The final round of the Jul-Dec 2009 K1 Speed Irvine Challenge GP karting league took place this weekend and a new champion was crowned! There was a full grid for the race, and we were pleased to see that some new faces showed up to compete as well, including K1 Speed-sponsored driver Gustavo Menezes who recently earned two podium finishes at the SKUSA SuperNationals XIII event in Las Vegas, Nevada. With the caliber of drivers out on track, we expected an exciting race and the competitors did not disappoint!
After qualifying, Toby Rodriguez, Taylor Hays and Khalifa Alasiri led the front of the pack in the A Main race, with regular racer and defending champion John Tanaka starting back in seventh place. Gustavo Menezes was able to qualify in sixth in his first ever Challenge GP race and was able to compete head-to-head with some of our veteran racers! Clearly, Gustavo’s skills in TaG 125cc karting helped him adapt to our high performance electric karts and our indoor go kart tracks quite quickly, as he was a rocket out on track!
At the drop of the green flag, Toby, Taylor and Khalifa quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field after running consistently fast lap times. Back in the middle of the pack, Gustavo Menezes was on a mission to make up positions and he went to work quickly to gain ground. Gustavo’s first pass was on Ahmed Alasiri; going into a hairpin corner, Gustavo slightly tapped the back of Ahmed’s kart with a late braking maneuver which allowed both John Tanaka and him to take the inside line and make the pass. The next person in Gustavo’s sights was Bill Kreig, who is a very fast and very consistent driver. Heading into a slow speed corner, Gustavo once again late braked and this time was able to pull off a clean pass free of contact. Unfortunately for John, he was not able to follow this time and would tail Bill for the remainder of the race. Toby Rodriguez ended up winning the last round of the season, ahead of Taylor Hays who finished in second place and Khalifa Alasiri who finished third. Defending champion John Tanaka could do no better than sixth and Gustavo Menezes was able to make his way up to fourth in his first ever event!
In the B Main race, Michael Arnold was able to climb to the top step of the podium ahead of second place Justin Davenport and third place Michael Tekstra. The B Main event was another exciting race, with veteran Michael Arnold once again proving his worth out on track. This sixth and final round of the season also produced some series champions though! The overall champion for our K1 Speed Irvine Jul-Dec 2009 Challenge GP season is Toby Rodriguez, who accumulated a total of 172 points over six races! Second place overall went to defending champion John Tanaka with 162 points and Bill Kreig claimed third place with 141 points. An honorable mention must also be given to Alton Arnold III who finished tenth in the A Main race but fourth place overall in the season with 138 points, just 2 points shy of Bill Kreig!
We would like to congratulate all of our winners – both our series champions and our individual race winnrers! Though we should probably be used to it by now, we are constantly impressed with how exciting our Challenge GP events are! We would like to thank all of our fans, supporters and competitors for a great race and a fantastic season, and we hope to see you again next year! Be on the lookout for our 2010 Challenge GP kart league schedule soon – our tracks will be run in the opposite direction next season so veterans and new racers alike will be on a level playing field!
With the Top 3 positions and the championship already determined in the 2009 K1 Speed Seattle Challenge GP season, the final round this past weekend was for pride and bragging rights! Series champion and track record holder Randy Olivarez set the fast lap and earned the pole position at our indoor raceway, but runner up Javier Cantu-Lucero earned the second spot on the grid and was looking for the win. Newcomer Austin Treloar impressed everyone with his qualifying time, which was just a tenth of a second off of Javier’s qualifying time, and managed to start from the third spot on the grid in his first ever Challenge GP race! Considering that there was a full grid with 11 drivers, we were pleased to see him so far up the grid and expect to see more out of Austin next season!
Once the green flag dropped, Javier tucked right in behind Randy and was ready to make a move as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Going into the first hairpin corner, there was some contact in the front of the field which forced Randy wide, allowing Javier to take the inside line alongside. Though it wasn’t the cleanest pass, Javier was able to make it stick and took the lead away from Randy. On lap 14, Javier made a mistake but Randy was unable to capitalize; trailing Javier as close as he was, Randy ended up simply bumping into the back of his kart and lost the momentum he needed to make the pass. The race winner ended up being Javier, followed closely by series champion Randy Olivarez. The battle for third place was close, but in the end newcomer Austin Treloar ended up claiming the final spot on the podium ahead of his fellow novice Challenge GP competitor Brad Herley. It was a great race worthy of the final round of the decade!
