SKUSA: Willis Brothers SKUSA Mid-Ohio race report

Willis Brothers/CRG Racing Professional Kart Racing For The Future October 15, 2001 SKUSA Great Lakes Region Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington Ohio Wet Weekend Success The Willis Brothers / CRG Race Team closed out the SKUSA Great ...

Willis Brothers/CRG Racing
Professional Kart Racing For The Future
October 15, 2001
SKUSA Great Lakes Region
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington Ohio

Wet Weekend Success

The Willis Brothers / CRG Race Team closed out the SKUSA Great Lakes Region season with a joint event with DART Kart Club. This event was held on the regular road course at the beautiful Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington Ohio.

Racing on the 2.8 mile road course was scheduled for Saturday & Sunday with all the SKUSA events being held on Sunday. The SKUSA classes were to be mixed in with the DART schedule including having some of their classes and the SKUSA classes run together. All events would be run on time not laps.

On hand to contest the event were 80 Junior driver Matt Melster, 80 Senior drivers Chris Leonard and Pete Koch. Clay Filson running in the G1-125 Senior class. All drivers were excited about the opportunity to run on this high speed racetrack

With speeds anticipated to be at or over 100mph in all classes, Mother Nature decided to make the racing more interesting by providing 2 days of rain. At times the rain was the cause for delays, as it could not drain fast enough to make the rain tire shod karts safe to race.

Clay Filson was the first driver out to race on Sunday. He would start from the back of the mixed class field in a steady rain. Through patience, caution and great driving (and maybe a little luck) he managed to finish third in the shortened timed event (20 minutes).

This was a great run for Clay who through his long relationship with Bobby Rahal has spent a lot of time at this facility.

Next out was the combined SKUSA and DART classes which included both our 80 Junior and Senior drivers. The DART class started first followed by the 80 Juniors than the 80 Seniors. This gave a total field of about 20 karts ready to do battle on the wet track.

The start was clean but with most drivers limited in rain racing experience the early going was cautious. With only 20 minutes to run, there were less than 10 laps to get to job done.

All our drivers proved up to the task.

Senior 80 driver Chris Leonard finished not only 1st in his SKUSA class but first overall. Second 80 Senior driver Pete Koch finished second in class and 3rd overall while Matt Melster finished 1st in class and 4th overall. This was an excellent run for all three drivers.

The 80 Junior times of Matt Melster were actually slightly faster than those of the 80 Senior times of Chris Leonard. Unfortunately for Matt, he spun on the first lap while avoiding another spinning kart and lost almost a half a lap to the entire field. Matt was able to do a great job of getting restarted (he did lose power) and catch back up to the field. He very likely would have caught the leaders with a few more laps.

We missed Super Pro driver James Willis and 80 Junior driver Graham Rahal. Both drivers had other commitments for the weekend- James with school functions and Graham with his Dad at Laguna Seca for the CART race.

With the final points battles over, Chris Leonard is the Great Lakes Region SKUSA K1 Champion with Pete Koch finishing 2nd. Both Matt Melster and Graham Rahal were forced to miss several mid season races and will probable finish 4th and 5th respectively after running 2nd and 3rd in the early part of the season. Clay Filson will also finish in the top 10 in final points.

The opportunity to run a super fast car track was a fine way to conclude the season. Too bad the weather didn't cooperate but certainly the results more than made up for the weather. We all look forward to running at Mid-Ohio again next year.

*As the season ends for most of us (James has one more race in Las Vegas), we thank all our sponsors and supporters for making this a successful and fun season. We would especially like to thank our families and all our team members (our second families) for making all the hard work worth it.

More Team news will be coming to you as the year goes on and plans for 2002 are finalized.

- Willis Brothers/CRG Race Team

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About this article
Series Kart
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Graham Rahal , James Willis