Hot Racing at Sanzaru Games Series for Round Six
Matt Cresci takes GoPro EVO Feature
The normally comfortable/warm summer weather at the Simraceway International Kart track at Sonoma Raceway is a relief from the hot temperatures in the valleys to the east. But the natural air conditioner was broken on race weekend and the temperature sored into the 100’s with only a slight breeze to help out. The racing was still fierce on the tight and physical Sprint Track layout with four classes having first time winners in 2015. Thanks to Sonoma Raceway , three classes were also racing for ‘All Access’ passes to the upcoming Indy Car race at Sonoma Raceway. These passes allowed entry into the race, the garage area, and the hot pit lane. The class winners in the Rotax Masters, Stock Honda Masters, and EVO Electrics received the passes. The top three drivers in all Rotax classes, EVO Electrics and 80 Masters received Sanzaru Bucks, $100 for 1st, $50 for 2nd, $25 for 3rd. Sanzaru Bucks can be applied at future races entry fees. Honda Bucks were awarded to the top three in the Pro Stock Honda and Stock Honda Masters, $300 for 1st, 200 for 2nd and $100 for 3rd. The Honda CRF 250 class received $500 for 1st, $300 for 2nd, $200 for 3rd in Honda/HPD Bucks. Honda/HPD Bucks are credited to the racers HPD account and can be used toward Honda Parts or towards the CRF 250 engine purchase or engine rebuild fee.
GoPro Featured Class – EVO Electrics
After taking one race off, Matt Cresci returned and put his kart on pole followed by Richard Hilleman and Gino Gigliotti. In the first heat Cresci took the early lead and was not really challenged as he crossed the finish line 2 second ahead of Gigliotti and Hilleman with Charles Stimmler in 4th. The second heat had the same result as the first heat except Gigliotti kept it closer finishing less than a second back. In the Main, Cresci took the early lead again with Marcos Ramirez quickly moving into 2nd. The field now settled into a single file formation with Cresci setting quick pace yet trying not to overheat the batteries on this very hot day. With 3 laps to go, Ramirez’s kart started slowing down and he fell back to the end of the field. Now all eyes were on Gigliotti and Hilleman as to see if one of them have saved their batteries enough to make a break and sprint into the lead, a popular tactic that both drivers have used in the past. At the white flag lap, everyone was waiting for a challenge, but it never came. Cresci came home the winner with Gigliotti 2 seconds back in 2nd, Hilleman 3rd and Stimmler 4th. For the win, Cresci takes home the GoPro Hero4 camera and two ‘All Access’ tickets to the upcoming Indy Car race. This was Cresci’s 3rd win of the year.
Molecule Mini Max
With 10 drivers on hand, Dustin Salaverria took the pole ahead of a strong qualifying effort from Brennan Stammer 2nd and Matteo Sandoval in 3rd. In the first heat, Dustin took the lead out of turn one with Brennan falling back a couple of spots. A lot of tough grinding allowed Bryson Lew to move up and Stammer to recover his lost positions. In the end, Dustin took the win, Brennan 2nd, Bryson 3rd and Ryan Tate 4th. The second heat had a bit less grinding and drama with Dustin taking the win, Sandoval 2nd, Stammer 3rd and Oliver Reed 4th. The Main turned into a pretty clean race with little drama once again. Dustin controlled the front of the race, Sandoval staying close in case Dustin made a mistake, Oliver moved into 3rd Brennan putting in his best performance of the year in 4th with Ryan Tate in the 5th spot. Dustin made no mistakes and took the win with no other changes in the running order at the finish. This was the fourth win for Dustin this year.
A tough group of warriors made up the 80 Masters class for this race. Roger Cornwall took the pole ahead of Tom Nelson and Geoff Provo. At the start of the first heat, Cornwall took the lead with Nelson close behind and Rob Mullaney beating Provo to the first corner to move into 3rd. At the end, Nelson could not find a way past Cornwall and settled for 2nd, Cornwall the win, Mullaney 3rd. In the second heat, Nelson got by Cornwall and Cornwall could not find a way by. Nelson came home the winner, Cornwall less than a second back and Mullaney 3rd. In the Main Nelson got out front early and opened up a small lead. Even though Cornwall put down the race’s fastest lap, he could muster the speed to get Nelson’s rear bumper. At the checkered flag, it was Nelson for the win, his 5th win of the year, Cornwall 2nd , Mullaney 3rd and Provo 4th.
Molecule Rotax Masters
With a strong field of 10 karts, John Breidinger took the pole ahead of Billy Scott and Roman Alekseenkov. In the first heat, John took the early lead with Scott in a race long battle with Roman, Kelly Heil, and Stephane Gaudreau. In the end, John took the win, Kelly working his way up to 2nd, Roman 3rd and Billy 4th. In the second heat, John again took the early lead and went on to a convincing win. Behind John the same four drivers from heat #1 battled it out with Billy coming home 2nd, Roman 3rd and Kelly 4th. In the Main, John took the early lead again and pulled out to a convincing lead. Billy’s day ended on lap 10, Roman pulled away from the second pack to hold down 2nd and Kelly was now getting pressure from Stephane and Xander Mahony. There was nothing getting in the way of John this day, he came home 7 seconds ahead of the field for the win, Roman 2nd, Kelly 3rd, Stephan 4th and Xander 5th. This was John’s first race win of the year.
