Theo Mechain and Garrett Foss came in to the final round seperated by just four points, and as the two had traded wins all season no one really knew what would happen. When it came time to race, mainly those who were fighting for points and prizes had shown, and as qualifying came to a close it was actually RJ Napitupulu who would come away with the fastest time of 16.704 and take the bonus points. The main event however, was surprisingly mellow considering. The main event win would go to Garrett Foss who led from wire to wire, Napitupulu was on his bumper and applying pressure for the duration of the race, but was never quite able to find the room to get by and would take home 2nd. Behind them, Dana Glenn and Theo Mechain battled back and forth late with Mechain eventually able to edge out Dana for 3rd. The win would give Garrett Foss the championship, but it was not without a season long fight. Theo Mechain would snag 2nd overall in points, coming from a rather large gap at one point, to nearly being able to win it all. Surely he will be a contender in the coming seasons. Last years champ, Dana Glenn would take 3rd overall in points after missing a couple rounds due to other commitments, which is still a great finish. Thanks to everyone who came out and raced with us for season one of 2013. It was a good one!
For the penultimate round of Challenge GP Season 1, it was Dana “the dude” Glenn taking top honors in qualifying with a 16.5, just edging out younger Jayce who put down a solid 16.531. The Glenn Bro’s were followed by Rj Napitupulu, Garrett Foss and Theo Mechain who early on looked to be the fastest on the night after Q1, and Adrian Corona heading in to the main event for the night. As the Green flag dropped 2012 GP Champ Dana Glenn led the way as the field thundered down the back stretch and in to turn one, the drivers funneled in single file close behind. For the first few laps the running order stayed the same as they settled in and found their grooves. The first of the group to make a move was Napitupulu who put a solid pass on Jayce Glenn for 2nd spot coming down the front stretch. This pass seem to set things in motion as the rest of the race was action packed.
At the tail end Corona , Foss and Mechain were all battling it out through the chicane and infield sections, going two and 3 wide at times, all the while catching the drivers up front. Soon it was a 4 way battle as Jayce joined in on the fun. 10 laps in and the Dude still held a small lead over Napitupulu, who was locked on his rear bumper. You could see something in the works for several laps though as Rj would peak inside on the hard braking corners, looking for any opening to make his move. Lap 12 and it happened, with a good drive out of the final turn Rj was able to pull along side Dana going into turn one and take over the lead where he would remain for the closing laps. Back to the rest of the pack where 4 drivers were battling for one spot, Foss had at one point moved in to 3rd, but Jayce Glenn and Mechain would fight back hard and once again shuffle the points leader backward. Theo and Jayce duked it out for a few more laps and eventually Mechain got the upper hand moving solidly into 3rd position. Jayce would hang tight and finish 4th while Garrett Foss would come home 5th, certainly not without an incredible fight though. Adrian Corona would finish 6th after running 4th and nearly third at one point and with the many battles these four drivers had tonight, it certainly wasnt about speed this evening in the A-main, it was all about driver skill in traffic and being able to make passes. Look for Corona’s finishes to improve as he gains experience running with the faster drivers, as the youngest driver we have racing the GP, he is still always blazing fast and he certainly will have a breakthrough drive at some point. The championship battle is now down to the final race next month, as Mechain was able to take advantage of Foss’ 5th place finish, he closes up to now just 4 points behind. Who will take it? Who could play the spoiler?
