Race Report: Sanzaru Games Karting Championship – Round Eight
Championships Tighten Up In Some Classes, Championships Locked Up In Other Classes
A beautiful warm weekend made for a great weekend of racing for the Sanzaru Games Karting Championships Race #8 at Sonoma Raceway’s Simraceway Performance Karting Center. The difficult and tight Reverse Sprint layout challenged the drivers. In post-race raffles, Sebastiaan Mulder won a set of tires and Derek Domingos a free race entry that was provided by RokCupUSA and Derek also won a motor mount provided by Odenthal Racing Products.
Featured Class – Honda/HPD CRF 250 Shifters
Richard Stock took the poll ahead of Ori Della Penna and Richard Hilleman. In both of the 8 lap Pre-Mains, Stock took the early lead with Della Penna staying very close but not able to see a way by. Thus Stock won both Pre-Mains over Della Penna. In the Main, Stock again took the early lead with Della Penna about 5 kart lengths back. At mid race Della Penna worked himself to the back pumper of Stock and looked for his opportunity to make a clean pass. Della Penna saw an opening and made an attempt but had to back out at the last second otherwise he may have crashed into Stock. By backing out Della Penna fell back five kart lengths back and was not able to reel in the fast Stock and had to settle for the runner up spot. By taking the win, Stock earned a free race and practice for the next race. The three drivers also won Honda Bucks, $100 to Stock, $75 to Della Penna and $40 to Hilleman. Stock is leading the class by 130 points and will lock up Championship if he just shows up at the next race.
Honda/HPD Kid Karts
Kid Karts ran on the Saturday schedule with this race being the 5th of the 6 race Kid Kart season. This turned out to be the most competitive and frantic race this year. Six drivers turned out with Gage Brockway taking the pole in qualifying ahead of Andrew Freire and Casey Moyer. In the Pre-Main, Gage, Andre and Christian Cameron checked out and had a tease battle for the entire 8 lap race. All three took a turn at the front but in the end, Andrew came home 1st, Gage 2nd and Cameron 3rd with only one half second separating the three drivers. In the Main, it was again Gage, Andrew and Christian sprinting away from the other three drivers to have their own race for the front. Again, the front three drivers each took their turn at the front as they ran in a tight group. Near the end with Andrew leading, Cameron made a strong pass with Gage following Christian through to take 2nd. Then top three drivers came up on a slower driver with Christian getting by, but Gage and Andrew came up on the slower kart in a tight hair pin. All three karts spun and had to get running again, but by the time Gage and Andrew got back up to speed, Cameron had a large lead. Christian came home the winner, Andrew 2nd, Gage 3rd, Casey 4th and Sasha Ryabov 5th. The top three drivers earned Honda Bucks of $30/$20/$10. In the Championship chase, Cameron takes over the lead by 30 points over Andrew with Casey another 10 points back.
Sebastian Mulder took pole ahead of Nolan Siegel and Derek Domingos. In the first Pre-Main, Sebastiaan took the early lead and pulled away for a 10 second win, Piers Aspiras 2nd, Derek 3rd and Nolan not making the start due to engine problems. In the second Pre-Main, Sebastiaan again took the early lead with Nolan trying to stay close, but in the end, Sebastiaan took the win, Nolan 2nd and Derek 3rd. In the Main, Sebastiaan made it a clean sweep by taking the early lead again and coming home 1st with a 9 second win, Nolan 2nd, Piers 3rd and Derek 4th.
Molecule Junior Rotax
The Junior Rotax field was the largest of the day with 10 drivers with a tight points battle on the line for the class championship between Aiden O’Neill and Nick Persing. In qualifying, Aiden took the pole ahead of Jovy Levin and Tyler Snow with Nick qualifying back in 6th. In the first heat, Jovy got a great start and goes into the early lead followed by Dustin Salaverria and Aiden with Nick working his way up. Aiden slowly worked his way by to take over the lead and drove onto the win, Dustin got by Jovy to take 2nd, Jovy 3rd, Nick worked his way up to 4th and Tyler 5th. In the second Pre-Main, Aiden and Dustin would battle up front with Nick working his way through. In the end, Aiden took the win, Dustin 2nd only two tenths of a second back, Nick working his way into 3rd, Jovy 4th and Christopher Martin in 5th. In the Main, Nick made a strong move early to take the lead over Aiden with Dustin right behind. These three drivers then opened up a small gap on the rest of the field. Going into the last lap, Dustin tried a pass on Aiden but could not get side by side and he spun which also collected Dakota White. In the end, Nick took the win, Aiden 2nd, Jovy 3rd, Tyler 4th and Christopher 5th. In the Championship battle, Aiden holds a 70 point lead over Nick.
