California ProKart Challenge Journeys North to Sonoma for Round Four
Superkarts! USA regional program enters second half of season with event at Simraceway Performance Karting Center on June 6
Simraceway Performance Karting Center will host Round Four of the California ProKart Challenge on June 5-6 (Photo: dromophotos.com)
Things are beginning to heat up all over the country, and so are the championship fights at the California ProKart Challenge. The season is at the halfway point as the Superkarts! USA regional program is set to host Round Four at the famed Simraceway Performance Karting Center in Sonoma, California on June 5-6. Napa Valley wine country is home to Sonoma Raceway, roughly an hour north of downtown San Francisco, and houses the 7/10-mile course that the California PKC competitors will battle on. The ‘National Reverse’ layout is set to provide a challenging stage for the 11 categories.
The Phil Giebler Racing TaG Senior championship chase is sure to go down to the wire, and likely won’t be decided until the season finale at the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix. The top four contenders finished Round Three in the top four positions, and Austin Elliott became the third different winner on the season. Despite the victory, he lost points to championship leader Christian Brooks and defending Pro Tour 2014 champion Jake Craig on the day. Brooks currently leads the standings by 52 points over Craig after they finished second and third. Veteran Matt Johnson finished fourth back in April and needs a dominant day in Sonoma to remain in the chase. All have vast experience at the Simraceway circuit, with Elliott hoping the home track advantage puts him on top of the podium for a second straight event.
Two-time defending champion Billy Musgrave tightened up the chase in the Vemme Kart/Extreme Karting S1 Pro Stock Moto division after his sweep in Round Three. S1 rookie Jarred Campbell continues to lead the standings, however, holding on to two victories and a runner-up finish in his first three series races. Musgrave got the better of Campbell at the recent SKUSA SpringNationals, and the two are sure to battle again in Sonoma. Matias Podboj is third in the standings, thanks to back-to-back podium results.
The 2015 season has been perfect so far for Carter Williams in the Ryan Perry Motorsport S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto class. He has gone three-for-three at the California PKC program, including two sweeps in the last two rounds – and went on to win both SKUSA Fikse Wheels Pro Tour feature races at the SpringNationals. He holds a comfortable lead in the standings heading into Sonoma, with Jack Freese and Henry Morse giving chase. Defending SwedeTech Racing Engines S4 Master Stock Moto champion Darren Elliott has a solid lead in the standings at the halfway point. Rob Logan and former champion Jimmy McNeil are in the battle for second, with Logan holding the advantage thus far without a win.
Three different drivers have stood at the top of the podium to date in the Mike Manning Karting TaG Master class. Two of the drivers to do so are in the hunt for the championship. Vatche Tatikian leads Brian Phillipsen by 230 points, with Phillipsen suffering a disqualification in Round One. Coming off a win at Round Three, he will need to continue to post wins the remainder of the season to keep the pressure on Vatche. Ken Schilling is at the top of the new 2Wild Karting S4 Super Master Stock Moto class. Winning the last two rounds, he leads Round One winner Phil Dunford by 120 points with Darrell Tunnell a very close third. The Professional Kart Support S3 Novice Stock Moto division is at its best since being introduced to the California PKC program, welcoming 20 drivers over the first three races. At the top of the standings is two-time winner Aaron Schmitt, holding a 200-point advantage over Robert Heck Jr. with Cory Ormonde in third.
Callum Smith is another driver that has been perfect in 2015. The first three races in the Sanner Racing S5 Junior Stock Moto division belonged to Smith, as did both SKUSA Fikse Wheels Pro Tour rounds at the SpringNationals. His lead in the California PKC standings is 170 points over Noah Grey, who has climbed up the order with each race, placing runner-up last round to jump ahead of Jason Pettit in the points order. 2014 TaG Cadet champion Trey Brown has positioned himself as the driver to beat in the Nash Motorsportz TaG Junior category. Two runner-up finishes was complimented by his first victory at Round Three. It put him level in the win column with Nicky Hays, with Brown up by 80 points in the standings. Another Junior rookie Jagger Jones is third, looking to build off his first podium at Round Three.
Anthony Willis has led the Leading Edge Motorsports TaG Cadet championship chase since the opening weekend, thanks to his victory in February. He has continued a run at the front, and remains the point leader entering the second half of the season. The lead is just under 200 points, with Round Two winner Oliver Calvo the lead contender – while Ryan Schartau is third riding on two podium results. Leading Edge Motorsports TaG Cadet Rookie has Dakota Tate at the top of the standings. Tate won the latest round, and leads Cole Shade and George Diakoumopoulos.
Online registration for Round Four of the California ProKart Challenge remains open until Tuesday, June 2 at midnight – with the discounted price of $310 for entry and stamped race tires. Pit move-in begins on Thursday, June 4. On Friday, gates at the track and the PKC registration desk open at 7:00am for check-in and walk-up entries. The official practice day begins on track at 9:00am, running until 5:00pm. There is overnight camping available at no charge; however, RV’s must park in the lower lot due to space limitations. The track has strict rules for noise control, which includes air boxes mandatory on all Stock Moto karts. More policies regarding rental tents, catering and pit maintenance, in addition to complete race and venue information, can be found at the California PKC Event Page. SKUSA is also encouraging new and returning members to make sure they have an active membership and license to race, along with their pre-approved race number. Competitors are also responsible for bringing their own fuel, and SKUSA encourages all racers and teams to get in touch with their local VP distributor in preparation for the event.
For more info on anything related to Superkarts! USA, please visit the website – www.superkartsusa.com – or call the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.