Matt Ostiguy Racing
in the Los Angeles Karting Championship series in the Rotax Senior class to continue to sharpen my skills and get more seat time.
The Rotax Senior kart continues to be an interesting ride compared to my Rotax DD2 racing craft that I have been racing for the last couple of years.
I was struggling to find the needed speed most of the weekend. In qualifyng, I was 8 tenths of a second off the pole position, qualifying 12th out of 18 karts. In the pre-main race, I lost a couple more positions at the start of the race, but passed half of the field in front of me by the end of the race to finish in the 7th position! I finally found some speed and came within 2 tenths of a second of the leader's fastest laps.
During the Main race, I started in the fourth row in the seventh posiiton and gained two more positions before the first turn and then gained a couple more positions before the end of the race and finished in 3rd place - on the podium!
I was very happy with my results, especially after qualifying 12th and then finihsing on the podium!
in the Los Angeles Karting Championship series in the Rotax Senior class to sharpen my skills and continue to get more seat time since my season ending crash late last year. I struggled in the Senior Rotax kart vs. my Rotax DD2 racing craft, especially with issues with the drive chain in both practice and qualifying and finally with a DNF in the pre-main. I was ready to start the final race in the last position on the grid and moved up from the seventeenth position at the beginning of the race, finishing in 5th place with the second fastest time of the race of 50.82 seconds only to be beat by the winner of the race with a time of 50.66 seconds. 2011 Gatorz Challenge of the Americas (Rounds 3 & 4) - CalSpeed Kart Track: 2/19 - 2/20/11 I’m disappointed with my results for the weekend finishing both races in 4th place and missing the podium, but overall, I showed some good speed all weekend and even had the fastest lap in the last pre-main, which isn't bad for not being in the kart for the last 5 months! Gatorz Eyewear Golden State Karting Cup (Round 5) - CalSpeed Kart Track: 10/2, 2010 I qualified for the pole and won the Heat and the Main race in the Rotax DD2 kart racing class! I also qualified fourth in the Rotax Senior class, behind Phil Giebler (2007 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year) who took pole, and Louie Pagano and John Crow. I was very happy with my qualifying position, especially since I haven't been in a Rotax Senior race, since October, 2008, which I won two years ago, before moving up to the Rotax DD2 kart racing class. I started the Rotax Senior main race after just winning the Rotax DD2 main race and even though fatigue was setting in I did my best to finish with a sixth place finish out of a total of twenty karts. For the Main Race on Saturday, I led the first ten laps of the race before losing the lead to the pole sitter and then taking it back again in the Tic-Tac-Toe section of the track. The same thing happened again in the next lap before I lost another position and ultimately finishing the main race on Saturday in third place for a podium finish! At the start of the final main race of the weekend, I briefly took the lead before losing it again and battling for a podium finish trading positions multiple times before finally finishing in third place for another podium finish for the weekend!
I am looking forward to getting back into my Rotax DD2 racing craft for the final rounds of the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas series in Sonoma in my GATORZ Eyewear / No Fear Energy Drink - CRG Dark Rider Kart No. 17!
I raced in my first races of the year since my season ending crash late last year when I suffered a fractured wrist at the Rotax PanAm event at the same track last October.
I'm looking forward to racing in Sonoma next month for the final rounds of the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas!
The Rotax Pan American Challenge and the Gatorz Eyewear Golden State Karting Cup had a joint race at the CalSpeed Kart Track located at the Auto Club (California) Speedway in Fontana, CA.
I raced in the Rotax DD2 class to secure the 2010 Gatorz Eyewear Golden State Karting Cup Championship!
I missed the pole in qualifying by 1/100 of a second, but started the Pre-final race in the front row.
During the Pre-final race I got the lead in the first turn and was leading the race for the first 10 laps when I came up behind another kart that I was going to lap. I was approaching him after a turn and he went wide as I was passing him. He apparently didn't see me and turned right into my kart, which put my kart in the air on two wheels and then started to flip over as I was ejected from the kart and thrown into the tire barriers.
