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May 18, 2008 News
EKN.ca Trackside: Brian Stewart Racing Karting Championship - Round #1 - Sunday Report

While day one of the Brian Stewart Racing Karting Championship saw a dreary day work its way to beautiful sunshine, there was no repeat performance on Sunday as a dark and dry morning was followed by steady rain through prefinals and equally wet main events. All but the final race of the day endured steady rain while on track as race one presented by AtoZ Capital Corp. and MG Tires went into the books.

Saturday may have had better conditions, but the racing was better on Sunday and two of the best were the first two classes in the rotation: Novice and Senior Heavy. Qualifying in dry conditions, Tyler Hendricks took senior pole with a 39.380 second lap but by early afternoon Cameron Coulbeck was winning the prefinal with a best lap of 50.980 seconds. Kevin Kapelke was off-pole, Daniel Stein third and Phil Wang fourth, just holding off Shane Stickel. The class was also the first to show evidence of karters not prepared for conditions as row three qualifiers Duncan Stewart and Michael Iamundi weren’t on the grid and neither were row four qualifiers Corey Walsh and Michael Dietrich. Some opted not to race in wet conditions, while others waited until the need arose to purchase spec rain tires and none were to be found in the area. Daniel and David Zucchet joined the drivers on the sidelines prior to the main while Iamundi found his way into the field - and made the biggest impact of all in a twelve kart field.

Michael Iamundi went from back to front in winning Senior Heavy (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Michael Iamundi went from back to front in winning Senior Heavy
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

Coulbeck grabbed an early lead in Senior Heavy while Kapelke did the backstroke, his motor not agreeing with the persistent rain. Stein worked into second and was followed through one by Hendricks, Wang, and Mosport/CRG’s Mike Rogers. By the end of the second lap Coulbeck was slipping his way off the front while Iamundi had come from the back to fifth, and was looking for more. An incredible fourth lap led him to podium position after he got inside Wang into Sutton’s Shed corner and got by Hendricks rounding the tennis court. Coulbeck had once again stretched out a lead after and early bobble exiting the final turn, Stein was comfortably in second, and Iamundi was looking to close the gap and up his podium position as the race hit its second half.

Everything then changed on lap nine when Coulbeck spun at the South hairpin and fell all the way to fourth. Iamundi was suddenly closing on Stein as the leader, and he got there well before the white flag waved. Patiently stalking through the closing stages, Iamundi waited until the final lap to produce a textbook run into Grid Corner and assume the lead. Stein went for a counter strike around the tennis court and into the final turn, but the outside exit of Iamundi was all he needed to power his way to victory. Coulbeck quickly passed back into third after his faux pas, and rounded the podium after setting the fastest lap of the race. Hendricks was fouth and Wang fifth.

In the first race of the day, Novice was equally thrilling as the youngsters in the field battled the conditions as much as each other. Ayrton Drosi took a dominant pole in dry conditions to begin the day where only Devlin De Francesco timed within a second! Andre Fiorini clocked third, Matteus Makos fourth and Matthew Scannell fifth. Just as in other classes, the field circulated ten seconds slower in wet conditions but the kid on top remained the same after the prefinal, Drosi winning from Makos. Joshua Shantz worked his way to third, Clay Van Eerd fourth, and Dean Reilly fifth.

Matteus Makos didn't spin and went on to win in Novice (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Matteus Makos didn't spin and went on to win in Novice
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

Drosi led from Makos, Reilly and De Francesco when the green flag waved in a final that became an endurance run where ‘keeping it on the island’ was priority one. Van Eerd looped his way around exiting two on the second lap and De Francesco did the same coming around Shed when he hit the track’s biggest puddle. A lap later on three, Reilly went around at the same spot as Van Eerd but after a 360° spin he rejoined and took third back before the lap was out! Drosi continued to lead from Makos but all that was about to change. Already catching lap traffic before half, Drosi went around in the Shed’s standing water and Makos had the lead for the first time. Drosi was now in chase mode running second, and after consecutive passes in the left-hand entry to Shed De Francesco had worked his way back to a podium position.

