GIEBLER AND SCHOOMBEE REBOUND TO LEAD ACTION AT SECOND ROUND OF PROKART CHALLENGE SOUTH Rainy weather conditions keep drivers and teams on edge at Willow Springs ROSAMOND, CA (February 27, 2010) -- Rain was the word of the weekend for the...
GIEBLER AND SCHOOMBEE REBOUND TO LEAD ACTION AT SECOND ROUND OF PROKART CHALLENGE SOUTH
Rainy weather conditions keep drivers and teams on edge at Willow Springs
ROSAMOND, CA (February 27, 2010) -- Rain was the word of the weekend for the second round of the ProKart Challenge South held at the Willow Springs International Motorsports Park kart track in Rosamond, California. The Superkarts! USA regional program fought through off and on wet conditions on the 6/10-mile course, which kept the drivers and teams busy trying to battle the weather situation as well as the tough fields that make up the PKC following. With the event declared a rain race at the beginning of the day, all competitors were awarded a 100-point bonus.
In the headline S1 category, Tommy Thompson led the way in the timed qualifying session to start off the day with his 50.821-lap quickest of the group. Jimmy McNeil qualified second, ahead of round one contenders Brad Dunford and Clinton Schoombee. With the changing weather conditions, Schoombee was unfortunately left on pit lane for the first heat race, trying to change over tires before the start. Then, Thompson was unable to secure the lead through the opening laps of the first heat as he fell off the pace. The result put Dunford at the point until McNeil was able to knife his way to the win. The second heat however was all Dunford, as he held off Thompson first and then McNeil. In the 20-lap feature, it became a four kart battle as Schoombee was able to keep pace with the top three. Dunford led early before McNeil assumed the position and showed the way for most of the race -- with Thompson and Schoombee pushing Dunford back to fourth. In the closing stages of the race, Schoombee made his move forward. With three to go, he would overtake Thompson for the second spot and began hounding McNeil for the lead. On the final lap, Schoombee secured the lead as he edged out McNeil for the win by 0.123 seconds. Thompson settled for the final podium spot in third, as Dunford lost ground in the final laps.
The talent pool in the TaG Senior category is like no other -- and round two at PKC South was no exception -- as former Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Phil Giebler beat out a stout field at Willow Springs. Lloyd Mack was the early favorite following qualifying with his 51.745 to put him at the top of the charts over PKC North round one winner Larry Fraser, Kyle Shriver, and Giebler. After Mack was pushed back to sixth following some racing contact, Fraser won the opening heat race, leading seven of the eight laps, while Shriver matched that feat in the second heat. Veterans Fraser and Giebler shuffled Shriver back in the opening lap of the feature to show the way early on. As Fraser led the first four laps, Giebler took over the position. Fraser fell to third, with Shriver able to slide by for the second spot and the two began battling for the position, allowing Giebler to pull away. Unchallenged at the end, Giebler scored the victory by nearly three-seconds. Fraser took second, with Shriver rounding out the podium -- as well as being credited with the fastest lap of the race.
S4 continues to show a great following after the first two rounds, with 16 drivers in the group, including the S4 Magnum category. Though he was denied in round one, three-time SKUSA SuperNationals winner Jeff Littrell could not be stopped in Willow Springs, as he swept the day's action. Qualifying was a close one, as Littrell's 52.660-lap was just 0.086s quicker than Phil Dunford. At the drop of the green in the first heat, it was Peter Workum that would get a jump on both Littrell and Dunford, before Littrell would take back the lead and keep it thru the rest of that session. In the second heat, Dunford got the edge and led for the first few laps, before Littrell would again take over the point en route to the win. The feature, however, was all Littrell as he went wire-to-wire to score the victory by over two-seconds. Willy Musgrave and Wayne Mello were able to work by Dunford in the early stages of the 20-lap main and held on to the end to complete the podium. Much like round one, Robert Morales paced the S4 Magnum category for much of the day only to be denied at the end, with defending class champion Luke Bianco able to steal the feature victory in a tight race to the checkered with Marc Lewis a close third.
In S2, Bryce Miller was on his game early on, posting the fast lap in qualifying for the category -- 50.825 -- which put him second overall as they ran with S1. Miller was able to get a clean start in the first heat race, going on to lead all eight laps for the win in class and outdrove the S1 field to score the overall win. Come the second heat, Vivek Tandon made the right changes in the paddock to put down the fast laps of the race for the division -- and score the win over Miller. Tandon continued the pace into the feature, while Miller retired early due to a mechanical issue. Round one winner Billy Musgrave was the early challenger until Ryon Beachner was able to take over the second spot. Beachner then took the lead from Tandon on lap 13 and from there went unchallenged to the victory. Tandon held on to second, with Corey Neveau scoring the third spot on the podium in his S2 debut.
Round two was Roy Montgomery's event, as the G1 driver nearly completed the sweep en route to his first victory of the season. After topping the charts in qualifying with his 50.363-lap, Montgomery led all the laps of the first heat and nearly all eight laps of the second heat before Robert Marks slid by on the final lap for the win. Montgomery would strike back, taking over the lead from Marks on lap two of the feature and never looked back to an astonishing 19-second margin of victory over four-time series champion PP Mastro and Troy Butts, as Marks fell off the pace to finish fourth.
Jason Attwood and Matias Podboj scored their first victories of 2010 in the new S3 and S5 categories. Attwood swept the action on the day, leading all but three of the 36 laps of competition to score both heat wins and the feature. Adding in the fast lap of the main, Attwood earned maximum points on the day. Tristen Orear and Steve Berg rounded out the S3 podium. On track at the same time, Podboj paced the S5 field for the day to win both heats and the feature, but was challenged in the late goings by Scott Phillips, who posted the fast lap of the feature. Micah Hendricks earned his first podium of the year finishing third.
In other TaG competition, Ron Rossetti earned maximum points in TaG Masters as did Chris Cricca in TaG Junior. Rossetti outran Allan Svela and Kim Ryan on the day, while Cricca ran uncontested.
The next PKC South race is set for March 26-27 at the Grange Motor Circuit in Apple Valley, California. First up for the SKUSA staff will be a return to the Jim Russell International Karting Center at Infineon Raceway for round two of the ProKart Challenge North program on March 12-13, the last PKC event at that Sonoma, California facility before the opening round of the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour set for April 16-18.