Series News: Los Angeles Karting Championship Continues Title Chase
Series welcomed another solid turnout in seventh event of the season
Alejandro Fernandez picked up two victories on Sunday in LAKC action, winning in PRD Senior as well as TaG Senior (Photo: Joe Stalker - LAKC)
Round seven of the 2013 Los Angeles Karting Championship took place during the August 11 weekend in Fontana, California. Karters and industry members throughout California and the Southwest made the trip through the gates of the Auto Club Speedway, as championship battles are beginning to narrow, and the heat is getting turned up on the racers in all classes. The 2013 season thus far has provided top notch quality racing across the board at LAKC. Through seven rounds of competition, the series has seen not only great racing, but amazing entry numbers week in and week out. With point battles now taking shape, and championships within grasp, the seventh event of the season provided the high caliber racing LAKC drivers and fans are growing accustom to.
Providing some of that action on the weekend were the youngest racers. The PRD Junior 1 racers, and the KPV 1 class put on exciting racing in both classes in their combined group. In the Fleming Racing Engines KPV 1 class, Trey Brown ran the table on Sunday. Brown beat out Dante Yu for the pole position in qualifying, then went on to hold of Ryan Schartau for the prefinal win. Brown was perfect during the main event as he led every lap, just ahead of Schartau, to picked up the win. Dante Yu completed the podium. In the Hyper Racing Engines PRD Junior 1 class qualifying was an excellent indicator of how close the racing in the junior categories really is. Both Johnny Dressler and Myles Farhan ran identical lap times in qualifying. They both posted a lap of 50.410 seconds, with the pole position awarded to Dressler as he recorded his fast time earlier in the session. Farhan got the jump on Dressler in the prefinal and led the opening four laps before Dressler regained his speed and drove to the win. In the main event, Farhan once again got a great start and led the opening four laps before Dressler came back around on lap five. Dressler and Farhan would swap the lead again before Dressler took the white flag as the leader. Justin Hodge had made his way up from fifth to join the fight for the lead as well, slotting himself in as a new challenger for the lead, and the win. Hodge could not get anything done before the checkers fell, but a post race DQ assed to Dressler would take him out of the win, handing the victory to Hodge. Farhan and Gary Lyles filled out the podium
Racing together as always on Sunday were the Acceleration Kart Racing Stock Honda Master racers, and the TM Racing USA Open 125 Shifter drivers. Self proclaimed ‘Brazilian Superstar’ Alex King put some real weight behind his claims this past weekend, putting in a clean sweep on the rest of the Open 125 shifter class. The championship leader out-qualified Kris Valadez by less than a tenth of a second. Valdez got the jump on King at the start and led the opening lap of the 10-lap prefinal. From lap two till the end though it was all King out front. King led wire-to-wire in the main event and picked up the win, padding his already impressive point lead. Jesse Romer put on a great drive coming from fifth to finish in second place, while Rob Whitley finished third. S4 Magnum was swept as well by Steve Donia. He began the day by narrowly beating out Sal Menudiado for the pole position by one hundredths of a second. At the start of the prefinal Kevin Gilroy launched from his third place starting spot to lead lap one. Donia got around Gilroy to start lap two and led till the end. The main even was all Donia, as he stayed comfortably ahead of his S4 Magnum competition while racing with the Open 125 drivers. Gilroy and Menudiado completed the podium.
The second of the shifter race groups racing on Sunday was S2 Semi-Pro Stock Honda presented by 2WildKarting.com and the S4 Master Stock Honda presented by the Musgrave Racing Company. In S2, as it has been most of the year in Fontana, Billy Musgrave racing was in a league of his own. The younger Musgrave swept the weekend thanks to a lighting quick time in qualifying that put him ahead of Don Whittington and Matias Podboj. The order of the front three would stay the same for the rest of the day. Musgrave would stay on top the rest of the day in the prefinal and the main event, pulling out to over a four second advantage. The Musgrave domination continued in the S4 field as elder Musgrave, Willy, swept the day. Willy spent most of the S2/S4 main event racing amongst the younger S2 drivers. Willy drove to a six plus second victory over Antonio Cianciardo, with Erik Jackson rounding out the podium.
In one of the most competitive classes the LAKC offers, the Buddy Rice Karting TaG Senior class did not disappoint this past weekend. Coming into the week, Alejandro Fernandez held a 20 point advantage over Carlee Taylor, and 70 points ahead of John Wallace III. At the start of the day, Wallace went to work on cutting into that deficit in qualifying as he grabbed the pole position ahead of Fernandez. Wallace looked dominant in the prefinal as he led the whole way up till right before the white flag flew, as Fernandez took the lead and won the prefinal. The main event belonged to Fernandez as he drove to a two second victory to extend his championship lead. Wallace went on to finish second with Taylor scoring a podium finish to end her weekend in third.
The OTK Kart USA TaG Cadet class was as unpredictable as usual, as 20 drivers filled the grid for the seventh round. Jagger Jones narrowly edged out Myles Farhan by seven hundredths of a second for the pole in qualifying. The prefinal saw terrific racing throughout the pack as Jones and Ryan Schartau dueled for the lead the first seven laps, each leading multiple times. The closing laps saw Farhan take the fight to Schartau for the lead. In the end, it was Schartau holding on for the win. With the outside front row starting spot, Farhan nailed the start and jumped out ahead of the pack to the lead. Farhan would hold steady in first place and continue the quick pace to lead every lap of the main en route to the victory. The race for position throughout the top-10 saw very close battles. Dante Yu drove from his seventh place starting spot to second by lap six, where he would finish the day. Jonathan Shone rounded out the podium behind Farhan and Yu in the third spot. Both Jones and Schartau would end up inside the top-10 at the end of the day in the very competitive category.
