The Gatorz Kart Racing Series Challenge of the Americas kicked off this past weekend in Phoenix, Arizona for rounds one and two of the Rotax winter championship, which was held for the third straight year at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association’s – Formula K Raceway. K1 Race Gear Sales Manager Kelson Penn, who is also the lead driving instructor at the K1 Speed Carlsbad location, was on hand racing in the DD2 class with his CRG DD2 Dark Rider chassis.
Both DD2 and DD2 master’s classes were combined to make for a full field of drivers and Kelson had his work cut out for him, as 5 other racers that competed in last years DD2 Rotax World finals in 2010 were on hand. Saturday’s qualifying went well and going into the 17 lap pre-main Kelson was sitting mid-pack. He qualified 5th and finished 5th to land him a solid starting spot in the main. The final round went better for him, he started 5th and worked his way into 4th mid-way through the 25 lap main, where he held onto that position for the remainder of the race.
Going into Sunday, Kelson started off the same way he did on Saturday, heading into the pre-main in 5th and holding that position throughout the duration of the race. In the main event he didn’t fare so well when he entered a tight section with another driver was forced off-track and into the dirt. Not to be outdone, Kelson quickly bounced back and was able to finish. Unfortunately, he would be DQ’d after the final when the tech inspection weigh-in after the main found he was 1lb under weight – probably due to the on-track race incident because Kelson later found he was missing a substantial part of his rear bumper.
Kelson went on to say “This was a great weekend of racing for me, I really enjoyed getting to compete with some of these other world class drivers and give myself seat time and experience that I hope will help me in future karting events. The kart ran well, unfortunately Sunday’s race incident put me back a bit, but I’m hoping for a better performance in Fontana, California in February.”
Check out the Gatorz Karting series here
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