The second and third place drivers immediately pulled over before the race was red flagged and rushed to my aid. The ambulance and paramedics arrived from the other end of the track and fortunately I only suffered a broken wrist.
I spent the next several hours at the closest hospital to the race track, which also happened to have a Trauma Center which immediately began checking me from head to toe and concluded that the only serious injuries I had was a broken wrist, including all of the bones in my wrist being dislocated. After putting my fingers in traction for about thirty minutes, I was put to sleep while an Orthopedic surgeon "popped" all of the bones in my left wrist back into place. I left the Trauma Center about 2 1/2 hours later and headed back to the race track with a cast from my hand to my elbow.
Unfortunately my 2010 racing season is over. I have to wear the cast for about 6 weeks and have surgery to place a screw and pins in my left hand to repair one of the fractured bones that was also dislocated.
The good news is I did win the 2010 Gatorz Eyewear Golden State Karting Cup Championship in the Rotax DD2 class!
This season and championship could not have been possible without my sponsors Gatorz Eyewear and No Fear (Energy Drink) and my tuner and driving coach, Francois Doran of KartTech and of course my Dad...! Thank you all...!
Gatorz Eyewear Golden State Karting Cup (Round 4) - CalSpeed Kart Track: 8/29, 2010
The Los Angeles Kart Club (LAKC) and the Gatorz Eyewear Golden State Karting Cup had a joint race at the CalSpeed Kart Track located at the Auto Club (California) Speedway in Fontana, CA.
I raced in both the Rotax Senior and DD2 classes. Kerry Lynch, CEO of Gatorz Eyewear (one of my sponsors and the Gatorz Eyewear Karting Cup series' sponsor) also raced this past weekend in the Rotax Masters class.
Overall, I was very happy with the weekend and my race day results. It was great to have my sponsors, Kerry Lynch, CEO of Gatorz Eyewear and No Fear Energy Drink at the track all weekend!
At the 1.8 mile Streets of Willow - super speedway of kart tracks, I was able to exceed speeds of 90+ mph on the long downhill straight-away. This Gatorz Karting Cup race was co-hosted for the first time with the Prokart Challenge (South) series of SKUSA - Superkarts! USA, the two best Southern California racing series'.
We followed the Prokart Challenge racing day format with qualifying, followed by two heat races before the main race. Multiple classes were grouped together, allowing drivers from the ProKart Challenge and Gatorz Karting Cup to compete in the same race.
I raced my
I was the only DD2 in the group of the six speed shifters and started at the back of the pack of each race, but I quickly began picking them off and finished the first heat race passing eleven of the twenty-six shifters. In the next heat race, I once again started at the back and quickly went to work against the six speed shifters this time passing thirteen of them.
Finally, during the main race, from the back of the pack, I quickly gained speed at the beginning of the race passing as many of the shifters as I could during the first lap and continued to pick them off throughout the race, this time passing a total of fifteen karts out of twenty-six by the end of the race.
I of course claimed victory, as the only DD2 in the race, but the real victory were my results as a Rotax 2-speed shifter against the six speed shifters in the ProKart classes. Fortunately, racing with the ProKart series made for some exciting racing, mixing it up with the shifters on the almost 2-mile track and drafting down the long straight-away.
Gatorz Challenge of the Americas (Final Rounds 5 & 6) - Sonoma, CA: 3/27 - 28, 2010
The final rounds of the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas were held at the Jim Russell Internatioal Karting Center at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, in Northern California just north of San Francisco.
It was my first official race with my new sponsors - Gatorz Eyewear and No Fear, including the No Fear Energy Drink!
After successful practice sessions on Friday, I qualified third on Saturday for the Pre-main and had moved into the second position for half of the race before being passed on the last lap to finish in third.
