Race Report: Margay Ignite Challenge Series – Autobahn Country Club
Saturday, June 10 was the first race of the inaugural Ignite Challenge Series at Autobahn Country Club. The Ignite Challenge Series was the first series to race the newly configured kart track extension and it proved to showcase phenomenal racing across all classes. Margay Racing wants to thank the amazing Autobahn staff for their enthusiasm, attitude and willingness to grow the sport of karting within their club.
This is the inaugural year for Margay’s Ignite Challenge Series, a 5-race summer series that visit’s all of Margay’s Ignite Series tracks. The goal of the series is to give the drivers an opportunity to affordably travel and compete at a new track without the extensive costs usually tied into a regional or national program along with utilizing the same rulebook across each track.
In Ignite Junior, it was the Spike Kohlbecker show all weekend. The WKA Man Cup standout broke the track record three separate times throughout the event setting fast lap after fast lap. Spike would finish P1 in every session on race day. In the feature, Evan Stamer would hold onto Spike’s rear bumper for the first few laps but then soon faded away with Davis Worley right on his tail. The three St. Louis, MO locals would upset the Autobahn drivers and take the top three spots.
The most thrilling race of the day was in Ignite Senior. In qualifying, the top three drivers were split by 0.069 seconds with Blaine Finnegan taking the pole. On the start of the Pre-Final, Blaine’s valve stem was knocked off by a front bumper of an opposing kart in the first few corners which quickly took him out of contention. Gateway Kartplex’s Eric Loddeke would take the lead until lap 4 when Autobahn local, Jordan Missig, put a late pass on the inside into turn one. Missig would hold on and take the Pre-Final victory.
In the final, karts were three wide heading into turn one. Eric Loddeke would take the lead shuffling Jordan Missig back to 6th place. Eric Loddeke and Matt Chubb would separate the field until lap 10 when they started to battle side-by-side throughout the first portion of the track’s layout. This allowed Mexico City’s Gonzalo Najera to catch the lead pack. On lap 12, Najera would make a daring three wide pass into the heavy braking turn 1 and secure the lead, with Matt Chubb following close behind. Coming into the last few corners, Chubb and Najera would battle side by side. After slight contact slowing down both drivers, Eric Loddeke snuck to the inside on the final corner and took back the lead. Eric would hold on and take the victory of the Inaugural Ignite Challenge round at the Autobahn County Club. Matt Chubb would finish second with Gonzalo Najera rounding out the podium.
In the 11 kart Ignite Masters field, Indianapolis’s Rod Scharf took the pole by 0.078 seconds over Gateway’s Brandin Moore. It would not be as easy in the pre-final with the top four drivers forming a train with Brandin Moore, Jim Rucker and Mike Long following within one second of Scharf. In the final, Scharf would quickly take the lead with Moore and Long following closely behind. A second-place battle between Moore and Long would allow Scharf to create a gap on the field. Nebraska’s Long would secure the second position on lap 6 but Scharf already had created enough of a distance to take the victory. Long and Moore would complete the podium with a close battle behind between Craig Loddeke and Jimmy Miller rounding out the top 5.
July 29 – Mid-State Kart Club
September 17 – Gateway Kartplex
September 30 – TNT Kartways
October 21 – 61 Kartway
More Information on Margay’s Ignite Challenge Series