Los Angeles Karting Championship Heats Up in May

Third round of racing for LAKC sees great attendance at CalSpeed Karting event

Alex King celebrated his victory in Open Shifter
(Photo: Joe Stalker - LAKC)

The fourth round of the Los Angeles Karting Championship took place the third weekend of May (May 18-19) in Southern California at the CalSpeed Karting complex. LAKC continues to see terrific entry numbers four rounds into their 2013 season at the Fontana, California facility. With huge numbers coming from both pre-entry as well as walk ups, the LAKC and its drivers are enjoying one of there best seasons to date.

As the 2013 LAKC race season rolls into summer, the high entry numbers the series saw at the start of the spring have not dwindled and racing continues to be some of the best in the country. And LAKC President Chris LaTorre is excited about his organization becoming one of the premiere race series in the country, and recognizes the big part of LAKC’s success is the staff’s effort at a flawless race day and making his series look so appealing. “Round four of the LAKC went off with out a single hiccup. We had over 190 entries and the day ran so smoothly, I thought we had had a drop in entries. I kept thinking we had a lot less racers. We really just had an incredibly smooth race day, and that made the weekend so much better. Our racers really enjoyed it”. No red flags or major incidents occurred on track, helping maintain a schedule that kept nearly 200 entries and families happy and headed home on time.

Ari Baquet was victorious in the Spec PRD Senior Pilot class (Photo: Joe Stalker - LAKC)

Ari Baquet was victorious in the Spec PRD Senior Pilot class
(Photo: Joe Stalker – LAKC)

In the Hyper Racing Engines PRD Junior One class, it was all Dressler all day. Johnny Dressler scored a perfect day as he earned the pole and pre final win in class. In the main, Dressler held off a stacked field of young drivers as point leader Myles Farhan along with Gary Lyles and Mark Polunin stalked Dressler the entire race. Nearing the end, Dressler and Farhan had a race for the lead and the win on their hands. With two laps to go, the lead duo caught up to a lapper with Dressler able to get around the traffic without issue while Farhan however was not as lucky. Slight contact between the two resulted in Farhan losing major ground to Dressler. Dressler would drive to an easy provisional victory over Farhan in second. A tech issue after the race however resulted in Dressler losing the win, handing it over to Farhan. The DQ would move Justin Hodge into second, Gary Lyles to third and Mark Polunin into fourth.

Sharing the track with PRD Junior 1 was the Fleming Racing Engines KPV 1 class. Coming in as the class point leader, Ryan Schartau secured the pole position in qualifying, looking to stretch out his championship lead. Schartau and Trey Brown would swap the KPV 1 lead twice, with Brown holding the point to the checkered in the prefinal earning him the win over Schartau. Brown led Schartau, Dante Yu and Hayden Wagner at the start of the main event but with seven laps to go, Schartau made his move on Brown. Schartau successfully completed a pass for the lead, sealing the deal and picked up the main event win. Prefinal winner Brown came in second, with Wagner in third, while Yu and Dakota Tate rounding out the top five.

Next on the track was the Mike Manning Karting PRD Senior Pilot class. Stephen Wetterau was on track to have a perfect day as he picked up the pole position over point leader Logan Calvin and Ari Baquet. The prefinal was Wetterau green to checker as Calvin raced with Connor Funk before Calvin fell to 10th at the end of the prefinal. Wetterau stayed in front of the field for the opening three circuits, until third place starter Ari Baquet took the lead on lap four and drove to a nearly two second victory over Karlee Polon and Stephen Wetterau in third. Gino Alfonso-Macauley and Michel Manning came home fourth and fifth. On the track with the PRD Senior Pilot class, was the Valley Trophy Rotax Senior Pilot race. Hunter Hagenbuch out qualified Steven Novikoff by nearly two tenths and in the prefinal, Hagenbuch traded spots on the track with PRD Senior Pilot racers to finish the prefinal eighth on the track and first in class. The main saw Hagenbuch steadily climb through the mixed field to race with the PRD Seniors. At the checkered flag, Hagenbuch narrowly missed out on an overall top five as he picked up the win in Rotax Senior Pilot while Novikoff finished second in class.

Billy Musgrave was perfect once again in S2 Stock Moto (Photo: Joe Stalker - LAKC)

Billy Musgrave was perfect once again in S2 Stock Moto
(Photo: Joe Stalker – LAKC)

Third on the track were the Purekarting.com Comer Kid Karts, and the HPD Honda Kid Karts. In the Honda Kid Karts, point leader Kasey Gillis tallied a perfect weekend sweeping the action in class. Jaden Gotez ran second to Gillis while Skyler Geczi finished third. Camden Getz and Maxi Saga rounded out the top five. In the Comer class, Rylee Martinez picked secured the pole by three tenths over Dominic Gorden. The heat race saw a back and forth race for the lead between Martinez and Gorden trading the lead several times. Gorden held off Martinez to win the prefinal. The main event proved how exciting and unpredictable the Kid Kart racers can be. Gorden started on the pole but lost the lead to Martinez on the opening lap before Gorden took the lead back on lap two. While Gorden led early on, Jake Daniele slowly moved his way up from a fifth place starting position. With three laps to go, Daniele took the lead from Gorden and held the top spot for two circuits. Dodge reclaimed the lead with less than two to go and held on to the checker flag. Jake Daniele’s impressive rally earned him a second place finish, pole sitter Rylee Martinez finished third.

