1st Annual K1 Speed US & E-World Championship Report
Peyton Phillips of Austin, Texas bounced back from an early upset to claim both the US Championship and the very first K1 Speed E-World Championship title in a hard-fought two days’ worth of racing at K1 Speed locations across Southern California this weekend.
The last two days have been fast and furious at K1 Speed as the US Championship and E-World Championship held their events to determine who will walk away with the $15,000 grand prize award and the title of our first E-World Champion.
Here’s how it all went down.
US Championship Recap
A total of 12 very talented racers from 12 different states drove and flew out to K1 Speed Irvine on Friday, March 22nd to see who would become the US Champion and go on to contest the World Championship against drivers from Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and China. These drivers were:
Charles Eichlin (California)
Brendan Radzely (New York)
Sanjaya Vatuk (Massachusetts)
Kenny McCoy (Washington)
Spencer Stillwell (North Carolina)
Jeff Panelley (Utah)
Nicolas Ryan (Illinois)
Curtis Cantrell (Georgia)
Demetrius Hines (Hawaii)
Shane Lambert (Colorado)
Thomas Lyons (Arizona)
Peyton Phillips (Texas)
The event began with each driver receiving an exclusive K1 Speed E-World Championship medal, a very limited-edition “US Finals” version of our popular World Championship cap, and a K1 RaceGear Backpack – prior to its official launch!
Drivers then drew numbers from a hat to determine how they would be paired up for the K1NG of Speed-style racing format to be used for this event.
Here is how the bracket looked after the draw:
- Nicolas Ryan (Illinois) vs Brendan Radzely (New York)
- Kenny McCoy (Washington) vs Charles Eichlin (California)
- Shane Lambert (Colorado) vs Thomas Lyons (Arizona)
- Demetrius Hines (Hawaii) vs Spencer Stillwell (North Carolina)
- Curtis Cantrell(Georgia) vs Sanjaya Vatuk (Massachusetts)
- Peyton Phillips(Texas) vs Jeff Panelley (Utah)
Each driver then took to Irvine’s Track 2 for a practice session so they could learn the reverse layout that they’d be racing the entire evening. Then it was time to pitch racer versus racer.
True to the format, each driver pairing took turns on the track in each other’s kart, trying to post the single fastest lap they could in each session. The driver with the lowest combined best lap times would proceed to the next bracket.
At the end of the first round, the following drivers advanced: Nicolas Ryan, Charles Eichlin, Shane Lambert, Demetrius Hines, Curtis Cantrell, and Jeff Panelley. This left us with the next pairing:
- Nicolas Ryan vs Charles Eichlin
- Shane Lambert vs Demetrius Hines
- Curtis Cantrell vs Jeff Panelley
After two more races in each other’s karts, the racers were pared down to three finalists:
- Nicolas Ryan
- Shane Lambert
- Jeff Panelley
US Championship: Wildcard Bracket
To ensure that everyone got a decent amount of racing, and that drivers had at least two opportunities to progress, a separate Wildcard bracket was created from everyone who lost their first pairing in the first round. The drivers then drew numbers yet again to see who they would be paired against in the first Wildcard round. This left us with the following matchups:
- Peyton Phillips vs Brendan Radzely
- Kenny McCoy vs Sanya Vatuk
- Spencer Stillwell vs Thomas Lyons
After the first round of Wildcard, three drivers remained:
- Peyton Phillips
- Sanjaya Vatuk
- Thomas Lyons
These three drivers then competed in three races with each other’s karts. The lowest combined total of their three fastest laps from each section would produce the Wildcard entry that would join the three finalists from the original bracket.
Peyton would go on to produce the fastest time of the evening at that time, setting a blistering 19.292 – just three-tenths off the lap record despite the reverse layout. At the end, Peyton was victorious over his two fellow Wildcard competitors and joined the three finalists.
