Round 4 is in the books as K1 Speed in Irvine, California looks to wind down the first half of its 2011 challenge GP race season. A packed house of indoor kart racers brought a new level of competition to the sport, as everyone in the large crowd was looking to take the top spot on the podium for the evening. The overall points battle is on the line and the top drivers are looking for ways to claim one of the top championship points spots. Qualifying was a battle of driving skill as the Super track configuration has proven to be a challenge for some drivers and especially for the new ones who were all looking for the clean way around the long course. Toby Rodriguez had his game face on, showing he was the man to beat at this track and taking the top qualifier spot with a fast lap of 41.758 seconds landing him on pole position for the A-Main. The other drivers would all fall in line creating a pretty tight field to set up the 3 mains.
C-Main race action would start off the night with a number of first time drivers with little to no experience on the Super track layout but they all proved they could handle the course. Keeping pace with each other throughout the entire race, Sam Sullivan would be the man of the hour by taking the win, followed by Jordan Petersen taking second and Matthew Vlahos rounding out the top three. Everyone from this group proved themselves to be very capable of making the A-Main and with more seat time on this layout should be up there in the future.
Next on track were the B-Main drivers who were a mix of veterans and a few first-timers all looking to challenge one another, some of whom are in the points chase and looking to score as many points as possible to remain on top of the ladder. This would be another good battle, with Royce Mohler coming out on top with the win, followed by Khalifa Alasiri in second. Heath Sosa showed he had the ability to make a run for the win, taking a third place finish to round out the podium. Heath has a long history of off-road racing which has given him a bit of an edge over other drivers and he has made appearances at other Challenge GP events and is quickly becoming a contender at these events.
Putting on a good show as usual, the A-Main drivers closed out the night with Toby Rodriguez on pole to take the green flag rolling start and lead everyone down into turn one. The group would follow closely in tow and the race was on. Toby ran away from the field to go wire to wire and take the win. Quickly becoming known as “The comeback kid”, Robby Stanovich made his was up into second place and was able to take a strong hold on the position and not allow anyone to get around him, giving him the second podium position. A newcomer to the GP series but seasoned K1 driver, Keene Purananda would round out the podium with a third place finish, showing that almost anyone can end up on the podium in the A-Main against even more seasoned drivers. The mid-pack battle had a good showing as well as the veterans all mixed it up, with many of the drivers deep in the hunt for the overall points championship.
This was a great night of racing for all and with just two races now left in the overall points chase, naming the champion is likely going to come down to the final round. Come out and watch all the action or come out and participate yourself within multiple qualifying rounds and corresponding main event rounds. There are plenty of opportunities to qualify for a main event and to get yourself into the action!