Team News: Phil Giebler Racing – March Review
Phil Giebler Racing’s Wagner, Williams win in SKUSA ProKart, Grey 3rd in Rotax Challenge of Americas championship
Connor Wagner of Dallas and Carter Williams of Clovis, Calif., had feature victories in the second round of the Superkarts USA! California ProKart Challenge at Willow Springs Kart Track in Rosamond, Calif., on March 2 and Noah Grey of Dana Point, Calif., finished second and ninth in the features of the Rotax Challenge of the Americas at CalSpeed Karting Center in Fontana, Calif., on March 9-10 to take third in the Junior Max championship to highlight Phil Giebler Racing’s performances in March.
A recap for Phil Giebler Racing in the SKUSA California Pro Kart Challenge on March 2:
Wagner scored maximum points for the weekend in S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto, winning the 20-lap feature and two heats on the .69-mile course plus having the fastest lap in qualifying and in the feature. It was his first victory in SKUSA’s California Pro Kart Challenge. He was third overall in the feature, which included S1 Pro Stock Moto. There were 26 starters in the combined classes.
“Connor was incredibly strong throughout the weekend,” Giebler said. “He even gave the top S1 guys a tough time. We’re looking forward to the rest of the year with this kid. He is very fast and very driven and probably one of the nicest guys in the paddock. Connor is a great ambassador for my team and a good role model to the young drivers.”
Williams passed Brenden Baker of Palmdale, Calif., on the 17th of 20 laps to win in TaG Junior. He was the fastest qualifier and second in both heats.
“Carter dropped back to fifth at the start and kept a cool head and drive very well to get the win,” Giebler said. “His kart came in midway through the race and kept getting stronger all the way to the end while the competitors, primarily Brenden Baker, struggled to keep pace towards the end.”
Royal McKee of Las Vegas, Nev., finished third in TaG Junior. He was 13th in qualifying and was fifth and sixth in the heats. “He had a strong weekend,” Giebler said. “He is a good driver and will continue to get stronger throughout the year.”
Noah Grey ran at the front in TaG Junior, winning both heats and qualifying third fastest, but he was hit in the back and spun out trying to pass for second in the feature on the 11th lap. Grey was knocked out and he finished 18th.
“Noah was looking incredibly strong, winning both heats relatively easy,” Giebler said. “It was such a heartbreaker for him. He would have been hard to beat.”
Anthony Sawyer of Los Angeles finished 16th in TaG Junior.
“Anthony is still getting comfortable in TaG Junior, but his speed is improving,” Giebler said. “He got caught up in some accidents that really hurt his finishing position.”
Vatche Tatikian of North Hollywood, Calif., finished second, Ethan Wilson of Campbell, Calif., was fourth and Paul Grey of Mission Viejo, Calif., was fifth in TaG Master.
“Vatche drove very well all weekend and second place in the final proves that his hard work is paying off,” Giebler said. “Ethan was in some tough battles and eventually grabbed fourth. Paul gave Ethan a run for his money the whole event and took fifth.”
Phil Giebler Racing had three drivers finish in the top six in the feature in the 32-kart TaG Senior field led by Mason Daughters of Polo, Mo., in fourth. Dakota Dickerson of San Diego was fifth and Bobby Kelley of Riverside, Calif., was sixth.
Daughters, a development driver for Level 5 Motorsports, finished second and third in his heats and was sixth fastest in qualifying.
“Mason made some great moves in the heats to start third in the final and was one of the drivers to beat,” Giebler said. “Unfortunately, he got spun sideways at the start of the race and had to recover from about tenth position. He charged back up to third with his bent kart setting some of the fastest race laps and had a tough battle with Austin Elliott, going back and fourth at the end of the race, and missed the podium by .001 of a second. I was pretty impressed after seeing the condition of his kart.
“Dakota missed the practice day due to school obligations and did very well to bounce back from some contact in the heat races (finishing 29th and eighth) to claim fifth. Bobby also drove a great race to take sixth.”
Dallas Hollins of Fontana, Calif., was knocked out of the feature on the opening lap. She was 24th fastest in qualifying.
“She’s been adapting to the Senior competition very well and raised her game,” Giebler said. “It was unfortunate that she has struggled to finish many of the heats and finals, mainly due to contact on the track.”
Williams finished second in the S5 Junior Stock Moto feature. He won both heats, was the fastest qualifier and had the fastest lap.
