WKA: IRL SoK: East finale Shawano summary

The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series completed its Eastern Division finale Sunday at the USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI. With great weather the first to days, the clouds came through for the final day, putting down...

The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series completed its Eastern Division finale Sunday at the USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI. With great weather the first to days, the clouds came through for the final day, putting down some moisture during the early part of the day, mixing up in the results in Qualifying to supply great racing in the Prefinal and Finals. Canadian Michael Vincec earned his first Stars ICC win of the year in what was the most extreme main event of year. Chris Wehrheim earned the first Stars ICA victory for Top Kart while all five Eastern Division championships were decided following the day's action.

ICC

After the drivers adjusted to the wet conditions for the ICC Gatorz Pole Qualifying, the provisional pole shuffled with nearly 15 drivers holding the spot at one time. As the checkered flag fell, Carlton put down the fastest lap of the session - 1:04.407. New faces ended the session near the front as Canadian Pier-Luc Ouellette (Arrow) was second with Ryan Yop (Sodi Kart) third fastest. Matt Jaskol (Top Kart) and Jan Velez-Walter (Intrepid) rounded out the fast five. Talking with the drivers after the session, the rain tires took some abuse as the most of the tread was worn down.

The rest of the day was dry for the ICC field, throwing another curve ball at the field. All on fresh Bridgestone slicks, they took the green flag with Carlton getting the hole shot. In the opening lap, Jordy Vorrath (Intrepid) was trying to advance in position heading into turn five when he locked up his brakes and spun off course. He would make a few more laps after restarting before pulling off track. Another fast driver retiring early was Alan Rudolph (First Kart) as the veteran had a flat tire. Up front, Carlton and his PCH Motorsports crew made the right changes overnight and found the speed they were lacking. He went on to lead flag-to-flat to start the main event from inside row one. David Jurca (Italkart) also found some extra speed, moving up from sixth to second in the race. Velez was third with hard charger from Saturday Michael Vincec (CRG) and Jaskol rounding out the top five. ICC rookie Richard Benitez advanced to inside the top ten from 27th but was pe! nalized three spots for jumping the start.

The curtain call of the weekend - the ICC Final - was one of the best shows put on by the class all year. At the drop of the green, Carlton got the jump with Velez and Jurca falling in behind. The action began quickly on lap two when Velez attempted to advance to first in the backside 180 degree corner but he and Carlton connected resulting in the unofficial Eastern Division champion receiving radiator damage to end his race and Velez falling back to sixth. This gave Jurca the point in front of Jaskol, Jammin' Jon Branam (Tony Kart), and Thomas Cadieux (CRG) up from the ninth starting spot.

Jurca's stint at the front didn't last long as Jaskol was able to make the pass coming onto the oval section as they completed lap four. Jurca would not go down quietly as he came back two laps later inside the leader but was shuffled out, moving him back to fifth. By that time, both Vorrath and Rudolph who had started from the last row, were now in the top ten.

At the halfway mark, Jaskol's lead slowly began to fade as second place Vincec began chasing him down. Behind them, Vorrath was on a mission, picking off a driver each lap to eventually getting into third by lap 13 and closed on the front two. Three laps later, Vincec made his move into five, bringing Vorrath with him. Vorrath kept Vincec in sight but the Cameron Motorsports pilot was able to hold off the Saturday winner to earn his first Stars win of the year. Velez was able to get by Jaskol for third with Cadieux putting in his best performance of the year rounding out the top five.

Along with Vorrath's hard charge through the field, Rudolph was running sixth with two laps to go when the shifter lever broke on his machine, dropping him out of contention. That put Branam to six at the checkered followed by Benitez, Jon Allen (GP), Jurca, and Ryan Kinnear (Intrepid).

The results would be altered however following tech as a Vorrath was bounced for a spark plug inaccuracy, moving Velez to second, Jaskol to the podium and Philippe Gelinas (Birel) into the top ten.

PCH Motorsports ICA

With the drivers hitting the track on slicks for the PCH Motorsports ICA Gatorz Pole Qualifying, a small shower began to fall, making the track very slick and forcing a red flag. Giving time for the drivers to make the change over the rain tires, the session continued with 11 minutes left in the session. The times in the rain were 10 seconds slower than then before the red flag, thus the laps the drivers recorded in the first four minutes were the best times recorded. MRP-Birel America drivers Mike Giessen and Christopher Larson were 1-2 to start the Prefinal from row one. Juan Pablo Delgado (Gillard) and Brandon Jones (Arrow) will start from row two with Pat Iannucci (Sodi Kart) and Jake Rosenzweig (CRG) going from row three.

