Round 01 Recap: Action Karting | April 29, 2018
Denver, CO, May 08, 2018 –The 2018 Colorado Karting Tour championship season began in earnest on April 29, with a visit to Action Karting, located in Morrison, Colorado. With fast and flowing sections interspersed with narrow passing zones and tight, technical corners, the Action facility played host to over 95 racers at Round 01, combining to field 111 race entries on the day. In total, 338 people were on hand at Action Karting to witness the State’s premier racing series in action for the first time officially in 2018. The weather was mostly warm with a mild breeze, temperatures remaining near the mid-70s, with wind gusts picking up around the middle of the day, before subsiding as the afternoon progressed. In a departure from the previous season at Round 01, racers took to the course utilizing the ‘secondary carousel’ corner that lead into the technical esses section, running in the counter-clockwise direction. With additional entries came additional Evinco rubber around the track, making for fast lap times, and challenging tuning conditions. With additional support from Rotax BRP this season, CKT racers were fortunate to have manufacturer representation at the event, which will continue for the remainder of the 2018 season.
First on the track were the mighty Kid Karts. With a noticeably larger field of entrants over the 2017 season, it was series newcomer #20 Elijah Khrestsov who set the pace early, laying down a time of 39.942, just nipping #48 Asher Donnelly and Run-Your-Rust-Off winner #61 Lilly Tuttle on time to take his first pole position of the season. As the field crawled around on their pace lap, the pack jockeyed for position behind the leaders. As the green flag fell, it was Donnelly with the early advantage, followed closely by Khrestsov, Tuttle, and #10 Ethan Spirz. As the race wore on, Donnelly inched away from Khrestsov, who was embroiled himself in a battle with Tuttle. On lap 5, Tuttle made her move, briefly finding a way past Khrestov, who recovered masterfully and re-took the second position. At the checkered, Donnelly took the victory ahead of a closing Khrestsov, with Tuttle, Spirz, and #4 Colt Sekich completing the top 5. As the field gathered speed under a waving green for the main, Donnelly again found his way past a determined Khrestsov, who fell into line right behind him. Tuttle quickly found herself relatively unopposed in the 3rd position, while Sekich and #17 Jerome Rondeau dueled for the final position in the top 5 throughout the race. Back up front, and both Donnelly and Khrestsov were deep into lap traffic, at times struggling to cope with the reduction in speed and timing their passes. Nevertheless, Donnelly managed to hold off Khrestsov at the line to take the victory in Round 01. Following him were Khrestov, Tuttle, Sekich, and Rondeau. A tip of the cap should also go to #25 Matteo Quinto, for starting towards the end tail end of the field after the pre-final, and cleanly passed several karts to finish in the 6th position.
Next to take to the track were the Adult LO206 Heavy drivers. Taking some inspiration from their younger counterparts, it was a mix of experience and good luck that contributed to the first race being a success for both 206 Categories. As the drivers rounded the course during their warm up laps and qualifying, it was class veteran #403 Jeremy Davis with the quick time of 49.547, with #57 Robert Holubar and #2 Rodney Ebersole very close behind. As the green fell for the pre final Holubar seemed to be off to an early advantage, slipping into the lead through turn 3 in front of Davis and Doman, who would fall victim to a hard-charging #11 Mike Weber a few laps into the contest. Further back, the man really on the move was #328 Alex Doman. After a technical issue following qualifying, Doman spent a handful of laps picking off several of the back markers, before really beginning to hunt down the leaders in front of him. By the checkered, he would have closed approximately 10 seconds to the leaders. At the line, Davis took the victory after Holubar battled him relentlessly for the position, with Weber in 3rd as a result. As the field accelerated into turn 1 for the opening lap of the final, it was a mostly clean start! Holubar had learned some lessons from following Davis throughout the day, and was intent on putting them into practice. Up and over the curbing he would drive, abusing his kart at times. Regardless of abuse, Holubar was indeed pulling away from Davis after the first handful of laps, helped by a spin by Doman that caused Davis to slow and lose ground. Further back in the pack, chaos had erupted near the hairpin, causing several drivers to tangle at times, including #84 Jeffrey Peel and Mike Weber. Holubar was able to remain steady in front of Davis, Doman, and Weber. At the line, Holubar would pump his fist in the air, the elation and dominance of his victory clear to him as well as other competitors at Round 01.