It was a great year at K1 Speed Seattle for our Challenge GP kart racing league and this was perhaps our most exciting season yet; the defending champion Sean Naslund put up a great fight at the beginning of the season but Javier Cantu-Lucero and Randy Olivarez both stepped up and were extremely competitive all season long. We really look forward to next year and expect to see great things from our regular competitors as well as newcomers like Austin and Brad! Stay tuned for an updated calendar of events in 2010 soon!
Overall points leader Randy Olivarez went into the penultimate round of the Jul-Dec 2009 Challenge GP season at K1 Speed Seattle with a chance to clinch the title, and it was evident that he wanted the win! Defending champion Sean Naslund unfortunately could not make the race, and thus gave up any hope he had of scoring a second consecutive championship, but Javier Cantu-Lucero could force a runoff at the final round of the season if he took the win in Round 5. The qualifying round would determine the starting order, and very likely the results of the race, so everyone was eager to see who would take the pole position at our indoor karting center!
Javier Cantu-Lucero had a very good performance in qualifying and was consistently fast, but in the end, he was edged out by Randy Olivarez. Clearly looking for the win and the overall championship, the lap record holder on our current track configuration went about dissecting the course corner-by-corner and ended up claiming the pole position for the final race. At the drop of the green flag, Javier did everything that he could to apply pressure on Randy, but his technique wasn’t quite good enough to get him past the race leader. Randy passed the finish line after a dominating drive and claimed the championship for the Jul-Dec 2009 Challenge GP season! Javier came in just behind Randy and earned valuable points for his standings, but in the end his championship hopes were over.
With 2nd place still up for grabs between Javier and Sean Naslund, the final round of the year should be exciting! Stay tuned for more news!
The November round of our Challenge GP kart racing series at K1 Speed Carlsbad brought out some very strong competitors, including Paul Ciralli, Khalifa Alasiri and Kirk Meese. The father-son team of Stephen and Jordan Robertson was all too happy to disrupt the plans of these seasoned competitors though, as Jordan Robertson performed extremely well in both the qualifying round and position race; hovering on the tail of Paul Ciralli, Jordan was able to place pressure and fight for the win all race long! Though Jordan was unable to make a pass for first position, he finished just .22 seconds behind Paul for a 2nd place finish and was able to stay ahead of Khalifa Alasiri, who wound up taking the final spot on the podium in 3rd. It was an impressive performance by all accounts, and we expect to see Jordan continuously improve as he gains more experience.
We would like to thank everyone who came out and competed in Round 5 of our Challenge GP series as well as offer our thanks for their continued support. If you would like to participate in our Challenge GP go kart league, we will be announcing our new schedule for the Jan-Jun 2010 season soon. If you would like to see some of the best indoor karters in Southern California battle it out in person, feel free to join us at our indoor karting center in San Diego, California on December 20th for the final round of the year! We hope to see you there!
At the penultimate round of our 2009 Challenge GP kart racing series at K1 Speed Torrance, John Tanaka was once again dominant. Leading the race from the first position on the grid, John never looked back and easily took the win ahead of Paul Ciralli and Adam Langsdale. The battle for second place was exciting though, as Paul trailed Adam for several laps before making a move in the last corner that catapulted him into position to take the first series of sweeping corners on the preferred line. Despite having to go wide of the apex through the S-curve to accommodate Adam to his right side, Paul was able to make the move stick and ended up finishing the race in 2nd place. Adam was able to hold on and win the 3rd position on the podium.
The B-Main event saw regular racer Michael Arnold lead the field to a well-deserved win. Michael is not a stranger to A-Main events, so when he does compete in the B-Main, he is often very competitive and that proved true this weekend as well. In 2nd place behind Michael was Joe Batwinis, who finished ahead of 3rd place finisher Tyler Bryant.
It was a great weekend of racing in Torrance and we look forward to the final round of the season on December 27th! If you want to watch some of the very best indoor karters in Southern California compete, we invite you to come out and join us! If you want to compete, be on the lookout for our new Challenge GP schedule soon!
Though there were some familiar faces present for our Challenge GP go kart racing series in the Inland Empire this weekend, the race was dominated by John Tanaka and Khalifa Alasiri. The two seasoned competitors quickly distanced themselves from the field as they made their way around our half-mile Super Track, and were running nose-to-tail the entire race. Their pace was so fast in fact that 3rd place finisher Garrett Regan – someone who has several podium finishes to his name and is contention for the Ontario Challenge GP championship – finished some 6.70 seconds back! The two racers were giving it their all and the result of their effort was clearly demonstrated on the track! John and Khalifa crossed the checkered flag separated by a mere 0.77 seconds, with Khalifa taking the win over John Tanaka.
