Race Recap: GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge – Round 1
An unprecedented and record-high, 139 entries highlighted the series opener for Round One of the GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge on Saturday. Round One began the 12-Round club championship series at GoPro Motorplex’s 0.7-mile track in Mooresville, N.C.
Congrats to all Round 1 winners: Aiden Baker Crouse (Briggs LO206 Cadet), Jadyn Daniels (Briggs LO206 Junior), Brian Collins (Briggs LO206 Senior), Talan Drake (IAME KA100 Junior), Dusty Davis (IAME KA100 Senior), Sofia Darrigo (IAME Mini Swift), Brent Crews (IAME Swift), Gray Leadbetter (IAME Junior), Ashley Rogero (IAME Senior), Todd Shambo (IAME Heavy), Easton Lusk (Kid Kart)
IAME Swift Division:
A total of 16 drivers took the green flag in the IAME Swift Division final event. Aiden Baker Crouse controlled the lead for the opening lap before Brent Crews overtook him on lap two with Crouse falling to third. Crews continued to clock the fastest laps of the race while leading the pack of three frontrunners completed by Tyler Wettengel and Crouse. With four laps remaining, Crouse passed Wettengel for second with a smooth move entering Turn Eight. Crouse then set his sights on Crews’ lead with Wettengel locked to his bumper. With just three corners left on the final lap, Wettengel passed back Crouse for second in Turn Eight. Crews scored the win, followed by Wettengel with a close second and Crouse finished in third.
IAME Heavy Division:
In the IAME Heavy Division, Steve Frank shot out to the early lead while Luke Stroud and Kim Carapellatti battled for second. Stroud was able to catch Frank and pass him for the lead, but was penalized for contact made during the pass. This gave Todd Shambo the win who also certainly earned the hard charger award, improving from seventh to first place during the race. Kim Carapellatti finished second and Steve Frank rounded out the top-three.
IAME Junior Division:
In the IAME Junior Division 12-lap final, 16 drivers took the green with Gray Leadbetter leading the way. Brooke Nachtmann worked to chase down Leadbetter’s nearly one-second lead from the second position. By halfway, Nachtmann had trimmed down Leadbetter’s gap to just a half-second. After a slight slip by Leadbetter, Nachtmann closed onto Leadbetter’s bumper and began looking for passing opportunities. With two laps to go, Nachtmann maneuvered around Leadbetter. However, Nachtmann’s defensive line allowed Leadbetter to make a crossover pass on Nachtmann for the win in Turn Eight. Leadbetter scored the win, followed by Nachtmann and Sebastion Rivest.
Briggs LO206 Senior Division:
With the largest field of the day, 26 Briggs LO206 Senior drivers stormed into Turn One for one of the most anticipated races of the afternoon. A tight group of four karts formed a nose-to-tail group of frontrunners, led by Brandon Jarsocrak. By the halfway point, the sky had completely darkened and a scattering of rain drops began to threaten the outcome of the race with no drivers running rain tires. The rain didn’t dampen the action on track and the lead pack of four continued to race hard, bumper-to-bumper with Brian Collins now at the helm of the field. However, with three laps to go, Jarsocrak stole back the top position from Collins and Dan Koehler followed him to take away second, sending Collins to third. On the final lap, Collins passed for the lead with a power-move entering Turn One. Koehler spun in the middle of Turn One, forcing both Jarsocrak and Tim Skinner to split him to avoid collision, ultimately allowing Collins to walk away with the win. Skinner finished in second and Jarsocrak in third.
IAME Senior Division:
A total 19 drivers took the green under the tense conditions of a slightly damp track. However, out front and more comfortable than ever was Ashley Rogero, rocketing out to more than a second lead over the field on lap one. By halfway, Rogero continued to lead by nearly three seconds with Jake Donald in second and Dalton Dow in third. Rogero took the checkered flag in first position with Donald and Lance Fenderson rounding out the podium.
IAME Mini Swift Division:
In the IAME Mini Swift 10-lap final, Sofia Darrigo was certainly the driver to beat after winning the Pre-Final and checking out to a nearly three-second lead on the field. Darrigo continued her dominating performance to take the win, followed by Adam Brickley in second and Preveil Perkins in third.
Briggs LO206 Junior Division:
In the Briggs LO206 Junior division, the threat of rain diminished as Jadyn Daniels dominated the race, winning by 23 seconds over Brandon Watkins.
Briggs LO206 Cadet Division:
In the Briggs LO206 Cadet Division 10-lap final, Aiden Baker Crouse led over Bree Miller during the opening laps. By halfway, Miller was within a kart-length of Crouse. On the final lap, Crouse and Miller were side-by-side in Turn Eight. Crouse was able to hang on to take the win, followed by Miller in second and Brent Crews in third.
IAME KA100 Junior Division:
In the KA100 Junior Division, Talan Drake held off Pauly Massimino to take the win. Massimino was forced to settle for second and Taylor Stanford secured the final spot on the podium in third.
IAME KA100 Senior Division:
In the KA100 Senior Division, Dusty Davis took the green with a confident lead. However, by lap two, Ashley Rogero took over the top position, fresh off her IAME Senior Final win. Davis wasn’t going to let her get away though, staying locked closely onto her bumper and running the fastest laps of the race in the draft. At the halfway point, Davis made his move back around Rogero for the lead. On the white-flag lap, Davis and Rogero were side-by-side coming to the checkered flag entering the final turn. Davis was able to hold on to his outside line to secure the win over Rogero. Rogero finished second, followed by Emory Lyda in third.
Kid Kart Division:
In the Kid Kart Division, young Easton Lusk got some valuable laps of experience and took home the win in his first-ever Karting Challenge outing.
Round 1 Results, Standings>>(http://www.gopromotorplex.com/race-events/past-race-results/2017-karting-challenge-results/)
GoPro Photo Gallery>>(http://www.gopromotorplex.com/gallery/2017-karting-challenge/)
Up next is Round 2 of the GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge on Saturday, March 18.
For more information on the Karting Challenge club series, CLICK HERE>> (http://www.gopromotorplex.com/race-events/kart-owner-events/gopro-motorplex-karting-challenge)