With the qualifying session mixing up the field, the Prefinal was interesting as some of the front runners from Saturday were toward the back. Giessen took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Rosenzweig and Jones pulling away from the field until both were able to get by him. Rosenzweig pulled out to a comfortable gap over Jones and Giessen as they tested each other. The rest of the field continued to shuffle around as the faster karts moved forward. At the checkered, Rosenzweig took the win with Jones and Giessen crossing behind. Jacob Neal (CRG) and Iannucci completed the top five.

The start to the ICA Final was a wild one. As the field began to exit the oval section after the green, James Kennedy (Sodi Kart) lost a rear tire, spinning in the middle of the track and forcing the rest of the field to take evasive action. That resulted in fellow top ten drivers Christophe Boisclair (Arrow) and Johnny Johnson (Kosmic) to retire. A few corners later, Giessen went straight off into turn five, ending his final early.

Rosenzweig paced the field in the early stages after he and Neal swapped the spot a few times. They would not last long up front as Chris Wehrheim was on a charge from sixth. His favorite spot on track was turn five, making the pass for third, second, and then first in that corner in consecutive laps. From there he would not relinquish the spot and cruised to a 3.206-second victory.

Though he was out from comfortably, he was not the fast driver on track. Saturday's winner Victor Cabrera (Kosmic) - who was collected in a wreck during the Prefinal to start the main from 23rd - clawed his way through the field, eventually getting to the top five and working by for second on the final lap. That put Neal back to third at the line with Iannucci - his best finish of the year - and Guillermo Freile (Tony Kart) rounding out the top five. Rosenzweig fell back to seventh behind John Mossey (Gillard) and with his result, gave Scott Jenkins (Intrepid) the unofficial ICA Eastern Division Championship despite not running in Shawano this weekend to compete at the CIK European KF2 Championship.

Spec Racer

Team Top Kart USA continued its hold atop the Spec Racer category early on in the Gatorz Pole Qualifying as Saturday winner Conor Daly and Adam Johnson were 1-2. As the session went on, the track began to get quicker despite a mist still hitting the track. The positions then began to shuffle as the drivers dropped nearly a second a lap near the end of the session. When it was done, the last two karts to get the checkered flag won the battle with Daly earning the pole running a 1:07.946 with Jared Woolf (Intrepid) following him across the line. Johnson was third quickest while Zach Beard (First Kart) and Ben Searcy now aboard an Intrepid completing the fast five.

Johnson got the jump at the start of the Spec Racer Prefinal with Daly falling in behind. The two again pulled out to a lead over Beard and Robert Stout (Birel) who were battling for third. The fight for fifth was between six drivers until Adam Zeen (Sodi Kart) and Nic Johnsrud (Merlin) made contact, dropping them back and dropping the battle to four. Johnson took the win over Daly as Stout put space between himself and Beard for third and Searcy won the battle for fifth.

Johnson and Daly repeated the Prefinal, making it a 1-2 finish for Top Kart both days, this time Johnson took the top step of the podium for his second win of the season. Daly however would earn enough points for the unofficial Spec Racer Eastern Division championship. Beard would get the better of Stout this time for third with Searcy regaining fifth toward the end of the race. Searcy however would be penalized for not reporting to tech, removing him from the results and handing fifth place over to Johnsrud.

JICA

The JICA division hit the track under dry conditions with Saturday winner Spencer Pigot (First Kart) continuing on the momentum from his first Stars JICA win in today's Gatorz Pole Qualifying. On his third lap, Pigot ran a 1:00.171 fast time on his third lap with teammate and championship leader Brendan Langlois coming up just 0.012-seconds short of the pole. Taylor Miinch was in the bottom half of the standings until he pulled off a fast lap late in the session to move up to the third starting spot for the Prefinal. Jarvis Gennari (Tony Kart) was fourth with Sean Rayhall (Kosmic) rounding out the fast five.

The JICA Prefinal was the first on track after the lunch break, with the track drying out all the drivers were on the slicks. Pigot controlled the field with getting by Langlois for second at the end of the first lap. Gennari was fourth with Angel Caban (Kosmic) moving up into the top five as the front six pulled away from the rest of field. Lap five, Langlois and Gennari were able to slide by Miinch, dropping him back to fourth as Caban and Rayhall fell back into the sites of Brendan Phinny (Top Kart). Lap eight, Langlois tried to make a move for the lead put failed, in doing so, Gennari tried to capitalize and they made contact, shuffling the front of the field. That allowed Pigot to pull away to the Prefinal win with Caban moving up to second ahead of Phinny, Gennari and Phil DeLaO (First Kart).