Up next were the swift Henry’s Welding Co. Junior Rotax drivers. With fresh tires thrown on most of the karts for qualifying, #217 Liam Letzsch set the pace, with a blistering lap of 39.524, edging out #298 Cameron Lazaroff and #218 Jack Armstrong. At the drop of the green for the pre-final, it was Letzsch out front, followed by Lazaroff, #261 Cole Tuttle, and Armstrong. #214 Macy Williams was on the move almost immediately from 5th, elevating herself past Armstrong on the opening circuit, only to be shuffled back as an opportunistic Armstrong pounced to overtake both Williams and Tuttle. By this time, Letzsch and Lazaroff were well out in front of the second pack, with Letzsch opening up a sizeable lead. Further back, #99 Nolan Payne and #299 Daniel Fellows were locked in battle with #278 Timmy Trostel, who eventually broke free and hunted down Williams to challenge for 5th. At the line, Letzsch would take the victory, with Lazaroff and Armstrong close behind. As always, the drivers in the Junior Max category smelled blood in the water on the start of the final, battling for every inch through the opening corners. Dust and a few small pebbles were kicked loose across the track as a result of these skirmishes, of which Letzsch again would emerge on top, and would begin to settle into his rhythm, much to the ire of the drivers behind him. Slipping back slightly on the start, Lazaroff was nipping at the heels of Williams for the opening laps, unable to quite find a way by despite having the initial pace. Holding strong at the beginning, Armstrong’s kart seemed to struggle with an overstuck condition, which unfortunately began to take a toll on his neck and tires, slipping back slowly through the top 5. Despite some trouble towards the end of the Pre-final, Trostel was also on the move, but he was going forward! In the opening laps, driver #278 hauled himself from 6th on the grid into the top 4, nudging Williams and Lazaroff as the trio began to inch away from those behind them. Out front, Letzsch was on an extremely fast cruise control setting, pulling away consistently from the rest of the pack with every lap. With the white flag in the air, Trostel decided that he had been patient enough with the group in front of him, and made his move heading into the bus-stop. Despite some dust, he made it stick for a 2nd place finish, following Letzsch to the line. Contact between bumpers on the last corner of the last lap relegated Lazaroff to the gravel in dramatic finish, as Williams held on to finish 3rd. While several drivers slipped past Lazaroff, he did his best to finish the race, slowly inching out of the deep gravel and back onto the track. Following Williams to the line was a solid performance by #99 Nolan Payne and Tuttle.
Not to be outdone by their slightly more experienced drivers, the Amsoil Junior 1 class has been and seems that it will remain a barnburner in terms of on-track intensity. With several stalwarts of the class remaining for another season, and with fresh drivers from the Junior 1 Cadet ranks joining in the category, qualifying at Action looked to be a sure-fire close situation. Indeed it was so, with #11 Vaughn Weber taking the pole, with a time of 44.058, followed by #60 Rye Myers and #61 Dylan Archer. At the drop of the green, it was #5 Alex McPherson-Wiman that managed to edge his way into the lead from the third row, accelerating at just the right time to find a pass and make it stick heading into turn 1. Once out front, McPherson never looked back. If he had, however, he would have seen Myers closing in. With a slight mistake into the braking zone at turn 14 on the second lap, it was all the excuse Myers needed to inherit the lead as McPherson recovered, giving chase for several laps before looking to the very inside of Myers on lap 6 in the same spot he relinquished the lead. Further back in the pack, #61 Dylan Archer had some contact with another kart on the opening lap, causing him to fall from the top 3 into the rear of the pack. At the line, McPherson-Wiman would take the victory, followed by a closing Weber, Myers, and #14 Brody Moor. Archer would recover to start the main event in 5th position. As the green fell for the final, Myers, Weber, and McPherson-Wiman battled into the opening corner. Quickly, McPherson-Wiman opened up a sizeable lead as Weber and Myers continued to battle, before a driving error by Myers would beach him in the gravel, prematurely ending his race, his head in his hands in dejection once he reached a safe spot. This would elevate #14 Brody Moore to the 2nd position temporarily, where he would run for a handful of laps before being usurped by a charging Archer. Starting from mid-pack, Archer was on a tear, passing kart after kart on his way to the front. By lap 10, he had cleared the main secondary pack, and had his sights set squarely on the leader. Slowly but surely, little by little, he ate into McPherson’s lead, until he was right with him. On lap 12, Archer made his move, swinging to the inside down the back straightaway, McPherson unable to counter. Mcpherson-Wiman wouldn’t let go without a fight, however, and briefly looked to the inside headed into the bus stop in place, before thinking better of it. As a result, Archer had just enough lead to squeak out the victory, a well-deserved start to his 2018 championship season. McPherson-Wiman would follow in 2nd, with #13 Tavian Rougemont an impressive 3rd, #22a Archer Eversman with a determined drive in 4th, and Weber in 5th.
