WKA: IRL SoK: Charlotte summary

Giebler and Giessen Step Forward while Vincec and Larson Break Through in Charlotte Seattle, WA (July 10, 2006) -- In a city that many consider the hub of U.S. motorsports, two karting veterans showed they haven't lost a beat, while two ...

Giebler and Giessen Step Forward while Vincec and Larson Break Through in Charlotte

Seattle, WA (July 10, 2006) -- In a city that many consider the hub of U.S. motorsports, two karting veterans showed they haven't lost a beat, while two promising talents stepped up to the top of the podium in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL's visit to Lowe's Motor Speedway.

The narrow track and sweeping turns of the infield karting circuit inside of turns three and four of the Lowe's Motor Speedway oval meant qualifying was more important than ever. Tony Kart's Keith Spicer took the Zoombang Pole Award on Saturday in the Cytomax ICC (shifter) class but when race time came around Phil Giebler (Intrepid), fresh off of a seventh place finish in the Indy Pro Series event at the U.S. Grand Prix last weekend, jumped out to the lead. Giebler, who has a strong history at the Charlotte track having won the CIK-FIA North American Championship there in 1998 in the Formula A class was dominant throughout all of Saturday's final. However, when the white flag came out Giebler encountered trouble in the form of a kart he was about to lap that would not yield. The narrow, sweeping nature of the Lowe's track meant Giebler could not sneak past in time to see his lead decimated with only four turns to go. At that point Phillippe Gelinas (Sodi Kart) made a desperation move to take the lead and took himself and Giebler off-track. This allowed Canadian Michael Vincec (CRG) to assume the lead and take his first victory in the Cytomax ICC class. The win capped off a great week for the Canadian ICC rookie who was named as a winner of the Ekartingnews.com Formula BMW Licensing Scholarship, which will send him to Valencia, Spain to be licensed to drive in the Formula BMW series and compete for one of the spots on BMW's Junior Team. Keith Spicer took second. Gelinas crossed the line in third but a post-race penalty for rough driving put him behind Giebler in the standings, who got restarted to cross the line in ninth. This would move Floridian Stuart Marsell (Arrow) to third with Jon Branan (Tony Kart) and Matt Jaskol (Top Kart) rounding out the top-five. Sunday's action saw Cytomax ICC class rookie Kyle Marcelli (CRG) take the Zoombang Pole in Gatorz Pole Qualifying for Cameron Motorsports. In the Final Giebler would get the hole shot to take the lead. Mid-race it looked as if Matt Jaskol may have something to challenge the Intrepid pilot but Giebler then slowly pulled away to a comfortable victory. Jaskol would take second with Gelinas assuming the last spot on the podium. Stuart Marsell and Jon Branan rounded out the top-five.

The battles in the ICA (direct drive) class saw Mike Giessen return to Snap-on Stars series competition in a one-off race for MRP-Birel America. Giessen is currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina and pursuing a career in stock cars. PSL Karting's Jake Rosenzweig (CRG) took the Zoombang Pole Award on Saturday. Rosenzweig would lead every lap in the Final except the most important one as Chris Larson (Gillard) was able to slide by on the white flag lap. Rosenzweig tried to battle back but would have to settle for second with Anthony Llopiz (Kosmic) taking the last spot on the podium. Philip Arscott (Swiss Hutless) and Joseph Genest (Tecno) rounded out the top-five. On Sunday, Iowa's Johnny Johnson (Top Kart) bounced back from some hard luck he has faced in 2006 take the Zoombang Pole Award. Johnson would lead much of the final before an engine problem slowed his pace. That began an outstanding battle for the lead between Giessen, Rosenzweig, Joel Miller (Tony Kart), and Caleb Loniewski (Margay). Giessen would eventually pull away to take the victory on his return to Snap-on Stars series competition with Joel Miller keeping his championship hopes alive in second and Loniewski third. Chris Keller (Gillard) took fourth with Rosenzweig rounding out the top-five.

