Orange county saw some tough competition last Sunday as K1 Speed in Irvine hosted its 1st round, of the second half of the Challenge GP race series for 2010. A large number of competitors came out to take on the newly designed Super-Track configuration, which brings some newly technical corners and an all new high speed section to give drivers an all new challenging course to take on. With the points all back at 0 it was anyone’s race to jump on top of the overall points lead.
Qualifying would see the usual suspects battling it out for the top spot, with Toby Rodriguez taking the overall pole position with a 41.517 second lap time. New comer Chris Akers would start in second place with a 41.919 second lap time. John Tanaka came on strong to qualify in third with a 42.042 second lap time.
The mains were broken up into three groups, the C main qualifiers would kick things off with John Perry sitting on pole with a 42.031 second lap time, he was followed by Sergei Maffei with a 42.269 second lap and Steven Jasinki qualified third with a 42.273 second lap. JP would lead the drivers around for the green flag start only to have jumped the gun a bit and false started. On the restart John would lead the drivers around for a cleaner run into turn one with multiple drivers in tow including some new faces vying for the top spot – AJ Cook and Jeff Martin. Everyone was battling back and forth with no one willing to give up an inch to allow another driver around them. John would lead the group wire to wire and take the win followed by Sergei remaining in second for the entire race and Steven Jasinski would remain in third.
The B main drivers would be up next with long time K1 competitor Emilio Garcia sitting on pole with a 41.981 second lap from his qualifying run. He was followed by professional drift racer Joon Maeng, who qualified second with a 42.777 second lap. Taylor Hays, who also frequents the Challenge GP events, qualified third with a 42.920 second lap creating a very tight group that were all going after the top spot on the podium. This was the closest race of the night, even though the drivers would finish on the podium in the same spots they qualified in – the top three were only separated by a few 100th’s of each other. So that put Emilio as the winner for the B Main followed by Joon and Taylor sitting right off his back bumper to finish in third.
Racers finish off the night with the A Main drivers battling it out. Toby would lead the group around for the green flag rolling start and he would immediately run away from the pack after just a few corners. Chris fought off the rest of the group to stay in second, keeping veteran John Tanaka at bay who would round out the top three. The race remained very clean and consistent as he drivers worked their way around the new course.
This was a great turn out for the first round and the pace has been set for the overall points leaders. There are still plenty of races left in the season so the overall points leaders could change at any time.
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