It was a great race at K1 Speed Ontario this weekend and we would like to thank everyone who came out to compete. The final round of the Jul-Dec 2009 K1 Speed Ontario Challenge GP season is taking place on Sunday, December 13th. If you would like to watch the champion be crowned or would like to compete against the best of the best, join us at 7:00PM! We hope to see you there!
The attendance for the penultimate round of our July-December 2009 K1 Speed Irvine Challenge GP season was fantastic, with 26 competitors from throughout Orange County and Southern California showing up to compete at our indoor karting center. Considering that many of us have had to be a bit more careful with expenses this year, we have been continually blown away by the enthusiasm and support that people have shown for our Challenge GP kart racing series. At our Irvine location alone, we have had nearly a hundred different individuals come out to participate in our racing series; we cannot thank our customers enough for their dedication! The round this weekend was another great event that produced close racing and good conversation, and it should go without saying that we are very much looking forward to seeing how the season will come to a close in the final round next month!
Overall point leaders Toby Rodriguez and John Tanaka were both very fast in qualifying and started in the A-Main race at the front of the pack. As both are fighting for the championship, we weren’t surprised to see each give it his all on track and both men ran near flawless races. Despite his best efforts though, John was unable to best Toby Rodriguez, who took his fourth win of the season. With only one round remaining in the series, Toby has a good chance of taking the Challenge GP championship away from John. Khalifa Alasiri, who has been performing well all season long, fell in behind John to take the final spot on the podium.
In the B-Main race, Alfredo Anguiano held off a hard-charging Bill Kreig to take the win, though there were several moments where it looked as if Bill was going to make the pass. As the spectators can attest, Alfredo earned his win this Sunday, because Bill did not make it easy on him! Though Alfredo and Bill didn’t get to compete in the A-Main this weekend, they can comfort themselves knowing that they delivered a fantastic performance for the crowd! Following closely behind the back-and-forth battle between Bill and Alfredo was regular Jonathan Wright, who ended up finishing the race in 3rd place.
If there was one race that perhaps didn’t go as smoothly as it could have, it was the C-Main! As the karts got funneled into the first series of turns, Rob Drew unfortunately was spun out and lost several positions. Despite falling victim to the mayhem of the first several laps and ending up in last place, Rob was determined out on track and was able to make his way back up to 6th position by the end of the race. Though Rob was unable to earn a podium finish, he definitely earned the respect of his competitors! The race winner was Joe Erwin, who finished ahead of 2nd place finisher Steve Wetterau. The final spot on the podium was taken by Formula Drift driver Justin Pawlak, who campaigns the Mazda RX-8 drift car for the Bergenholtz Racing team. Justin was able to quickly adapt his drifting skills to our karts, as he performed very well against some veteran K1 racers.
Join us at K1 Speed Irvine on December 6th for the final round of our Challenge GP indoor karting series. The championship will be on the line, and the racing is sure to be exciting!
There was a great turnout for our Challenge GP race at K1 Speed Torrance this weekend but the story of the day was John Tanaka’s brilliant drive from 3rd place on the grid to win the race. As a former Challenge GP champion, John has a reputation for being fast, consistent and aggressive, and he put all three traits to good use on Sunday. In an A-Main race that included legendary import drag racer and Bergenholtz Racing team owner Ed Bergenholtz, John was able to qualify in a very respectable 3rd place. Once the green flag dropped though, John quickly went about making his way to the front of the pack.
Michael Arnold, who competes on a regular basis in the Challenge GP series, qualified in 2nd place for the main race and had the unenviable task of holding off a determined John Tanaka. The pressure appeared to be on Michael’s mind as he made his way around the track, as he was regularly checking over his shoulder only to find John matching his every input. This mental distraction ended up being Michael’s undoing; heading into the braking zone of the first hairpin turn about halfway through the race, John was finally able to make his move and complete the pass to take the second position. With a short amount of laps remaining though, it looked as if though John may not be able to catch the race leader Sean Brazeau. Amazingly, John was able to close the gap between himself and Sean and on the last lap of the race, forced his way inside of Sean at the same spot on the track that he passed Michael! With less than half a lap left, John took the lead and never looked back, winning the race in a drive that had the spectators shouting from the sidelines! It was a truly great drive worthy of a Challenge GP champion, and it helped solidify John’s lead in the point race.
