Team News: MRP Birel America Pilot Clinches Challenge of the Americas Championship and Ticket to the Rotax Finals
Payton Durrant Dominates Rounds 5 and 6 in COA Micro Max Competition
Heading into the final weekend of the 2013 Challenge of The Americas at CalSpeed in Fontana CA, MRP Birel America driver Payton Durrant was 2nd in the points standings, just 16 point’s out of the lead. Two races and two Final wins later – Durrant claimed the 2013 Rotax Micro Max championship.
“Even though we were second in the points, Payton had been one of the frontrunners every weekend,” explained Donny Durrant, Payton’s Father and Tuner. “Being only 16 points out after rounds 3 and 4 in Phoenix, I felt pretty good about our odds going into Fontana.”
The significance however, was about to get a lot bigger. Three weeks before the final weekend at CalSpeed, COA organizer, Andy Seesemann, announced that there was one ticket each for Micro Max and Mini Max for the Rotax Grand Finals Invitational being held at NOLA and these tickets would be awarded in Fontana. It was a shootout format, the highest points earning driver in each class in Rounds 5 and 6 would be awarded the ticket.
“That announcement completely changed everything,” said Durrant. “The Championship was important. We really wanted it, but the ticket to the Grand Finals was the Golden Goose. This quickly became our biggest race weekend ever.”
This meant that Durrant not only had to run well in Fontana to clinch the title, he had to basically sweep the weekend and earn the most points to win the Micro Max Championship and get the Grand Finals ticket.
In round 5 qualifying on Saturday morning Durrant qualified 2nd. He quickly went to the point in the Pre-final, leading the most laps of the race and secured the victory, putting his #81 Birel C28R on the pole for the Final. In the Final a less than perfect start found Durrant in the 3rd position after turn one. He charged to the front however, and took over the lead in lap 2. A back and forth battle with the 2nd and 3rd place karts ensued for most of the race until the two karts tangled allowing Durrant to stretch out his lead and take the victory.
Round 6 started much the same as Payton claimed 2nd in qualifying, putting the #81 Birel on the front row. The Pre-final was a three-kart battle with Durrant again able to hold off the competition and secure the victory. Payton got a great start in the Final and the battle up front was fierce, Durrant went into the lead several times throughout the race. When the checker flag flew however, Payton would cross the line in the lead, securing the win, the 2013 Micro Max Championship and winning the first Micro Max ticket to the 2013 Grand Finals Invitational.
“I’m so excited to be able to represent Birel and MMP (Miller Motorsports Park) at the Grand Finals in November,” said Payton Durrant. “I’m going to be around the best Rotax drivers from around the world for a week, it’s going to be an amazing experience!”
Next up for the 10 year old driver from Lehi, UT will be the 12-race series at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah where he will pull double duty competing in the Micro Max and JR-1 classes. Durrant also plans to run a few of the Rotax Can-Am Challenge races in the Northwest in addition to competing in the US Rotax Grand Nationals in July, the Rotax Pan-American Challenge in October and of course the Grand Finals Invitational in November.
Payton would like to thank MRP Motorsport for their team support, AM Engines for the awesome horsepower, his family, friends and many supporters who listen in and cheer him on. Payton has had a great start to his 2013 season and is looking to continue that momentum throughout the year.
For more information or sponsorship opportunities on Payton Durrant, please contact Donny Durrant via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . To see the same Birel model Payton used to win this year, visit http://www.BirelAmerica.com or LIKE us on Birel America Facebook! To find a dealer near you, call MRP Motorsport at 269-756-9133 or email@example.com