Race Report: Red Line Oil Karting Championship
Exciting racing in all classes and dramatic finish in Pro Stock Honda
Pro Stock Honda was the GoPro Hero featured race and the largest Pro Stock field of the year did not disappoint with one of the most exciting races ever seen at the Simraceway track at Sonoma Raceway. A total of 89 karts attended the August 11 event. In addition, the Simraceway Arrive and Drive classes had eighteen drivers, their largest entry this year. With the GoPro Indy car race running in two weeks at Sonoma Raceway, the raceway gave away three “Total Access” passes. Additionally GoPro provided two-day Indy Car Race passes to all the drivers that were on the podium.
Featured GoPro race: Pro Stock Honda
The long straightaway National Track configuration allowed the fast Pro Stock karts to stretch their legs and the fourteen kart field took advantage of the fast track that provided competitive action throughout the field. Nic LeDuc took the pole, serving notice to the field he was looking to win his first feature of the year. Daniel Langon was off pole followed by Alex Keyes and Jason Toft. In the first Pre-Main, LeDuc leads the field through turn one followed by Toft, Langon and Keyes. Toft and LeDuc exchanged positions several times with Langon close behind. In the end LeDuc took the win over Toft. In the second Pre-Main, LeDuc and Toft again took the front of the lead and battled hard. Langon had problems in turn one and had to restart and chase the field. Keyes also had problems and had to drop out on lap five. In the end, Toft took the win followed by LeDuc, Hunter Picket and Brian Keck. In the Main, LeDuc was on pole with Toft alongside, Keck and Picket in row two, Langon in 7th and Keyes in 9th. At the start the field got through turn one with some bumping; Picket stalled and was unable to restart. Langon also lost some positions but Keyes was able to slip through a gap and made up several positions. The race quickly became a duel between LeDuc and Toft with the lead changing almost every lap for the entire fifteen laps. While everyone was watching the two leaders, Keyes worked his way past several drivers passing Keck mid-race to take over 3rd. Langon was on the move himself getting by Keck near the end and posting the race’s fastest lap during his charge. With the two leaders passing and repassing, Keyes was able to inch closer to the battling duo. Going into the white flag lap, Toft and LeDuc were still exchanging the lead with Keyes right behind. LeDuc made another pass for the lead with three turns to go, but Toft was able to exit the turn side by side and had the inside line going into the last turn before the straightaway. With the crowd screaming from all the excitement, LeDuc tried a bold outside pass and the two leaders touched as they exited the turn. LeDuc spun to end his bid for his first feature win of the year, Toft’s engine bogged down and Keyes went to the inside line and won the drag race up the straightway to take the win followed by Toft, Langon Keck and Michael Raimes. This was Keyes first feature win in Pro Stock Honda. In addition to taking home the GoPro Hero3 camera, Keyes won a “Total Access” pass for the upcoming GoPro Indy car race for being the GoPro “Hero” at this event.
80 Masters and DD2 Masters
The Honda 80 karts and DD2 took to the track for qualifying with Tom Nelson taking pole ahead of Roger Cornwall and David Palic in his DD2 kart. The first Pre-Main saw Nelson and Cornwall battling the entire race until the two touched during a pass attempt and Nelson falling back. Cornwall took the win but was penalized for the pass on Nelson, handing the overall win to Palic in the DD2 followed by Tim Booth and Nelson. In the second Pre-Main, Nelson took the early lead and held a small lead to take the win over Cornwall and Palic. In the Main, Nelson again took the lead into turn one with Cornwall close behind. The two veteran Honda 80 drivers ran nose to tail the entire 15 laps with Cornwall unable to find a clean way around and having to settle for the runner up spot. Nelson took the win followed by Cornwall, Palic in the DD2 and Tim Booth in the 4th spot. Booth won the top new driver award and will get a free race entry at the next event.
