Race Recap: GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge Round 4, May 26
Friday evening’s Round 4 of the GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge kicked off the series’ Memorial Day weekend double-header event. In a non-traditional format for the series, competitors had the opportunity to compete in two heat races that would set the grid for their final race under the lights. Excited by both the challenging format and the chance to race twice in a single weekend, 129 karters entered Round 4 of the 12-Round club championship series.
Congrats to all Round 4 winners: Brent Crews (Briggs LO206 Cadet), Jadyn Daniels (Briggs LO206 Junior), Zachary Linsell (Briggs LO206 Senior), Taylor Stanford (IAME KA100 Junior), Ashley Rogero (IAME KA100 Senior), Sebastian NG (IAME Mini Swift), Brent Crews (IAME Swift), Tyler Gonzalez (IAME Junior), Blake Hunt (IAME Senior), Luke Stroud (IAME Heavy).
IAME Swift Division:
In the IAME Swift Division final event, 14 young karters took the green with Brent Crews on the point and pulling away. Behind him, the battle was on with Tyler Wettengel improving to second over William Robusto. Immediately after completing the pass for second, Wettengel and Robusto began to work together in the draft to reel in Crews. As laps wound down, the desire to work together turned competitive with Robusto overtaking Wettengel with a full head of speed entering Turn One for second position. Wettengel wasn’t backing down, taking second place back the following lap. This time, Wettengel was able to put a decent gap back to third place of now Jacob Graham. In a final lap, final turn battle, Graham forced his way into second, dropping Wettengel to third. Crews was able to score the win by nearly three seconds.
IAME Heavy Division Sponsored by Stitch98:
In the IAME Heavy Division 15-lap final, Luke Stroud showed the way over Todd Shambo. Stroud was able to lead from flag-to-flag to score the win. Shambo finished second and Chris Hamilton in third.
IAME Junior Division:
In the IAME Junior Division 15-lap final, it was Caleb Bacon versus Tyler Gonzalez for the top-two spots. The two drivers broke away from the field, creating a nearly three second gap. Gonzalez moved past Bacon for the top position entering Turn Four, but Bacon battled back to retake the lead. Their battle allowed Luca Mars and Tyler Maxson to completely close the gap and even begin contending for the win. Just after halfway, it was as if someone pushed, “Go” with the top-four pack of drivers swapping for the top spot nearly every lap. Division youngster, Mars, took the lead, but was far from home free as laps wound down. The final two laps of the race proved to be some of the best racing of the night. On the final lap, Gonzalez went to the lead in Turn Four as Mars and Maxson ran wide. Gonzalez held on for the win, followed by Bacon and Mars.
Briggs LO206 Senior Division Sponsored by Todd Shockman RV Sales:
A huge field of 24 entries brought the rumble as the green flag flew. Zachary Linsell led the four-kart group of frontrunners, including Billy Duff, Daniel Koehler and Alex Keadle. Early in the race, the group seemed content to allow Linsell to lead the pack, with no driver willing to break the draft and attempt a move for position. After halfway, things heated up on track with lap traffic allowing Linsell to put distance between himself and second place of Keadle. Linsell went on to score the win by nearly a second, followed by Keadle in second and Koehler in third.
IAME Senior Division Sponsored by CNC Performance Engineering:
A total of 17 drivers came to life under the lights as they took the green for the IAME Senior 17-lap final. Ashley Rogero wasted no time pushing her way to the front to take the lead. However, by just lap two, Blake Hunt charged into the top spot with a power move into Turn One, passing Rogero. Hunt kept that speed rolling, improving his lead by nearly a second over Rogero. However, with just four laps to go, Rogero began clocking the fastest laps of the race and reeling Hunt’s lead in to less than a half-second. With two laps to go, Rogero diminished Hunt’s lead to just a kart-length back. Although giving it her all, Rogero was just not quite able to catch and pass Hunt, allowing him to score the victory and Rogero settled for second. In third was Devin Boutot.
IAME Mini Swift Division:
In the IAME Mini Swift 11-lap final, Caleb Gafrarar led the way with Sebastian NG locked to his bumper. NG continued to knock on Gafrarar’s door with a bump to the bumper into Turn Eight lap after lap. At the halfway mark, the fight was far from over, but Gafrarar wasn’t rattled, continuing to hit his marks. On the final lap, NG made a last-lap attempt and took the lead in Turn Eight. However, Gafrarar battled back when NG over-blocked in Turn Nine. In an all-out attempt, NG overtook Gafrarar in the final turn coming to the checkered flag to score the victory. Gafrarar settled for a close second and Adam Brickley finished third.
Briggs LO206 Junior Division:
In the Briggs LO206 Junior division, Jadyn Daniels completed her perfect day with a final win after winning both heat races. Jon Seiler finished second.
Briggs LO206 Cadet Division:
In the Briggs LO206 Cadet Division 11-lap final, Brent Crews easily strolled to a lengthy lead over the field, but he had Bree Miller in tow, locked to his bumper during the entire first half of the race. At the halfway point, Crews used the draft of a lap kart to put distance between him and Miller. Miller wasn’t giving up easily, rallying to close the gap back in just a lap. Miller didn’t stop there, making a power-move into Turn One to overtake Crews and take the lead with just three laps remaining in the race. On the white flag lap, Miller was in command through the first three corners. However, Crews passed for the lead into Turn Four, only to be passed back by Miller into Turn Eight. Crews answered her back with the final pass of the race into Turn Nine, giving him the win. Miller settled for a hard-fought second place and Alan Voth rounded out the podium.
IAME KA100 Junior Division:
In the KA100 Junior Division 13-lap final, Taylor Stanford led the way, trailed closely by Talan Drake. It appeared that Drake was setting up Stanford for a last-lap pass, but he may have waited too long. Stanford strolled away with the win, followed by Drake in second and Jadyn Daniels in third.
IAME KA100 Senior Division:
In the KA100 Senior Division, Dusty Davis and Ashley Rogero quickly made it a two-kart race, gapping the field by nearly five seconds. Rogero wasted no time making her pass on Davis before halfway in Turn Eight. Behind the leaders, sparks were flying in the battle for third. In a wild Turn Eight shake-up, Chuck Tate went spinning, causing a pile-up that allowed Luke Wallace to secure third place. With two laps to go, Davis passed Rogero back for the top spot. Rogero waited until the final lap in Turn Eight to maneuver her way through a black thrown by Davis to secure the lead and the win. Davis finished second and Wallace in third.