Exciting Event for Texas ProKart Challenge in Katy
Superkarts! USA regional program reaches halfway point with Round Three completed at Gulf Coast Kartway
Brett Mitchell is the driver on top of the X30 Senior this season with his second victory of 2017 (Photo: Carolyn Wiley)
The Texas ProKart Challenge reached the halfway point of the 2017 season with Round Three contested at the Gulf Coast Kartway on June 10-11. The Katy, Texas facility welcomed Superkarts! USA IAME and Stock Honda racers to the 7/10-mile course. Five drivers were able to lead the entire distance of the event to complete round sweeps, including two championship leaders.
Brett Mitchell won his second straight in the MPH Racing Team X30 Senior division, featuring 13 drivers. A winner in Round Two, Mitchell entered as the championship leader, delivering with the sweep in Katy. Mitchell set the fast time in qualifying, edging out Jake French by 79 thousandths of a second. Mitchell led all 14 laps of Heat #1, before fighting with French in Heat #2 to come away with the race win. Getting away at the green flag, Mitchell drove away to lead wire-to-wire in the 20-lap Final, stretching out to a four-second margin for the victory. French was runner-up with Max Hewitt beating out Austin Wilkins for the final step of the podium. Jeffery Collins drove to fifth in his first event of 2017.
The third different winner was crowned in the Trackside Karting Services X30 Junior with Ethan Arndt taking his first victory of the season. Arndt, who entered as the championship leader with two runner-up finishes, swept the action in Round Three over a competitive 12-driver field. Arndt set fast time in qualifying (39.720) over Maxwell Waithman and Jak Crawford. Arndt and Crawford went 1-2 in both heat races, as Ethan led all 14 laps in both motos. He continued the momentum into the Final, leading all 20 laps for the victory while recording the fast laps of the race. Crawford slipped back on the opening circuit, but regained the second spot to stand alongside Arndt on the podium. Cash Tiner completed the podium in third with Waithman fourth and Emilano Richards in fifth.
The Dallas Karting Complex & Core Karting Stock Honda race group featured all four categories – S1, S2, S3, S4 – with all four winners earning their first main event victories of 2017. S1 Pro was won by Austin Wilkins, who drove uncontested. The S2 Semi-Pro category was busy with action throughout the day. Nick Brueckner made his class debut, setting the fast lap in qualifying. Jordon Musser stepped up in the opening heat, moving past Brueckner and Blair Hosie to score the win. Musser led the majority of Heat #2 until Graig Alvarez Jr. slipped by and reached the checkered flag first. Alvarez carried the momentum into the Final, leading all 20 laps to earn his first series victory. Musser settled for second with SKUSA Pro Tour winner Riley Dickinson in third. Hosie and Andretta Young completed the top-five.
Diego Villafani became a first-time winner at the Texas ProKart Challenge, sweeping the action in the S3 Novice division. Villafani bested Andrew Kleinheinz and Reilly Cann for the victory. Nathan Stewart earned his first trip to the top step of the podium in S4 Master, winning over Juan David Gomez. X30 Master point leader Miguel Mier won his third straight, outrunning Barry Peel.
2016 Mindshift Financial Mini Swift champion Branyon Tiner returned to the top step of the podium for the first time since July 2016. Tiner fought his way forward in the first half of the day after qualifying ninth, with fast time going to Davis Cunningham. Tiner was able to reach the second spot by the end of Heat #1, with Cunningham leading all 12 laps. Cunningham led the first four circuits in Heat #2 until contact put him on the sidelines. That put Tiner in a battle for the win with Aden Rudolph, as Branyon took the win. Rudolph, however, was penalized to finish behind Cunningham, classified 20th. Tiner led the first 12 laps of the Final until Noah Baker put on a fight. They went back and forth for the lead, with Tiner able to get away in the closing laps for the victory. Baker settled for second with Arti Flores placing third. Chase Gardner and Alex Stanfield rounded out the top-five. Nearly the entire 20-kart field were within three tenths for their fast lap during the main event, with quick time going to Cunningham.
Nuclear Imaging Micro Swift point leader Cooper Shipman set the pace early in Katy, scoring the fast lap in qualifying by just 61 thousandths of a second before leading all 12 laps of the opening heat. Tanner Garvin stepped up in Heat #2, as the two battled for the win with Garvin coming across the line first. From the pole position, Garvin led all 16 laps to record his second victory of the season. Shipman beat out Miles Hewitt for the runner-up spot with Ivanna Richards in fourth and Joseph Moss in fifth.
The Texas ProKart Challenge returns to action on July 13-15 at a new facility. The Amarillo Kart Circuit will welcome the series, hosting its first-ever competition karting event. The facility, located just east of Amarillo, Texas, will be a new and exciting addition to the Texas PKC program, with competitors from around the southwestern states making the journey to be part of history. July 13-14 will be official practice days with July 15 serving as Race Day. Make sure to watch the series website texasprokartchallenge.com for exciting event details forthcoming, as well as Texas ProKart Challenge on Facebook.