The 6th and final round of the Challenge GP season for 2012 was definitely one to remember, we saw our largest turn out of 13 drivers set to do battle and some of the best racing you could ask for. Qualifying had everyone holding their breath, as each lap around the track saw a new driver set the fastest lap. Everyone was absolutely flying! To give you an idea, a lap time of 16.826 was not fast enough to qualify you for the A-main. All 10 of the drivers in the A-main were a 16.7 or faster. Somehow, once again Dana “the Dude” Glenn was able to secure the number one spot late in his qualifier with an insane lap, just beating out Garrett Foss who earlier looked to be the fastest of the field. The lap times at the end of qualifying for the top 10 were as follows; Dana Glenn 16.489, Garrett Foss 16.518, Dallas Glenn 16.524, Rj Napitupulu 16.529, Theo Mechain 16.533, Hans Malzar 16.603, Jeremy Keeley 16.680, Steve Taylor with a 16.701, Jayce Glenn 16.707, and Steve Huntington with a 16.739. Talk about close!
As the green flag flew and the drivers funneled down into the first turn, all 10 drivers were latched bumper to bumper with no room to spare. Through the infield and on to the back stretch saw Foss get a slightly better drive out of the chicane and pull up along side the Dude as they headed for the final turn, but Dana would drive in just hard enough to hold his spot and keep the lead. The first half of the race was a literal freight train of karts, no one could create any gaps, nor could anyone close one. Everyone was so evenly matched and going so fast, that it was proving difficult to make any sort of attempt to pass. Just past the halfway point however, Dallas Glenn began to find his edge and decided 3rd place was not good enough as he began to pressure Foss and was able to squeeze by with a clean pass at the end of the straight and then set his sights on older brother Dana. Behind the front 3, the racing was also getting intense as Dallas making his pass seemed to start the show. Drivers were now going 2 and sometimes nearly 3 wide in the middle sections of the track. Theo Mechain, Hans Malzar and RJ Naptipulu were locked together and battling all the while catching up to 3rd place driver Garrett Foss at the same time. Behind these 4 drivers, there was more of the same. Jeremy Keeley, Steve Taylor, Jayce Glenn and Steve Huntington were also duking it out trying to better their positions and follow everyone else toward the front. In the closing laps up front, Dallas had attached himself to the rear of Dana’s kart and was not giving an inch, just waiting to pounce at the slightest opening or bobble. “The Dude” however remained calm and held him off all the way to the checkers, just barely though as he and Dallas crossed the finish nearly side by side in easily the closest finish we have had all season. Behind them it was RJ Napitupulu in 3rd who had just managed to pass Foss with 2 laps to go, Garrett Foss would take 4th, Hans Malzar 5th, Jeremy Keeley 6th, Theo Mechain 7th, Steve Taylor 8th, Jayce Glenn who unfortunately wasn’t able to advance his position would take 9th and Steve Huntington would finish 10th.
To be honest, this main event was all around great to watch, and great to be a part of. Every driver was going so fast that some finishes don’t reflect on what we’ve seen in the previous rounds. However, it does prove as we said last time that anything can, and will happen. When you put that many fast and skilled drivers on the track, incredible racing takes place. Kudos go out to both of the Steves, Taylor and Huntington, for their drives tonight. It was their first appearance in the Challenge GP and both are new to electric karting as they are regular league drivers in gas karts elsewhere. They hopped in and got right up to speed, and really seemed to have a great time racing. Also, congratulations to our top 3 overall in the Championship. Dana “the Dude” Glenn took home 1st place, RJ Napitupulu 2nd, and Hans Malzar fought back from 5th in the points midway through the season to take 3rd place. Awesome job guys.