Drosi was haulin’ the mail as the field hit the closing stages and Makos caught a break when a backmarker lodged between them through the final turn. One lap later the white flag waved, but Drosi was right back on the bumper early in the lap. The pair survived yellow conditions and two spinners at grid before rounding the tennis court and Drosi had his look at the final turn. He got well inside Makos, but the dry line was no place to be in miserable conditions and he was unable to maintain grip. Drosi went around, and Makos matched his brother from a day earlier in winning the first race of the day. They were so far clear, Drosi rejoined and kept second place while De Francesco raced to third, Shantz fourth and Reilly fifth. In the back half of the Novice top ten were: Austin Rogers, Ryan Mohan, Fiorini, Brayn Moberg and Van Eerd.

Junior Lite was next up and there was no such drama after the opening lap of the main. The day began with Nicholas Ledson on pole by a scant 0.040 seconds from Scott Nagel and Grant Quinlan and even when the rains came the trio remained at the top. Quinlan took the prefinal from Ledson and Nagel, but it was anything but close as the Florida Winter Tour Champion was twenty seconds clear of the field at the checker! In the main event the entire field rounded corner one successfully and while Nagel had a peek at the final turn Quinlan led through one. By the end of two the pair were already clear of the rest, and as the only karts consistently breaking 52-seconds they checked out. Quinlan was well inside with a fast lap of 51.5 seconds and won by three from Nagel fifteen laps later. Trevor Rancier took third on lap three before cruising his way to the podium in isolation, but behind the trio a battle was being fought.

Grant Quinlan added a Junior Lite win to Rotax Micro-Max from Saturday (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Grant Quinlan added a Junior Lite win to Rotax Micro-Max from Saturday
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

Artem Korolev took fourth at Grid corner and a lap later Ledson went around coming out of the same corner to give Korolev breathing room. Gio Pizzale-Rhead had worked his way forward in the meantime and capitalized on the opportunity to give chase toward Korolev. It took three laps to get there before a strong run down the straight powered Pizzale-Rhead into fourth, the spot he owned when the checkers waved. The only change in the final stages was at the final turn on the final lap when Korolev attempted to come from nowhere and take the spot back - spun, and fell to sixth behind Tristan Gill. Ledson, Bailey Jacobs, Michael Taibi and Cameron Morrison completed the top ten.

TaG Masters had a scant four-kart field for dry qualifying and Ryan Horses took pole by just 0.048 seconds from Michael Glaze. Kurtis St.Clair was third with rookie senior Jonathon Treadwell fourth. The field then elected not to run a prefinal in the treacherous conditions, and only three made the main when no rain tires were to be found by Michael Glaze. Treadwell took himself out of the equation at turn one early on, and after fourteen laps of ‘Who’s going to make a mistake first’ Horses and St.Clair looked to settle things on the final lap. Suffering on used rain tires from F125 a day earlier, Horses had little turn-in by the end and St.Clair came calling for victory at Grid corner. He got underneath, only to have Horses come back for the point running the outside rounding the tennis court. That gave him the inside at the final turn where the pair bumped their way around - one keeping the other on the road. They hit the gas to drag for the line but St.Clair went around in the process, ending the show.

Cadet also had a slight field as six karts were in action, Austin Bisshop topping all in qualifying with a lap time of 47.206 seconds. He then repeated in the prefinal ahead of Noah Bray, Hudson Turpin, Ty Lucio, Devin Johnston and Moorea Gates, winning by a massive margin of 39 seconds and lapping all but Bray! The ten-lap final was then a matter of keeping the nose pointed in the right direction and there was only one lap in the race where the order didn’t change in the field. Bray led the first pair and Lucio the remaining laps to half as Bisshop and Turpin took turns in third. Bray then led six; Lucio, seven; Bray eight and Lucio nine! The battle ended with Lucio on top of the blocks, Bray second, and Turpin third ahead of Bisshop and Johnston.