Caban was able to get the jump in the Final from the outside of row one but would not last as DeLaO led the field across the line for the first time with Caban, Mercado, Phinny and Pigot the early top five. The top five shuffled around and ran close together until near the halfway mark when Mercado was able to slip away and never look back to earn his second win of the year for Tony Kart and JC Karting. DeLaO was able to move back up to second in front of Phinny. Langlois and Gennari ran nose to tail to advance up through the field from 16th and 17th. Gennari would however finish one spot ahead of the Canadian inside the top five, but Langlois would earn enough points to claim the unofficial JICA Eastern Division championship.

King Taco Cadet

Under the wet conditions, Jacob Will (Top Kart) was quickest in the King Taco Cadet Gatorz Pole Qualifying session with Canadian Garett Grist (CRG) posting the second fastest time. Unofficial Cadet Eastern Champion Sage Karam (Birel) was third with Mason Chelootz (Intrepid) and Tristan DeGrand (Kosmic) rounding out the fast five.

Four karts broke away in the lead pack for the Cadet Prefinal with the spots decided in the final corners. Heading into the final corners, Santino Ferrucci (S-1) was running first after starting tenth when he went wide and off track. This allowed Karam to take the lead and the win with Grist and Ian Tilbor (Juncos) - who started 11th - crossing the line behind him. DeGrand and Will rounded out the top five.

The Final came down to five drivers, putting on a great show for the fans along the fences. Tilbor controlled the top spot coming into the oval section of the final lap when he went wide, allowing Karam to slip through and grab his sixth straight Eastern Division victory and the East championship. Carlos Abreu (S-1) finished third with Grist and Will completing the top five, all crossing the line with seven-tenths of a second.

The Snap-on Stars of Karting completed its Easter Division finale Sunday at the USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI. With great weather the first to days, the clouds came through for the final day, putting down some moisture during the early part of the day, mixing up in the results in Qualifying to supply great racing in the Prefinal and Finals. Canadian Michael Vincec earned his first Stars ICC win of the year in what was the most extreme main event of year. Chris Wehrheim earned the first Stars ICA victory for Top Kart while all five Eastern Division championships were decided following the day's action.

ICC

After the drivers adjusted to the wet conditions for the ICC Gatorz Pole Qualifying, the provisional pole shuffled with nearly 15 drivers holding the spot at one time. As the checkered flag fell, Carlton put down the fastest lap of the session - 1:04.407. New faces ended the session near the front as Canadian Pier-Luc Ouellette (Arrow) was second with Ryan Yop (Sodi Kart) third fastest. Matt Jaskol (Top Kart) and Jan Velez-Walter (Intrepid) rounded out the fast five. Talking with the drivers after the session, the rain tires took some abuse as the most of the tread was worn down.

The rest of the day was dry for the ICC field, throwing another curve ball at the field. All on fresh Bridgestone slicks, they took the green flag with Carlton getting the hole shot. In the opening lap, Jordy Vorrath (Intrepid) was trying to advance in position heading into turn five when he locked up his brakes and spun off course. He would make a few more laps after restarting before pulling off track. Another fast driver retiring early was Alan Rudolph (First Kart) as the veteran had a flat tire. Up front, Carlton and his PCH Motorsports crew made the right changes overnight and found the speed they were lacking. He went on to lead flag-to-flat to start the main event from inside row one. David Jurca (Italkart) also found some extra speed, moving up from sixth to second in the race. Velez was third with hard charger from Saturday Michael Vincec (CRG) and Jaskol rounding out the top five. ICC rookie Richard Benitez advanced to inside the top ten from 27th but was p! enalized three spots for jumping the start.

The curtain call of the weekend - the ICC Final - was one of the best shows put on by the class all year. At the drop of the green, Carlton got the jump with Velez and Jurca falling in behind. The action began quickly on lap two when Velez attempted to advance to first in the backside 180 degree corner but he and Carlton connected resulting in the unofficial Eastern Division champion receiving radiator damage to end his race and Velez falling back to sixth. This gave Jurca the point in front of Jaskol, Jammin' Jon Branam (Tony Kart), and Thomas Cadieux (CRG) up from the ninth starting spot.

