For the penultimate round of the Challenge GP Winter league at K1 Speed Seattle, things really heated up. As the drivers took to the track for qualifying early on it was newcomer Garrett Foss setting the pace with an impressive 16.791 in his first ever attempt at the Seattle course in the reverse direction, followed by the other fast youngster Theo Mechain who was making his 2nd go at the series with a time of 16.823. As the 2nd qualifying session got underway, the regulars began to show their skill by topping the charts. Dana Glenn would throw down an astonishing 16.459 in his qualifier, a simply unheard of lap time in the opposite direction, followed by RJ Napitupulu with a 16.639, Hans Malzar with a 16.764 and Jayce Glenn with a 16.871. New GP driver Aniwait Ratana would round out the field with a 17.038. Not bad at all for his first attempt.
As the Final was set to start, a familiar face in Jeremy Keeley who is a long time regular of K1 Speed Seattle showed up to do battle for the final and rolled off for the pace lap in the 8th position as he was unable to make the qualifiers. At the green flag Dana Glenn was again leading the field, but in to the first turn Hans Malzar dove to the inside and was able to out brake Glenn and take the lead. The Dude then came under fire from RJ Napitupulu who had a run on him down the back stretch and out braked to the inside going in to the final turn, moving him up in to the number two spot. Jayce Glenn came in to the picture now with Dana Glenn in tow, the two would pass Napitupulu back in turn one, on lap 7 the order was now Hans Malzar, Jayce Glenn, Dana Glenn, RJ Napitupulu , Jeremy Keeley who had moved up from his 8th palce starting position, Garrett Foss, Theo Mechain and Aniwat Ratana. On lap 8 an incident in the final turn brought the race to a hault and forced a restart, as the green flag flew once again the it was Hans Malzar and Jayce Glenn leading the field in to turn one, followed closey by Napitupulu, Keeley, Dana Glenn, Foss, Mechain and Ratana. The drivers funneled into turn two and Foss made his move to the inside of Glenn, and would take over the 4th spot. The two would continue to battle hard for the remainder of the race. Keeley, was now on RJ’s bumper and pressuring him. The two began to set some of the fastest laps of the race as they ran down leaders Jayce Glenn and Malzar. The pair worked there way past Jayce and RJ seemed to at this point turn up the pace just that much more, and set his sights on Malzar who had established a decent lead on the field. Keeley settled in to the number 3 spot where he would remain for the closing laps. With just 3 laps to go, RJ had caught Malzar and was able to secure the lead with a clean pass. At the drop of the checkered flag it was RJ Napitupulu taking his first win of the season, followed very closely at the line by Hans Malzar in 2nd and Jeremy Keeley in 3rd with an incredible drive from the rear of the field at the start. 4th place goes to Garrett Foss who was just able to edge out The Dude after their nearly race long battle, Dana the Dude Glenn would cross the line 5th, certainly not what he was used to after winning the first 4 rounds. 6th through 8th went to Jayce Glenn, Theo Mechain, and Aniwat Ratana who were all victims of multiple kart freight train passes and just the all around war that this race was.
The points battle going in to the final round is on for the 2nd and 3rd steps on the podium between Hans Malzar, Rj Napitupulu and Jayce Glenn. Who will it be? we’ll find out. Dana the Dude Glenn however, only needs to cross the finish line essentially to clinch the championship after his first 4 rounds of dominance. But, if this race was any indication anything can, and certainly will happen. See you next time.