Aug. 5-7, 2011- Sumas, Washington- Round Six of the Northwest Gold Cup/Rotax Max Challenge series took racers to the border of Washington and Canada, to a quaint town called Sumas the home of Italian Motors and the newest track on the NWGCRCS circuit…The Sumas International Motorsports Academy or SIMA for short. The facility is nothing short of awesome as the track is capable of running 2 events at the same time or it can be joined together to make one long and fast state of the art international karting raceway. The dream of karting icon Claudio Valiante, the track has been in the works for about 3 years and was finally completed at the end of the 2010 race season and it hosted it’s first ever NWGCRCS event this past weekend. The Italian Motors Racing facility has it’s race shop & Kart shop right on premise along with the Sima Cafe complete with flat screen TV and waiters and waitresses…Fresh blueberry pancakes were order of the day both mornings for breakfast and Deli style turkey sandwiches and chips for lunch….Most definitely a first class facility and good challenge for most of the NWGCRCS competitors…..if your anything like me, it is a must see but then again I love the race track so just about any track that is new or that I haven’t been to is a must see for me….But it will not disappoint and the Valiante’s were gracious hosts throughout the entire weekend to both the racers and race fans….So well done SIMA…..Well done. With that let’s move on and get you “In the know” with “Who Won?”…
In ROTAX-MICROMAX it was a battle of the “Conner’s” as the “Little Rocket” Connor Robustelli aboard his Little Rocket Racing Wildkart bested his arch Micromax rival Conner Wick, who on his Wicked Fabrication machine gave Robustelli all he could handle in what had to be Robustelli’s biggest challenge of the year…Wick was in awesome form as the young Wicked Fabrication driver drove one of his best races of the 2011 season…..Wick takes Heat 1 with CRG West young gun Marco Kacic second, Red Apple Racing’s newcomer Parker “Rocker” Robb third in a great finish for the Red Apple rookie driver, Black Flag Racing’s Jacob Hudson fourth, and the lovely Ellie Musgrave rounding out the top five. Robustelli met some legality issues and was DQ’d in Heat 1. In the Pre-Final it was all Conner Wick once again, with Robustelli in the runner-up spot.. In the Final it was Conner WIck looking like he was on his way to a sweep until in the late going Robustelli snuck by Wick in turn 9 and lead the final circuits earning his 6th straight MicroMax win with Wick, Kacic, Hudson, Musgrave, and Parker Robb following Robustelli across the stripe. In a brief note, Jacob Hudson continued his improvement yet again this weekend…the hard charging driver out of the Black Flag Racing camp is going to be force to contend with next season…Parker Robb, nephew of the Sting Ray Robb, as well did an outstanding job as he continues to following in his young Uncle’s Foot steps. Quick Qualifier: Robustelli- 59.729 Final: 1. Robustelli 2. Wick 3. Kacic 4. Hudson 5. Musgrave 6. Robb
Moving on to ROTAX JR…No surprise here as Black Flag Racing’s Artie Carpenter put his Tony Kart on the pole and swept Heat 1, The Pre-Final, and the Final in another dominating performance…Surprising Carpenter did not attend this years Rotax Grand’s as in my opinion he has to be one of the top Rotax Jr. drivers in the country…None the less Carpenter took control early and never looked back. Michael Gutenberger newly crowned 4-cycle GrandNational champ took the runner-up spot in all three Jr. events and was second quick in qualifying….Zak “Stinky” Bothell turned in an outstanding performance aboard his Top kart Chassis entry with two solid thirds in Heat 1 and the Pre-Final and a respectable fifth in the Final….Shining star Brittany Zamora who qualified third quick finished right behind Bothell in Heat 1 but got tangled up in an altercation in the Final and finished well back in the field, Zamora has been solid all season since moving up to the Jr’s at the