Race ROUNDUP: KARTING CHALLENGE RD 7
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (August 26th, 2019) - The August stop on the 2019 Karting Challenge season saw more than 100 drivers in attendance at AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex presented by MG Tires. Rain loomed throughout the entire day, but it wasn't until the last race of the afternoon - the LO206 Senior Final - that the downpour finally came.
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Ariel Castro joined the growing list of drivers on the TaG Senior championship list, as he began his official training for one of the many International Final races this Fall. He was joined at the front by championship contender Luigi Luciani, who was looking to make up some lost points after missing out on the action in Round 6.
Luciani took fast time honors in Qualifying, but it was Castro who outmaneuvered the Kosmic driver to take the Pre Final victory. In the Final, Luciani and Castro dueled once again, but after a spectacular pass for the lead in Turn 9, Luciani was able to build a small gap that he'd hold to the finish. Castro was DQed later in post-race tech inspection, handing second place to Jesse Krill and third to Adriano Motta.
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Emmo Fittipaldi asserted himself as a driver to beat early on Sunday. Fittipaldi took the pole award in qualifying, with Alessandro de Tullio second and Leonardo Hassan placing third. He rolled that momentum straight into the Pre Final, where he built a margin early and maintained it through to the finish with Lucas Rodriguez moving up from his qualifying result to end second.
Rodriguez got muscled backwards on the opening lap of the main event, moving de Tullio up to second as Fittipaldi's closest challenger. After a few laps of following Emmo, Alessandro de Tullio made a successful bid for the lead and never looked back. De Tullio took his first win of the 2019 Karting Challenge season, with Fittipaldi finishing second and Hassan moving back up onto the podium late in third.
Vance Devine entered Round 7 on the heels of an exhilarating victory back at Round 6 over Collin Lloyd and Alejandro Ramirez. He continued that hot streak with a pole award in qualifying, but he was unable to back up that result in the Pre Final. He, Lloyd, and Granger Perra all traded the lead late in the going. With one lap to go, Lloyd was able to sneak by Devine to take the victory and the prime starting spot for the Final.
In the Final, it was, once again, a three-way grudge match amongst the trio. Learning from his mistakes in the Pre Final, Devine worked his way back to the lead with a slightly different strategy. This time around, he was able to hold back both Perra and Lloyd, leading the last four laps to secure his second win in just as many races.
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Jimmie Lockhart has been making it look relatively easy in the KA100 Junior class. Just as in the past few rounds, the top two contenders in the division this weekend were himself and Jakub Kolar. However, Kolar had nothing for Lockhart in any of the three official sessions. Jimmie drove a perfect day by leading every lap of both the Pre Final and Final from the pole, extending his already large championship point lead. Kolar finished second and Luke Welcome ended third.
Dan Breitenstein may only be on a partial schedule this season, but he has been unstoppable at nearly every race that he's started in. At Round 7, he made a serious statement; he qualified on pole by nearly three tenths of a second, and he followed that up by leading every lap of the Pre Final and the Final.
The rest of the field was simply battling for second on Sunday, and that battle was won by Aaron Parkinson. Marc Julien and Rohan Ramsaroop gave chase to the Praga driver, but Aaron has been putting in some serious work on test days to pick up speed. He ended up with a one second cushion back to Julien who finished third and Ramsaroop who ended fourth.
The Shifter division has been steadily growing in turnouts at each Round of the Karting Challenge this summer, growing to 8 total drivers for Round 7. However, there is still no driver who has competed that has enough speed to challenge Alan Isambard. He put on a clinic once again, dominating the day and ending with a near seven second margin of victory over last month's winner Giano Taurino. Rene Martelli rounded the podium off in third by holding back a hard-charging Augusto Soto-Schirripa.
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Anastasia Markovic had a lot of momentum entering Round 7, as she was absolutely dominant back in Round 6. New competition in the form of Salvador della Vecchia jumped her on the timecharts, though. Salvador secured the pole in qualifying, and then he backed up that result by winning the Pre Final. Markovic was right there behind him in both sessions, and the main event was looking to be much of the same until Markovic had a vicious crash on the opening lap.
Markovic escaped the incident unscathed but out of the running. This allowed della Vecchia to go on uncontested in the Round 7 Final, winning his first Micro Swift race in the Karting Challenge. Alessandro Truchot and Asher Ochstein joined della Vecchia on the podium in second and third.
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Max Garcia remains undefeated in recent rounds in the Mini Swift class, and he continued that hot streak this weekend. Matias Orjuela and Salim Hanna joined the group of drivers chasing Garcia from last month, but none of them were any match for the Kart Republic driver. Orjuela would find himself second-best by the end of the day, finishing P2 in the Final after having some good battles with the rest of the pack. Beckham Jacir ended third.
The LO206 Senior division started off with the typical contenders laying down fast laps in qualifying. Championship leader Frankie Barroso took top honors, with teammate Calvin Ming second and TaG Senior driver Yannick Rolland third. Ming got caught out by the start of the Pre Final, allowing Rolland to slip through to second place. They would finish in that order, but the main event is where things truly got interesting.
Rain was in the forecast for the entire day, but it only began to fall as the pace laps got under way for the LO206 Senior Final. The experience of Ming saw him quickly make his way to the lead in the challenging conditions as Barroso slipped down the order. Veteran William Isaias moved up to second in his place, although Barroso was able to charge back to the P2 position before the race was over. However, he was not able to move any higher, as Ming put on a flawless drive to maintain his lead and win in his only start on the season.
Championship leader Mateo Pena returned to action at Round 7 of the 2019 Karting Challenge. However, mechanical woes struck in qualifying, putting him to the rear of the starting grid for the Pre Final. He quickly went back to the top of the scorecharts by charging through the grid to take the win over teammate Vittoria Fittipaldi. In the Final, the pair remained in the same order, with Vittoria giving good chase but just coming up short as Mateo held on for another victory in his rookie season.
Up next is Round 8 of the Karting Challenge presented by MG Tires on Sunday, September 22nd.
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