Championship Tightening Up After Sanzaru Games Karting Series Race #7
Carter Herrera Takes GoPro Junior Rotax Feature
With only two races left in the 2015 season for the Sanzaru Games Karting Championship, many class championship races tightened up after the completion of Race #7. The tight and demanding Reverse Sprint track configuration proved to be a real challenge to many of the racers with some of the top drivers struggling to keep up and other drivers having their best drives of the year. A special feature of the race day was the addition of top Formula E and former F1 driver Jerome D’Ambrosio to the EVO Electrics class. Jerome was visiting the Bay Area to work with EVO class developer Richard Hilleman who offered Jerome the chance to drive an EVO kart.
GoPro Featured Class – Molecule Junior Rotax
With a strong group of karts, the two top point’s drivers topped the charts in qualifying with Carter Herrera taking pole ahead of points leader Mason Cohen with Clayton Williams putting a fast time to take 3rd on the grid. In the first heat race, Carter took the lead out of turn one and did not look back. Right behind, Clayton got in front of Mason and held position to come home a strong 2nd just in front of Mason with Dakota White taking a solid 4th place. The second heat turned into a copy of the first heat with Carter taking the win, Clayton 2nd, Mason 3rd and Dakota 4th. On the start of the Main, Carter lead the field through turn one, Mason right on his bumper to take second, Clayton went wide and put a wheel off and slipped to the back of the pack. Clayton’s work now just got tougher. Carter and Mason then pulled away from the field with Dakota 3rd and Clayton working his way past the other drivers. In the end, Carter took the win, his 4th of the year, with Mason a clear 2nd, Clayton working his way back to 3rd, Dakota 4th and David Tooker 5th. With the win, Carter narrows the gap on Mason who is now just 20 points in front of Carter. Carter won the GoPro Hero4 camera and Sanzaru Bucks of $100/$50/$25 were awarded to the top three drivers.
Molecule Micro Max
With a strong turnout of 10 karts on this Labor Day weekend, point’s leader Garrette Randolph Jr took the pole ahead of Skyler Geczi and Christian Legaspi. This was Skyler’s best qualifying effort of the year. In the first heat, Randolph lead the field through turn one with Skyler and Tyson Quach spinning off and out of the race. Veteran drivers Gino Sandoval and Owen McAllister got by Christian but by the time they did so, there was not enough time to catch the quick Garrette. Garrette went on to take a 5 second win, Gino 2nd, Owen 3rd and Christian 4th. In the second heat, Garrette went into the early lead, Skyler held down 2nd with a trio of driver’s right behind. On lap 7, Garrette pulled off with a problem and Skyler was now into the lead, the first time he has lead a race this year. In the end, Skyler took the win 2 seconds ahead of Gino, Owen 3rd and Christian 4th. In the Main, Gino and Owen were on the front row. Gino took the initial lead out of turn one and opened up a small lead that got bigger with every lap. Owen held down second with a small gap back to Christian, Garrette and Skyler. On lap 11, a black flag was given to a slower driver who was about to be lapped by the hard charging top drivers. When the slower driver exited the track, Gino started to follow the driver off the track, then realized that the race had not ended. He turn his kart around on the exit road and rejoined the race, unfortunately four karts had gone by. Now it was Owen in the lead and Gino trying to catch Skyler who was in 4th. At the checked flag, Owen took a 2 second win, Christian 2nd and his highest place finish of the year, Garrette 3rd, Skyler 4th and Gino a heart breaking 5th. Owen took 50 points out of Garrette’s class lead and is now only 20 points behind Garrette. Sanzaru Bucks of $100/$50/$25 were awarded to the top three drivers.
In Qualifying, Matt Cresci took the pole ahead of Marcos Ramirez and Richard Hilleman. Formula E driver Jerome D’Ambrosio did not qualify as he just entered the event at the last moment. In the first heat, Cresci took the early lead ahead of Ramirez and Hilleman with D’Ambrosio getting his first time in the kart worked his way up to 4th then settling for 5th in the end. It was Cresci for the win, newcomer Jimmy Casey working his way through to take 2nd and Ramirez 3rd. In the second heat, Cresci again took the early lead ahead of Ramirez with D’Ambrosio now used to the kart and working his way to 3rd, then passing Ramirez. In the end, Cresci takes the win, D’Ambrosio 2nd and Ramirez 3rd. In the Main, Cresci took the lead off the start with D’Ambrosio’s race coming to an end right after the start due to rare battery failure. Cresci remained in control of the pace of the race and drove on to a 3 second win, Ramirez 2nd, Casey 3rd and Charles Stimmler 4th. Sanzaru Bucks of $100/$50/$25 were awarded to the top three drivers.
