Fourth Round of Los Angeles Karting Championship In the Books
Southern California karting program nearing the halfway point of 2018
The Los Angeles Karting Championship is closing in on the end of the first half for the 2018 season following Round Four contested on May 20. Over 160 entries continues to be the pattern of 2018, bringing together many of the top racers from Southern California and around the west coast to the CalSpeed Karting Center in Fontana, California each month. This event was extra special, as many used it as a warm-up for the Superkarts! USA California ProKart Challenge event that was set for the first weekend in June. A number of streaks continued with a handful of new winners taking the top step of the podium. Two drivers did it twice, with Billy Musgrave and John Crow able to pull off a double win event in their respective categories.
Musgrave won his fourth straight in the Baldozier Racing S1 Pro Stock Honda division over Christian Brooks and Matias Podboj. Musgrave nearly scored the win in the Nash Motorsportz X30 Senior Pro class at Round Three. Round Four began terrible with Musgrave unable to complete a lap at speed, as veteran driver Matt Jaskol scored the fast time in qualifying in his first LAKC start of 2018. Championship leader Ethan Barrett worked his way to the point and the win in the Prefinal over Jaskol, while Musgrave advanced up to fifth. Barrett led the first three laps until Musgrave completed his charge from the back to the front, taking the lead and going on to score his first victory in the class on the season. Joseph Daniele moved up to second in his 2018 LAKC debut, dropping Barrett to third on the podium. Alex Siragusa ran fourth with Henry Morse in fifth.
Crow earned his fourth straight in both the PKS S4 Super Master Stock Honda division and iKart West Briggs 206 Master class. Crow was perfect on the day in each division. He outran Warren Kindberg by 14 seconds in the S4SM category with Myan Spaccarelli rounding out the podium. Carl Lewis and Steve Donia finished fourth and fifth. Crow matched similar results in the 206 race group, winning overall while beating out Joon Maeng and Mikey Griffin for the class victory.
The P1 Engines Mini Swift class welcomed its fourth different winner on the season, showing just how competitive the 21-kart field was at Round Four. Parker DeLong and Kai Sorensen, each making their first LAKC starts for 2018, were separated by just 43 thousandths of a second in qualifying. DeLong held the advantage with fast lap and led the field to the green flag in the Prefinal. The two went back and forth for the lead over the 10 laps, with Sorensen scoring the win while AJ Matheson slipped past DeLong on the final circuit. Sorensen took the pole position and led all 18 laps in the Final for the victory by nearly five seconds. The battle for second ended with championship leader Jesus Vasquez Jr. earning the spot ahead of Cooper Hicks with Kasey Gillis and Mathias Coito rounding out the top-five.
It was the same in the Ryan Perry Motorsport X30 Junior Expert division with a fourth different victor for 2018 as Jace Denmark-Gessel emerged as the winner. Championship leader Bryce Stevens was the top driver during the first half of the day, edging out the 15-driver field in qualifying for fast lap before holding off Round Two winner Alan Tang for the Prefinal win. JDG finished that race in third, putting him in position to challenge for the main event win. Stevens led the 18-lap race for the first four laps until Tang and Denmark-Gessel went back and forth for the lead. On the final circuit, Jace secured the victory over Tang with Stevens rounding out the podium. International drivers Joey Brienza finished fourth with Colin Queen in fifth.
The 2 Wild Karting X30 Senior Intermediate class did welcome a new winner in Gregory DiMaggio. Sitting third in the standings entering the weekend, DiMaggio scored perfect points with a sweep of Round Four, including fast lap of the main event en route to a near eight-second margin. Title contender Cody Diggs was second with Michel Manning rounding out the podium while Ian Bland and Lauran Adams completed the top-five. Point leader Yuki Tanaka scored last place points in 11th, unable to complete a lap in the main event.
John Antonino won for a third time in 2018 in the Empire Karts Micro Swift category. After winning the first two rounds of year, Antonino was shut down in Round Three. He returned to sweep Round Four to earn a perfect points day. The event was highlighted by his over five-second victory in the main event, leading all 18 laps. Keagan Kaminski kept himself in the title chase with a runner-up finish ahead of Max Repolust. Rocky Moran and Gavyn Decuir placed fourth and fifth.
Mad Old Nut S2 Semi-Pro Stock Honda class saw Keawn Tandon add to his championship lead with victory in Round Four. The event was a battle with Royal McKee, making his first start of the 2018 season. Tandon took the top honors in qualifying before McKee took the win in the Prefinal. The holeshot went to Tandon, as he led all 18 laps for the victory. McKee settled for second with Vivek Tandon rounding out the podium. It was a similar situation in the MRC S3 Novice Stock Honda division with championship leaders Eddie Tafoya and Jacob Pope going back and forth. Tafoya earned the 10-point bonus for fast time in qualifying while Pope edged out for the 50 points for a win in the Prefinal. Pope’s day came to an end on lap seven, leaving Tafoya alone out front for his third victory of the season. Vicente Salas and Jake Franklin joined him on the podium.
The streak continues for Rob Logan in the Kimball Williams Racing S4 Master Stock Honda class, earning a third straight. After missing the opening round, Logan has been perfect for three rounds. Round Four was a sweep, earning maximum points to maintain as the championship leader. Javier Colombo was second with Adrian Yong in third. Slava Prikhodko remains the driver to beat in the Phil Giebler Racing Open Shifter Pro category. Prikhodko swept the day, holding off Round One winner Tyler Coffman for his second victory of the season. Coffman got the fast lap honors, while Jesse Romer placed third.
IAME USA West KA100 Senior class matched its highest count total of the season with seven drivers at Round Four. Luis Perez added another victory to his credit on the year to remain the top driver in the point standings. Perez secured fast time in qualifying before Henry Falls-Hand, making his second start of the year, took the win in the Prefinal. Falls-Hand lead the opening circuits until Perez took over, leading the remainder of the race for the victory. Jared Caylor placed third to remain in the title chase.
Branden Bell helped his championship hopes by adding to his lead with victory at Round Four in the Mike Manning Karting X30 Master class. Championship contender Steve Martin broke up the perfect score on the day for Bell, earning fast time in qualifying. Bell bounced back with the win in the Prefinal and holding off Jonathan Silva at the checkered flag for the victory. Silva recorded the fast lap in the main event in his runner-up performance while Martin completed the podium.
Jeremy Giles became a first-time winner in the Mack Motorsports Briggs 206 Senior division. After Maximilian Bui recorded fast time in qualifying, Giles bested the field in both the Prefinal and Final. Josh Todd led the majority of the Final with Giles able to grab the lead at the end, reaching the checkered flag first by 84 thousandths of a second. Bui rounded out the podium in third.
Other winners on the day include:
Mike Manning Karting X30 Super Master: Larry Hayashigawa
Superkarts! USA KA100 Master: Robert Perez
Italcorse S5 Junior Stock Honda: Cash Baxley
MDG X30 Junior Novice: Hunter Hicks
Formula Works Honda Kid Kart Expert: Zate Legend
Formula Works Honda Kid Kart Novice: Sebastian Cortes
The 2018 Los Angeles Karting Championship season resumes with Round Five, scheduled for June 24 at the CalSpeed Karting Center facility. For more about the Los Angeles Karting Championship program, please visit LAKC.org and ‘Like’ them on Facebook and follow on Instagram.