We would like to thank everyone who attended our Challenge GP race in Los Angeles this weekend, including John Tanaka, Sean Brazeau, Michael Arnold, Ed Bergenholtz, and the winners of the B-Main race, Gary Culbertson, Paul Ciralli and Korta T Autrey for a great event! If you would like to compete against some of the very best indoor karters in Southern California or the Pacific Northwest, we invite you to attend the next Challenge GP event at your local K1 Speed indoor karting center. Our Challenge GP races allow veterans and novices alike to compete in genuine wheel-to-wheel racing for an affordable price, and are great fun! There are two rounds remaining in the Jul-Dec 2009 season, so we hope to see you there!
There was tremendous turnout at K1 Speed Ontario this weekend, as race fans from throughout the Inland Empire came to our indoor karting center to meet some of their favorite Sprint Cup drivers and to enjoy the fun of wheel-to-wheel racing. After the Pepsi 500 NASCAR race came to a close at the Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana, California on Sunday, race fans flocked to K1 Speed Ontario for our monthly Challenge GP kart racing series to tackle our half-mile long Super Track! With no fewer than 26 fierce competitors prepared to battle it out for bragging rights and the Challenge GP championship, the event was fantastic.
The qualifying sessions went very smoothly and were free of major incidents; regular competitor Khalifa Alasiri grabbed the pole position at our indoor kart racing center after setting a fast lap time around our Super Track of just 52.03 seconds! Demonstrating that his qualifying performance was no fluke, Khalifa ended up dominating the A Main race, taking the win over Garrett Regan – a former race winner himself – who finished in 2nd place. Seasoned veteran John Tanaka took the final spot on the podium, ahead of 4th place Paul Ciralli who is routinely in the fight for the lead but was unable to break into the Top 3 this time around. With his 1st place finish, Khalifa improves his standing in the overall point total, but John has been consistent all season long and looks to be the person to beat with only two races remaining in the 2009 season.
We look forward to another great turnout next month for the Ontario Challenge GP event being held on November 8th! Remember, you can now practice for the GP every Monday at K1 Speed Ontario, as we have introduced Super Track Mondays to meet our customers’ demands! For the first time, our Super Track in Ontario is open to the general public for Arrive and Drive racing, so don’t miss out!
There was a fantastic turnout for the October round of our Challenge GP indoor karting series at K1 Speed Irvine, with no fewer than 40 drivers showing up to compete. Not surprisingly, the group had to be split up into separate fields to accommodate the sheer number of competitors, as even with the Super Track configuration being utilized at our Irvine indoor kart track in Orange County, we simply couldn’t allow 40 drivers on the grid at one time! After the qualifying sessions were complete, the drivers were placed into three different racing groups based on their performance: the A Main, B Main and C Main grids.
Regular competitor Khalifa Alasiri qualified on the pole position in the A Main after setting the fast lap at our indoor kart racing center, but lost several spots during the race. Though Khalifa was able to recover and still finish on the podium, he was unable to regain his 1st place position, eventually finishing the race in a very respectable 3rd. Toby Rodriguez, who is always at the front of the pack and has won his fair share of Challenge GP races in the past, battled with David Messimer (Mr. Kawasaki) for the win all race long after Khalifa lost his position at the front. Despite the pressure from behind, David was able to maintain composure and a clean defensive racing line, and finish the race in 1st place against some very talented drivers. Needless to say, David can be proud of his win this weekend and we look forward to seeing what he brings to the next event on November 1st!
In the B Main, Sean Thomas found himself in close combat with the father-and-son team of Jordan and Stephen Robertson, who had traveled north from San Diego to compete in the event. Despite their best efforts though, the Robertsons were unable to make a pass, and the trio crossed the finish line in order. The real story of the B Main took place farther back in the field, as several drivers – Patty Kuykendall, Nick Gomez and Nia Huynh – were swapping positions throughout the race. Nia was able to make his way up as high as 4th place, despite competing in his very first Challenge GP event, but eventually spun out after a slight collision and lost his position. If his performance from this weekend is any indication though, we expect to see Nia competing for the win at our next event.
There were a lot of new faces in the C-Main, and the race produced some of the closest battles of the day. Surprisingly, first-time K1 Speed competitor Ahmad Al Dubaikhi was able to finish on the podium after a strong performance that netted him a 3rd place finishing position. With a strong first outing, we would not be surprised to see Ahmad make his way up to the A-Main in the near future. Nick Heredia was able to win the C-Main ahead of Brian Hull, who slotted in-between Nick and Ahmad to finish in 2nd place.
If you would like to compete head-to-head against some of the best indoor karters in Southern California, head to K1 Speed Irvine on Sunday, November 1st for the next round of the Challenge GP karting league. Whether you’re a veteran racer or you have always wanted to experience wheel-to-wheel racing, the Challenge GP kart racing series at K1 Speed is an affordable and convenient way to become involved in motorsport.