Race Recap: GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge Round 8, Aug. 5
Round 8 of the 12-Round GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge championship series featured 109 competitors across 10 divisions racing into the night and under the lights for the last night race of the season.
Congrats to all Round 8 winners: Brent Crews (Briggs LO206 Cadet), Austin Williamson (Briggs LO206 Junior), Connor Tebbe (Briggs LO206 Senior), Taylor Stanford (IAME KA100 Junior), Ashley Rogero (IAME KA100 Senior), Caleb Gafrarar (IAME Mini Swift), Will Robusto (IAME Swift), Gray Leadbetter (IAME Junior), Blake Hunt (IAME Senior), Steve Frank (IAME Heavy).
IAME Swift Division:
In the IAME Swift Division, Brent Crews looked to make it a perfect day by leading the opening laps of the final after winning the pole in qualifying the pre-final earlier in the day. Behind him in second, Will Robusto looked to upset Crews’ day, chasing down Crews and closing onto his bumper just before halfway. Robusto made his pass for the lead on Crews with just six laps to go. Crews immediately locked to Robusto’s rear bumper. With two laps to go, Crews overtook Robusto entering Turn One to take back the top spot. However, on the final lap, Robusto delivered the final pass of the race to secure the win exiting Turn Four. Crews settled for second and Eli Trull rounded out the podium in third.
IAME Heavy Division Sponsored by Stitch 98:
In the IAME Heavy Division 14-lap final, Steve Frank worked his way to the lead with a nearly half-second gap back to second place of Lance Witt. Frank continued his dominanting run to score the victory, followed by Luke Stroud in second and Logan Cozzie in third.
IAME Junior Division:
In the IAME Junior Division 13-lap final, Isabella Robusto strolled out to the early lead. A close duel between Pauly Massimino and Gray Leadbetter allowed Robusto to pull away slightly. However, by just lap three, Massimino forced his way into the lead entering Turn Eight with Leadbetter in tow. This dropped Robusto from first to third. The race was far from over, though. Leadbetter made her move for the lead around Massimino and did one better by putting over a half-second gap between her and Massimino. The following lap, Robusto also passed Massimino entering Turn One and set her sights on reeling in Leadbetter. However, Leadbetter’s lead was too great for Robusto to close on, allowing Leadbetter to stroll away with the win. Robusto settled for second and Massimino finished in third.
Briggs LO206 Senior Division:
In the Briggs LO206 Senior division’s 13-lap final, Corey Towles set the pace in front of a nose-to-tail group of the top-four karts. Towles had led the entire race even with heavy pressure from Connor Tebbe on his rear bumper. However, on the final lap in Turn Four, Tebbe overtook Towles for the top spot. Tebbe held on to score the win, followed by Towles in second and Dan Koehler in third.
IAME Senior Division Sponsored by CNC Performance Engineering:
In the IAME Senior 17-lap final, sparks flew as the 18-kart field raced into the night under the lights. Nick Johnston was able to get ahold of the lead and even put a gap between himself and the four-wide battle for second place behind him. However, it wasn’t long before Phil Arscott had reeled in Johnston’s lead and made a pass for the top spot. Arscott paced the field as laps wound down with just a kart-length gap back to Johnston in second. With two laps to go, Johnston and Arscott made heavy contact that collected them both, removing them from contention. The lead fell into Ashley Rogero’s lap, but it was Blake Hunt who snuck by to take the surprise-win. Rogero settled for second and Chase Dow finished in third.
IAME KA100 Junior Division:
In the KA100 Junior Division 13-lap final, Talan Drake and Taylor Stanford quickly became the drivers to beat out front. Drake had nearly led a flawless race from flag-to-flag before Stanford made a last-lap pass in Turn Four to overtake Drake, giving Stanford the win. Drake settled for second and Donald Whorton II in third.
IAME KA100 Senior Division:
In the KA100 Senior Division, Ashley Rogero set the pace for the opening lap before Calvin Stewart made his pass for the lead with a power-move down the front stretch. Rogero answered back with a pass just a few corners later in Turn Four. Rogero and Stewart fought back-and-forth, swapping for the lead twice a lap for the next three laps before Rogero settled into the lead with Stewart still on her bumper waiting for any slight mistake. Just before halfway, Stewart overtook Rogero yet again in Turn Four, but the pass may have been too soon as Rogero made the same pass back on Stewart the following lap. In arguably the best two-kart battle of the day, Rogero and Stewart put on a show for the closing two laps of the race. On the final lap, Stewart attempted a cross-over move in Turn Eight but was unable to fully clear Rogero on exit, making contact and spinning into the grass. Rogero went on to score the win, followed by Lyda in second and Luke Wallace in third.
IAME Mini Swift Division:
In the IAME Mini Swift 11-lap final, a mid-pack pile-up on lap one in Turn Eight quickly created a two-kart race for the lead between Caleb Gafrarar and Adam Brickley. Gafrarar set the pace in the top spot with Brickley locked to his bumper. As laps wound down, Gafrarar slowly pulled away from Brickley by logging the fastest laps of the race. Gafrarar strolled away with the victory, followed by Brickley in second and Sophia D’Arrigo in third.
Briggs LO206 Junior Division:
In the Briggs LO206 Junior division, Austin Williamson controlled the lead right from the drop of the green flag. However, with two laps to go, Jadyn Daniels had closed onto Williamson’s bumper and was looking to make her move for the lead. Daniels did just that with a swift maneuver in Turn Eight coming to the white flag. However, Williamson answered back entering Turn One to take the lead from Daniels and held on the score the win. Daniels finished in second and Erikson Evans in third.
Briggs LO206 Cadet Division Sponsored by Kart Carolina:
In the Briggs LO206 Cadet Division final, Brent Crews took control of the top spot for the opening laps, but not without Bree Miller and Hunter Yeany tight on his bumper. Miller didn’t give Crews much time, passing him for the lead on just lap four. As laps were closing, Crews and Miller began swapping back and forth for the lead all while Yeany sat in the cat-bird seat. However, on the final lap, Crews made his final pass on Miller to score the win in a photo-finish at the line. Miller finished in second just 0.019-seconds behind Crews and Yeany rounded out the podium in third.
Up next is Round 9 of the GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 2. Karting Challenge events will NOT be night races for the remainder of the year.
For more information on the Karting Challenge club series, CLICK HERE>>