Fitz-Simon, Salaverria and O’Neill Earn Tickets Invitational from Red Line Oil Karting Championship
Michael Avansino & Fernando Dias continue winning streaks
The September 22 Red Line Oil Karting Championship race kicked off the start of Fall with some spectacular racing and fierce battles for the championship points. In the Stock Honda Masters class which was the GoPro Feature race, Fernando Dias started from 3rd and managed to battle his way to victory! For his second major victory, Fernando received the GoPro Hero3 camera following his $1000 payout at the last spring race. Michael Avansino stands in the spotlight once more, taking home his 5th straight Junior Rotax race, enduring continuous pressure throughout the entire race. The Reverse National track configuration fulfilled the promise of excitement, as racers accelerated to high top speeds, making for some amazing racing. This race event also determined the three invitations to the upcoming NOLA Micro/Mini Grand Finals to be held in New Orleans this year in November. This first time historic event at NOLA has seen the Mini and Micro classes battle hard to earn these prestigious invitations.
GoPro Feature Race: Stock Honda Masters and Junior Stock Honda
Throughout the day a battle raged on for the top spot between Jim Inglebright and Jim Kidd. Inglebright succeeded on taking the pole in the thirteen kart field, Kidd behind, followed by David Arnstein and Justin Bennett. The first heat started with Inglebright winning the fierce race for 1st from Kidd, followed by Arnstein and Fernando Dias. Heat two saw Kidd make a strong come back and took the win ahead of Inglebright with Dias in 3rd and Patrick O’Neil in 4th. Neither of the heats compared to the off the wall action that occurred on the warm up lap of the main, when Inglebright suddenly went off course and contacted the tire wall, ending his day. With the pole position left open, Kidd rushed to the lead followed closely by Arnstein and Dias. Dias then managed to work his way past Arnstein and caught up to Kidd. Shortly after, Kidd appeared to have missed a shift which gave Dias the small window of opportunity he needed to make the pass. Kidd fought a tough battle to try and retake the lead, but Dias held up a good defense, leaving Jim Kidd behind in 2nd. In the end, SoCal’s Fernando Dias took the win, Kidd took 2nd followed by Arnstein in 3rd, Alex Keith and O’Neil. For the win, Dias took home the GoPro Hero3. As for Junior Stock Honda, driver Gino Gigliotti put in his best day of racing this year with a 7th overall finish in each of the heat races and an 8th overall in the main.
A small but strong field took to the track with Scott Ripslinger commanding throughout the day. Scott dominated, taking pole position ahead of Kelly Heil and John Breidinger. In the first heat, Scott started out in the front, but slowly fell off to 3rd with Bob Olson taking the win and Breidinger right behind him in 2nd. In the second heat, Ripslinger regained his form and drove to a comfortable win ahead of Heil and Olson. Staying strong as ever, Ripslinger took the lead at the drop of the green flag and never once looked back, driving to a twelve second win ahead of Breidinger, with Olson in 3rd.
In the Micro Max class, the battle for the RLOKC championship wasn’t the only thing at stake. This race also would determine who would receive the two invitations to the upcoming NOLA Grand Finals in November. Starting off on a quick pace was Dustin Salaverria taking the pole ahead of Aiden O’Neill and Garrett Randolph, Jr. In the first heat, Dustin took the early lead and drove to a four second win ahead of O’Neill, with Gino Sandoval finishing 3rd. In the second heat Dustin was challenged the whole way by Garrett who was right on his bumper. But in the end, Dustin managed to hang onto his victory, winning by less than a half second, with Garrett finishing 2nd, Aiden in 3rd. The main saw Dustin and Aiden pull away from the rest of the field, leaving the battle for 3rd to be contested by Sandoval, Tait Blumb, Garrett and Ethan Tavares. Then in the middle of it all, Garrett and Ethan touched bumpers, which sent Garrett spinning back to last place. In the end, Dustin took the win, Aiden maintained 2nd, Gino managed to edge out Tait, taking 3rd and Garrett recovered to take 5th. Although, the top two karts did not make it past tech and were DQ’d. Thus the final results moved Gino into the top spot with his first feature win of the year followed by Blumb in 2nd, Garrett in 3rd and Sofie Eriksen in 4th. Overall, even in spite of the DQ’s, Dustin and Aiden still came out on top of the points, and received the Grand Final invitation to represent the RLOKC at the upcoming New Orleans event.
