Caleb Gafrarar Lands First WKA Manufacturers Cup Series Victory in Mini Swift
Three wins in 2016 for ‘Caleb G’ following Sunday triumph at GoPro Motorplex
Russell Karting Specialties / Parolin / Woltjer Racing Engines driver Caleb Gafrarar on grid during the second event of the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series at GoPro Motorplex
Caleb Gafrarar has finished the first quarter of the 2016 season with strong results, lending to what could be a promising first season in the Cadet level of kart racing. The second-generation driver contested the second event of the World Karting Association Manufacturers Cup Series at the nearby GoPro Motorplex circuit in Mooresville, North Carolina. Coming off two wins during the WKA Winter Cup program, ‘Caleb G’ added a third for 2016 following his performance during the April 1-3 weekend.
Thanks to the many laps at his home circuit and the success of last month’s WKA Winter Cup event, Caleb G came off the trailer quick. The first few morning practice sessions on Friday were in wet conditions, with Gafrarar electing to sit them out. In the final three rounds, he remained among the top-five quickest. The first official on-track session put Gafrarar in the sixth position after Saturday’s qualifying. Fast laps in Heat #1 helped him to advance to fourth, just two tenths back of the leader at the line. Contact at the start of Heat #2 pushed him back, crossing the line after the first circuit in the eighth position. Caleb G posted fast laps of the race once again aboard his Russell Karting Specialties Parolin, climbing up to the fifth position. Those two results landed him fourth on the grid for the main event. The top-five fought the entire 16 laps in the Final, with Gafrarar running as high as third. On the final lap with the group bunched together, contact was made and Caleb G received the worse of it, damaging his bumper and knocking off his chain, leaving him to be classified 17th.
No stranger of coming back from adversity, Gafrarar was determined to bounce back with a better end result on Sunday. Qualifying was similar to Saturday’s performance, clocking in seventh while not benefitting from a drafting partner. A little bit of contact slowed his progress on the opening lap of Heat #1, but Caleb G knifed his way up to fifth after eight laps. More contact dropped him down to eighth at the start of Heat #2 and Gafrarar responded with steady laps to inch his way up to the second spot. A penalty to the leader handed the win to Caleb G, and secured the pole position for the Final. The preferred starting position allowed Gafrarar to avoid the opening corner skirmish that hampered his performance all weekend. Leading the first three laps, Caleb G relinquished the top position for just two laps before reclaiming the spot. Gafrarar and his Woltjer-prepared Swift engine powered away to lead the remainder of the 16-lap event to claim his first Manufacturers Cup Series victory in the category, crossing a full 2.2 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
The results on the weekend put Gafrarar third in the championship chase, just under 100 points out of first with six rounds in three weekends remaining this summer. The next few weeks will be busy for Caleb G, as he travels to the 103rd Street Sport Complex in Jacksonville, Florida for the opening weekend of the WKA Gold Cup series, competing in the Sportsman LO206 category aboard a MGM chassis. It will then be a long haul out west as Gafrarar will make his Superkarts! USA Pro Tour debut, competing at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association facility in Glendale, Arizona for the seventh annual SKUSA SpringNationals in the Micro Swift division.
Caleb would like to thank the following companies for their support toward his racing program; Parolin Racing, Russell Karting Specialties, One Racegear, Chuck G Fabrication, DB Motorsports Graphics, Ribtect, Stock Car Steel/SRI, Grease Monkey Wipes, and WD-40 Specialist. Visit the Caleb G Racer Facebook page to follow his progress throughout 2016 and his newly announced website www.calebgracer.com to learn more and purchase the available apparel to support his racing campaign.