Honda/HPD 80 Masters
The Gang of 8 took the green flag with Allen Miller taking the pole ahead of Roger Cornwall and Stephan Gaudreau. In the first Pre-Main, Miller lead the field into turn one when he, Gaudreau and Geoff Provo spun allowing Cornwall to open up a large gap in front of the rest of the field. Miller and Gaudreau were able to restart and began their chase of the rest of the field. In the end, Cornwall came home the clear winner, Miller worked his way back to 2nd with Doug Lyons taking 3rd. In the second Pre-Main, Miller took the early lead with Roger staying close. In the end, Miller took the win, Cornwall 2nd, Geoff Provo 3rd and Bryan Devert 4th. In the Main, Miller and Cornwall lead the field off the line but Gaudreau made the changes that were required to run up front and he worked his way through the field. In time, Gaudreau worked his way past both Cornwall then Miller then opened up a gap that was not going to be challenged. In the end, Gaudreau took the win, Miller 2nd, Cornwall 3rd, John Collins 4th and Provo 5th. The top three drivers received Honda Bucks of $60/$40/$20. In the Championship chase, Charles Hastings who missed Race #8 has a large lead for the class crown with Allen Miller a strong 2nd with Roger Cornwall and Stephan Gaudreau tied for 3rd.
Junior TaG had the its largest field of drivers this year with all of the karts powered by the Rok engine. In qualifying, Bijoy Garg took the pole ahead of Brennan Stammer and Brendan Ruzbersky. In the first Pre-Main, Gard took the early lead with Stammer right behind with Ruzbersky falling back and Nolan Siegel and William Ferguson battling for 3rd. In the end, Gard took the win, Stammer 2nd, Siegel 3rd and Ferguson 4th. In the second Pre-Main, Stammer worked his way into the lead early with Garg on his heels with Ferguson close behind. In the end, Stammer held on to take the win, Garg 2nd less than one tenth of a second back, Ferguson 3rd, Siegel 4th and Christopher Martin 5th. In the Main, Garg and Stammer battled right from the drop of the green with the two drivers exchanging the lead several times. On lap 12, Garg made a pass for the lead, then with Stammer along side the new leader coming into the next turn when the two karts touched and both crashed. Siegel took over the lead with Ruzbersky and Martin behind. Stammer’s kart was damaged and had to go to the pits with Garg’s slowed due to damage and fell to last. In the end, Siegel took the win, Ruzbersky 2nd, Martin 3rd, Ferguson 4th and Edward Bokov 5th. This was Nolan’s first junior race as he will be moving up to Junior Rok in 2018. This was also Ruzberskys first podium finish in the Series. In the Class Championship, Bryson Lew holds a 105 points lead. Bryson had to skip this race since he was in route to the Rok International Finals in Italy. Bryson will need to run Race #9 on Nov 5 to hold onto his Championship bid. William Ferguson and Christopher Martin are in 2nd and 3rd in points.
Molecule Rotax Micro Max
Molecule Rotax Micro Max saw Harrison Marsh taking the pole ahead of Ayrton Tyler and Adam Friere. In the first Pre-Main, Ayrton took the early lead with Harrison and Adam right behind. Harrison had problems and fell back with Adam and Derek Domingos falling behind the leader. In the end, Ayrton took the win, Adam 2nd, Derek 3rd, and Harrison 4th. In the second Pre-Main, Ayrton and Harrison battled the entire 8 laps of the race with Ayrton taking the win, Harrison less than a half second back, Derek 3rd and Adam 4th. In the Main, Derek came through the pack on the start to take the lead with Ayrton falling back to 4th. By lap 4, Ayrton regained his composure and started making strong clean passes on Harrison then Adam to take over 2nd. Ayrton then patiently make a clean pass on Derek to take over the lead. Derek then spun as he was battling with Adam and Harrison and fell back. In the end, Ayrton took the win, his first Main win in the Series, Adam drove onto a strong 2nd, Harrison came home 3rd, his first podium finish in the Series, Colorado’s Rye Mears 4th and Derek 5th. In the Class Championship chase, Ryan Persing has wrapped up the class crown, expect him to run Mini TaG at the season finale on Nov 5.