Gatorz Eyewear Golden State Karting Cup (Rounds 1 & 2) - Fontana, CA: 2/27 - 28, 2010
(Gatorz Challenge of the Americas - Rounds 3 & 4)
The Gatorz Challenge of the Americas Rounds 3 & 4, also counted as the opening rounds of the Gatorz Golden State Karting Cup for 2010. Practice sessions started Friday for the racing rounds on Saturday and Sunday. The practice sessions went well considering this was my first race of the season and it has been five months since my last race at the U.S. Rotax Grand Nationals last September in Oklahoma.
We had heavy rain for most of the day on Saturday - for qualifying and the pre-main race. The weather and track conditions were challenging and I qualified fourth and finished the pre-main race in sixth after spinning off the track in the heavy rain and extreme wet conditions. The main race on Saturday was postponed to Sunday morning after the weather conditions worsened with hail, thunder and lightning late in the afternoon.
Sunday morning was a typical beautiful sunny day in Southern California and a perfect day for racing! I started the main race in the sixth position based on the results of the pre-main the day before. However, I quickly moved up to the second position within a few laps taking advantage of the perfect racing conditions and my fast CRG and Rotax DD2 engine.
I was able take the lead about half way through the race, but was passed again a few corners later and was back in the second position for the final laps of the race. The racing series' point leader was on my bumper in the third position through the final turns of the race on the last lap. As we approached the final straightaway and began racing flat out to the checkered flag we were wheel-to-wheel as I passed the finish line only a few inches ahead and .008 seconds faster for 2nd place and my first podium of the year!
As we passed the finish line the 3rd place kart made contact and my open-wheel racing craft was now on two wheels with one side up in the air several feet high! I landed safely back on the track on all four wheels with no damage and was ready for the official second day of racing to begin.
As the racing continued Sunday afternoon for Round 2 of the Gatorz Karting Cup, I qualified third with the same leaders of the race earlier in the day - both who are the 2009 Rotax Senior and DD2 National Champions and top drivers in the country.
I finished the pre-main in the third position and started the final race of the weekend in the same position. I had a faster lap time than the kart in the second position and was on his bumper for the final laps of the race, but was unable to pass him cleanly and finished in 3rd place behind both of the 2009 National Champions (Rotax Senior and DD2) for my second podium of the weekend!
Rotax Grand Nationals '09 - Norman Oklahoma - 9/15 - 19, 2009
I struggled in the Senior Rotax kart vs. my Rotax DD2 racing craft, especially with issues with the drive chain in both practice and qualifying and finally with a DNF in the pre-main. I was ready to start the final race in the last position on the grid and moved up from the seventeenth position at the beginning of the race, finishing in 5th place with the second fastest time of the race of 50.82 seconds only to be beat by the winner of the race with a time of 50.66 seconds.
2011 Gatorz Challenge of the Americas (Rounds 3 & 4) - CalSpeed Kart Track: 2/19 - 2/20/11
I’m disappointed with my results for the weekend finishing both races in 4th place and missing the podium, but overall, I showed some good speed all weekend and even had the fastest lap in the last pre-main, which isn't bad for not being in the kart for the last 5 months!
Gatorz Eyewear Golden State Karting Cup (Round 5) - CalSpeed Kart Track: 10/2, 2010
I qualified for the pole and won the Heat and the Main race in the Rotax DD2 kart racing class!
I also qualified fourth in the Rotax Senior class, behind Phil Giebler (2007 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year) who took pole, and Louie Pagano and John Crow. I was very happy with my qualifying position, especially since I haven't been in a Rotax Senior race, since October, 2008, which I won two years ago, before moving up to the Rotax DD2 kart racing class.
I started the Rotax Senior main race after just winning the Rotax DD2 main race and even though fatigue was setting in I did my best to finish with a sixth place finish out of a total of twenty karts.
For the Main Race on Saturday, I led the first ten laps of the race before losing the lead to the pole sitter and then taking it back again in the Tic-Tac-Toe section of the track. The same thing happened again in the next lap before I lost another position and ultimately finishing the main race on Saturday in third place for a podium finish!
