Season Finale for Rotax Challenge of the Americas Hits CalSpeed Karting
Four tickets to 2013 Rotax Grand Finals at NOLA to be awarded in Fontana March 8-10
The 2013 Rotax Challenge of the Americas series will wrap up its season next weekend (March 8-10) at the CalSpeed Karting facility in Fontana, California. The ‘temporary-like’ circuit outside the Auto Club Speedway will host the finale for the premier winter karting series on the left coast a second straight year. Some of the top Rotax competitors from the United States and Canada will battle for race victories before heading into the busy summer season, along with four tickets to the 2013 Rotax Grand Finals in Senior Max, DD2, DD2 Masters and Junior Max.
Nearly every championship in the Rotax Challenge of the Americas program was decided on the final laps last year, and the same is expected this year. With the series counting the best five rounds of the six-race championship, no titles are locked. The Buddy Rice Karting Senior Max standings have 2009 US Rotax Grand Nationals champion Phillip Arscott at the top following a victory at each of the first two events. His advantage into the final weekend is 24 points with former Junior Max series champ Louie Pagano in second as Round one winner Parker McKean sits third, 60 points back. The Rolison Performance Group Junior Max class has two teammates leading the way with Luke Selliken and Blaine Rocha separated by 17 points. Each has two victories to their credit, one from each event, and carries a slight advantage over the competition heading to CalSpeed. Austin Versteeg and Noah Grey remain in the chase, 66 and 74 points behind Selliken.
Defending Dallas Karting Complex DD2 champion Fritz Leesmann suffered his first non-victory round in Phoenix, but remains a top of the chase for the Rotax Grand Finals ticket. Series rookie Andrew Evans is 84 points back with three podium finishes, still with a shot at the championship, as Bill Kann holds the third spot. The Billet Performance DD2 Masters category has 2012 Team USA member Alan Rudolph comfortably out front. His 112 point advantage over Daryle Redlin has all but locked up the title, however, the Arizona driver will have to manage the CalSpeed rounds error free to confirm the ticket to New Orleans.
One category that may be decided by a fast lap in either of the two feature races in Fontana is the CRG-USA Masters Max class. Three drivers enter the finale separated by just five points, equal to a fast lap main event or pole position bonus. Utah driver Justin Peck stood on the podium all four events, earning his first series victory in Phoenix, and leads the championship chase. NorCal’s Donald Durbin Jr. has the same podium record, but not yet recorded a win, is two points back. Fellow Utah pilot Ken Maxfield also earned his first series win in Phoenix, and sits third in the standings five points behind Peck. With a number of drivers coming into CalSpeed that are schedule to compete, there is no telling who will leave with the championship and Grand Nationals entry.
The stakes in the HoleShot Drive Systems Mini Max and Overdrive Motorsports Micro Max classes have doubled. Not only will the champions from each class be awarded a paid entry to the Rotax Grand Nationals of the driver’s country, the driver who earns the most points during the CalSpeed weekend in each class will earn a ticket to participate in the Micro & Mini Invitational. Horatio Fitz-Simon and Sting Ray Robb are the top two contenders in Mini Max, separated by 15 points at the top of the class standings. Fitz-Simon has been on the podium in all four main events with a win in the opening round, while Robb has two victories to his credit. Round 3 winner Chase Farley, David Rafailov and Sophia Price remain in the chase. Micro Max is very similar, as it’s a difference of 16 points with Liam Letzsch leading Payton Durrant heading into Fontana. Letzsch has taken home hardware from all four events, including a Round one victory. Durrant scored a feature win each weekend, with three straight podium trips. Anthony Willis sits third, 89 points out with a chance still to sneak his way into the title.
eKartingNews.com will provide their ‘Trackside Live’ coverage throughout the March 8-10 weekend at the CalSpeed Karting facility in Fontana. Live audio broadcast begins Friday with the final round of practice, and will carry the entire action Saturday and Sunday from qualifying to the final lap of the main events at www.ekartingnews.com/live . Recordings of the previous events from 2013 can be downloaded through iTunes by searching ‘eKartingNews.com’.
Pre-entry for the Fontana rounds of the Rotax Challenge of the Americas closes today, February 28. To send in that last-minute entry or to find out more about season finale of The Challenge 2013, visit www.rotaxchallenge.com