US Championship Final Four
Only four drivers remained after over three hours of intense racing sessions: Nicolas Ryan, Shane Lambert, Jeff Panelley, and Peyton Phillips. The original bracket dictated that Nicolas was to race Shane, while Jeff would race Wildcard Peyton. Those that won in their pairing would face off for the top two positions, while those that lost would fight for the final podium position.
At the end, Nicolas Ryan defeated Shane Lambert by just four-tenths of a second, while Peyton Phillips took victory over Jeff Panelley by only three-tenths.
This left us with Jeff Panelley and Shane Lambert to compete for third position, while Nicolas Ryan and Peyton Phillips went head-to-head for the top two positions and the US Championship.
In the battle between Nicolas and Peyton, the stage was set for a close competition, with Peyton just edging Nicolas by two-hundreths of a second after the first session, whereas Jeff was up by two-tenths over Shane.
Shane produced a faster best lap the second time around. However, it was just by one-tenth, which meant Jeff secured the final podium spot.
This left Nicolas and Peyton to set the fastest lap they could get to see who would progress. Peyton set a 19.375, Nicolas posted a 19.479. At the end, Peyton became the US Champion by just 0.124 seconds!
- Peyton Phillips (TX)
- Nicolas Ryan (IL)
- Jeff Panelley (UT)
Each driver was awarded a very special trophy – a wooden track sculpture of Irvine’s Track 2 made by Linear Edge, before the sparkling cider and champagne sprayed on our podium! Peyton additionally received a special “World Finals” version of the World Championship hat with the US Flag on it, signifying his representation in the international competition the next morning.
The E-World Championship Finals
The E-World Championship Finals began early the next morning on Saturday, March 23rd in Irvine with five drivers from five different countries arriving to compete for top honors:
- Antonio Arias (Puerto Rico)
- Daniel Demaras (Canada)
- Luis Enrique Peña Caballero (Mexico)
- Terry Gao (China)
- Peyton Phillips (USA)
The international racers were to compete in a tournament of three CGP races at three different K1 Speed locations: Ontario, Anaheim and Irvine. Each track would run in reverse to guarantee no driver had any advantage. Points were awarded by position: 5 points (1st), 4 points (2nd), 3 points (3rd), 2 points (4th), 1 point (5th). An extra point was to be awarded for pole position and for fastest lap in the final race.
Race 1: Ontario Track 1 Reverse
Peyton was the first racer to score pole position, setting a 24.854, Daniel was second (25.064), Luis third (25.169), Antonio fourth (25.246), and Terry fifth (26.422). Drivers voted to start the race as a standing start versus the usual rolling start.
Peyton rocketed off the line well, leaving Daniel and Luis to fight each other wheel-to-wheel for the first couple of corners, but Daniel was able to hold off Luis. Luis fell off line in his attempt at second, which left the door open for Antonio to get around the Mexican driver and claim third position. For the rest of the race, Peyton eeked out more and more distance in front of Daniel – the Canadian being busy defending from the Puerto Rican hot on his tail, lap-after-lap. However, at the end of the day, they’d finish in that order with Peyton securing the first win and fastest lap, Daniel in second, Antonio in third, Luis fourth, and Terry fifth.
Here’s how the points stood after Ontario:
- Peyton Phillips, 7 points
- Daniel Demaras, 4 points
- Antonio Arias, 3 points
- Luis Enrique Peña Caballero, 2 points
- Terry Gao, 1 point
Racers then travelled from Ontario to Anaheim for the next round of competition.
Race 2: Anaheim Reverse
Despite Antonio setting the fastest lap in practice and the first qualifying session, it was Peyton who stole pole from the Puerto Rican driver, channeling his inner Lewis Hamilton by setting a fast lap when it counted. This left the starting grid with Peyton on pole (25.437), Antonio second (25.616), Daniel third (25.888), Luis fourth (25.932), and Terry fifth (26.924).
