For the 2nd round of the 2013 Challenge GP season saw 15 drivers show up to battle it out on the tight Seattle course and it was yet another battle throughout qualifying as drivers swapped the top spot with nearly every passing lap. Theo Mechain, however, was able to lead the 10 fastest drivers to the green flag in the A-Main after setting the top qualifying time with a 16.491, his best qualifying effort so far followed by Rj Napitupulu, Garrett Foss, Dana Glenn, Jayce Glenn, Ricky Henderson, Terrell Broomer, Jon Jordan, Patrick O’Leary and Brandon Goebel.
The first few laps saw things staid relatively calm as the order stayed roughly unchanged. Lap 6 saw Napitupulu leave the door open just enough heading in to turn 2 at the end of the straight for Foss to dive to the inside and wrestle for the 2nd position, and take the spot heading in to turn 3 in the infield. Mechain, Foss and Napitupulu were now in a 3 way battle for the lead without an inch to spare between their bumpers. Behind them, there was a war going on for 4th between Dana Glenn, Jayce Glenn and Ricky Henderson. Henderson would get by younger brother Jayce and begin his attack on “The Dude” to try and move into that 4th spot. Dana would have none of it however as the two came out of the final corner and on to the front stretch side by side, he held Henderson to the inside going in to turn one and as a result caused him to run wider on the exit , and with a quick stab of the brakes and a dive back to the inside squared off the corner and was gone. Ricky would then come under fire from Jayce Glenn, and after a short battle that eventually forced Henderson into a mistake through the chicane, Jayce would take over the spot. Further back, there was a battle just as intense all its own between Patrick O’Leary, Terrell Broomer and John Jordan. These 3 were locked together and fighting for position nearly the entire race and so evenly matched you just never knew who might come out on top. Eventually Broomer found his groove and moved back into 6th place. A very impressive run for the newcomer to the GP league. Up front Napitupulu made a costly mistake in turn one trying to pass Garrett Foss that caused him to drop to last place, where he would remain the rest of the race. At the checkered flag it was Theo Mechain taking his first win and just edging out Garrett Foss who finished a close 2nd, Dana Glenn would take 3rd. Behind them it was Jayce Glenn 4th, Terrell Broomer 5th, Patrick O’leary 6th after starting 9th, Ricky Henderson 7th, Jon Jordan 8th, Brandon Goebel 9th and Rj Naptitupulu 10th.
We now have a 2 way tie in points for first between Garrett Foss and Theo Mechain, and also a two way tie for 2nd place with brothers Dana and Jayce Glenn. Patrick O’leary now sits 4th in points after a solid drive followed by Terrell Broomer for your top 5 currently in points. With 4 drivers going for the top two spots at the moment, things are sure to be shaken up at the next race.
The first Challenge GP of the New Year kicked off with Jayce Glenn setting the pace early in qualifying with a 16.5, but that would not hold for long as Theo Mechain and Garrett Foss would both put down some amazing laps late in their runs and steal the top two spots. The top 6 were all very close in times throughout qualifying. As the drivers rolled off it was Garrett Foss, Theo Mechain, Jayce Glenn, Hanz Malzar, Dana Glenn, Arun Bhatji, Patrick O’leary, Andrew Cordona, Taylor Casillas and Andrew Yacovone. As they took the green flag the order stayed the same for the first couple of laps, and then on lap 4 Dana Glenn moved past Malzar with a clean move through the chicane section on the back side of the track and moved up in to 4th and begin to pressure his younger brother. Newcomer Arun Bhatji, seemed to lay back for the first part of the race and let things settle down, began to find his groove and really started putting down some burners midway through the race and close the gap between himself and the front 5 drivers. Up front and in the lead, Garrett Foss was putting on quite the show and looking comfortable. He has always been wicked fast, and was finally out front in a main event showing what he can really do. Behind Foss, Theo Mechain was still holding down the 2nd spot looking strong and fast. Next up it was the Glenn Boys, locked in a battle of their own, the two would swap back and forth a couple of times during the race, Dana “The Dude” passed Jayce early on just a couple of laps after picking off Malzar and looked to be settling in to 3rd. Jayce would keep the pressure on Dana. Behind them, Bhatji was really going for it and put the fastest lap of the race down with a 16.42 as he began to pick up the lines of the GP regulars. He closed the gap on Malzar with 3 laps to go and made his move to take 5th and settled in for the remainder of the race. With just 2 laps to go it was Garrett Foss still with a comfortable gap to Theo Mechain who was now coming under fire from both of the Glenn Brothers who had been feeding off each other and pushing toward the front. Through the 2nd corner Theo went just a bit wider than normal and that allowed The Dude to pull up on his out side as the chicane juked back to the right. This however, proved to be an unfortunate for him as Theo would gather himself and hold the position to the inside of the next turn, and younger brother Jayce was able to goback by nside as well. At the finish it was all Garrett Foss taking his first win, followed by Theo Mechain, Jayce Glenn, Dana Glenn, Arun Bhatji , Hanz Malzar , Patrick O’leary, Taylor Casillas, Andrew Cordona and Andrew Yacovone.
News out of Redmond, WA. Jeremy Keeley put down an insane 16.280 on the 16th and final lap of his race last night at K1 Speed Seattle. Nearly 2 tenths faster than the previous mark of 16.430 set by Challenge GP regular, Theo Mechains.
Congratulations to Jeremy on breaking the lap record. Who’s next?!