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.
Sean Naslund once again dominated the Challenge GP event at our K1 Speed Seattle-Redmond indoor karting center, demonstrating quite clearly why he is the defending champion! Despite missing Round 2 of our indoor kart racing series and finishing in 3rd place in Round 1, Sean is back in contention for the series lead with Javier Cantu-Lucero and Randy Olivarez after claiming victory in the last two races. Though they put forth their best efforts, Randy and Javier were unable to make a pass on Sean, who was able to start the race from the front row after setting the fast lap during qualifying to claim the pole position. Javier and Randy followed closely behind Sean for the entire race, and finished in order to take the final two spots on the podium, but that’s probably of little comfort to them now that the realization of Sean’s return sets in! With two rounds remaining in the season and the points race tightening up, the series is starting to get exciting!
If you are interested in participating in K1 Speed’s Challenge GP indoor karting series, the next event in Seattle is scheduled for Sunday, November 1st. At this weekend’s event, newcomers Michael Raiche, Scott Young and Vashutosh Agrawal did very well and were able to hold their own against seasoned veterans, proving that you don’t have to be a regular K1 competitor to have fun in the Challenge GP series. Whether you’re completely new to the sport of karting or are an avid motorsport enthusiast, the Challenge GP kart racing league is a great way to hone braking and throttle inputs, master racing lines, and experience the thrill of wheel-to-wheel racing in a safe and affordable environment.
1st – Sean Naslund
2nd – Javier Cantu-Lucero
3rd – Randy Olivarez
4th – Michael Raiche
5th – Scott Young
6th – Vashutosh Agrawal
We reached the half-way point of our Challenge GP indoor kart racing league this weekend at K1 Speed Torrance in Los Angeles, California, and the event proved to be quite interesting! During Qualifying, the fast lap time was being set and reset by different drivers constantly, as everyone was very competitive right out of the gate; the result of this back-and-forth between the drivers were two separate fields with diverse and competitive starting grids. Though we had a familiar face take the pole position to start on the front row of our A-Main race, several drivers who are accustomed to competing in the A found themselves in the B-Main race instead, such was the closeness and relative equality of the field.
During the A-Main race, John Tanaka was able to pull away from the field after the drop of the green flag, but surprisingly started to slowly lose ground as the race wound its way down. With only a few laps remaining, David Kelmenson was right on John’s rear bumper and went for the pass, but John’s defensive line prevented David from overtaking. In the melee, David and Brandon Cruz, who was following behind in a close 3rd place position, nearly were passed by Michael Arnold who had been hovering back in 4th, but in the end, all three drivers were able to defend their positions and cross the finish line in the order that they started the race. The action was intense though as everyone was watching anxiously as David and Brandon began inching their way back up to the front towards the end of the race!
Regular competitor Khalifa Alasiri started the B-Main race in 2nd place but was able to quickly pass pole-sitter Joe Batwinis for the lead, and he never looked back. Though Joe was unable to maintain his position at the front of the pack, he was able to prove his mettle on track by holding off long-time K1 competitor Kirk Meese, who was doing everything possible to make a pass. Determined not to lose another place on the podium, Joe raced a classic defensive battle and was consistent throughout, which allowed him to hold off Kirk and finish the race behind Khalifa in 2nd place! Battling Khalifa and Kirk certainly illustrated quite clearly to everyone who was there that Joe is someone to lookout for in the future, and we expect him to do well!
Everyone was very competitive this weekend and the racing was some of the closest that we’ve seen! If you want to compete in our Challenge GP go kart league, join us at our K1 Speed Torrance indoor karting center in Los Angeles on Sunday, October 25th for the next round! We hope to see you there!
This weekend marked the half-way point for our Jul-Dec 2009 Challenge GP season at K1 Speed Carlsbad, and we had several very fast competitors come out to battle for the win. Among the racers who showed up were Curt Chapin, who is a former Challenge GP champion and ProScore record holder, regular competitors Paul Ciralli and Kirk Meese, and father and son team Stephen and Jordan Robertson. The qualifying session was very close, with several drivers in contention to start the race from the front row of the grid, but in the end, Paul Ciralli was able to set the fast lap and take the pole position at our indoor karting center. Jordan Robertson, who is under 18 but has qualified to compete in Challenge GP events, was able to best his father’s time and qualify on the front row in 2nd place, and Curt Chapin was able to beat the rest of the field despite a recent hiatus from the track to qualify in 3rd.
