The Rotax CAN-AM ProKart Challenge wrapped up season two on Sunday in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Following successful rounds on American soil in Richland, Washington along with McMinnville and Canby, Oregon, the CAN-AM crossed the Canadian border for the season finale.
Two excellent race days and the awarding of the Rotax Grand Finals tickets highlighted the weekend. A unique mixture of Rotax, Shifter and Briggs & Stratton classes created a unique atmosphere all weekend long with enthusiastic race coverage over the PA system keeping everyone entertained.
Here is how Sunday shook down on track and in the championships.
Break Through for Artie Carpenter in Rotax Senior
Sunday’s final kicked off with a bang as pole sitter Artie Carpenter (BF Racing/TonyKart) grabbed the lead into corner one and Kris Hofbeck (RaceLab/Formula K) was turned sideways through corner 1B, scattering karts everywhere. Lap two saw Marco Eakins (BF Racing/FA Kart) dove to the lead in corner one as the two leaders duked it out.
Lap three saw Eakins attempt the out-brake Carpenter into corner three, but this time he overshot his entry, allowing Carpenter to resume the lead, Luke Selliken (RPG/Kosmic) into second and Eakins back to seventh when he regained his momentum.
That was all Carpenter needed as he cruised from there. Selliken held station in second all the way to the finish as well, while Eakins battled back to finish third, overtaking Hoffbeck, Derek Wang (FA Kart), Dalton Eggar (TonyKart) and Hailey Groff (RPG/Kosmic) in the late stages of the race.
After securing the championship on Saturday, Jake Craig (2Wild/TonyKart) opted to sit out the racing on Sunday. With the final points tallied, it was Craig followed by Selliken and Canadian Bryce Choquer (BBR/Kosmic) on the championship podium.
Austin Versteeg Confirms Championship with Rotax Junior Win
Once again we saw a battle between Austin Versteeg (RPG/Kosmic) and Sting Ray Robb (BBR/TonyKart) in Rotax Junior. The two have pushed each other to their limits all weekend long and Sunday was no different. Entering the final day, Kyle Wick (RPG/Kosmic) held a marginal lead over Sting Ray Robb for second in the Championship. With Versteeg already qualified for the Rotax Grand Finals, it would come down to the battle for second to decide who would join Team USA in Valencia, Spain.
From the pole-position, Robb led the way to green in the Final with Versteeg slotting in behind him. Kyle Wick (RPG/Kosmic) and Kellen Ritter (BBR/Kosmic) held their second row positions through the first lap as well, while action behind them shook up the running order.
Unlike Saturday, Versteeg went to the lead early, diving to the inside in corner five to overtake Robb. As the laps clicked off, the front five remained in order as Robb planted himself on the rear bumper of Versteeg, with a gap back to Wick, then Ritter, then Annie Breidinger (Kosmic).
With a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals on his mind, Robb maintained his position in second all the way to the finish line while producing the fastest lap of the race. Versteeg scored the win, confirming his class championship and Wick crossed the line in third.
With just enough points, Sting Ray Robb overtook Wick on the final day of competition to earn his first ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals.
Marco Kacic Breaks Austin Torgerson’s Streak in Mini-Max
For the first time in two weekends, Austin Torgerson (Ruthless/TonyKart) found himself under pressure in a Final race. Canadian Marco Kacic (PSL West/CRG) challenged Torgerson throughout the Sunday Final, leading a majority of the laps. As the two traded the top position in the closing laps the tension on the sidelines was building with championship implications on the line.
Side by side the two crossed the stripe as the white flag flew to signal the final lap. Kacic grabbed the advantage through corner one, but Torgerson took it back in corner three. Drag racing through sector two, the two entered the lightbulb section of corners eight and nine rubbing tires until one kart had to give. It ended up being Torgerson, spinning off just before corner ten.
Kacic claimed the win, with Edward Portz (BBR/Kosmic) accepting the second position and Connor Wick (RPG/Kosmic) third with Torgerson returning to the racing surface and eventually crossing in the fifth position.
When the championship points were tallied, Torgerson scored just enough in Chilliwack to hold on and take the title over Portz with Wick standing on the third step.
More to come.