Rotax Mini Max
A strong field of karts took to the track, but the battle for the front quickly shaped up to what has been a season long battle between Horatio Fitz-Simon and Matteo Sandoval. Horatio took the pole just .035 second ahead of Matteo followed by Tomas Mejia and Colin Mullan. In the first heat, Horatio took the initial lead ahead from Sandoval but his race came to an end on the first lap when he pulled off with a mechanical failure. Sandoval took the win ahead of Mejia, Mullan and Valdemar Eriksen. In the second heat, Horatio took the early lead with Sandoval right behind. Matteo put the pressure on the entire way, but in the end Horatio took the win, Matteo 2nd followed by Mejia and Eriksen. In the Main, Sandoval took the lead out of turn one followed by Horatio and Mejia. The two class rivals battled the entire way with Horatio looking for an opportunity to make the pass and planning his move. Going into the last lap, Horatio made his move going into turn one with Matteo tucking in right behind. Coming into the last corner, it looked like it was Matteo’s plan to use the draft on the straightaway to repass for the win. Matteo used the draft and timed his move well but he came up just short. Horatio took a well deserved win, Matteo 2nd followed by Mullen and Dakota White. For the win, Horatio took home a ‘Total Access” pass to the upcoming GoPro Indy car race.
JMJ Motorsports Junior Rotax
Twelve karts took the green with Jaden Conwright taking pole ahead of Annie Breidinger, Arman Nikfar, Enzo Prevost and three time winner Michael Avansino in last when his kart broke on the first lap of Qualifying. In the first Pre-Main, Conwright took the lead out of turn one with Annie running off the outside of the first turn and throwing the chain as she was trying to re-enter the track. Provost settled into second ahead of Michael Michoff, Mason Cohen and Avansino working his way up to 5th. In the second heat, Conwright took the early lead; Annie had a rough start and got shuffled to the back of the field. In the end, Jaden took the win; Nikfar took 2nd, his best performance this year, Avansino 3rd, Prevost 4th and Joe Morton 5th. In the Main, Conwright again took the early lead with Avansino moving into second off the start ahead of Prevost and Michoff. Avansino made the pass for the lead early on but Conwright stayed close the entire race. On the last lap, Michoff tried a pass on Prevost to take over third with the two karts locking front wheels for a few moments allowing Nikfar to get by. In the end, Avansino took his fourth win of the year, Conwright 2nd, Nikfar 3rd, Michoff 4th, Cohen 5th and Prevost 6th. For his performance, Avansino took home a “Total Access” pass for the GoPro Indy car race.
EVO Electric Karts
The revolutionary Electric kart class ran on Saturday with the five karts in the field running closer together all day than in past races. Marcos Ramirez took the pole ahead of Zac Rubenson and Jon Horsley. In the first Pre-Main, Marcos took the win with Richard Hilleman moving up to take 2nd with Horsley 3rd. In the second Pre-Main, Hilleman worked his way up to the win ahead of Horsley and Rubenson. In the Main, Hilleman took the initial lead but Ramirez had the top spot early on. Hilleman managed his engine power better and took the lead back and came home for the win followed by Horsley, then Rubenson. This was Jon Horsley’s best result of the year.
Stock Honda Masters/Junior Stock Honda
Jim Kidd showed up with some additional speed to this race and took the pole ahead of last year’s Champion Jim Inglebright and Patrick O’Neill. In the first heat, Inglebright got the early lead and was able to hold off Kidd to take the win with Justin Bennett in 3rd, O’Neill 4th and the Junior karts of Garrett Dixon and Gino Gighotti in 9th and 11th respectfully. In the second Pre-Main, again Inglebright got the early lead and controlled the front of the field to take the win followed by Kidd, O’Neill and Bennett. Things were not so easy for Inglebright in the Main, Kidd found more speed and took the lead at the start from Inglebright. Kidd pulled out for a lead that Inglebright was unable to close. Series front runner Arnstein was looking strong and moving to the front of the field when a bump from behind sent him hard in the front straight barriers. Luckily Dave was not hurt; a good testimony for the safety gear! In the finish, Kidd took a much deserved win, Inglebright in 2nd, O’Neill in 3rd, and Alex Keith in 4th. Garrett Dixon took the Junior win, finishing 7th overall.
