It was a great race weekend at K1 Speed in Carlsbad, as they held their 5th Challenge GP race in the 6 race series on May 23rd. The attendance was outstanding and the racing action was some of the best yet with 3 sets of qualifying rounds, giving drivers multiple chances to take the overall pole position. As qualifying began drivers in each qualifying group picked a number from a hat, that would place them in there respective qualifying starting position. The random drawing mixed things up a bit and worked quite well when it came to kart selection. After the first rounds of qualifying Kirk Messe was on top with a 26.122 second lap followed closely by Paul Ciralli with a 26.222 second lap.
That didn’t last long as the drivers qualifying groups were mixed up a bit in the second round so that everyone was racing with someone different. After the round 2 qualifying results were in, Khalifa Alasiri was on top with the overall single best lap of 25.732 seconds putting him on the pole for the A main, Paul Ciralli would keep his fast past going as he did in round 1 and take the second starting position in the A main with a 25.793 second lap. Kirk Messe kept pace in his qualifying group which would start him in 3rd with a 25.898 second lap to place him in 3rd. Jordan Robertson would be in the 4th qualifying position with a 25.921 second lap followed closely by John Gray who was a first timer to the Challenge GP series with a 25.955 second lap landing him in the 5th for the A main. With the top 5 A main qualifiers so close together the main event of the night was going to be a good one.
The C main would start off the final rounds of the night with Steven Robertson qualified on pole with a 26.568 second lap. Sitting in second was Ivan Maric with a 26.620 second lap and American Super-Bike and Daytona Sport Bike competitor Shawn Higbee qualified in 3rd with a 26.691 second lap. The rest of the field all qualified within half a second of each-other making the main events tight-nit groups no matter where you qualified. Steven brought the group around for the start and would remain there for half of the race keeping the rest of the pack at bay as they battled with each-other for other positions. Steven was not going to give up 1st place easily and really made Ivan and Shawn work to keep pace. Steven unfortunately started to fall off a bit with just 4 laps to go and allowed Ivan and Shawn to catch up to his back bumper. Shawn had already gotten around Ivan and was sitting i second when he caught Steven and Ivan wasn’t too far behind. Ivan would just edge past Steven with 2 laps to go and they would finish out with Shawn in first, Ivan in second, and Steven finishing in third just 2 kart lengths behind Ivan.
The B main was a mix of new comers to the race series along with some veteran drivers to make for an interesting main event. Tod Obenauer was on pole for the B main with a qualifying time of 26.223 seconds followed by Jarel Watson with a 26.277 second lap. Justin Tolman sat in the third spot with a 26.388 second lap with Kurt Obenauer in 4th with a 26.358 second qualifying lap. This was going to be another tight race as Tod brought the group around on the green flag rolling start it wasn’t long before the drivers were all gunning for Tod. He held onto the lead for 6 solid laps with 5 other karts reeling him in about every other turn, when Tod came out of turn 7 the kart got sideways on him and he was narrowly missed by Justin Tolman, Jarel on the other hand wasn’t so lucky and ended up dropping back a few spots after he spun around trying to avoid Tod. Tod would get his kart collected and moving again but it wasn’t before he was passed by Johnny Miller and Emilio Garcia. The battle was on for second as all 3 drivers would play follow the leader with each other for 3 laps trying to out corner one another. Tod would eventually get around Emilio but was unable to catch up with Justin and Johnny. Justin Tolman would hold off the charging Johnny Miller to take the 1st position, and Johnny would stay in second. Tod rounded out the top 3 for the B main.
The main event of the night was the A main drivers and in typical fashion it would be Khalifa Alasiri bringing the pack around for the green flag start. The group headed into turn one together in a single file line and would freight train around for 4 laps before they started to separate out a bit. Khalifia ran away from the pack, followed by Paul Ciralli. Paul was unable to keep up with Khalifa’s pace but was able to pull away from the rest of the field holding comfortably in 2nd. The battle for 3rd was were all the action was, as Kirk Messe held a 1/2 kart lead over Jordan Robertson with John Gray sitting right off Jordan’s bumper. John unfortunately got passed by 6th place driver Joe Soler after getting sideways before getting into the tear drop corner, but at the same time Kirk Messe had let the rear end of his kart come out a bit too much coming out of the same corner, and Jordan jumped on the opportunity to get around Kirk. Joe would follow Jordan’s lead, and Kirk dropped back to 5th. John finally got his kart back and moving again but that was after he was passed by Matt Merrill and John Simm’s. Khalifa would stay up front and take the top spot on the podium followed by Paul Ciralli who was a a good 2 seconds behind Khalifa’s overall lead. Jordan held off the Joe and Kirk to remain in third, and almost got passed by Joe right at the finish line. If Joe had 1 more lap he might have had a chance to get around Jordan.
This was an awesome night as K1 Speed once again put on the best in indoor kart racing in San Diego. With such a great attendance the final round of this first 6 race series of 2010 coming next month on June 20th is not one to miss. Come out and experience our indoor racing karts and see what our Challenge GP series is all about!
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