Texas ProKart Challenge Closes Out Season at Oklahoma Motorsports Complex
Final two rounds of 2015 championship season contested at Norman, Oklahoma facility for Superkarts! USA and US Rotax Max Challenge traveling series
The S2 field getting ready for the green flag at the finale event for the Texas ProKart Challenge (Photo: Dreams Captured Photography)
The 2015 Burger King®/Texas Barge ProKart Challenge series – presented by 3G Kart Racing, Dallas Karting Complex and IAME USA West – came to a close on October 2-4 as the final two rounds of the series were hosted at the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex in Norman, Oklahoma. The challenging circuit put the Superkarts! USA and US Rotax Max Challenge competitors up against a tough track with the best drivers from the area taking part in the final major event of the season. Championship contenders put in their final bid for class championships, while others focused on earning their first victory of the year to close out the season on a high note.
The weekend belonged to Jake French in the Champion Racing S1/S2 Stock Moto category. French swept the entire weekend to earn maximum points in both rounds of racing, including the bonus points for fast lap in each main event. Saturday’s main event was a 4.6-second triumph over Austin Wilkins. Garrett Boone returned to Texas ProKart Challenge competition for the first time in 2015, landing on the podium. Championship contender Jordon Musser ran fourth with Ryan Kinnear in fifth, also making his 2015 series debut. Sunday’s advantage for French at the checkered flag after 16 laps was 3.7 seconds, with Harry Gottsacker earning his best finish of the season. Nathan Adds ran third with Kinnear and Musser capping off the top-five.
Connor Ford drove to his third victory of the season in the Motorsports Development Group Rotax Senior division, helping to secure the series championship. Ford was among the drivers to top the results sheet all weekend. Ford went on to win both heat races and the main event on Saturday, edging out top qualifier Brett Mitchell by four tenths of a second at the checkered flag. Gabe Bargas completed the podium with Jesse Woodyard fourth and Moises De la Vara fifth. Sunday looked to belong to Ford as he led the way in qualifying and the two heat races. The fight for the main event win went to Thomas Beaudoin, as he was able to break away to a five-second advantage for his third victory of the season. Bargas netted another third place result ahead of Woodyard with Connor Beique into fifth.
The TaG Senior division belonged to Austin Osborne all season long, as he secured wins seven and eight on the year to complete the sweep. Both rounds in Oklahoma were dominated by Osborne, earning maximum points. Nick Martin was his top challenger, and was there for much of the weekend. Martin finished second in both main events with Austin Kaszuba placing third each day. Paige Evans and Matt Stretch each took home a win in TaG Junior. Evans wrapped up the series championship with her win on Saturday, besting Cooper Heffley and Stretch. Sunday was Stretch’s turn, winning the feature by four seconds ahead of Evans and Heffley.
It was a split in the win department for Riley Dickinson and Max Hewitt in the Chase Racing Rotax Junior category. Dickinson swept Saturday’s round of racing while Hewitt marked his return to the series since the opening weekend with a victory on Sunday. Dickinson led the category from qualifying to the final checkered flag on Saturday, earning maximum points toward the championship. Championship leader Ryan C. Lewis edged out Lawson Nagel at the checkered flag for second, however, Lewis was penalized one position, swapping their spots on the podium. Sunday began with Dickinson quickest in qualifying, while Nagel and Hewitt each took a heat race win. Hewitt was shuffled back at the start of the Final, but worked his way back to the point. Hewitt came away with his first victory of the season despite the challenge in the closing laps by Dickinson. Brooke Hammond pushed Nagel back to the fourth position by the checkered flag.
Enzo Scionti capped off his championship performance in the Leading Edge of Texas TaG Cadet class with two wins in Oklahoma. Ayrton Hernandez clipped the fast time in qualifying, quicker than Scionti by just over a tenth of a second. Scionti came back to win both heat races, and then led all 12 laps for the victory in the main event. Vittorio Catino was second with Aden Rudolph third in his first series start. Destin Shields and Dylan Hajicek completed the top-five. Sunday’s qualifying session belonged to Chase Gardner, beating out Rudolph for the top time as Scionti was third. Scionti best both in the opening heat race, while Rudolph got his first heat win in the second moto. Rudolph continued to show the way in the Final until Scionti took over the position, reaching the checkered flag first for his third victory of the season. Rudolph settled for second ahead of Gardner, Hernandez and Logan Stretch.
The Texas Barge Rotax Mini Max category was a battle all weekend. Maxwell Waithman appeared to be the driver to beat both days. Saturday began with Waithman posting fast time in qualifying and winning each of the heat races. Waiting in the wings was point leader Brandin Warwas. When the green flag waved for the feature, Warwas took over the point and led all 12 laps to his second victory of the season. Waithman was a close second with Cash Tiner in third. Sunday was much of the same, with Waithman top driver in qualifying and Heat #1. Tiner turned up the wick in Heat #2, scoring the victory. The Final was an epic battle including the top three and Cade McKee. Tiner emerged as the top driver, beating out Waithman and Warwas by just eight thousandths of a second at the line to earn his first victory in the series. Waithman was penalized two position, thus moving Warwas to second and McKee on the podium in third.
Branyon Tiner captured his first victory in the Texas Barge Rotax Micro Max on the weekend. Tiner went to the front in Heat #1 on Saturday, winning that and Heat #2 before a wire-to-wire vicotry in the Final. Top qualifier Juan Pablo Cepeda drove to second over Noel Jesus Leon. The pace continued over to Sunday for Tiner, setting fast lap in qualifying and winning each of the heta races. The feature was a battle, including Cepeda, Leon, and Tiner. All three led at one point with Cepeda securing the lead at the white flag, holding on to score the victory. Leon and Tiner completed the podium.
The results were very much the same both days in the AIM S5 Junior Stock Moto division, with Lawson Nagel earning two victories in his class debut. Nagel was quickest in qualifying, topping the time sheet in his first official on-track session. Point leader Andrew Engberson fought back to win both heat races. Nagel recovered in the Final to fight his way once again into the lead, going on to beat Engberson at the checkered flag. Blair Hosie won the fight for the third step on the podium. The results at the front were duplicated on Sunday. Nagel came out with fast lap in qualifying before Engberson won each of the heat races. Engberson led the first 13 laps of the Final until Nagel took over and drove to his second victory of the weekend. Engberson and Hosie completed the podium.
Harry Gottsacker and Nathan Mauel left Oklahoma as winners in the Dallas Karting Complex Rotax DD2 class. Gottsacker swept Saturday’s round of racing over Mauel, and continued to lead the way on Sunday. Mauel however stepped up in the main event to earn his first victory of the season, pushing Gottsacker back to second. Venkat Reddy swept the weekend in the SwedeTech Racing Engines S4 Master Stock Moto over Rod Clinard.
Updates on the series banquet for the 2015 Burger King®/Texas Barge ProKart Challenge – presented by 3G Kart Racing, Dallas Karting Complex and IAME USA West will be available at texasprokartchallenge.com and on Facebook.