Maxx Marian zoomed in and took the pole just barely ahead of Bryson Guzman with Nick Bagley 3rd in the Iame Tag class. The first heat started off with Bryson making a great start, taking the lead and holding it for the eight laps. He took the win ahead of Marian with Tazio Ottis close behind. In the second heat, it was Tazio’s turn, he took the early lead and held off Maxx to get the win with Bryson 3rd. Things started to heat up as the main event began with Bryson snatching the lead at the start followed by Maxx and Tazio. Unfortunately Tazio’s pipe came loose and he ended up having to exit the track on lap four, leaving a two-way battle for the lead between Maxx & Bryson. Then, at about mid-race Maxx made a strong clean pass, sweeping past Bryson who could not challenge him back for the lead. In the end, Maxx lead the race with a 4 second win, Bryson 2nd and Nick Bagley 3rd. *Next month, the IAME TaG will be the GoPro featured class.*
EVO Electric Karts
The ever interesting electric karts ran on the wet Saturday morning with great excitement as the powerful karts slid around on slick tires in the damp conditions. Even with the harsh weather conditions, points leader Marcos Ramirez took the pole followed by Shawn Higbee and Jon Horsley. In the first heat, Ramirez took the early lead but pulled off near the end of the race due to a mechanical problem with the chain coming off. So Jon Horsley dashed in and stole the win, leaving Zac Rubenson in 2nd and Higbee in 3rd. Following in the second heat, Ramirez stepped up once more to take the win, first timer Higbee came in 2nd and Horsley in 3rd. By the time it got to the main, the rain had stopped, the track was dry and the karts were able to “charge” forward at full speed. Ramirez took advantage of the dry conditions to pull away from the field and take the win. Higbee came home a solid 2nd and Horsley in 3rd.
80 Masters and DD2 Masters
In qualifying Roger Cornwall was strong, leading Geoff Provo, David Palic in the DD2 class and Dave Holstein. Provo got the jump at the drop of the green in the first heat, got the early lead and stuck with it all the way to the win. Cornwall came in 2nd followed by Palic and Holstein. Getting the jump off the start line once again, Provo flew past the field to take the early lead and the win in the second heat, followed by Cornwall, Holstein and Palic. In the main Provo for the third time in a row, got the early lead with Cornwall not being able to accelerate right off the bat and having to hold on for 2nd in class ahead of Holstein. Palic ended up having a strong race finishing just behind Provo to take second overall and the DD2 class win.
Points leader Jarrett Lile took the pole from Daniel De La Calle with Carlos Calderon 3rd. Lile forged into an early lead and drove on to a two second win followed by Daniel, Carlos and Zach Pettinicchi in the first heat. The second heat was more of the same when Lile again took the early lead, but he was getting major pressure from Calderon all the way to the end. Unfortunately, Daniel dropped out of the heat due to mechanical problems, leaving Lile with the win, Calderon in 2nd and Zach in 3rd. The main proved to be the even more exciting with Lile and Calderon battling initially, then Lile suddenly falling back with Daniel jumping at the opportunity to take 2nd. Lile’s race came to an end on the 12th lap with an engine issue. Calderon ended up driving onto yet another RLOKC win, with Daniel in 2nd, Zach 3rd and Alex Wordel 4th.
Pro Stock Honda
Pro Stock Honda had ten entries with half of them battling up front at the end of the day. Starting with the first heat, Langon got the jump at the start and held off the relentless pursuit from Toft to take the win. Toft took 2nd followed by Nic LeDuc and Will Preston. In the second heat, Alex Keyes swept around the field out of turn one in the lead, but Toft bumped Keyes going into turn two and Keyes dropped back down to 6th. LeDuc took advantage of Keyes’s situation and took the lead with Toft hot on his tail all the way to the checkered flag. At the checker, LeDuc kept his win followed by Toft, Langon, Preston and Keyes. After the race, Toft was assessed a three position penalty for the early race bump of Keyes which moved Langon to 2nd, Preston to 3rd and Keyes to 4th. In the Main, Langon took the early lead with LeDuc and Toft on his heels. LeDuc and Toft battled hard along with Preston, Keyes and Langon having a battle of their own. Toft slowly pulled away from Leduc. Keyes got by Preston and caught LeDuc, but there was not have enough time for Keyes to challenge for the 3rd spot. In the end, Langon took the win followed by Toft, LeDuc, Keyes and Preston.