At the start of the final main race of the weekend, I briefly took the lead before losing it again and battling for a podium finish trading positions multiple times before finally finishing in third place for another podium finish for the weekend!
Waking up this morning at 5am in California I could not wait for the upcoming plane rides to Oklahoma for the Rotax Summer Shootout. My dad, my mechanic/tuner Francois Doran, and myself left this morning at 7am from San Diego and flew to Phoenix, AZ. After an hour layover we finally got onto the plane to Oklahoma. The huge difference from Oklahoma weather to what we are used to in California is the humidity. The temperature was in the high 90’s and it was impossible not to sweat. Finding the track was an adventure in itself since mapquest gave some faulty directions but once we finally made it to the track I couldn’t wait to unload. We were not originally planning on hitting the track today but we thought we would get in a couple sessions to break in my motor. After a couple break-in sessions our attention quickly shifted to an incoming tornado and we frantically had to secure everything in the FTK pit. All in all the day was good and I can’t wait to get on the track tomorrow. Official practice starts at 9am and I will let everyone know how the day went on my next entry.
Friday - 7/17/09
Friday - 7/17/09
Today at the track was the official practice day of the summer shootout. My freshly broken in motor was having no problems and I spent most of the morning and afternoon working on driver line and carburetor set up. Once we found out what jetting we liked the best with the help of PSL Karting owner/tuner Dominic Labrecque we decided to focus on other things. We turned our attention to chassis set up and later in the afternoon we decided to try our stiffest axle. This made the kart very consistent and easy to drive. The only time I did not put down a great fast lap was late in the day when a gear change did not go as expected. For the final session we put back our original set up and did the fastest time of the day in DD2. After practice the usual kart maintenance was performed and then we left the track for some much needed dinner. I look forward to tomorrow’s race as I feel like I can bring home the win but we will see what is in store.
Saturday - 7/18/09
The day began with breakfast at 7am and then off the to the track for some quick kart preparation before morning warm-up. I felt confident after morning warm-up with the second quickest time of the session and I was only .4 seconds off the fastest time. During qualifying however things went a little backward. When the session began I did a quick lap early on with a 45.0 second lap time. During what I thought would be my fastest lap I put my right side wheels off and this cost me a better time. In the end I qualified a disappointing 4th after showing better speed. This only gave me more drive to do better in the pre-main. With the pre-main approaching my tuner Francois Doran of Karttech make a couple chassis adjustments in the front to get rid of some understeer and we went to a lower jet. With the pre-main approaching I was anticipating where I wanted to make my passes in the race. At 2 pm in the afternoon it was time for the 17 lap pre-main. I made a very good start and was in 3rd before turn 1. I had the pace to keep up with the leaders and a missed shift by Zach Beard in the slow hairpin on lap 2 allowed me to move into second. For the rest of the race I chased down the leader but simply did not have enough laps to make the pass. The result of the pre-main was very good and only made me confident for the main.
For the main event my plan was to anticipate the start and try to take the lead going into turn 1. I did my best at the start but still kept my second place spot. I clearly had more speed then P1 in the first few laps and I took the lead on lap 4 by passing the 00 kart of Carlos Duenos going into turn one. I lead atleast 10 laps before getting repassed by the #00 kart. When I went in the inside of the #00 only a lap later I braked late but was surprised by Zach Beard going on the inside of me and making it 3 wide going into turn one. After entering the turn in the middle I came out in first once again. For the rest of the race Beard was giving me pressure but I lead the rest of the race and took home the win with a 5 kart length lead. This win could not be possible without the help of my Dad and Mom, Francois Doran (the best CRG-rotax tuner), and the support of SSC West and the Gatorz Karting Cup.