The RLV PRD Senior class was a battle between two of the LAKC’s double duty drivers this past weekend. In qualifying, Alejandro Fernandez got things kicked off by grabbing the pole ahead of Paul Bonilla. Bonilla grabbed the lead on the opening lap of the prefinal and drove to the win with Fernandez finishing second. The back and forth battle between Bonilla and Fernandez would not last as long as the two would have like. After completing the warm-up lap, Bonilla fell from the pack and did not take the green flag. With Bonilla absent from the race, Fernandez was left to drive away with his second victory of the weekend. Fernandez won the final coming under the checkers nearly five seconds ahead of Daniel Rivera while Brandon Reed finished in third.
PRD Junior 2 presented by Mack Motorsports saw a different driver in the top spot in each of the official sessions. In qualifying, it was Anthony Sawyer as he out-qualified Aaron Aguirre for the pole position. In the prefinal, it looked to be Willy Axton as the top dog, until Aguirre grabbed the lead away on lap five and drove to the prefinal win. The final was a 16-lap long fight between Axton, Aguirre and Nathan Seegrist. Axton held the lead for the opening six circuits before Aguirre showed his hand. Aguirre led laps seven and eight before falling back to second behind Axton. Seegrist and Aguirre then began the battle for second with Seegrist getting the spot at the white flag leaving the race for the win up to Axton and Seegrist. The final lap saw Axton cross the line first, but a two-position penalty would award the win to Seegrist. Aguirre would be moved to second with Axton completing the podium.
In the Empire Karts KPV-2 class, Jonathan Eshom picked up the pole and prefinal win, both over Andrew Murowatz. The first two laps of the main saw Eshom lead the way with Murowatz close behind. Lap three is when Murowatz made his move and took the lead. From there, Murowatz held the lead till the end as he picked up the victory ahead of Eshom and Cooper Whitbread.
The Comer Kid Karts class presented by Purekarting.com was swept by Dominic Gorden. In the final, Gorden led all 10 laps as he outran Chance Gibson and Cole Keith Cotham. Jake Daniele and Cameron Easton rounded out the top five. In the Honda Performance Development Honda Kid Karts class, point leader Kasey Gillis had a great day. Gillis qualified second and then proceeded on to pick up the prefinal and main event wins. Behind Gillis was Jaden Goetz in second and Skyler Geczi in third. Noah Warren and Ethan Ho filled out the top five.
The Pitts Performance Junior-1 class saw Tanner Hudspeth beat Trey Brown by one tenth during qualifying for the pole position. After Hudspeth had issues at the start of the prefinal, Ryan Schartau took over the lead and held the top spot till the white flag, which is when Joseph Daniele took the lead and the win. Daniele and Schartau kept the action from the prefinal rolling into the main event, as they raced for the lead the entire run. Schartau led the opening lap before Daniele put his name atop the leaderboard for the next three laps. Schartau moved back to P1 on lap five which triggered even more movement for the win. Coming to the white flag, Daniele reclaimed the lead and drove to the round seven victory. Jagger Jones finished a strong second place, with Trey Brown coming home in third after Schartau fell to a fourth place finish.
The combined classes of the Mike Manning Karting PRD Senior Pilot’s and the Valley Trophy Rotax Senior Pilot drivers raced together Sunday. In the Rotax Senior Pilot class, Elric Navatel scored a perfect weekend as he earned the pole, prefinal and the main. Navatel did not have as easy of a path to the sweep as it may sound with Nicolas Esguerra leading the opening five circuits of the main event before Navatel could claim the lead and the victory. Esguerra and Steven Novikoff completed the podium. Logan Clavin rolled into round seven occupying the third position in the championship chase. Calvin, looking to close the gap, got to work early in qualifying as he put his kart on pole, seven tenths quicker then Jacob Pope. Calvin would continue his strong run by leading every lap and winning the prefinal. Calvin’s domination on Sunday would come to an end in the main even after he was disqualified in post race tech. Stephen Wetterau claimed the win in Calvin’s absence, with Connor Funk and Jacob Pope completing the podium.
In the Phil Giebler Racing.com PRD Grand Masters class, Brian Phillipsen grabbed the pole ahead of Ron Rossetti and Steven Jasinski. Phillipsen stayed at the point through the whole heat race while Jasinski, Rossetti and Steve Hansen raced for the second spot. The main got off to a wild start that saw Phillipsen lead the opening lap before falling to the back of the grid. As Phillipsen climbed back up to the order, John Bush would inherit the lead and hold on to it the rest of the race as he scored the main event victory. Tony Rossetti and Ralph Bush stood alongside Bush on the podium. In the Bridgestone Rotax Grand Masters class, single entry Richie Ho swept the seventh round.
The Los Angeles Karting Championship has two rounds remaining in their 2013 season, with the next race taking place on September 15 at the Fontana facility. For more information on the remainder of the season, or any other information about LAKC, be sure to visit www.lakc.org today, and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. Please join the live video and audio feed of our monthly events, along with previous events, viewable from the LAKC website at the Watch Live tab and choose “Livestream”.
About the Los Angeles Karting Championship (LAKC):
Since 1985, the Los Angeles Karting Championship series has provided a family-friendly, sprint kart racing environment for all ages in the Southern California region. Our mission is to provide the most competitive, largest sprint kart classes in the region at the lowest prices in the industry. We are extremely proud of averaging of 2,400 competitive entries per year. Our series operates from the CalSpeed Karting Center located at the AAA Speedway in Fontana, CA. This premier, super-clean karting center provides our series with four race configurations. For more information about the Los Angeles Karting Championship please visit www.lakc.org