Jurca's stint at the front didn't last long as Jaskol was able to make the pass coming onto the oval section as they completed lap four. Jurca would not go down quietly as he came back two laps later inside the leader but was shuffled out, moving him back to fifth. By that time, both Vorrath and Rudolph who had started from the last row, were now in the top ten.

At the halfway mark, Jaskol's lead slowly began to fade as second place Vincec began chasing him down. Behind them, Vorrath was on a mission, picking off a driver each lap to eventually getting into third by lap 13 and closed on the front two. Three laps later, Vincec made his move into five, bringing Vorrath with him. Vorrath kept Vincec in sight but the Cameron Motorsports pilot was able to hold off the Saturday winner to earn his first Stars win of the year. Velez was able to get by Jaskol for third with Cadieux putting in his best performance of the year rounding out the top five.

Along with Vorrath's hard charge through the field, Rudolph was running sixth with two laps to go when the shifter lever broke on his machine, dropping him out of contention. That put Branam to six at the checkered followed by Benitez, Jon Allen (GP), Jurca, and Ryan Kinnear (Intrepid).

The results would be altered however following tech as a Vorrath was bounced for a spark plug inaccuracy, moving Velez to second, Jaskol to the podium and Philippe Gelinas (Birel) into the top ten.

PCH Motorsports ICA

With the drivers hitting the track on slicks for the PCH Motorsports ICA Gatorz Pole Qualifying, a small shower began to fall, making the track very slick and forcing a red flag. Giving time for the drivers to make the change over the rain tires, the session continued with 11 minutes left in the session. The times in the rain were 10 seconds slower than then before the red flag, thus the laps the drivers recorded in the first four minutes were the best times recorded. MRP-Birel America drivers Mike Giessen and Christopher Larson were 1-2 to start the Prefinal from row one. Juan Pablo Delgado (Gillard) and Brandon Jones (Arrow) will start from row two with Pat Iannucci (Sodi Kart) and Jake Rosenzweig (CRG) going from row three.

With the qualifying session mixing up the field, the Prefinal was interesting as some of the front runners from Saturday were toward the back. Giessen took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Rosenzweig and Jones pulling away from the field until both were able to get by him. Rosenzweig pulled out to a comfortable gap over Jones and Giessen as they tested each other. The rest of the field continued to shuffle around as the faster karts moved forward. At the checkered, Rosenzweig took the win with Jones and Giessen crossing behind. Jacob Neal (CRG) and Iannucci completed the top five.

The start to the ICA Final was a wild one. As the field began to exit the oval section after the green, James Kennedy (Sodi Kart) lost a rear tire, spinning in the middle of the track and forcing the rest of the field to take evasive action. That resulted in fellow top ten drivers Christophe Boisclair (Arrow) and Johnny Johnson (Kosmic) to retire. A few corners later, Giessen went straight off into turn five, ending his final early.

Rosenzweig paced the field in the early stages after he and Neal swapped the spot a few times. They would not last long up front as Chris Wehrheim was on a charge from sixth. His favorite spot on track was turn five, making the pass for third, second, and then first in that corner in consecutive laps. From there he would not relinquish the spot and cruised to a 3.206-second victory.

Though he was out from comfortably, he was not the fast driver on track. Saturday's winner Victor Cabrera (Kosmic) - who was collected in a wreck during the Prefinal to start the main from 23rd - clawed his way through the field, eventually getting to the top five and working by for second on the final lap. That put Neal back to third at the line with Iannucci - his best finish of the year - and Guillermo Freile (Tony Kart) rounding out the top five. Rosenzweig fell back to seventh behind John Mossey (Gillard) and with his result, gave Scott Jenkins (Intrepid) the unofficial ICA Eastern Division Championship despite not running in Shawano this weekend to compete at the CIK European KF2 Championship.

Spec Racer

Team Top Kart USA continued its hold atop the Spec Racer category early on in the Gatorz Pole Qualifying as Saturday winner Conor Daly and Adam Johnson were 1-2. As the session went on, the track began to get quicker despite a mist still hitting the track. The positions then began to shuffle as the drivers dropped nearly a second a lap near the end of the session. When it was done, the last two karts to get the checkered flag won the battle with Daly earning the pole running a 1:07.946 with Jared Woolf (Intrepid) following him across the line. Johnson was third quickest while Zach Beard (First Kart) and Ben Searcy now aboard an Intrepid completing the fast five.

