout the day, scoring a faster time in qualifying and holding off the young karter in the pre-final, but it was McKean who found a way by in the final to grabe the final podium spot.
Another great show to watch was the battle for fifth between Steve Perdue and Sean Naslund. Perdue gambled by using slicks while the rest of the field was on rain tires, and halfway through he began to march through the field toward the front. He got as far as Naslund with the laps winding down. The two traded positions a few times as Perdue went off the dry line to make passes and Naslund fought to hold his position on rain tires that were failing. Perdue eventually held on for fifth place.
The TaG Senior class featured another great all-day duel, this time between Jessica Dana and Kyle Byers with Dana earning the sweep. Slower traffic had both searching for open track to put down a clean lap in qualifying, with Dana getting the opening she needed on the final lap to take the pole by .016 seconds.
Byers was the quickest in practice and appeared to have the kart to beat, but a failing battery steadily sapped power from his Rotax powerplant. He took the lead at the start of the pre-final, but Dana was able to get around him late in the going for the victory. In the final, it was Dana’s turn to take the lead at the start, with Byers unable to match her pace, eventually pulling off when his engine quit.
Paige Wallin and Nicole Bell would make the final an all-female podium by finishing second and third, respectively. It was the first outing in a competition kart for Bell, who is normally a drag racer. Wallin treated the crowd to two stellar runs to the front in the final and pre-final. She started both races in the rear of the field after weighing in 2 lbs light, but worked her way smartly through traffic to earn a podium in each.
Rotax Senior & Master
Jeremy Bolstad won the final in his first Rotax Senior start, making him 2-for-2 on the day after winning the F200 class earlier in the day. Gambling on slicks over rain tires didn’t work out as well for Thor Hatton, who finishing second after recovering from an early spin and running out of time to challenge for the lead. Travis Henson, who earned the pole in qualifying and won the pre-final, completed the podium in third. Henson had a comfortable lead in the final but his motor gave up.
In Rotax Master, Jerry Peterson made up for his narrow loss in the rental kart class with a decisive win, cutting lap times that were good enough to keep up with the Senior class. Jim Nelson returned to the track after a long hiatus, putting in a solid run en route to finishing second.
Single entry classes
In addition to Bolstad’s win in the F200 class, several other drivers took home trophies with single-entry victories while at the same time gaining valuable seat time in wet conditions. These included brother and sister tandem Tessa Daniells and Caleb Daniells in the Rotax Junior and Rotax Micro classes, respectively, Justin Taylor in TaG Junior and Bruce McKean in Stock Moto Heavy.
On the Web: Visit www.pacificgp.com, become a fan of “Pacific Grand Prix” on Facebook or follow @pacificgp on Twitter.
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.
PGP Motorsports media contact: Paul Zalud, (206) 390-9858, email@example.com