Paul went into the race with the points lead and was eager to defend his position, but Jordan and Curt were on his tail as soon as the green flag dropped and the racers headed into the first corner. Such was the pace of Paul, Jordan and Curt that Kirk Meese, who is an experienced and very fast competitor himself, was unable to match the top 3 drivers and started to drop back with the rest of the field. Paul, Jordan and Curt were setting very fast lap times and were able to maintain their pace lap after lap as they headed around the track in a 3 car train (several times it appeared as if all three karts were attached to each other as they made their way around the track)! Though Paul and Curt were impressive on track, Jordan Robertson did particularly well this weekend and was a man determined to win! Jordan was on the tail of Paul Ciralli for the entire race and ended up setting the session’s fast lap in the process with a blistering time of 26.28 seconds, but he was never able to make a pass. Any potential move on Paul might have allowed Curt to slip by, so Jordan played it safe and maintained his position. After 16 hard laps of racing, the top 3 drivers finished in the order that they started with less than 1 second between them! Kirk Meese led the rest of the field past the finish line some 10 seconds later.
With 3 rounds completed in our Carlsbad Challenge GP go kart league, the season is definitely heating up: Paul has started to solidify his lead against the competition – though there are still 3 rounds remaining so another driver, such as Jarrod Buccola, may still be able to take home the championship – and Jordan Robertson made a name for himself in a big way this weekend, and will be one to look out for in the future! We are eager to see how the rest of the season progresses; barring any mishaps, Paul is in a strong position to take home the top prize but the competition is starting to put on the pressure! Join us at K1 Speed Carlsbad on Sunday, October 18th if you are interested in competing in our Challenge GP go kart league and think you have what it takes to race against the very best!
1st: Paul Ciralli
2nd: Jordan Robertson
3rd: Curt Chapin
4th: Kirk Meese
5th: Erwin Solis
6th: Stephan Robertson
7th: Jon Simms
8th: Jim Mihal
Having finished in 3rd place in Round 1 of our six round Challenge GP series and missing Round 2 altogether, defending champion Sean Naslund needed to take home the victory this weekend if he wanted any chance of repeating his success from last season. Racing against veteran competitors Randy Olivarez and Javier Canto-Lucero, Sean had his work cut out for him – especially considering the performance that these two men have put on in the last two races – but he didn’t let the pressure deter him. After setting the fast lap time in qualifying and taking the pole position, Sean led the field all the way to the checkered flag to take an unchallenged win, greatly boosting his standings and putting him back in the running.
Though neither Randy nor Javier found themselves on the top step of the podium this race, both are still in contention for the championship with the season half over, thanks to strong finishes in all three rounds. We look forward to seeing how the rest of the series pans out and we expect that all three men will give everything that they have to take home the gold at season’s end! If you would like to take part in our Challenge GP kart racing league, join us at K1 Speed Seattle for the next round on Sunday, October 4th!
Thanks to the size of our Super Track, we were able to accommodate all 14 drivers who showed up to compete in Round 3 of the Jul-Dec 2009 season of our K1 Speed Ontario Challenge GP go kart racing league at one time, resulting in some great racing! Though many Challenge GP events end up being broken up into separate run groups, this race was great as it allowed new racers and many competitors who typically race in the B-Main event to compete head-to-head against some of our very best K1 drivers! Though there were some familiar faces on the podium at the end of the race, several new drivers made quite a name for themselves too, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
In qualifying, veteran K1 speed racer David Messimer was able to grab the pole position with a lap time of 52.05 seconds, beating out fellow Challenge GP regulars Khalifa Alasiri and John Tanaka, who qualified in 2nd place and 3rd place respectively. At the drop of the green flag, David was able to lead the Top 3 drivers around the track in a fast and error-free procession, and pull away from the competition. David, Khalifa and John maintained their qualifying positions for the entire race and finished in order to take the top positions on the podium. Further back in the pack, Barry Wright, one of four new competitors, nearly broke into the Top 5, but was just edged out and ended up finishing the race in 6th place. We look forward to seeing Barry compete in future events and expect that he’ll be battling for the win soon!