Jarrett Lile took the pole in the strong field followed by Tazio Ottis and Carlos Calderon. In the first Pre-Main, Lile pulled out to an early lead and went on to win followed by Ottis and Calderon. In the second heat, Lile again took the initial lead and win ahead of Calderon and Justin Yanez, who was making his Senior Rotax début having just moved up from Junior Rotax. In the Main, Lile again took the early lead and pulled out to a comfortable margin. But the best action was for 2nd place with four karts battling for the runner up spot. First Ottis was in second, then Calderon with Yanez and Daniel de la Calle in the mix. Yanez tried an outside pass attempt on Calderon and the two touched with Carlos getting sideways and losing a couple of spots. In the checker, Lile took the win, Yanez coming home 2nd followed by Ottis, de la Calle and Calderon.
Eight karts took to the track with Geoff Wise taking pole ahead of James Dix and Scott Ripslinger. In the first Pre-Main, Wise and Ripslinger battled for the front spot with Ripslinger coming out on top, Wise 2nd, John Breidinger 3rd and Rob Soares 4th. In the second Pre-Main, James Dix took a close win with Ripslinger 2nd, Wise 3rd and Max Gaxiola 4th. In the Main, Ripslinger was on pole and controlled the pace right out of turn one, pulling out a small lead, one he would not give up for the entire way. Dix came home a well deserved 2nd, Wise in 3rd and Max Gaxiola 4th.
IAME TaG/Junior TaG
Maxx Marian came prepared this day taking the pole 6/10ths ahead the rest of the field. Bryson Guzman was 2nd with Sean McDonald 3rd. In the first Pre-Main, Marian drove on to a comfortable win with McDonald taking 2nd ahead of Guzman and Stephan Gaudreau. In the second Pre-Main, Marian again dominated taking an easy win, followed this time by Bryson Guzman, McDonald and the junior of Joe Morton. The Main was a repeat of the heats for the win, Marian was dialed in and there was no one going to out drive him. Marian again took the win, McDonald came home 2nd ahead of Guzman with the junior Joe Morton coming home 4th.
Rotax Micro Max
With ten karts the Micro-Max field continues to grow, again making for a strong showing and great racing. Gino Sandoval took the pole ahead of Aiden O’Neill and Grant Langon. Sandoval took the early lead and drove home to the win ahead of O’Neill, Dustin Salavernia and Garrette Randolph. In the second heat, Sandoval and O’Neil again hooked up for a great battle. But the battle came to an end when the two touched trying to run side by side through the infield chicane and Gino spun around. Aiden went on to the win followed by Randolph, Salavernia and Ethan Tavares. In the Main, the race turned into a four kart race with the order being O’Neil, Randolph, Salavernia and Sandoval. Aiden pulled out a small lead and Sandoval started his patient move to the front. Gino first passed Dustin whose engine was severly lacking power. Gino made his way by Garrette and now with Aiden in his sights, Gino continued to work the margin behind Aiden down to just few kart lengths going into the last lap. Gino got right behind Aiden coming out of the last turn on the last lap and was gaining quickly on the lead kart, but Gino came up just short. Aiden took the win, Gino 2nd, Garrette 3rd, Dustin 4th and Max Ellgen 5th. Look for Dustin to be back on form at the next race with a rebuilt engine and some Driver motivation!
The next Red Line Oil Karting Championship event will be September 1 where the track configuration will be the Sprint track. The GoPro featured classes will be the Micro-Max and Mini-Max classes. For more information about the Red Line Oil Karting Championship, go to Red Line Oil Karting