With eight competitive karts in the field, Matteo Sandoval took the lead in qualifying ahead of the points leader Horatio Fitz-Simon and Tomas Mejia. The first heat was full of interesting happenings as Mejia had a leaking water pump and had to take a DNS. Horatio came out of turn one in front, Matteo behind him in second, but due to a miscommunication, instead of making their way towards turn two, these two along with Bryson Lew drove straight up the short shoot and short tracked the course. Thus, the finishing result was Nick Persing taking the win, Valdemar Eriksen 2nd and Colin Mullan 3rd. Although there was a long discussion between Race Stewart Don Malony, Race Director Ric Shaw and the competitors, Don ruled the race results to stand. A good start lead to a less controversial finishing order in the second heat with Horatio getting past Matteo on the start. Matteo still stayed on Horatio’s bumper to finish one-tenth of second in back of him and Mejia returning with his leak fixed to take 3rd. For the start of the Main, Horatio and Persing shared the front row, but soon after the green flag, Horatio made his way into a early lead and was never challenged from there on out. Sandoval, Mejia and Mullan got by Nick to finish 2-3-4 with Nick in 5th. The best racing was saved for the 3rd position with Mejia and Mullan battling hard throughout the entire race. At the end of the day, the Mini Max invitation to the November NOLA Micro-Mini Invitational went to Horatio Fitz-Simon.
JMJ Motorsports Junior Rotax
The Junior Rotax class once again put on the best show of the day. Ten racers lined up to for a nail biting battle, with eight karts racing for 1st place all race long until the checkered flag was waved. Phillippe Denes managed to take the pole ahead of Toni Breidinger and Enzo Prevost. Meanwhile, the points leader Michael Avansino was back in 5th. The engaging battle began with the first heat when Denes got the early lead, but started to exchange the lead with Prevost a couple of times. Denes made a come back and took the win, putting Prevost in 2nd with Avansino moving up to 3rd and Annie Breidinger 4th. In the second heat, Prevost stepped it up a notch and was able to get past Denes to take the lead. Avansino made his way to 2nd, with Denes 3rd and Toni Breidinger 4th. The main shaped up to be one of the most intense main events of the year and it did not disappoint with all eight karts running the entire race nose to tail, along with position swapping and constant challenging occurring on every lap. Prevost started on pole with Denes along side and Avansino and Mason Cohen in row two. Prevost took the early lead with Avansino in 2nd, Denes got pushed out of line after turn one and fell back to the back of the field. Avansino then took over the top spot. Meanwhile, Toni then got by Prevost to take over 2nd. Then Prevost, fighting back regained 2nd and made a couple pass attempts for the lead, only to have Avansino cross under Prevost to retake the lead. Running fast, Jaden Conwright moved up to 3rd, while Denes making one pass at a time, clawed his way back to front battle, finally catching up to Jaden, to take over 3rd place. With the end of the race drawing closer, Denes gets under Prevost going into turn 3 to make the pass, nearly the whole train of karts followed Dene’s line, shuffling Prevost back to 7th. Although Denes battled hard he had run out of time to try to pass Avansino. This incredible race marked Avansino’s 5th straight win in a main, marking him as a real stand out in the RLOKC. Denes came home with a well deserved 2nd, Conwright 3rd, Annie Breidinger 4th and Toni Breidinger 5th, with only two seconds separating 1st to 8th.
Points can be seen at www.redlineoilkarting.com in the Results section.
The next Red Line Oil Karting Championship event will be October 13th where the track configuration will be the Reverse Sprint track. The next GoPro featured class will be the IAME TaG class. For more information about the Red Line Oil Karting Championships, go to: www.redlineoilkarting.com