If you want to race under the lights and battle head-to-head against some of the very best indoor karting stars in Southern California, join us at K1 Speed Ontario for the next round of our Challenge GP go kart league. Featuring our exclusive Super Track and high performance electric karts, we feel that the Challenge GP kart racing series is one of the best ways to experience authentic wheel-to-wheel racing!
This past weekend, we had one of our greatest turnouts ever for a Challenge GP race, with 43 drivers showing up to battle for victory! Needless to say, we were extremely pleased with the attendance and the racers did not disappoint! To accommodate the large number of racers, we ended up splitting the competitors into four separate groups – A through D – based on qualifying times, which not only allowed us to better organize the event but also keep the competitors on a relatively level playing field with the other drivers on the grid. Being that we had twice the number of entries as an F1 starting grid attempting to race on an indoor go kart track (even one as large as our Super Track), we figured dividing the field up into groups would be the best solution, and the Challenge GP event ended up running very smoothly.
Not surprisingly, there were some familiar names in the A Main race of our go kart racing league, including John Tanaka, Toby Rodriguez and Irvine’s local hero Kirk Meese. Toby has been doing particularly well this season, no doubt inspired by John’s dominating performance last season, and once again ended up on top of the podium at the end of the race. John finished in 2nd place ahead of Kirk, who took the final spot on the podium in the A Main race against some stiff competition, including regulars Robert Dlugos, Khalifa Alasiri and Alton Arnold III. The battle between these guys is definitely heating up and we look forward to seeing how the rest of the season will play out, as we suspect that neither John nor Toby will give in!
As the competitors who showed up this weekend to race can testify, this Challenge GP event was unlike any other. The turnout for Round 3 of the Jul-Dec 2009 K1 Speed Irvine Challenge GP go kart league was so great (and the racers so competitive) that some individuals who typically take part in the A Main race wound up in the B Main race. This was the case with Michael Arnold, who used his skill and experience behind the wheel to take 1st place in the final race of the B Main, ahead of Steven Bordeaux and Jonathan Wright. Rather than be thrown or distracted by his qualifying time, Michael set out to prove that he has the skills to compete, and he proved it with his win. In the C Main, Royce Mohler finished ahead of Jason Bordeaux and David Robinson to take the win and Jason Foreman ended up winning the D Main race, with Joe Batwinis finishing in 2nd and Brandon Peckham finishing in 3rd.
The racing this weekend was some of the best that we’ve seen and it was a thrill to see so many competitors vying for the win! If you would like to take on the best K1 Speed racers in Orange County, and indeed, Southern California, join us at K1 Speed Irvine October 4th at 6:30PM for Round 4 of our K1 Speed Irvine Challenge GP series. We can assure you that it is an experience like no other and that it is one of the safest and most affordable ways to go wheel-to-wheel racing. We’ll see you there!
Round 2 of our inaugural Challenge GP series at K1 Speed Torrance took place this past weekend, and we are pleased to say that the event was fantastic! The qualifying rounds were extremely close, with the top 5 positions for both the A and B-main races separated by a mere tenth of a second or two, so it was anyone’s race to win in the final. The B-main event saw Richard Langsdale and Adam Langsdale battling for the top spot from the drop of the green flag, with each man mirroring each other through every corner. With only 2 laps remaining of the 16 lap race though, Richard’s relentless pace caught up with him and he started sliding his kart; this slight mistake allowed Adam to build up the lead he needed to comfortably take the win. Following closely behind Richard and Adam was Tyler Bryant, who finished the B-main in 3rd place.
In the A-main race, John Tanaka once again dominated the event. Though the qualifying times were pretty close to each other for the Top 5 racers, John was able to consistently set fast lap after fast lap in the race and started building up a healthy lead. In the process, John also set the new lap record for our current Torrance track configuration, with a lap time of 26.70 seconds! The fact that John was able to set this time in a race, and not during a practice or qualifying session, is a testament to John’s ability to maximize his performance and that of the kart regardless of conditions or pressure. Needless to say, John is definitely the man to beat at the moment! Finishing in 2nd place was Paul Ciralli, who definitely has the pace and the ability needed to win, and in 3rd place was Michael Arnold, a veteran competitor who is always consistent.
If you want to experience the thrill of wheel-to-wheel racing, join us for our next Challenge GP event in Torrance on September 27th. You will not be disappointed!