Johnson got the jump at the start of the Spec Racer Prefinal with Daly falling in behind. The two again pulled out to a lead over Beard and Robert Stout (Birel) who were battling for third. The fight for fifth was between six drivers until Adam Zeen (Sodi Kart) and Nic Johnsrud (Merlin) made contact, dropping them back and dropping the battle to four. Johnson took the win over Daly as Stout put space between himself and Beard for third and Searcy won the battle for fifth.

Johnson and Daly repeated the Prefinal, making it a 1-2 finish for Top Kart both days, this time Johnson took the top step of the podium for his second win of the season. Daly however would earn enough points for the unofficial Spec Racer Eastern Division championship. Beard would get the better of Stout this time for third with Searcy regaining fifth toward the end of the race. Searcy however would be penalized for not reporting to tech, removing him from the results and handing fifth place over to Johnsrud.

JICA

The JICA division hit the track under dry conditions with Saturday winner Spencer Pigot (First Kart) continuing on the momentum from his first Stars JICA win in today's Gatorz Pole Qualifying. On his third lap, Pigot ran a 1:00.171 fast time on his third lap with teammate and championship leader Brendan Langlois coming up just 0.012-seconds short of the pole. Taylor Miinch was in the bottom half of the standings until he pulled off a fast lap late in the session to move up to the third starting spot for the Prefinal. Jarvis Gennari (Tony Kart) was fourth with Sean Rayhall (Kosmic) rounding out the fast five.

The JICA Prefinal was the first on track after the lunch break, with the track drying out all the drivers were on the slicks. Pigot controlled the field with getting by Langlois for second at the end of the first lap. Gennari was fourth with Angel Caban (Kosmic) moving up into the top five as the front six pulled away from the rest of field. Lap five, Langlois and Gennari were able to slide by Miinch, dropping him back to fourth as Caban and Rayhall fell back into the sites of Brendan Phinny (Top Kart). Lap eight, Langlois tried to make a move for the lead put failed, in doing so, Gennari tried to capitalize and they made contact, shuffling the front of the field. That allowed Pigot to pull away to the Prefinal win with Caban moving up to second ahead of Phinny, Gennari and Phil DeLaO (First Kart).

Caban was able to get the jump in the Final from the outside of row one but would not last as DeLaO led the field across the line for the first time with Caban, Mercado, Phinny and Pigot the early top five. The top five shuffled around and ran close together until near the halfway mark when Mercado was able to slip away and never look back to earn his second win of the year for Tony Kart and JC Karting. DeLaO was able to move back up to second in front of Phinny. Langlois and Gennari ran nose to tail to advance up through the field from 16th and 17th. Gennari would however finish one spot ahead of the Canadian inside the top five, but Langlois would earn enough points to claim the unofficial JICA Eastern Division championship.

King Taco Cadet

Under the wet conditions, Jacob Will (Top Kart) was quickest in the King Taco Cadet Gatorz Pole Qualifying session with Canadian Garett Grist (CRG) posting the second fastest time. Unofficial Cadet Eastern Champion Sage Karam (Birel) was third with Mason Chelootz (Intrepid) and Tristan DeGrand (Kosmic) rounding out the fast five.

Four karts broke away in the lead pack for the Cadet Prefinal with the spots decided in the final corners. Heading into the final corners, Santino Ferrucci (S-1) was running first after starting tenth when he went wide and off track. This allowed Karam to take the lead and the win with Grist and Ian Tilbor (Juncos) - who started 11th - crossing the line behind him. DeGrand and Will rounded out the top five.

The Final came down to five drivers, putting on a great show for the fans along the fences. Tilbor controlled the top spot coming into the oval section of the final lap when he went wide, allowing Karam to slip through and grab his sixth straight Eastern Division victory and the East championship which brings with it an all-expenses paid trip to a 2008 IndyCar Series event courtesy of King Taco. Carlos Abreu (S-1) finished third with Grist and Will completing the top five, all crossing the line with seven-tenths of a second.

Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series is based out of Seattle, Washington, sanctioned by the World Karting Association (WKA) and owned and operated by 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion and IRL IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal, IndyCar Series driver Bryan Herta and veteran karting promoter Paul Zalud. www.starsofkarting.com, www.worldkarting.com.

-credit: sok

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Series Kart
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Christopher Larson , Chris Wehrheim , James Kennedy , Alan Rudolph , Matt Jaskol , Jake Rosenzweig , Conor Daly , Pat Iannucci , Robert Stout , Jarvis Gennari , Spencer Pigot , Sean Rayhall , Sage Karam , Ben Searcy , Santino Ferrucci