In the Spec Racer category CRG pilot Dion Von Moltke took the top spot in Gatorz Pole Qualifying. In the Final, Top Kart's Adam Johnson was able to take the lead ahead of Von Moltke and despite some intense battling was able to hold on for the win. Margay's Brandon Adkins rounded out the podium ahead of Brandon Jones (Arrow) and Eric Gerrits (First Kart) who took fourth and fifth respectively. Von Moltke would follow-up to sweep the second Gatorz Pole of the weekend on Sunday. In the final, Von Moltke would have a heated battle with Brandon Adkins all race long. However, with two laps to go Adkins climbed up Von Moltke's rear bumper and off the track. Von Moltke would take the victory with Brandon Jones and Eric Gerrits taking the second and third spots on the podium respectively. Adam Johnson and Jeff Carter (Intrepid) rounded out the top-five.

The PCH Motorsports JICA category saw Andres Lopez grab the Gatorz Pole on Saturday. Come race time however it was Cameron Motorsports' David Ostella (CRG) who would do battle with Carlos Munoz (MRP Birel America) for the top spot. Ostella eventually took the lead and held on for the win while behind him Victor Cabrera Jr. (Kosmic) overtook Carlos Munoz for the second spot. Munoz rounded out the podium. Brendan Langlois (Maranello) and Jacob Neal (CRG) took fourth and fifth respectively. Sunday's action saw Dusty Davis (Maranello) break through with an impressive performance to take the Gatorz pole. The Final would see Carlos Munoz take an early lead over Cabrera. Munoz would control the race to take the checker with Cabrera in second. Dusty Davis would cap his impressive weekend with the last spot on the podium while Brett Smrz (First Kart), who this week was named as the other winner of the Formula BMW Licensing scholarship provided by ekartingnews.com, would come home fourth. Garrison Masters (PSL Karting CRG) would round out the top-five.

The King Taco Cadet class saw perennial front-runner Spencer Pigot (Juncos) take the Gatorz pole. In the Final defending Cadet class National Champion Sage Karam would show his muscle aboard his new Birel ride. After a strong battle with Nick Neri (Shockwave), who went off track in the closing laps trying to pass for the lead, Karam would hold off Kosmic's Tristan DeGrand by just .040 seconds at the stripe. Cody Humphries (Kosmic) took the last step on the podium with Juncos teammates Jamie Ortega and Sebastien Ordonez rounding out the top-five. On Sunday, Nick Neri took the Gatorz Pole Award as he set out to diminish his disappointment from the day before. In the final, Tristan De Grand was smooth as silk as he pulled away to take a 5-second victory, a nearly unheard of margin in the drafting packs of the King Taco Cadet class. A heated battle in the pack charging behind DeGrand saw Gabriel Chaves (Nevoso) take second with the always consistent Sage Karam in third. Colombian Oscar Tunjo (Juncos) and Texan Mason Chelootz (Intrepid) rounded out the top-five. In an impressive display of class and sportsmanship that many drivers twice their age could learn a lot from, Chaves asked good friend Jamie Ortega (Juncos) to join him on the podium. Ortega helped Chaves as a drafting partner to battle from the rear of the field to the front of the pack. Unfortunately a spin in the final corner dropped Ortega down to 29th. Chaves even gave Ortega his second place trophy.

The East Division of the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL will now gear up for their final divisional race of the season, August 4-6, at one of North America's top karting facilities at USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI. As always, the track management in Shawano has a full weekend of events planned including a car show for the fans and a brat fry for the competitors.


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Series Kart
Drivers Brandon Adkins , Chris Keller , Phil Giebler , Matt Jaskol , Kyle Marcelli , Jake Rosenzweig , Gabriel Chaves , Joel Miller , Carlos Munoz , Brett Smrz , Oscar Tunjo , Spencer Pigot , Sage Karam , Nick Neri , Dusty Davis