Two Races in Three Weeks Complete as ROK Sonoma Presented by Sanzaru Shifts to the Next Round August 22-23
Typically running one event a month in previous season championships, the ROK Sonoma Presented by Sanzaru kicked off 2020 with two event weekends in three weeks. Operating under guidelines from state and track officials, racers came out in droves as karting returned to Sonoma Raceway during the COVID-19 pandemic. Practicing social distancing at all times and spaced out in the paddock, it was far from spaced out on the racetrack as competitors battled wheel-to-wheel for results after an overly long off season.
125 Shifter Limited & 80 Masters
Veteran driver Memo Gidley found the winning touch in the 125cc Shifter Limited class dominating the main event to take the win. Scoring a perfect day that included the pole position and two heat race wins, Gidley showed why he has been as successful as he has in his motorsports career laying down fast and consistent race laps to drive to the checkered. Steven Piggot was the best of the rest with a solid second place performance as Roger Cornwell outpaced Trevor Geter and Gregory Hoff for the third step of the podium. Tom Nelson scored the 80cc Shifter Master victory.
Micro ROK & Micro Swift
In the Micro ROK ranks, Landon Cordero-Dolph could not repeat his round one victory as he scored a second-place result and the fastest lap after following round two winner Cason Hodge across the line in the fifteen-lap main event. Mateo Calderon joined Cordero-Dolph and Hodge on the podium with a third-place result after scoring the Micro ROK pole position and two heat race wins earlier that day. Jaxon Porter topped the podium blocks in Micro Swift claiming the class victory by .078 in the closest finish of the day. Drag racing the pole position winner and double heat race victor Brody Budelli to the checkered flag, Porter was able to claim the win with Julian Sanchez finishing third.
Christian Cameron continued his winning ways in Mini ROK making it two-for-two to start the season. Garnering his second win in as many weekends after taking the heat two victory, Cameron has quickly become the early championship favorite. Alex Rantala claimed the day’s pole position and heat one win as he joined Cameron on the podium in second while Anthony White added his second third place result in as many races to kick start his season. Greyson Shobert and Derek Domingos rounded out the top-five.
Junior, Senior & Masters 100cc
In the fifteen-driver strong 100cc Senior class, Michael Michoff laid down the session’s fastest lap en route to the round two win. Claiming the win 2.604 ahead of Michael Avansino, it was a who’s who of California karting with Joey Brienza, Blake Nash and Jenson Altzman finding their way to top-five finishes. Michoff and Brienza also scored heat race wins while Avansino was the fastest driver in the one and only qualifying session on the weekend to secure the class pole position.
It was all Chase Hand in the 100cc Junior class until the day’s main event where he failed to make it to the finish. Showing his true strength on the weekend, Hand claimed the pole position and two heat race wins before retiring only four laps into the main event. Opening the door for Cooper O’Clair, the eventual race winner responded with the fastest lap of the main event as he drove to the win by .527. Andrew Freire and Matthew Fecko were other benefactors of Hand’s misfortune, finding themselves in second and third when the day came to a close while Stephen Eisert and JC Perez finished fourth and fifth respectively. Ron Jenkins scored a perfect day in the 100cc Masters class with the pole position, two heat race wins, main event victory and fastest lap. Flexing his muscles throughout the weekend, Jenkins took a 9.52 second win over Pat Beckley and Kevin Moore with Roman Alekseenkov in fourth and Ivan Lvov classified in fifth.
Junior ROK, Senior ROK & Master ROK
Ryan Martin was the driver on top at the end of round two in ROK Senior taking a commanding win over Dominic Giansiracusa and Jack Harmuth. Round one winner Tyler Snow claimed points towards his championship run with a fourth-place result as Tavish McGrain finished fifth after securing the pole position in qualifying. In the ROK Junior class it was Timothy Carel and Flavio Aquini who would battle for the win with Carel getting the best of the duo as namesake Chris Carel would do the same in the ROK Masters class to take the win, putting two Carels on the podium in two different classes.
Senior ROK Shifter
Qualifying second was the only session on the day where Hunter Pickett would not see his name at the top of the result charts. Once the wheel-to-wheel action began, Pickett rocketed his way to the point and scored the two heat race wins before laying down the fastest lap in the main event to drive to the win. Cole Shade would get the best of Pickett in qualifying topping the charts in the twelve-driver class and turned that pole position into a second-place finish. Aidan O’Neil placed himself on the podium with a solid third place effort while William Ferguson and Brenden Ruzbarksy ended their weekend fourth and fifth.
Master ROK Shifter
Kevin Woods was another driver to sweep the day as he did so in the Master ROK Shifter class taking the three on track wins following his pole position. Neil Joseph finished 7.277 in arears of Woods to earn the second step of the podium while Patrick O’Neill was third. Nick George and Vivek Tandon battled for the fourth position with George earning the spot.
“We now enjoy a few weeks away from the track, though I know a lot of us would rather be there during this difficult time,” explained Steve Cameron. “We urge competitors, teams and their families to stay safe, and we can’t wait to see you at round three.”
The third round of the 2020 ROK Sonoma Presented by Sanzaru takes place August 22nd and 23rd at Sonoma Raceway. For more information, visit ROK Sonoma Presented by Sanzaru online via their Facebook page by searching ROK Sonoma or at their website www.sanzarukarting.com.
Lastly, ROK Sonoma is pleased to announce we have a new track photographer this season, Apex Pix, James Kim and his side-kick Jason Laurea will be wandering the track on race days. Check them out @ apexpix.com and Instagram Apex707photography.