Sunday - 7/19/09
Even though the DD2 field was not huge on Saturday with five karts the competition was very close and the top 4 were within a couple tenths of a second of each other. Sunday would be another story however. 3 karts would not be able to compete. Nathan Mauel went home with a blown transmission, Carlos Duenos could not drive with sore ribs, and Zach Beard decided to concentrate on Senior Max for the day. I was happy with qualifying since I did a faster time than Saturday’s qualifying and I earned the pole position. The pre-main was an easy 12-second win and the main was an easy 35-second win. Even though the DD2 race was not exciting I used all of the on track sessions as test sessions. In the main Francois and I tried a new carburetor set-up but was unfortunately a couple tenths slower and cost me 200 revs down the straight-away. We now know what set-up is best and this weekend was the perfect amount of track practice time for the Nationals in September. Overall we found a good chassis set-up but also have a few more things we want to try and hopefully we can increase our speed for the Nationals. I am glad to carry this winning momentum into September and hopefully I can finish in the top 3 and go to Egypt for the Rotax World Finals. This win could not have been possible without my Dad and Francois Doran - the best tuner in the world, the great engine work of James Perez at SSC West, and the Gatorz Karting Cup.
This weekend I raced my DD2 with the Rotax Senior drivers and was about a second faster overall compared to the Senior Rotax power plants and significantly faster on the straight-away's with my two speed gear box. I enjoyed racing and passing the slower Senior Rotax power plants. This weekend definitely gave me the additional practice I needed with the Rotax DD2 power plant as I prepare for the Rotax Grand Nationals this September at the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex in Norman, OK.
Coming into the final race of the season all I had to do was finish Sunday’s race to lock up 2nd Place in the championship. On Saturday practice things were not great as my usual engine suffered from a lack of overall power. Luckily the owner of FTK allowed me to borrow his motor for the racer. In morning qualifying I placed 2nd only 0.022 thousandths of a second off of the pole. In the heat race I had a good start and kept my position heading into turn 1. On lap 1, the leader got a little lose on the exit of turn 5 which allowed me to make a move going into turn 6. With the lead on the first lap I never looked back and won the heat race. For the main I started on pole and I lead the race from the start of the green flag all the way to the checkered.
Next year I plan to make the switch to the Rotax DD2 class so I started doing practice races this year. In only my fourth DD2 start I had my third pole by 1 tenth of a second. In the heat race a missed shift at the start cause me to fall back to second where I eventually finished. Fresh off my win in the Rotax International class only an hour before, I was ready for a good result in the main. At the start of the main race first place gained some good distance on me and had a good lead. With fast consistent laps I was able to catch right onto the rear bumper of the leader with only 4 laps to go. With 2 laps to go my radiator mount broke which caused the radiator to fall onto my left rear tire. This created a hole in the radiator, which created a huge cloud of smoke, water, and steam. On the last lap the left rear tire went flat with only a few turns to go from the radiator rubbing against it. Even with those problems I crossed the finish line in 2nd place. My good driving however did allow me to earn the fastest lap of the race.
This being the second to last race of the championship series I needed good result to keep my second place championship position and have a chance at winning it overall. In qualifying the kart setup wasn’t has good as I wanted and only qualified in 4th position. At the start of the heat I moved to 3rd spot before heading into turn 1. With first and second having a good battle in front of me I was able to pass second with only a 3 laps to go, but unfortunately of the last lap however I was passed and forced back down into 3rd spot. On the warm-up lap for the main event my engine had a slight sputter in right hand corners. This problem slowed me down a great deal in the main race and first and second place escaped from my sights. For the entire race the two karts behind me always stayed close and I was passed for third but only two corners later I took the position back. I eventually finished in 3rd position.
My second class of the weekend would be the Rotax DD2. In morning qualifying I qualified only 3 tenths behind pole position. In the heat I kept my position going into to turn one and for the 8 lap heat I tired to put pressure on the leader. My try to force a mistake did not work out and I finished the heat in second. In the main I once again kept my position at the start but lost distance to the leader due to some lapped traffic. My fast consistent laps allowed to me catch back up to the leader but unfortunately it wasn’t enough and I finished in second for my second podium of the day. I did however earn the fastest lap of the race.