In the OTK Kart USA TaG Cadet class, Dante Yu kicked things off by grabbing the pole position, a full two tenths quicker than Ryan Schartau with Trey Brown back by seven tenths. Yu was solid in the prefinal, leading all ten laps for the win. Schartau and Jonathan Shone swapped second place behind Yu, with Schartau coming out with the position. In the main, Jagger Jones raced from the second row on the grid to lead several laps before falling to second, then back down to third as Shone and Schartatu worked pass for position. With one lap left, Jones got around both to pick up the main event win. Shone finished close behind in second, with Schartau back in third. Brown placed fourth in the main event and Jonathan Turner in fifth place.

In the Phil Giebler Racing PRD Grand Masters, point leader Paul Bonilla did not make the fourth round leaving the door open for the rest of the PRD Grand Masters field. Third place in points, John Bush seized the opportunity. Bush swept the day of racing beating Ralph Bush out for the victory and Steve Hansen in third. Sean Brazeau and second place in points Ron Rossetti rounded out the top-five. On the track racing with the PRD Grand Masters was the Bridgestone Rotax Grand Masters class. As a single entry, Michael Marks swept the weekend. Andrew Wilson was the only entry in the PSL Socal.com Rotax senior class, sweeping the days races.

The Mack Motorsports PRD Junior 2 rolled out next. Christian Brooks beat Nick Ramirez and Skylar Estrada out for the pole position in qualifying. The top three stayed in their respective starting spots the entire prefinal to hold their starting positions for the main event. Brooks stayed in front for the whole main event and beat Estrada for the clean sweep on the day. Estrada worked past Ramirez for the second position, with Nicky Hays and Nathan Seegrist in fourth and fifth.

Kevin Gilroy came through with the victory in S4 Masters Magnum (Photo: Joe Stalker - LAKC)

Kevin Gilroy came through with the victory in S4 Masters Magnum
(Photo: Joe Stalker – LAKC)

Empire Karts KPV 2 saw fourth place in points Alec Karas narrowly snatch the pole position in class over Andrew Murowatz by a slim three hundredths of a second. Murowatz however went on to lead every single lap of the prefinal to beat Karas by four seconds to the line. In the main, Murowatz was perfect, leading the entire race to score the victory. Jonathan Eshom advance to second, but was back nearly 11 seconds. Bryce Murphy worked past Karas for third while Erin Kistler rounded out the finishing order in KPV 2.

Eric Molinatti dominated the RLV PRD Senior class. Molinatti came into the weekend sitting fourth out of thirty PRD Seniors in the points. Molinatti out-qualified Robby Stanovich and Alejandro Fernandez in the timed session. Molinatti then led every lap of the prefinal while Stanovich held station in second, while Fernandez fell off the pace. In the main event, Fernandez charged from the back of the pack to record a very impressive third place finish. Molinatti however led every lap of the final to score the victory with Stanovich finishing second. Niki Luna was fourth and Chris Cricca fifth.

In the Pitts Performance Junior One class, Ryan Schartau earned the pole by less than one tenth of a second over fellow double duty driver Johnny Dressler. Third place starter Joseph Daniele went from fourth to first with less than two laps to go in the prefinal, earning him the win. Schartau finished the prefinal back in the sixth position. He bounced back in the main event and did not waste much time, moving into the lead on lap one and never looked back. Schartau would go one to score the victory with Trey Brown placing second and Dressler rounding out the podium. Daniele and Carson Mallett filled out the top five.

TM Racing USA Open 125 Shifter went to Alex King who put up a perfect weekend beating out Rob Whitley for the win. Sean Bond finished third with Kris Valadez and Jesse Romer rounding out the top five. Sharing the track with the Open shifters was the Acceleration Kart Racing Stock Honda Masters Magnum racers. Rick McAllister earned the pole in class over Kevin Gilroy and Sal Menudiado. McAllister found himself racing amongst the Open Shifter as he picked up the prefinal win over Menudiado. The main event victory went to Gilroy as he beat Menudiado by two seconds to the line. Marc Segal rounded out the podium as McAllister dropped back to fourth, just ahead of Ken Manning.

The second to last race group to hit the track was the 2WildKarting.com Semi Pro Stock Honda class, and the MRC Stock Honda Masters. S2 was dominated by Billy Musgrave as he swept the day. The prefinal saw Augie Lerch come from fifth to finish second behind Musgrave, but the final was all Musgrave as Billy drove perfect laps the entirety of the main to score the victory. Lerch was in a battle with the Willy Musgrave – S4 driver and father to Billy – for second over all. Lerch got around Willy with 10 laps to go and held him off for second place on track. When Willy wasn’t racing amongst the lighter younger S2 crowd, he was busy running away with the S4 lead. Willy beat Erik Jackson and Antonio Cianciardo for the top step on the podium. Ron Rossetti and Jason Chott rounded out the top five.

Dakota Dickerson and Carlee Taylor pretty much ran the show in TaG Senior as the last race of the day. Dickerson grabbed the pole position over Taylor in qualifying. The two had a close race for the lead the whole prefinal, with Taylor grabbing the win on the last lap over Dickerson. With the first starting spot, Taylor got a great start and never looked back. She led all 15 laps and scored the win over Ty Matta – who would be removed from the results for a disqualified in tech. The DQ moved Dickerson back into second, with Alejandro Fernandez getting third place. John Wallace III and Jonathan Gih finished fourth and fifth.

The fifth round of the Los Angeles Karting Championship is set for the June 9 weekend at the CalSpeed Karting facility in Fontana, California. For more information, be sure to visithttp://www.lakc.org today and follow them on Facebook/lakc.org for race day photos and up-to-date information.

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