Honda/HPD Pro Stock Honda and Stock Honda Masters
Zach Pettinicchi scored the pole in Pro Stock ahead of Kyle Loh, with Kevin Woods taking the pole in Stock Honda Masters and the overall fastest qualifying time, ahead of Patrick O’Neill and Travis Bowles. In the first Pre-Main, the Pro Stock drivers lined up 5 rows in front of the Masters drivers. Zach got away ahead of Kyle with Kevin out dragging Patrick into turn one. Zach opened up a small lead over Kyle. Kevin then got by Kyle which put a barrier between him and Patrick. In the end, Zach took the win, Kevin 2nd, Kyle 3rd, Patrick 4th and Travis 4th. In the second Pre-Main, Zach took the early lead again, Kyle, Kevin and Patrick close behind. Unlike the first Pre-Main, Kevin was not able to find a clean way by Kyle, thus he stayed on Kyle’s rear bumper with Patrick right on Kevin’s rear bumper and looking for a way by to take the Master’s class lead. In the end, Zach took the win, Kyle 2nd, Kevin 3rd, Patrick 4th and Travis 5th. In the Main, Zach again took the early lead with Kevin putting pressure on Kyle for 2nd place. Mid race Kevin was able get by Kyle with Patrick getting by Kyle shortly thereafter. In the end Zack took the overall win and 1st in Pro Stock, Kevin came home 2nd and the Stock Masters win, Patrick 3rd (2nd in Stock Masters), Kyle 4th (2nd in Pro Stock), Travis 5th overall and Lorenzo Tretethen 6th overall. Zach and Kyle took home $75 and $50 in Honda Bucks respectively. Kevin, Patrick and Travis took home Honda Bucks of $75/$50/$30.
Molecule Senior Rotax and Senior TaG
It was Rotax vs. TaG with Alejandro Marquez (Rotax) taking the pole ahead of Dominic Divita (TaG) and Eric Moore (TaG). In the first Pre-Main, Marquez took the early lead and drove onto a 4 second win with Eric Huang (Rotax) working his way into 2nd and Moore 3rd. In the second Pre-Main, Marquez again took the early lead but was chased by Moore the entire way. Marquez took the win, 2 seconds in front of Moore, Divita 3rd and Huang 4th. In the Main, Marquez took the early lead again and drove onto an 8 second win. Huang worked his way into 2nd coming out of turn one but Moore make a clean pass to take over the runner up position with Huang right on his heals for the rest of the race. In the win Marquez took the overall win and the Senior Rotax class win, Moore took 2nd and the TaG win, Huang 3rd (2nd in Rotax), Divita 4th (2nd in TaG) and Arul Venkatesh 5th (3rd in Rotax). This was Eric Moore’s first Senior race. In the Championship chase, Marquez holds an unsurmountable lead in Senior Rotax over Eric Huang.
Molecule Rotax Masters
Billy Cleavelin took the pole ahead of Arturo Pacifico and John Breidinger. In the first Pre-Main, Billy took the early lead with Arturo staying close but in the end Billy took the win, Arturo 2nd and John 3rd. In the second Pre-Main, Billy again took the early lead and drove on to a 4 second victory with Arturo 2nd and Ron Jenkins edging out John for 3rd. In the Main, Billy made it a clean sweep and took the win, Arturo 2nd, John 3rd and Kevin Moore 4th . In the Championship chase, Billy has clinched the class crown but 2nd place is still in play with John holding an edge over Arturo.
This session would turn out to be a race of the generations with two young stars, Enzo Prevost and Mason Cohen, up against two legends of karting, Memo Gidley and Ron White. In qualifying, Memo took the pole ahead of Enzo, Mason and Ron. In the first Pre-Main, Memo controlled the race and drove on to a 4 second win, Mason 2nd, Enzo 3rd and Kyle Loh, subbing for Ron White, taking 4th. In the second Pre-Main, Memo again took the early lead and drove onto a 2 second win over Enzo with Mason 3rd and Kyle 4th. In the Main with all his mechanic duties done, Ron took over the kart that Kyle drove in the Pre-Mains. At the drop of the green flag, the four drivers pressed hard with Enzo, Mason and Ron all taking the lead during the early laps and Memo holding back but stayed close. In the second half of the 12 lap race Memo made his move and worked his way to the front with Ron moving into 2nd so as to stay close. In the end, Memo was able to hold his lead to take the win, Ron coming home 2nd in his first electric kart drive, Enzo 3rd and Mason 4th. Memo and Ron answered the question of which generation is the best, the legends came home ahead of the new stars.
The next and final race of the 2017 season will be November 5 where the track configuration will be the Pro National and the Feature classes will be the Honda/HPD Pro Stock Honda and Honda/HPD Stock Honda Masters. Kid Karts will run at Race #9 as part of the Saturday Practice program.
All results and points can be seen on the series website at www.sanzarukarting.com.