In the eighth round of the LAKC championship I was looking for a win after a disappointing Gatorz weekend in Santa Maria. In qualifying on Sunday morning I qualified 2nd, only 0.064 seconds off the pole time. From qualifying however, my left front tire had developed a very bad blister but with permission from the tech officials I was able to replace it without being disqualified. In the heat race I got a good push from behind at the start andwas able to take the lead before the first corner. I held the lead for the entire heat race while a game of bumper karts ensued behind me. For the main, Ihad the pole and preferred starting lane. I lead from flag to flag and finished with a 1.4 second lead. I was very happy with this result and I gained valuable points in the championship standings.
I was hopeful for a good finish at the final Gatorz Race of the year as I was battling for third place in the championship. The morning started off well with a 4th place qualifying effort. Next came the heat race. I kept my starting position heading into turn one and soon gained third spot when the polesitter dropped out with a mechanical failure. Later in the heat race I passed Dylan Stalker for second place and held the position for the rest of the heat. I was pleased with the pass because I was battling with Dylan for the 3rd place championship spot. In the final race I once again held my position heading into turn 1, but on the same lap Dylan passed me for second. A back a forth passing battle continued for the next several laps until about half way through the race Dylan made a bold move into turn 4 and ran over the front of my go-kart. The damage to my kart was too much to continue and I was forced to pull off track. This was a very frustrating day I as lost third place in the championship for the Gatorz Golden State Karting Cup.
The LAKC season has not been the best for me this year so for the 7th roundof the season I was wanting a good result. On Saturday practice I was fast butunfortunately hit a barrier in the hairpin causing my kart to flip and me landon my back with the kart on top of me. Luckily I was not injured and mymechanic was able to make the repairs necessary to continue practice. On raceday I qualified 4th only a few tenths off the leader. For thepre-main a bad start caused me to drop back to fifth. Due to a quick pace Imoved up to second by lap 4, and eventually finished the pre-main in second. Inthe main event a small bog from my motor cause me to have another bad start andagain drop back to fifth. By lap 3, I moved up to 3rd and stayed inthat position for the rest of the race. I was very happy with this result andthe performance from my Full Throttle Karting Birel. I had the quickest laptime in both the pre-main and main event.
TheStreets of Willow Circuit is the fastest go-kart track on the west coast. Inthe draft, my 125cc Rotax motor would reach speeds in excess of 85 mph.Qualifying was good for me as I was able to get 5th position. Istarted the pre-main fifth and quickly move into fourth spot at the start. On lap 2 however my motor suffered a terrible hesitation, which forced me to pulloff the track. For the main we made a carburetor change and hoped it would fixmy motor trouble. At the start I went to fifth place from 13th spot.The good start was just what I needed to head to the front but unfortunately mymotor troubles were not fixed and once again I had to pull of track and notfinish the main.
During the sixth round of the LAKC championship I would be testing the Intrepid kart chassis, instead of running my usual CRG. I qualified fourth but was slightly disappointed because I knew I had more speed in hand. During the pre-main I gained one position on lap 2 and fell into third place. Soon after my clutch started to break and even though I could keep up with the leaders I couldn’t attempt a pass. From the start of the main, my usual luck came into play at LAKC. In turn 3 on each lap my kart suffered terrible fuel delivery problems which would slow my kart down tremendously only in that corner. On lap 5 another kart attempted to pass me in turn 3 but unfortunately he hit my right side pod hard, which forced me to spin. I continued the race but could only rally back to finish 9th.
This year’s Gatorz Grange event was special since it would be held at night under the lights.. On Friday practice things looked glum as our newly rebuilt motor was lacking power on the straight-away, eventually we switched motors and found a descent set-up. In qualifying, we lacked speed and qualified 10th, about a second off the pace. We knew something had to be done, so we made drastic set-up changes. Not knowing what our changes would do, I started the pre-main a little uneasy. On the start I gained a position and for the rest of the race I battled closely with the #12 and #86 kart. I would finish the 15 lap pre-main in 7th position. The main began under the lights at 10 pm. The start was good for me as I went from 7th to 5th in turn 1. After lap 6, a worsening problem began to arise. My muffler pipe mount broke causing the muffler to sit on top of my rear brake rotor. This caused braking issues along with putting a hole in the pipe which caused a decrease in the performance of my motor. I crossed the line in 8th but finished ahead of my closest rivals in the championship.