Peyton once again got a perfect start off the line, while Antonio quickly covered off a challenge from Daniel. Luis then decided to go alongside Daniel, but was unable to make the move for third. For the first half of the race, Antonio was right behind the American, not letting Peyton develop the gap he had in Ontario. Meanwhile Daniel ran wide entering the second corner, allowing Luis to make an ambitious move down the inside. Contact occurred, and Luis inherited the position from Daniel. Peyton was eventually able to create some space between himself and Antonio to win the second race, and secure yet another fastest lap. After Peyton and Antonio, Luis came across the line third, Daniel fourth, and Terry fifth.
Because contact was involved in the pass for third, K1 Speed reviewed the incident to determine if any penalties needed to be applied. After hearing both sides, and various eyewitness accounts, the contact was deemed a racing incident, and no further action was taken.
This left the points standings going into the final race as:
- Peyton Phillips, 14 points
- Antonio Arias, 7 points
- Daniel Demaras, 6 points
- Luis Enrique Peña Caballero, 5 points
- Terry Gao, 2 points
The Final Race: Irvine Track 1 Reverse
Peyton continued to produce lap times when he needed them, edging out Antonio by just one tenth in practice and qualifying, and going 3-for-3 in pole position count. The starting grid was: Peyton first (23.459), Antonio second (23.563), Daniel third (23.79), Luis fourth (24.183), Terry fifth (24.494).
Once more, Peyton was lightning-quick off the line, and Antonio was quickly able to slice in front of Daniel to secure second. Daniel held his position in third, with Luis fourth and Terry fifth. Throughout the race each driver began to gap themselves to the driver behind them, with all having an equal distance gap as they crossed the finish line in the same order.
Once again, it was the American, Peyton Phillips, that performed a perfect sweep of pole, fastest lap, and win, earning maximum points in the process (21), becoming the very first indoor electric karting champion in the world, and the first K1 Speed E-World Champion! Antonio Arias from Puerto Rico did well to hold onto second position in the championship, while Daniel rounded out the top 3, putting himself and Canada on the podium.
On the podium, each driver was awarded a massive check – $15,000 for Peyton, $7,500 for Antonio, and $3,500 for Daniel. They also received a wooden track sculpture trophy of Irvine’s Track 1 made by Linear Edge.
Top 3 Quotes:
Peyton Phillips, USA, 1st
“It was really tough today. I just found another level that I never had before and managed to pull through. Every single time I knew one little mistake could be costly.”
Antonio Arias, Puerto Rico, 2nd
“From that first start all I needed to do was just stick to Peyton. So that’s what I did, and so I was happy I was able to do that. Congratulations to all the competitors. Congratulations to Daniel, we were neck-to-neck there, so thanks for making it fun!”
Daniel Demaras, Canada, 3rd
“The competition was so good today. Peyton was so quick all day long and he was really the class of the field. But me, Antonio and Luis there – coming into the last race we were 7, 6, and 5 points, so it was really all to play for. I gave it everything I had, and we had some good races. I’m so happy to win third place for myself, Canada, my family, and everybody. It’s just a fantastic result.”
FINAL E-WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS:
- Peyton Phillips, USA, 21 points
- Antonio Arias, Puerto Rico, 11 points
- Daniel Demaras, Canada, 9 points
- Luis Enrique Peña Caballero, Mexico, 7 points
- Terry Gao, China, 3 points
Get Ready for Next Year!
As one championship closes, another begins!
Next year’s will be even bigger and better, with more international competition from our new franchises opening up around the world this year. More information on next year’s event is to come so stay tuned to k1speed.com and our social media channels for the very latest.
Will you be the next champion to walk away with $15,000? Let’s find out. Get out there and race! Qualifying has already started for next year’s E-World Championship, so start earning those 4,000 points.
Congratulations once again to EVERYONE who qualified for our inaugural championship, to all our city and state champions, and to our overall World Championship racers!