Molecule Rotax Masters
With a field of 10 karts taking the green flag, Roman Alekseenkov was fastest ahead of Bob Olson and Southern Californian Bill Cleavelin. In the first heat, Bob Olson jumped into the early lead followed by John Breidinger then Roman and Cleavelin. These four would battle close the entire 8 laps with Olson taking the win, Breidinger 2nd, Alekseenkov 3rd and Cleavelin 4th. In the second heat, Roman made sure this time and took the lead coming out of turn one. Roman had not seen the speed he had this day since the first race of the year where he won. Roman opened up a small lead with four drivers battling it out right behind. In the end, Roman took the win, Olson 2nd, Breidinger 3rd and Cleavelin 4th. In the Main, Roman and Olson lead the field out of turn one with Roman opening up a small lead early on. Point’s leader Kelly Heil dropped out on lap 7 then Breidinger dropped out on the last lap. In the end Roman won his 2nd race of the year, 3 second in front of Olson, Cleavelin 3rd, David Palic 4th and Jon Persing 5th. Roman took a big bite out of Heil’s points lead and is now only 70 points back with two races to go. Sanzaru Bucks of $100/$50/$25 were awarded to the top three drivers.
Molecule Senior Rotax
In qualifying, Phillippe Denes beat out Nic LeDuc and Zack Pettinicchi. In the first heat, Denes lead the early part of the race but LeDuc worked his way into the lead and would hold on to win at the end, Denes 2nd, Pettinicchi 3rd and points leader Enzo Prevost 4th. The second heat was pretty much the same as the first with the same finishing order. The Main started out very much the same as the heat races. LeDuc took the lead from the pole and came home 3 seconds in front of Denes. Unfortunately, Denes’ arm caused the intake boot to come loose from the air box and thus was out of spec with the intake system rules. Denes was reclassified 7th in class. Thus the 2nd overall position went to Pettinicchi, Prevost 3rd, Leonard Chau 4th and Maggie Simms 5th. With the win, LeDuc takes a 25 points lead in the battle for the championship. Sanzaru Bucks of $100/$50/$25 were awarded to the top three drivers.
Pro Stock Honda and Stock Honda Masters
The top three in qualifying were the Pro Stock drivers with Pablo Carballedo taking pole ahead of Hunter Pickett and Jacob Neil. Justin Bennett took the Masters pole ahead of Rene Martinelli and Patrick O’Neill. In the first heat, Pablo lead the field through turn one followed by Neal, Pickett, Martinelli, Bennett and O’Neill. In the end, the divers at the front held their positions and finished as they ran early on. Pablo the win in Pro Stock, Neal 2nd and Pickett 3rd. In Masters it was Martinelli taking the win, Bennett 2nd, O’Neill 3rd and Brad Shaffer 4th. In the second heat Jacob Neal took the lead early in the race and lead to the checkered flag, Hunter 2nd, Pablo 3rd. In the Masters class, Bennett took the early lead and controlled the race to the checkered flag with Martinelli 2nd, Molinatti 3rd, and David Arnstein 4th. Jacob Neal took the race lead of the Main from the drop of the green flag but was hounded all 15 laps by a very determined Pablo with Pickett falling a couple seconds back. Neal handled all the pressure from Pablo and came home the winner, Pablo 2nd, and Pickett 3rd. In the Masters Main, Bennett took the early lead and started to pull away. In back of Bennett there was a hard four kart battle for 2nd place. Arnstein worked his way into 2nd, O’Neill got by Molinatti to take over 3rd and got right onto the rear bumper of Arnstein on the last lap but did not have enough time to attempt a pass. In the end, Bennett takes the class win, Arnstein a well-deserved 2nd, O’Neill 3rd, Molinatti 4th and Martinelli 5th. Honda Bucks of $300/$200/$100 were awarded to the top three drivers in each class.