My hopes were high for the 5th round of the LAKC championship because of my 2nd place finish in the Gatorz Series the weekend before on the same track. In morning qualifying I pulled off the pole with 2nd place less than 0.01 seconds behind me. In the pre-main I held the lead heading into turn one, but was unsure how long I would keep it. My kart was struggling to maintain rear grip in the 100 degree weather and on lap 4, I was passed and lost the lead. I eventually crossed the line in 3rd position. On the start of the main I kept third position going into turn 1. First place checked out and it became a race for second place. I swapped positions with the number 9 kart three times before the end of the race. As we passed the checkered flag side by side, I crossed the line in second only 0.084 seconds ahead of third place. I was very excited with the well earned finish and I was glad it was my second podium in a row.
The seventh round of the Gatorz Golden State Karting Cup was held at Calspeed. The morning started off with qualifying. We put on a fresh set of tires and laid down a fast lap of 50.298, which was good enough for 4th spot only 0.034 of a second of the pole. Next was the 15 lap pre-main. At the start I was pushed wide in turn 1 and fell back to 7th spot. Due to some driving mistakes by a couple drivers in front of me I quickly moved up to 5th position. Half way through the race I had a very close call as the kart in front of me went completely sideways and I had to maneuver off track to avoid hitting him. With only two laps to go a red flag was thrown due to a bad accident in a fast part of the track. I finish the pre-main in 4th position. At the start of the 25 lap main I moved from 4th to 3rd in turn 1 and stayed in that position until lap 12. The leading kart broke his clutch putting me into the 2nd position. I finished the main in 2nd with 3rd finishing 0.175 seconds behind me. I was very excited about this podium finish as it was my first in the Gatorz series.
Gatorz Challenge of the Americas - Round 6 - X-Plex Las Vegas - 3/30/08
On Sunday, we tried a different set up in morning qualifying due to heavy winds but unfortunately the change was a disadvantage. I qualified 17th out of the 32 karts entered. In the heat race I had a good start and avoided all first turn trouble. After the first couple of laps I found myself in 15th and in the last 8 laps of the 15 lap pre-main I passed four karts and finished 11th. In the first turn of the start for the main two of the front runners tangled with each other causing a massive pile up. The left rear of my kart was hit from behind which bent my axle, broke my right rear wheel, and bent my sprocket. Luckily for us the red flag was thrown which means the race was stopped. We were allowed 15 minutes for repairs and luckily we finished with seconds to spare. The race was restarted and my quick pace allowed me to pass all the way up to 6th by the end of the 25 lap main. I finished the Gatorz Challenge of the
The Saturday race day looked good for me as I was top ten in the morning warm-up session. I qualified 15th and was quite disappointed with that result since we showed much better speed in the race on the previous day. I had the inside line for the start of the pre-main and knew I had to get to the front fast. I past a couple karts early on, but incidents between other competitors on the track allowed me to sneak up into 8th position. The start of the main was clean and there was no contact between me and other drivers. I quickly moved up to 5th position but unfortunately my front fairing was loose due to some contact in the first couple laps. On lap eight, I was black flagged and had to pull off the track due to my loose front fairing. I failed to finish but we had high hopes for the next race day as we clearly showed we had the speed to be in the front.
