Event Preview: IKF Northern California Sprint Kart Series – Santa Maria

California and hot temperatures is a normal thing, as is the remedy for that situation: go to the beach! For Karting in this state, that means you go to the track closest to the coast, where cooler temps and on shore breezes make sure the only thing hot is the action on track. That track is none other than Santa Maria Kart Track, and the home of round #4 of the IKF NorCal Sprint Kart Series July 14-16, where the championship battles will be as much the talking point as the win itself.

Santa Maria is a mainstay kart track in California, hosting everything from local series to regional, and even the 2020 IKF Grand Nationals. The 7/10 of a mile circuit has a little bit of everything to challenge drivers; a long sweeping front straight, chicanes, hairpins, and even its own unique corner: the Snakepit. That corner has caught out more than one driver over the years, and is crucial to not only getting a good lap, but getting a run onto the front straight, amplifying your chance for a pass going into turn 1.

The racing is sure to continue the exciting trend set thus far in the 2023 campaign, but as was mentioned, the valuable points that are up for grabs will certainly be on the minds of the drivers towards the front of the standings. With this being the penultimate round in the championship, it is starting to become clear who are the contenders for the title (and the prize package with it), and who is simply going for glory on the weekend.

In Jr 1 206 presented by Speedsense Motorsports, consistency has been the name of the game for the drivers atop the standings, with Kayden Williams leading the way over Aidan Go, and Floyd Frisby. Frisby won round #1 at Prairie City, and then bounced back from a tough round #2 at Buttonwillow in May, with a podium last month in Medford. Speaking of Medford, point leader Kayden Williams is fresh off win number one on the season just a short three weeks ago, his second podium of the year as well. But the driver in third has gone 3 for 3 in the hardware, and after a drop is put into the math, is just 20 points behind Williams.

Junior 2 206 presented by Cole Nelson Racing/Invader will be an exciting one to watch, not just because of the championship, but because of a real shot at another new face on the top step. In the points, Derek Dimandja has been the clear consistent factor across the first three events, winning at round #1, snagging a another podium with a third in Buttonwillow, before getting back on top of the box for win #2 in Medford. Nate Spitz sits 2nd after also scoring hardware in all three events so far, but has had to work from the back on more than one occasion, and he doesn’t have the totals of his primary rival. This will be a crucial weekend in his bid for the championship. Third in the standings is a driver that looked to have found a little more in Medford, as Jameson Gwinup made it 2/3 for podiums on the year with a P2 to go along with his third at Prairie City in April. A pair of drivers look to spoil the party this weekend however, Buttonwillow standouts Stephen Searock and Gavin McCune. Searock fought at the front all weekend long at the event -eventually crossing the line 4th- while McCune Swept day 1 and was leading the Prefinal when a mechanical saw him sidelined early. Look for both drivers to be in the mix this weekend.

Three different drivers have brought home the win so far in Senior 206 presented by GFC, and this weekend could very well see that number bump to four with a solid field of drivers on the docket. Round #1 winner Kade Godbehere came up just short on VLR stablemate David Vasquez at round #2, and with both absent from Medford, it was another VLR driver continuing the streak for the brand as William Wallis claimed his maiden victory. The points scenario is a bit more convoluted here too, as while Godbehere looks to be further down in 5th, if you drop 1 event, he bumps back into the conversation. The most consistent across all three events however is the man atop the standings after a pair of 3rd place finishes and a 5th to round out his three scores: Travis Mitchell. Travis looked to be the one to beat in Medford, but had to settle for solid points; look for a rebound run at Santa Maria this weekend. And don’t count out local talent Sophia Storey. She knows the Santa Maria Kart Track like the back of her hand, and even won a Duffy here at the 202 IKF Grand Nationals…

And while those three classes have certainly headlined the storylines up to this point, entries continue to roll in for what is sure to be an exciting and fun-filled weekend, with absolutely perfect weather waiting to greet the NCSKS this weekend!

Online registration is open through the end of today, with on site registration opening up on site as well at 7am. Friday welcomes competitors with move in the morning, before structured practice begins at noon. Saturday and Sunday will see full days of racing, with Practice, qualy and 2 heats on day 1, with a warm up, Pre-Final and Final to cap things off on the weekend. See below for the full event schedule:

Event Schedule – Round #4
Friday July 14
Gates Open: 7am
Parking/Setup: 7am-9pm
Registration: 7am-5pm
Official Practice 12pm-6pm

Session One

12:00 – Jr 1 206

12:15 – Jr/Sr 206

12:30 – Masters/Legends

12:45 – KA/80/Shifter

Session Two

1:00 – Jr 1 206

1:15 – Jr/Sr 206

1:30 – Masters/Legends

1:45 – KA/80/Shifter

Session Three

2:00 – Jr 1 206

2:15 – Jr/Sr 206

2:30 – Masters/Legends

2:45 – KA/80/Shifter

Session Four

3:00 – Jr 1 206

3:15 – Jr/Sr 206

3:30 – Masters/Legends

3:45 – KA/80/Shifter

Session Five

4:00 – Jr 1 206

4:15 – Jr/Sr 206

4:30 – Masters/Legends

4:45 – KA/80/Shifter

Session Six

5:00 – Jr 1 206

5:15 – Jr/Sr 206

5:30 – Masters/Legends

5:45 – KA/80/Shifter

Saturday July 15
Gates Open: 6am
Registration: 7am
8:15 – Drivers Meeting
Warm Up (Transponders Mandatory)

9:00 – Jr 1 206

9:12 – Jr 2 206

9:24 – 125 Shifter

9:36 – 206 Legends/Masters

9:48 – 206 Sr

Qualifying (10 Minutes Open)

10:00 – Jr 1 206

10:12 – Jr 2 206

10:24 – 125 Shifter

10:36 – 206 Legends/Masters

10:48 – 206 Sr

11:00-11:30 – Break/National Anthem

Heat 1 (12 Laps)

11:40 – Jr 1 206

11:55 – Jr 2 206

12:10 – 125 Shifter

12:25 – 206 Legends/Masters

12:40 – 206 Sr

Heat 2 (15 Laps)

12:50 – Jr 1 206

1:08 – Jr 2 206

1:26 – 125 Shifter

1:44 – 206 Legends/Masters

2:02 – 206 Sr

Sunday July 16
Gates Open: 6am
Warm Up (6 min)

8:00 – Jr 1 206

8:08 – Jr 2 206

8:16 – 125 Shifter

8:24 – 206 Legends/Masters

8:32 – 206 Sr

Pre Final (15 Laps)

8:45 – Jr 1 206

9:03 – Jr 2 206

9:21 – 125 Shifter

9:39 – 206 Legends/Masters

9:57 – 206 Sr

10:15-10:45 – Break

Final (22 Laps)

10:45 – Jr 1 206

11:10 – Jr 2 206

11:35 – 125 Shifter

12:00 – 206 Legends/Masters

12:25 – 206 Sr

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