start of the 2011 season….But one of the real standouts was Molly Helmuth this gal can really roll it and she drove the wheels off all weekend to finish third behind Gutenberger in the final….the other notable was driver Jordan Redlin…with a bit more experience and seat time this kid is going to be the real deal…he has the speed, he just now needs the mental maturity that only seat time and experience gives…he’s hungry, aggressive, and has the wheeling talent it is just a matter of getting it all put together…Max Mulkey from Monmouth, OR who for the first 3 races was really coming strong was back after being in a chassis destroying accident at Tri-Cities and finished in the ninth spot. Quick Qualifier: Carpenter-53.256 Final: 1. Carpenter 2. Gutenberger 3. Helmuth 4. Redlin 5. Bothell
ROTAX MINI-MAX was awesome as the battle between Wicked Fabrication’s Kyle “Slick” Wick and Red Apple Racing’s “Sting” Ray Robb continued in round six. It was Wick who was ‘Slickity Quick” in qualifying taking the pole .628 seconds quicker than runner-up Robb…Heat 1 went to Wick with Robb, Sara Brinkac, Matt Morgan, and Rayce Spoor round out spot five….Brinkac continues her march for the title with another solid third quick qualifying effort along with thirds in the all three Mini-Max events running out of the Checkered Flag Racing camp, tuner George Fellner really has Brinkac running to her potential…The Pre-Final was “Barnburner” with Robb leading laps 1 thru 6, on lap 7 Wick “Loosened” Robb up getting into turn 9 and went by….race officials however didn’t see it that way…So Wick relinquished the lead back to Robb to save a DQ…Wick rolled up his sleeves and went back to work retaking the lead this time for good with 2 to go..Robb followed Wick across the stripe to take the runner-up spot with Brinkac again in third, Cole Franchini who is so close to a win he can taste it…fourth and the solid Matt Morgan once again showing why he is one of if not the most improved drivers in the class fifth. The Final was something I certainly wasn’t expecting and I think it may have taken everyone else by surprise as well….Kyle Wick driving like a racer possessed completely dominated from flag to flag in the best performance of the year for him….focused and on task Wick drove flawlessly and brought the Wicked Fabrication WildKart across the stripe untouched and basically unchallenged to take the win in a dominating performance….Sting Ray Robb was second, Sara Brinkac third, Franchini once again fourth and Matt Morgan rounded the top five. Round 7 at McMinnville Raceway Park should prove to be very interesting as historically Robb has been really quick there as has Wick…so the“Thrilla at the Villa” should be very exciting….. Quick Qualifier: Wick- 54.898 Final: 1. Wick 2. Robb 3. Brinkac 4. Franchini 5. Matt Morgan
IAME CUP action was the Italian Motors Show because out of the 17 entries….there was only one non-Ital Kart in competition and that was the Intrepid of Aberdeen, Washington’s Paige Wallin. Remo Ruscitti grabbed the pole with the smoooooth Scott Hargrove accompanying him on the front row…Give Heat 1 to Hargrove, Ruscitti second, and one of the hottest drivers going right now Adam Isman third, legend Michael Valiante fourth and the ever cool David Jurca fifth….In the Pre Final…give once again to Hargrove who had a blazing fast set-up under him all weekend long…and I mean blazing….of course you have to be blazing fast just hang with group…I would put this group of Iame Cuppers up against anything…most of all of them are accomplished drivers and those who are not, are most certainly going to be when it is all said and done… You bring an “A” game to run in this class if you don’t….you flunk trust me this is one tough class…..The final looked to be a repeat of the Pre-Final with Hargrove leading the way until around lap 8 Hargrove skated on some gravel kicked up on the track and skated up the race track getting into turn 6…and skating his way by was Adam Isman who never looked back…(Ok maybe once) and went on to get his first win of the 2011 race season…Race Note..Paige Wallin drove her intrepid to a VERY RESPECTABLE twelfth place finish..she is a great young talent and is truly testing herself…my hat is off to the Wallin Racing team for a great race season in a class where most would have given up long ago…the dividends of sticking with it, far out weigh giving up….Laura Freeman won the Jr. 3 version of the Iame cup aboard her new Ital-kart with up and comer Jordan Redlin second. Quick Qualifier: Ruscitti-52.403 Final: 1. Isman 2. Hargrove 3. Ruscitti 4. Jurca 5. Valiante