Molecule Mini Max
Ten drivers took to the track with Aiden O’Neill taking the pole ahead of Grant Langon and Dustin Salaverria. In the first heat O’Neill took the early lead and went on to the win, but the rest of the field had a lot of position exchanging going on. In the end, Matteo Sandoval finished 2nd after starting 7th, Bianca Bustamante came home 3rd, Oliver Reed 4th while Grant slipped to 5th and Dustin slipped to 6th. In the second heat, Aiden slipped down the field early on with Dustin taking the lead and Matteo again working his way to 2nd from his 7th place starting position. Bianca again took the 3rd spot with Grant 4th and Oliver 5th, Aiden 6th. In the Main, Dustin and Matteo would start on the front row and proceeded to have a 15 lap duel, Dustin in front and Matteo chasing. Behind the lead duo there has a lot of position swapping. Late in the race Nick Persing moved into a solid 3rd with Aiden and Bianca just 3 seconds back. It looked like a Dustin/Matteo 1-2 going into the last lap, but on the last turn before the checkered, Matteo tried an inside pass that resulted in contact, Dustin spinning off, Matteo taking the checkered and Dustin recovering to take 5th. But the official call from the Race Steward Kris Shaw penalized Matteo for the last corner contact and placed Matteo behind Dustin in the finishing order. Thus the win goes to Nick, his first win in the series. Aiden took 2nd, Bianca 3rd, Dustin 4th and Matteo 5th. Sanzaru Bucks of $100/$50/$25 were awarded to the top three drivers.
Honda CRF 250
Richard Stock took pole ahead of Ori Della Penna and Richard Hilleman. Ori got the jump on the standing start and took the early lead with Stock and Hilleman chasing. Ori was able to hold a small lead and drove on to the win, Stock 2nd and Hilleman 3rd. In the second heat, Ori again got his kart into turn one first with Stock and Hilleman chasing and that is how they came across the line. The Main was a repeat of the heat races with Ori getting into turn one first and pulling out to slight lead. The chase was on, Stock and Hilleman trying to get close to the leader. But all came to an abrupt end on lap 12 when Hilleman and Stock came together and both crashed into the tire barriers. With both karts out, the checkered flag was shown a lap early, the win going to the last man standing, that being Ori Della Penna. Stock was classified 2nd and Hilleman 3rd. Honda/HPD Bucks were awarded to the top three drivers.
A healthy field of 11 karts showed up on this summer ending three day weekend. Charles Hasting earned the pole ahead of Tom Nelson and Ron Mullaney. In the first heat, Nelson got the jump from the standing start and lead early. Hastings chased but could not find the way buy. In the end, Nelson took the win, Hastings 2nd, Mullaney 3rd and Allen Miller 4th. In the second heat, Hastings and Mullaney got the jump on the start with Nelson having to chase from 3rd. In the end, Hastings takes the win, Mullaney 2nd, Nelson 3rd and Roger Cornwall 4th. In the Main, the 80 group of drivers invited expert racer Ron White to join the race in Geoff Provo’s back up kart. At the start, Mullaney goes into the lead early with Hastings chasing and close behind. White started from the back and started his charge through the field. By midrace, Mullaney was still ahead of Hastings driving his annual out of his mind race when all things just work for Rob. White was now looking at getting by the top three drivers. White then got by the top three drivers and they then resumed their battle. On the last lap, White was some 6 seconds in front of the Masters field, Hastings was able to make a pass for the lead and just edge out Mullaney for the win, and Nelson had to settle for third. Thus in the 80 Masters class, Hastings took the win, Mullaney 2nd, Nelson 3rd, Tom Booth getting by Cornwall near the end to take 4th and Cornwall 5th. Sanzaru Bucks of $100/$50/$25 were awarded to the top three drivers.
Next race will be October 11 where the track configuration will be the Reverse National Track and the GoPro Feature classes will be Mini Max and the Honda CRF 250 class.
Results and points can be viewed on the Sanzaru Karting web site at sanzarukarting.com/racing.html.