Under dark and gloomy skies in Chilliwack, British Columbia drivers from the Rotax CAN-AM ProKart Challenge invaded the Greg Moore Raceway for the final round of the 2014 championship. With tickets to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals on the line in three classes, there was still plenty to race for entering the weekend in Chilliwack.
Here is a recap of Saturday’s competition.
Initially all five Micro-Max drivers were duking it out as the youngest competitors of the weekend were putting on a show. But around the halfway mark, Josh Pierson (TonyKart) and Cooper Becklin (FA Kart) were able to break away.
The two exchanged the lead often as both drivers wanted to control the race from the point, allowing Ashton Torgerson (KGB) and Ryan Dezall (Kosmic) to inch closer to the leaders, but a fight amongst those two helped keep the front two away from striking distance.
Pierson scored the win, just ahead of Becklin at the line with the Canadian Dezall snagging the final podium spot from Torgerson and another Canadian Jason Leung (TonyKart) in fifth.
Austin Torgerson (TonyKart) continued his reign at GMR in the Mini-Max division. The Oregon driver swept all three race days in last weekends Western Canadian Championship and he continued the trend on Saturday, scoring another huge victory.
Marco Kacic (PSL West/CRG) posted the fastest time in Qualifying and backed it up in the PreFinal, but a tough start forced Kacic to recover while Torgerson broke away.
Even though Kacic was able to track down the leader, he wasn’t able to make a move as Torgerson scored the win, Kacic second and Conner Wick (RPG/Kosmic) grabbing the third spot on the final lap, overtaking Edward Portz (BBR/Kosmic). Alberta’s Tyler Kozma (RPG/Kosmic) was fifth and Carsen Kunz (Kosmic) was sixth.
Seventeen karts lined up in Rotax Junior with a handful of drivers from last weekends Western Canadian Championship sticking around for the Can-Am.
In qualifying Austin Versteeg (RPG/Kosmic) of Utah and Sting Ray Robb (BBR/Kosmic) of Idaho were well ahead of the competion with Versteeg’s fastest lap over a half-second quicker than drivers from third place back.
In the Rotax Senior division, qualifying and the PreFinal was paced by Oregon’s Artie Carpenter (BF Racing/TonyKart). But in the Final, California’s Jake Craig (2 Wild/TonyKart) was able to grab the lead in the race, leaving Carpenter to fight for second early on.
Andrew Alfonso (RPG/Kosmic) went flag to flag in the Max Masters Final on Saturday, beating John Breidinger (FA Kart) to the finish line by twenty-four seconds. Chad Wallace (Kosmic) was only able to complete four laps but still finished third.
Canadian John Buzza just needed to start his DD2 machine in order to secure the class championship and he did just that. With the title, Buzza joins Team Canada for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Valencia, Spain this year and will compete in the Rotax DD2 class.
One of the most exciting races of the day brought many to the fences at GMR.
Briggs LO206 featured an intense lead battle between Derek Wang (FA Kart), Jacob Gulick (Swiss Hutless) and David Shorn (Swiss Hutless), where the Juniors and Seniors run at the same weight and power.
The two Swiss Hutless teammates did all they could to team up and break away from Wang, but veteran Rotax racer kicked himself in the mix of things. A late race shootout had Wang defend his lead position all the way to finish line to take the win. Shorn wound up second, only 0.06 seconds behind Wang at the finish line, while Gulick claimed the Junior class win. Bryan Green crossed in fourth overall, but third in the Seniors, with Kyle Adams fifth and Blake Choquer sixth.
The early laps of the Shifter Final featured an exciting battle between Marco Eakins (ART GP) and and Kory Estell (CRG). Estell was much quicker, but Eakins did all he could for five laps to maintain the lead until he ultimately couldn’t hang on any longer.
Behind the lead two S2 drivers, Austin Versteeg (RPG/Kosmic) led the S5 contingent. Keeping a safe distance between himself and Albeta’s Even White (TonyKart), Versteeg cruised to victory, finishing second overall behind Estell.
Tyler Shepard (CRG) finished fourth overall, but first in class for the S4 drivers, ahead of Doug Taylor (Arrow).
Eakins, Sara Brinkac (Vemme Kart) and Justin Taylor (Arrow) were all DNF’s.