The fourth round of Challenge GP 2K13 Season 1 saw Garrett Foss return to the top step of the podium for his 3rd win, and add a bit more breathing room between himself and the other drivers in the championship. We also saw the return of the Glenn brothers, Dana and Jayce as well as RJ Napitupulu who all put in solid drives. As the field headed toward the green flag drivers immediately began scrambling for position it what proved to be a wild first few laps. Napitupulu had the early lead and looked strong out front but was being hounded by Mechain and Foss who were two wide early on through the infield sections of the track. Behind the front 3 there was a battle all its own going on between the Glenn brothers, and young Adrian Corona who was making his return to racing after a 3 month hiatus. Dana, who surprisingly qualified slowest on the night was turning things around in the main and was charging hard. Within the first 5 laps, he had worked his way up from dead last to 3rd methodically working his way past others with passes that were no doubt difficult to pull off cleanly through the chicane after the back stretch. Foss continued to pressure RJ up front and eventually made a pass stick with a run down the front stretch and soon was under fire from Theo Mechain and Glenn as well. Glenn, who wasnt done yet, passed Mechain on lap 6, and Napitupulu on lap 7. 7 laps to go from dead last, to 2nd. Garrett Foss by this point had built a small lead over the field while the others battled, but it would not last long. With just a few laps to go the two up front were nose to tail , one mistake could have cost either their positions, but as the checkers fell it was Garrett Foss taking the win, followed closely by Dana Glenn in 2nd, RJ Napitupulu in 3rd, Theo Mechain in 4th, Jayce Glenn 5th and Adrian Corona 6th.
The A main kicked off with Patrick O’leary having the early lead over Theo Mechain and Garrett Foss, who were followed closey by Ricky Hendrson, Terrell Broomer and Chris Roberts. O’Leary would hold the lead for the first few laps while the drivers behind him began to battle in the infield sections of the track. Mechain would come under fire from Foss coming on to the back stretch and lose 2nd place early and nearly slip back to third as the hard charging Ricky Henderson would begin to pressure him, looking for any room to sneak by. Mechain would turn it up a bit though and begin to pull away back toward the front two. Midway through the race Garrett had caught up to the #10 kart of Patrick O’leary and began to look for a way by.
They ran bumper to bumper for a few laps, and then Foss pulled off a pass with yet another run out of the final turn on to the back stretch and would go by heading in to turn one. Foss was now leading, followed closely by O’leary who was now also under pressure from Theo Mechain. Mechain would pull off a pass very nearly identical to Garretts’ pass on O’leary and move up to the number two spot where he would remain until the checkers. Behind the front two, there was an intense battle going on between Terrell Broomer, Ricky Henderson and Patrick O’leary for the 3rd position. The three were locked together bumper to bumper for several laps making for an exciting race to watch. Eventually though Henderson would make a pass that stuck on O’leary through the chicane section and move to 3rd where he would finish. Patrick definitely put up a good fight for it though as he remained right on the bumper of Henderson for the closing laps, ready to pounce at the slightest bobble.
At the checkers it was Garrett Foss with a comfortable margin, followed by Theo Mechain, Ricky Henderson, Patrick O’leary, Terrell Broomer and Chris Roberts who was making his first GP start. With regulars Dana and Jayce Glenn being forced to sit this round out, it broke the tie in points for the top two spots. Garrett Foss now leads by 4 points over Theo Mechain solidly in 2nd. The Glenn brothers however remain tied for 3rd even after missing this round, but now have several drivers within earshot of stealing the final championship slot from them.
“My friends and family were actually really supportive of my racing through all of the adversity that I came through as a kid, and racing was a way for me to get around a lot of things that were distracting me,” Cantu-Lucero said. “A lot of kids my age are abusing drugs and alcohol. Racing is a way for me to keep myself away from that and stay focused on what I am passionate about.”
“I think it’s a great way for to progress a young driver like myself to the top of INDYCAR.”
Qualifying for the next Skip Barber Racing School INDYCAR Academy is simple: the finalists have to graduate from one Skip Barber 3-Day Formula Car Racing School and an Advanced 2-Day Racing School in 2013 and apply (see the application). Individuals must meet the following criteria to be nominated for the Skip Barber INDYCAR Academy:
- No Professional Racing Experience
- No Karting Experience
In the Skip Barber Racing Series, competitors race for an opportunity to climb to the top of the motorsports ladder through a sponsored advancement up the Mazda Road to Indy.
The final points total read as follows:
Andres Gomes: 330.88
Connor Clifford: 321.50
Javier Cantu-Lucero: 312.88
Michai Stephens: 303.00
David Alpert: 302.00