This month’s Challenge GP was a great finish to the season. Overall titles were on the line and they sure did drive like it. The start could have not been more exciting, with bumper to bumper action like we’ve all come to expect out of the K1 Speed Challenge GP Series. Several laps into the Race, Kyle Wicka started pulling away from the pack and it seemed he may have locked in the win. Meanwhile a fierce battle ensued in the middle of the pack with no driver giving up an inch. Brandon Walsh, a relatively new driver to the GP series was on a mission and had a fire in his eye. About halfway through the race he began a fierce lunge towards the front of the pack, passing several seasoned drivers to take the lead and kept it all the way to the finish.
Event 6 Winners:
1st Place: Brandon Walsh
2nd Place: Kyle Wicka
3rd Place: Charles Eichlin
Overall Challenge GP Season Winners:
1st Place: Kyle Wicka
2nd Place: Justin Tolman
3rd Place: Charles Eichlin
On behalf of K1 Speed Carlsbad, we would like to thank all the drivers who participated in this season’s Challenge Grand Prix Series. You have made yet another season a true success.
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.
We had 11 racers come out to compete for the last race of the season here in the Inland Empire Sunday night at K1 Speed Ontario. Kc Cook still showed up even though he already had the championship clinched up and still went out there to try and put himself on the top of the podium for the race. Qualifying was the usual racers at the front, with Kc breaking the track record for the Supertrack, getting a 46.867 second lap! Bryce Raygor qualified second with a 47.221, and Eric Ross in third with a 47.786. The race started off very smoothly with KC Cook taking a couple second lead after the first couple laps, until he started to slow up a little after the 4th lap and Bryce put down very consistent laps trying to catch KC. He eventually got to KC and was able to pass him cleanly to put himself in the lead. The rest of the group was able to catch KC’s bumper, but KC did a great job holding a defensive line in order to hold that second position across the finish line on the last lap. Robert Hernandez came home third, John Carroll forth, and Noah Stein in fifth.
The championship was a three man show this season, with KC Cook claiming the championship again for the second straight time. KC took home the first place hardware with 168 points. Robert Hernandez finished in the second position for the championship with 126 points, and Bob Hyman finished in third with 104 points. Congratulations to the top 3 finishers on a great season here at the Supertrack Challenge GP in Ontario. We hope to see everyone back who participated this season and look forward to seeing new faces for the next season when we run the Supertrack in reverse!
Sunday nights race concluded our final race of the 2012 Challenge G.P. Season. Sergei Maffei and Kc Cook two very familiar faces battled it out for the top spot in our main event race. Kc started the race on pole-position with his qualifying lap time of 43.258 seconds. His strong racing was all that Sergie need to pass him by and take the lead for the remainder of the race. The rest of the field played catch up to Sergei and Kc. In the end, Sergei takes 1st place followed by Kc, and Jason Foreman. Fun race to watch.
In our B-Main event race top spot goes to Rob Drew. Brandon Timpe and Luca Nastrini taking 2nd and 3rd place to round out the podium standings. A very new line up which is always great to see on the podium. Further back in the group a dog-fight for 5th, 6th and 7th went down to the wire with nose to tail racing to the end. We look forward to seeing them all again in our season opener next year.
The last GP of the season was just a technicality, as Ignacio Martinez had the overall season points all wrapped up after last weeks 4th consecutive win. Still, Ignacio felt he still had something to prove and he blew away the field once again. Ignacio lapped several in the GP 6 Main Event and beat 2nd place finisher Aaron Smith by 12.33 seconds. Rounding out the top 3 was Chris Splendoria. With the top 3 finish, Chris Splendoria took 2nd place in the overall season points standings. Aaron Smith was “Mr Consistent” all season and took 3rd in the overall points. It was a great 1st season in Austin and we are looking forward to a bigger and better season starting in January.
The B Main Event had a lot of good racing once again. Timmy Palmer held off a strong field of first time racers to the GP to take 1st position on the podium. Darrin Wicken had a great race to take 2nd place, while relative new comer Sarin Kodappully held on for 3rd place.
The practice round started with Rick Kane, Roddy Balanga & Robert Nieves being the top three. Rick Kane finished first and in the qualifier round Robert Nieves took the lead with the top score finished first. Final round started with Robert in the lead & Rick in 2nd. Rick took the lead in the 3rd lap & kept the lead the entire race finishing in 1st place and Robert in second with a new racer named Scott Borgia racing for the first time in the league came in third place. With season end here, Jonathan Sarceda was declared the league champion with the most points. Rick Kane in 2nd place and Sonny Gonzalez taking the 3rd spot.
Great season to all! We look forward to an even bigger and better season next year!
In our sixth and final challenge race of the season, we see, yet again, a Michael Whipple and Charles Abbott 1-2 punch, with Michael taking honors as the fastest qualifier. Charles and Michael have been battling for first all season with Michael capturing 5 of our 6 checkered flags, and Charles capturing his lone victory in November. Michael has been the kryptonite to Charles Superman all season long.
Our B Main has some of our typically A Main racers competing for top spot, with Douglas Friar having an unusual race and not placing, while youngster TJ Stamm took second. Jeff Osgood has had a consistent season and claims his first checkered flag during the final Challenge GP race.
Next year is looking exciting for the die hard racers that are here month in and month out.
Another spectacular Challenge Grand Prix race at K1 Speed Carlsbad is in the books. This was an intense race with bumper to bumper action throughout. Several position swaps took place within the first three positions very early in the race. Garrett Prutch who qualified toward the back of the pack made some great passes to work his way forward in the pack. Kyle Wicka, who qualified first was involved in some early race position changing, but managed to work his way back into the lead to take the win.
Last GP of the season is December 16, 2012. See you then!
The Ontario Supertrack Challenge GP was Sunday night for the 5th race of the six race season. There were eight racers ready to battle it out to see who the best in the Inland Empire was that night. Qualifying was very straightforward with no incidents and everyone posting very good lap times. KC Cook was able to put himself at the top of the chart, with a lap of 47.876, grabbing the pole position for the final race. We had a couple newcomers to the Ontario GP on Sunday night and were able to adapt to the track very quickly.
As the final started, KC was able to gap the field, as everyone else fought hard to keep their positions. The final race went very smooth, with everyone giving plenty of space and respect to one another. KC was able to come home in the first position, 6.2 seconds in front of second place Robert Hernandez. Bob Hyman finished in third, John Carroll in forth, and rounding out the top 5 was Chuck Gentile. We look forward to seeing more new faces for the final race of the season next month on December 9th!