Gatorz Challenge of the Americas - Round 4 - X-Plex Las Vegas - 3/28/08
The first race at X-Plex was a make-up race for a cancelled day in
Los Angeles Kart Club - Round 3 - 3/16/08
My hopes were high for the third round of the LAKC season after a very promising Saturday practice. In qualifying I put down a fast lap of 51.804 which was good enough for third. On the start of the pre-main I passed 2nd place in turn one and I quickly took the lead on the same lap when the leader suffered mechanical problems. I lead every lap of the pre-main and won by over 2 seconds. With an outstanding victory in the pre-main I knew a win was more than likely in the main. At the start I lost the lead to off pole starter Cory Pollock but got the lead back when I passed Cory in the hairpin on lap three. On lap 7 there was a red flag thrown for a bad incident requiring the ambulance. On the restart my engine sputtered and quickly died ending my race. It was disappointing after a dominating weekend up to that point.
This past weekend was a special opportunity to test the Rotax DD2 racing kart. This kart has a 2-speed gearbox and can reach speeds in excess of 100mph. In qualifying I laid down a quick lap and took the pole by 4 tenths of a second over second place. The first heat race was next and I kept the pole position through the first turn. The lead was mine the entire race until the last lap. A missed shift due to a lapped karter allowed second place to get by. I started in second for the second heat race but quickly took back the lead in the first lap. In the next 7 laps a back and forth battle for the lead ensued with multiple lead changes. At the checkered I finished in second. The main was next and the winner of this race took home all the marbles. I followed the leader for the first three laps or so until he made a small mistake. Going into a fast right hand turn he slid out just enough off-line for me to take the position. I never looked back and took the win in my first Rotax DD2 race ever.
Gatorz Challenge of the Americas - Round 3 - Sonoma - 2/23/08
The third round of the Gatorz Challenge of the
Los Angeles Kart Club - Round 2 - 2/10/08
The race day started off with morning practice. Everything looked good as I ran quick in both morning warm-up sessions and knew that I would do well in qualifying. In the 4th lap of the 5 lap qualifying session I put down my fastest lap of 51.632 seconds, only 13 one-thousandths of a second off the pole. I was excited for the pre-main since I was starting 3rd and on the inside line. In the first 3 laps I got to second, but due to some water on the racing line in the hairpin, I ran wide and a fellow competitor side-swiped me and put me into a tire barrier. The impact bent my left side spindle and steering shaft, ultimately ending my pre-main race. For the main I had to start from the back of the field. I avoided a first turn wreck and picked up a few spots but unfortunately on the second lap the number 86 kart in front of me touched wheels with the kart in front of him causing a pile up I couldn’t avoid. I was sent straight to the back of the pack again. I fought hard to finish 6th out of the 16 karts in the field.
After a very sunny and dry Saturday race, the forecast predicted extreme wetness for Sunday. The morning warm-up and qualifying were dry which allowed me to qualify in 8th position out of 31 karts. The clouds unleashed the rain for the pre-main. On the first lap of the pre-main a fellow competitor made a daring move in turn five making it three wide and forcing me to go into the dirt. I lost my starting position but I fought back to finish the pre-main in 13th after being as far back as 20th early in the race. Just like the pre-main, the main was during a massive rain storm. The start went well with no contact in turn one. An accident among other drivers in turn 3 allowed me to pick up a few spots early in the race but a consistent fast pace in the wet allowed me to finish in the 5th position and my first top five of the year in the most competitive Rotax series in the United States.
The first race day on Saturday started off well with a quick morning warm-up session. Later in the morning came qualifying where I laid down a quick lap early and then pulled the kart in to save the tires. I qualified 11th of out of the 31 karts entered. As everyone entered turn one for the start of the pre main a massive pile up ensued. To avoid the collision in front a kart from behind hit me and I left turn one with a badly damaged side pod. Fortunately a red flag was thrown allowing my mechanic, Francois Doran, and I fifteen minutes for repairs. With the help of a few zip ties the bodywork was back on and the kart was ready for the restart. The restart went well and I got out of turn one cleanly and I was running in the 11th position until a bad pass from a fellow competitor cost me 3 spots and I finished the pre-main in 14th. Unhappy about the pre-main I was determined to get into the top ten in the main. Once again the start of the race was hectic and I barely made it out of the turn one wreckage. I fought hard passing a few karts along the way and finished in the 10th position.