“Second will give Carter great points for the championship,” Giebler said.
Trenton Sparks of Bakersfield, Calif., finished 14th in the 24-kart TaG Cadet feature.
“Trenton looked great during the practices, but had a mix of problems throughout the race that led to a disappointing final for the young gun,” Giebler said. “He had some engine issues in the heat races and in the final he had some set screws come loose in the rear axle that caused the brake rotor to drag on the exit of the corners. He will be one to watch for in future races.”
Phil Giebler Racing feature results at the SKUSA California ProKart Challenge at Willow Springs Kart Track, Rosamond, Calif., on March 2:
TaG Junior–1. Carter Williams, Clovis, Calif., 3. Royal McKee, Las Vegas, Nev., 16. Anthony Sawyer, Los Angeles, 18. Noah Grey, Dana Point, Calif.; S2 shifter—1. Connor Wagner, Dallas; S5 shifter—2. Williams; TaG Senior—4. Mason Daughters, Polo, Mo., 5. Dakota Dickerson, San Diego, 6. Bobby Kelley, Riverside, Calif., 31. Dallas Hollins, Fontana, Calif.; TaG Master–2. Vatche Tatikian, North Hollywood, Calif., 4. Ethan Wilson, Campbell, Calif., 5. Paul Grey, Mission Viejo, Calif.; TaG Cadet—14. Trenton Sparks, Bakersfield, Calif.
A recap for Phil Giebler Racing in the Rotax Challenge of the Americas on March 9-10:
Noah Grey qualified sixth fastest and finished third in the prefinal and second in the final on March 9. In the sixth and final event of the Rotax COA the next day, he qualified 10th, was sixth in the prefinal and ninth in the final.
“Noah only managed 10th in qualifying, but was only .26 of a second from third in a very tight field,” Giebler said. “He was not able to get a clear race in the prefinal or final and with all the commotion in the midpack of the races, he ended up ninth. He still was third in the championship and took almost took podiums in every event.”
Jake Preston of Renton, Wash., was ninth in the Junior Max feature on March 9.
“Jake was in tough battles all weekend, working his way up and dropping back from incidents on the track, then fighting his way back,” Giebler said. “He never gave up. He was constantly in the top 10 and fighting in the top five at most of the races.”
Jonathan May of San Marcos, Calif., finished fifth in the Senior Max feature on March 9 and 13th on March 10.
“Jonathan fell to 17th on the first lap and charged to an impressive fifth on Saturday,” Giebler said. “He was ninth fastest in qualifying and ninth in the prefinal on Sunday, but in a final race restart, chaos broke out in the first corner and he dropped down to 24th. He managed to get back up to 13th.”
Mason Daughters had a rough time on March 9, retiring early from the Senior Max feature and was seventh in the feature on Sunday.
“Mason qualified sixth quickest in a very close and competitive field on Saturday and was third on the second lap of the prefinal when he was crashed out deliberately by Birel driver Louie Pagano,” Giebler said. “He started the final in 23rd position and made it up to 14th by lap six, but retired with 19 laps remaining.
“Mason qualified a strong fourth fastest on Sunday and was eighth in the prefinal. He battled for fourth most of the final, but finished seventh in a back-and-forth fight among the top five positions.”
Trenton Sparks finished seventh on March 10 in the Mini Max feature.
“Trenton had a lot of adapting to do with the differences in the engine and tire performance he’d run the previous weekend in TaG Cadet and the Rotax Mini Max,” Giebler said. “On top of that, he did not have much experience at the CalSpeed track and it’s a very difficult track to learn.”
Phil Giebler Racing feature results for the Rotax Challenge of Americas at CalSpeed Karting Track, Fontana, Calif., March 9-10:
March 9: Junior Max—2. Noah Grey, Dana Point, Calif., 9. Jake Preston, Renton, Wash.; Senior Max—5. Jonathan May, San Marcos, Calif., DNF Mason Daughters, Polo, Mo.
March 10: Junior Max—9. Grey; Mini Max—7. Sparks; Senior Max—7. Daughters, 13. May.
Owned by the 2007 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Phil Giebler Racing is based in Orange, Calif., and competes nationally at the highest level of karting in the United States. Giebler is a resident of Huntington Beach, Calif. The team uses Fernando Alonso and Tony Karts.
For more information, go to http://www.philgieblerracing.com