by Katelin Longbrake
Round 7 of the 12-Round GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge championship series began on Saturday under sunny skies and 90-degree temperatures. However, when severe thunderstorms moved into the area just as Pre-Finals began, the event was forced to postpone until Sunday morning. With Qualifying already complete, the event picked up on Sunday where it had left off with 112 competitors battling for Pre-Final and Final wins.
Congrats to all Round 7 winners: Bree Miller (Briggs LO206 Cadet), Jadyn Daniels (Briggs LO206 Junior), Alex Keadle (Briggs LO206 Senior), Talan Drake (IAME KA100 Junior), Xander Clements (IAME KA100 Senior), Danny Dyszelski (IAME Mini Swift), William Robusto (IAME Swift), Gray Leadbetter (IAME Junior), Phil Arscott (IAME Senior), Luke Stroud (IAME Heavy), Carson Weinberg (Kid Kart).
IAME Swift Division:
In the IAME Swift Division final event, Jacob Graham overtook polesitter, William Robusto, in Turn One after just two laps. Robusto answered back with an identical pass to regain the lead just a lap later. However, Graham charged back around Robusto in Turn Eight. This time, it was for good as Graham laid down the fastest laps of the race and improved his lead to a half-second over Robusto. With just two laps to go, Robusto had fought his way back to Graham’s bumper and passed for the lead into Turn One. Robusto held on to score the win, followed by Graham in second and Brent Crews in third.
IAME Heavy Division Sponsored by Stitch 98:
In the IAME Heavy Division 14-lap final, Todd Shambo made it look easy, strolling out to nearly a second lead over Luke Stroud in second. However, with five laps to go, Stroud had completely diminished Shambo’s lead and closed onto his rear bumper. With four laps to go, Stroud made his pass for the lead over Shambo. Stroud went on to score the win, followed by Shambo in second and Logan Cozzie in third.
IAME Junior Division:
In the IAME Junior Division 14-lap final, Gray Leadbetter held the lead for the first lap before being overtaken by Pauly Massimino entering Turn One on just lap two. However, by lap five, Leadbetter maneuvered back around Massimino in Turn Four. Leadbetter didn’t hold the lead for long before Isabella Robusto bested Leadbetter entering Turn One on the very next lap. Robusto proved she had the speed to win, holding the lead longer than any other driver thus far in the race. However, it became an all-out battle as Leadbetter turned up the wick on the final lap to take the lead in Turn Four. Robusto answered back with a pass for the lead in Turn Eight, but it wasn’t enough as Leadbetter delivered the final blow to score the win with a last-lap, last-corner pass in Turn Eleven. Robusto settled for second and Massimino rallied to finish in third.
Briggs LO206 Senior Division:
In the Briggs LO206 Senior division’s 13-lap final, Alex Keadle appeared to be the driver to beat after winning the pole in qualifying, the pre-final and leading the opening laps of the final. However, Dan Koehler quickly knocked him off his pedestal after overtaking him for the lead after just five laps. By halfway, the top-four karts of Koehler, Keadle, J.T. Swygert and Billy Duff were all nose-to-tail. In an exciting last-lap, final corner pass, Keadle stole the win from Koehler, sending Koehler to finish in third position and allowing Billy Duff to score second place.
IAME Senior Division Sponsored by CNC Performance Engineering:
In the IAME Senior 17-lap final, Phil Arscott wasted no time pacing the field by just over a second after just three laps. Behind him, the field spread out quickly as well with Lance Fenderson in second and Chase Dow holding down third position. As the checkered flag flew, Arscott scored the win, followed by Fenderson and Dow.
IAME KA100 Junior Division:
In the KA100 Junior Division 13-lap final, Talan Drake made quick work of establishing a second lead over second place of Emil Schulz. After just three laps, Taylor Stanford passed Schulz for the second position, setting his sights immediately on tracking down Drake’s hefty lead. However, Drake continued to log the fastest laps of the race to score the win and improve his margin of victory to 2.850 seconds over Stanford in second. Westin Workman rounded out the podium in third.
IAME KA100 Senior Division:
In the KA100 Senior Division, Emory Lyda went to the point on the opening lap with Xander Clements locked to his rear bumper. Clements went to the lead with a pass in Turn Eight to overtake Lyda. As Clements strolled away with the lead, the action heated behind him with Tim Shutt improving to second. Shutt quickly proved he was a driver to be reckoned with, passing Clements for the lead in Turn Four. However, Lyda took advantage of a tangle between Clements and Shutt in Turn Eight to steal the lead from both of them. There was no way Clements was going to settle for second, taking the top spot back the very next lap. Clements held on to score the win. Ashley Rogero was certainly the hard-charger of the race with an impressive drive from last to finish second. Lyda rounded out the podium.
IAME Mini Swift Division:
In the IAME Mini Swift 11-lap final, Danny Dyszelski and Sofia Darrigo quickly turned the race into a two-kart battle, breaking away from the rest of the field. However, as Dyszelski and Darrigo began battling for the lead on only lap three, it allowed Caleb Gafrarar to close into contention from the third position. Darrigo was able to steal the top spot away from Dyszelski, leading three laps before Dyszelski overtook her in Turn Four. With two laps to go, Darrigo was back to Dyszelski’s bumper and looking for a passing opportunity. Darrigo found the opportunity she was looking for with a pass in Turn Four for the lead. However, Darrigo wasn’t in the clear just yet. Darrigo won by just 0.003 seconds, following a drag race with Dyszelski to the line. Following post-race tech inspection, Darrigo was disqualified, giving the win to Dyszelski and improving Gafrarar to second and Adam Brickley to third.
Briggs LO206 Junior Division:
In the Briggs LO206 Junior division, Jadyn Daniels continued her dominating season, notching her seventh-straight win of the year. Erickson Evans rounded out the podium.
Briggs LO206 Cadet Division Sponsored by Kart Carolina:
In the Briggs LO206 Cadet Division final, Brent Crews shot out to the early lead, leaving second place of Danny Dyszelski nearly a second behind him. However, it wasn’t long before Dyszelski and Bree Miller began working together to draft from the second and third position to deplete Crews’ lead. By lap four, the two drivers had closed onto Crews’ bumper. The top-three drivers were nose-to-tail at the halfway point with neither Dyszelski or Miller quite ready to make a move on Crews for the top spot. On the final lap, Crews moved down the track on the frontstretch to block a run on Dyszelski. The move backfired as Miller came storming by from the third position with a huge run down the frontstretch and into Turn One, passing both Crews and Dyszelski to take the lead and the win. Crews settled for second and Dyszelski finished in third.
Kid Kart Division:
Carson Weinberg was able to log some valuable laps as well as score the Kid Kart Division victory.
Round 8 of the GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge is on Saturday, August 5.