Next up was ROTAX SR. home of defending champ Andrew Zimmer who grabbed an amazing 6th straight pole for the Black Flag Racing Team…and equally amazing was the great qualifying effort of Kory Estell…You can’t help but like this team because of the hard work and effort put forth…nothing seems to come easy for this team and to see them put together a weekend like this is really inspiring and nice to see, not taking anything away from the other teams who also work hard…Right out of the gate Zimmer is killer fast until late in Heat 1 he loses a chain coming out of turn 3 and coast off into the infield giving the lead and the win to Kory Estell, first year sensation Kyle Byers was second, Darren Ward third, Joe Criscione fourth watch out for this kid…he is very talented, and veteran Engine builder Doug Huggler with a great run to take the fifth spot…..Pre-Final goes to Estell, with Byers second and Zimmer coming fast but running out of laps third, Ward and Criscione ( see I told you to watch this kid didn’t I?) rounding out the top five….In the final it is Black Flag’s Zimmer quieting his critics taking the win, Estell amazing the critic’s with his strong runner up, Darren Ward who by the way stripped and reassembled a brand new chassis overnight was third, the up and comer Criscione fourth, and one of the hardest working and likeable racers on the whole circuit Revolution Racing’s Joey Miller fifth…Byers has some problems and finishes 9th and Huggler took a hard “Chilliwack” into the turn 8 barriers early and finished 19th. Black Flag Racing’s “Action Man” Tim Moss aboard his Tony Kart won the Masters division. Quick Qualifier: Zimmer-52.850 (6th in a row) Final: 1. Zimmer 2. Estell 3. Ward 4. Criscione 5. Miller
SHIFTERS buzzing tires and grabbing gears were next out and once again it was Remo Ruscitti putting his Italian Motors Ital-kart on the point….I honestly believe that if this kid raced more nationally he would be a ranked shifter driver…he’s got all the tools and he gets the set-up stuff…anyways the smoking hot Adam Isman put his Ital-kart right next to Ruscitti on the front row…..Give Heat 1 to third quick qualifier Michael Valiante….as well as The Pre- Final…give Ruscitti second in Heat 1 and the Pre-Final….in the Final it is Ruscitti taking the win after something goes awry with Valiante’s machine in the late going and he limps back to the the garage area….Hargrove, Isman, Jurca and shifter vet Mike McGowan follow Ruscitti across the stripe…Great finish for the very likable and true race lover McGowan who attends every NWGCRCS event and always has a smile on his face regardless…Speaking of smiles…Young gun Myles Pederson from Boise once again wins the 80cc shifter class…and he always runs by himself…smiling the whole way…this kid just loves to drive his shifter and is really a joy to watch, and really gets around the race track….So watch out shifter vets, you got a young gun coming…… Quick Qualifier: Ruscitti-51.333 Final: 1. Ruscitti 2. Hargrove 3. Isman 4. Jurca 5. McGowan