Molecule Senior Rotax
A fast field of karts took to the track for qualifying; Zach Pettinicchi took the pole ahead of Nic LeDuc and Enzo Prevost. Only 1 second separated the pole from the 9th place qualifier. In the first heat, Zach and Nic went at it the entire way with Zach holding on for the win just 3 tenths of a second in front of LeDuc with Enzo coming home 3rd and Jared Higham 4th. In the second heat, Nic was able to get by Zach early on and drove home to a one second win, Zach 2nd, Enzo 3rd and Leonard Chau getting by Jared to take the 4th spot. In the Main, Nic took the early lead and started to pull away. Zach was now in a battle with Enzo for the runner up spot. Late in the race, Enzo made a bold pass on the last tight 180 degree turn with Zach battling back running side by side through turn 1. Enzo took the lead into turn 2 and was able to hold the runner up spot to the checkered flag. In the end, Nic took the win, his second feature win of the year, Enzo 2nd, Zach 3rd, Jared 4th and Leonard 5th.
ok the pole ahead of Richard Stock and Richard Hilleman. In heat one, Stock got the jump and Cameron had to work hard to get back into lead. He got past and drove to a 1.5 second win, Stock 2nd, Hilleman 3rd. In the second heat, Cameron took the early lead and came home 2 seconds ahead of Stock with Ore Della Penna 3rd. In the Main, Cameron again took the lead early on and pulled away to an unchallenged win. Things were much more exciting behind Cameron, Della Penna got by Stock at the start of the race and was able to pull away to take 2nd place, Stock 3rd and Hilleman 4th. DD2 driver Corey Mitchell had electrical problems in the heat races but did get all put together for the Main and showed his speed.
Molecule Micro Max
The young drivers were eager to race, as the Sprint Track configuration is great for these karts. Christian Legaspi took his first ever pole ahead of Gino Sandoval and Owen McAllister. In the first heat, the first five karts in the field raced hard going back and forth with several position changes. In the end, Owen took the win, Garrette Randolph Jr. worked his way up from 5th to 2nd, Sebastiaan Mulder came home 3rd and Gino Sandoval 4th. An unfortunate tech issue on Owens kart moved him to 5th, thus the win went to Garrette, Sebastiaan 2nd, Gino 3rd, and Christian 4th. In the second heat, the top five qualifiers again battled up front. In the end, Gino came out on top, Christian a strong 2nd and Owen close behind in 3rd with Piers Aspiras 4th. Sebastiaan and Garrette were battling going into the last turn when they tangled with Sebastiaan getting 7th and Garrette 8th at the end. In the Main, a little rubbing and bumping caused Christian and Piers to spin, rejoining the race in the back of the pack. Owen moved to the front shortly after the start and was able to hold a controllable gap on Gino. Garrette was all over Gino’s bumper most of the race with Sebastiaan falling back due to dropping a wheel. Christian worked his way back to 5th with Piers moving up to 6th. In the end, Owen took the win, Gino 2nd, Garrette 3rd, Sebastiaan 4th and Christian 5th.
Pro Stock Honda and Stock Honda Masters
Pablo Carballedo took the Pro Stock pole ahead of Hunter Pickett and Jacob Neal. In the Masters class, Justin Bennett took pole ahead of Eric Molinatti and Rene Martinelli. In the first heat, the three Pro Stock karts were right on top of each other, with the top three Masters also all over each other. In the end, Pickett took the win, Carballedo 2nd, Neal 3rd, Bennett 4th, Martinelli 5th and Molinatti 6th. The second heat was a repeat of the first in that the top three drivers in each of the two classes ran nose to tail the entire 8 laps. In the end, Carballedo took the win, Pickett 2nd, Neal 3rd, Bennett 4th and the Masters win, Molinatti 5th and Martinelli 6th. In the Main, Neal took the lead in the race out of turn one when Carballedo and Pickett had a slight coming together. Neal then started to pull away while Carballedo and Pickett were all over each other. On lap 5 Pickett and Carballedo had contact going into tic-tac-toe with Carballedo going to the dirt and coming back on track behind Pickett. Neal motored on to a 3 second win and Pickett held off Carballedo to take 2nd. In the Maters class, Bennett, Molinatti and Martinelli again had a tight battle. Molinatti was able to make the pass to take the lead and went on to pull out a 2 second Masters class win over Bennett with Martinelli a close 3rd in class and David Arnstein 4th in Masters. This was the first wins of the year for Jacob Neal and Eric Molinatti.
Molecule Junior Rotax
Ten fast drivers lined up to qualify with Colin Mullan taking his first pole of the year ahead of Mason Cohen and Carter Herrera. In the first heat, these three drivers ran nose to tail with Carter making the passes to take over the lead. Carter went on to the win, Colin 2nd and Cohen 3rd with just a half second separating the three, and Matt Keyes 4th. In the second heat, Carter came through again to pass into the lead and win the race, Colin 2nd, Mason 3rd and David Tooker 4th. In the Main, Carter lead the field into turn one with Mason inside Colin. There was contact between Mason and Colin with Colin taking to the dirt and reentering in 9th position. Mason then put the pressure on Carter throughout the first lap and was able to make a pass to take over the lead. Carter chased Mason but could not find the way by. At the end of 15 laps, Mason nips Carter to take the win, some 6 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. David Tooker was 3rd, Colin Mullan 4th and Clayton Williams 5th. But hold on, the Race Steward handed out a penalty for the turn one contact at the start made a judgment that Mason pushed Colin off the track on the exit of turn one. The penalty was to put Mason behind Colin, thus Herrera the winner, Tooker 2nd, Colin 3rd and Mason 4th. Unfortunately, Herrera did make it through post-race tech. Thus the new and final finishing order was David Tooker the winner, Colin Mullan 2nd, Mason Cohen 3rd, Clayton Williams 4th and Dakoda White 5th. This was David’s first Main race win in the Sanzaru Games Series.
Next race will be September 6 where the track configuration will be the Reverse Sprint Track and the GoPro Feature class will be the Molecule Junior Rotax.
Results and points can be viewed on the Sanzaru Karting web site at sanzarukarting.com/racing.html.