Duane Cinnamon began his sophomore season with a Masters fourth (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Duane Cinnamon began his sophomore season with a Masters fourth
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

The next pair of classes up had the biggest list of rain casualties as Masters lost eight from its field and Senior Lite eleven. Masters was the last group to qualify in complete dry conditions and it was an engine-building trio at the top of 24-kart field. Jake Collison had the quickest lap of all at 39.582 seconds while Glenn Butler timed second and Glen Arnold third. Arnold then lost his fast lap for contact allowing for Randy Packham, Paul Draganac and Jamie MacArthur to move up the time sheet. Everything then changed by the time the prefinal rolled around as MacArthur and Arnold were out along with six others. Fred Jordan mastered the tricky conditions to win from Packham and Butler while Duane Cinnamon put in a great run to reach fourth ahead of Alan Sanders. The main event brought little change as the front four exiting turn one at the start were the front four at the flag. The most excitement Jordan experienced at the front was when he was nearly collected in a spin while lapping traffic, and his margin at the checker was 1.224 seconds over Butler and Packham. Cinnamon went the distance in fourth in just missing the podium in his first Regional start while Rob McCall was fifth.

A 33-kart Senior Lite field was split for qualifying and after the first group qualified in dry conditions the second half was facing wet pavement. Rather opting to make group A one side of the grid and group B the other, Officials required the entire batch to requalify in wet conditions and that’s when the tire shortage became evident. Twelve karts were left in the paddock as Kelly Wood took pole from Darryl Timmers, Wes Schindel, Dave Patrick and Chris Packham. The final stage was set after a ten-lap prefinal where Timmers worked his way to pole followed by Pearce Herder, Patrick, Wood, and Kyle Herder. When the green waved for the main it took just two laps for the field to file into Awesome order. Pearce escaped off the front followed by teammates Timmers and brother Kyle and the order never changed through fifteen. Behind the lead trio, such was definitely not the case. First Patrick and Evan Hayden exchanged blows for the better part of a lap before Hayden went wide out of the final turn and Patrick took fourth from a pack including Frank Launi, Wood and Hayden. Dicing allowed for Sal Ditta and Packham to join in the fun and by lap five Launi was on the front. One lap later he hooked the track edge and went around falling to ninth and Hayden was set in fourth. Wood and Ditta each held fifth before Patrick worked his way back followed by Launi. Ditta crossed seventh, Packham eighth, Wood ninth and Tyler Hendricks tenth after running a majority of the race there.

Pearce Herder led an Awesome one-two-three in Senior Lite (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Pearce Herder led an Awesome one-two-three in Senior Lite
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

Rain stopped falling toward the end of the Senior race, and Junior Heavy closed the first event with umbrellas finally tucked away. Thirty-two karts were in the field from wet qualifying where Reid Arnold took pole from Mitchell Brunning and Spencer Todd. Firstkart.com’s Kevin Monteith was fourth and Nico Fattore fifth, each within a half-second of pole. The prefinal was survival of the fittest and Arnold made good in scoring a three-second win to earn pole for the main event. Jamie Quinn was second, AJ Emms third, and Zac Mahoney fourth ahead of: Todd, Monteith, Dimitra Tassos and Brunning. Monteith had led early, and he wasted little time getting back there in the main.

Arnold and Emms filed one-two through the opening corner before heading into turn two side-by-side. Monteith then fired up the inside to complete a six-to-one run in just two corners. Mahoney got to second a few turns later and Tassos was third as the field hit the last three turns on the opening lap. Grid corner changed the order and at the final turn Emms was looking to take back third when Mack Deman got inside. The moved balked both before contact sent Emms off the road entirely and down the order. Deman maintained second and Arnold was back to third. The lead trio stayed that way to half when Arnold took the second podium step by passing Deman running down the straight. After that, all changes were for points behind.

Quinn held fourth most of the way with Brunning fourth and Todd fifth. Quinn was actually closing the gap to Deman in the second half and looked to be setting up for a shot at the podium on the closing lap. Quick through the opening set of corners, Quinn then lost the plot when the back end slid loose entering Shed. Brunning and Todd capitalized to get past, but none of it mattered afterward when a rented engine failed tech and Quinn fell to the bottom of the order. Brunning also moved backward post-race for a driving infraction during the race, and Todd was moved to fourth with Adam Racine fifth. Brunning led off the back half of the top ten followed by: Dylan Van Tienen, Michael Adams, Mahoney and Emms, who came forward from fourteenth. Up front, Monteith cruised to win by over three seconds and round one went into the history books.

The 2008 Brian Stewart Racing Karting Championship resumes in two weeks as Point Pelee Karting and SunParlour Kart Club host all in Leamington, Ontario.
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