JR.1 4 CYCLE LIGHT & HEAVY…. No surprise here as Sting Ray Robb once again swept both the light and heavy divisions…quick qualifier, heat 1, Pre-Final, and the Final…..the real talk is about the up and comers who have been finishing behind Robb…names like Canadian Kyle Adams, Twin Falls Trey “Dawg” Manker who gets my vote for the most improved driver in this class hands down….he has really worked hard to improve and has done so at every single event since deciding to believe in himself after the round 3 in Boise, Idaho…Kyle Adams who was the most improved last season continues to knock on Sting Rays door and is getting closer and closer to getting himself a win….Jacob Gulick as well has been improving week in and week out….I want to give a big shout out to T.J. Madonna who did an excellent job over this past weekend showing tenacity and real “stick to itness” bringing home a top five finish….Great Job TJ!….Light Quick Qualifier: Robb- 58.522 Lt. Final: 1. Robb 2. Manker 3. Adams 4. Gulick 5. Madonna Hvy. Quick Qualifier: Robb 59.236 Hvy. Final: 1. Robb 2. Adams 3. Manker 4. Gulick 5. Madonna
JR.2 4 CYCLE LIGHT & HEAVY- It was once again Michael Gutenberger capturing the pole in both the light and heavy divisions of JR.2….In light it was third quick qualifier and IKF Expert David Schorn taking the win with followed by Gutenberger, Myles Pederson, Hailey Groff, and Bryce Peterson…..In Heavy action it was Myles Pederson taking the win followed by Gutenberger, Bryce Peterson, Hailey Groff, and David Schorn who put a pretty good sized hole in his engine when the connecting Rod let go at the the start of the Heavy Final ending his weekend. Quick Qualifier: Gutenberger 56.988 Lt & 58.236 Hvy. Final: LT. 1. Schorn 2. Gutenberger 3. M. Pederson 4. B. Peterson 5. Groff Final HVY: 1. M. Pederson 2. Gutenberger 3. Groff 4. B. Peterson 5. Schorn.
World Formula Heavy, Masters, Medium, & Super Sportsman.. The battle continued between Scott Barlee and Bryan Green, the two have been going at it all year as the numbers have dwindled in the World Formula Division….between 15 and 18 WF’s were at every event early on in the season but since just before the Nationals and since then the numbers have really fallen off, but the two that have stuck it out Barlee and Green have been putting on classic battles taking turns winning the two different classes…in Heavy it was Barlee taking the pole but Bryan Green taking the win….in Masters it was once again Barlee taking the Pole aboard his new Ital-Kart…and Green taking the Pre-Final and Barlee taking the Final….That is is 4 out of 6 wins for Barlee this season…Speedster Ricky Worley was third quick in heavy qualifying and took the pole and the win in World Formula Medium….Thomas Wilson second in medium…Glen Blannkers was third in heavy followed by Worley and Beaverton, Oregon’s Greg Wick. The Super sportsman was won by Steve Adkins with Stan Crocker second. Quick Qualifier: Hvy. Barlee 57.763 Medium: Worley 58.000 Final: Hvy 1. Bryan Green 2. Scott Barlee 3. Ricky Worley 4. Wick 5. Blankers Final: Masters: 1. Barlee 2. Green 3. Wick Final: Medium 1. Worley 2. Wilson
IAME PRO RACE…Scott Hargrove started on the pole with Ruscitti on the outside the racing was fast and furious…Claudio even brought out his new Ital-Limo a stretched and two seated Ital Chassis with a shifter engine on it!…Yours truly was the in the rear seat calling the pace lap while in front of the field…the pace was ferocious…Keegan Laithwaite took a nasty shot to the outside retaining wall in turn one….meanwhile David Jurca has been picking of karts one by one…three wide into turn nine just at the end of the long front straight….its Jurca leading…and it stays that way until the end….Jurca wins his first Iame Pro Challenge….but you know what?…no he doesn’t cause he rolls over the scales LIGHT!!…can you believe it…..Give the win to Hargrove and move everybody up one….. FINAL ORDER: 1. Hargrove 2. Ruscitti 3. Valiante 4. Scott O’Farrell 5. Fred Lin 6. Keegan Laithwaite 7. Nik Thomson 8. Will Lin 9. Jurca ( DQ’d…Light)
Well that’s it for this edition of Who Won?…please subscribe to this blog and stay tuned for our new up and coming racing/Motorsports internet show…we will be doing all sorts of different shows…so if you have any idea’s for our upcoming shows please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and please only serious idea’s only…Until next time…My name is Terry Bridges and thanks for having me!……..