On the track next were the KMG Junior 1 Cadet drivers. With many new faces in the category, it was #51 Joelle Lewis out front with a time of 48.640, ahead of #85 Andrew Wilson and #18 Braden Lapoehn. In the pre-final, it was Wilson and Lewis with the early jump over the rest of the field. Despite a promising initial start, #1c Cadence Presley had some poor rookie luck, falling deep down in the field before mounting a charge back up through the pack. Slightly further back, Lapoehn and #11 Tyler Pompian came together at the end of the hairpin turn, relegating both to watching the race from the sidelines. Through all of this chaos emerged #5 Gage Korn, who drove steadily along in 5th, with the contact between 3rd and 4th allowing him even more room to turn and see. After an initial battle, Wilson would take over the lead from Lewis, who slipped back slightly, to finish 2nd at the line, followed by Korn, Presley, and #34 Allie Nelson. In the main, it was again Wilson and Lewis out front early. For the opening few laps, Wilson, Lewis, and Korn ran mostly uncontested, as behind them chaos was erupting between #58 Nathan Fero and #34 Allie Nelson, causing others to bunch up and slow down temporarily. On lap 5, Lewis made her move around Wilson, slowly opening up a margin over driver #85 that would remain consistent throughout the remainder of the race. Late in the race, Pompian would make a move past Korn to elevate himself into the top 3. At the line, it was Lewis with her first win of the season, followed by Wilson, Pompian, Korn, and Lapoehn.
The Rotax Senior, Master, Open TaG, and Unser Karting KA 100 category was promisingly full at Round 01, with several KA 100 karts on hand to accompany the existing racers in the category. In qualifying, #22 Seth Axelson put his Rotax Senior up front with a time of 40.071, just ahead of #370 Jackson Dunn and Quinton O’Donnell. #76 Everest Fedler looked strongest in KA 100, laying down a time of 41.088 ahead of #145 Greg Welch and #357 Nathan Martin. In the pre-final, it was a dead heat into the first corner between Dunn and Axelson, with Axelson prevailing in a test of will through the first corner. Dunn responded back rapidly however, shooting past Axelson in the opening laps, slowly inching away from the 2017 Open TaG Champion to establish his own space on the racetrack. In Masters, #654 Matthew Newton ran largely uncontested, with O’Donnell falling in behind to learn what he could from a great vantage point. Further back, the KA 100 field had held their own start, and were running essentially nose to tail around the whole track. With Martin clawing his way through the smaller pack towards the lead after some opening lap tangles that contributed to the eventual DNF of Fedler. At the line, Dunn would take the victory, followed by Axelson, Newton, O’Donnell, and Welch as the victor in KA 100. In the final, it was again Dunn and Axelson out front immediately, with Dunn taking the early advantage due to a sluggish start from Axelson. Undeterred, Axelson looked to the inside and nabbed the lead just one lap later. Further back, O’Donnell bobbled slightly on the opening lap, causing Newton to hesitate before making a committed pass to slip into 3rd overall. As the KA 100 field gathered momentum for their start, it was again Welch out front early. However, an aggressive line over the curbing cause an ignition wire to fall loose, cutting power to the engine, prematurely ending Welch’s race at the top of the hill on the opening lap. Behind him, the drivers ran nose to tail scrambling for position, with Martin marching his way forward to lead the rest of the pack. #3 Christian Bird would stalk him for some time, before a hopping kart would stymie his efforts. Similarly, Fedler was also on the move for the remainder of the race. As the laps wound down, Dunn began to inch back closer to a subtly fading Axelson, peeking to his inside several times before the white flag was displayed. As the duo reached the hard braking zone before the carousel, Dunn went for it, driving to the inside of Axelson as the two skittered under braking. Dunn may have gotten a little sideways, or perhaps Axelson could have been slightly wider on the track. Either way, both drivers made heavy side to side contact, causing the front tie rods on Axelsons kart to sheer as Dunn managed to keep his kart under power, limping to the finish to take the preliminary victory, with Newton 2nd overall and the victor in his class, Martin the victor in KA 100 and an impressive 3rd overall. Upon official review, the decision was made to place Axelson as the winner, despite Dunn crossing the line as the race victor.
The Loan Simple Stock Honda Shifter and Open Shifter categories have seen some significant growth this season. In qualifying, #12 Josh Weis picked up where he left off last season, laying down a quick time of 38.526, a sizable margin ahead of #20 Dustin Courter who was making a return to the shifter ranks, with #21 Harry Voigt completing the top 3. #314 Jacob Meister was on pace for Open Shifter, followed by #19 Colton Timmons and #9 Cody Russell. As the shifters launched from the line for the pre final, it was Courter off to a rocket of a start. Unfortunately, fuel system issues would sideline the Intrepid Kart Colorado driver a handful of laps in, handing the lead over to #21 Henry Korn, who had rocketed upward through the field in the opening laps aboard his new CRG machine following some qualifying glitches. Once out front Korn was dogged by Voigt, who followed him closely for the remainder of the race. In Open competition, Meister was setting the pace, with #69 Norbert Laczko and Timmons. At the line, Korn took a narrow victory over Voigt and #32 Blake Foley. Meister lead the field to the line in Open Shifter, followed by Laczko, and Timmons. In the main, Korn picked up where he left off in the pre final, launching off the line and into the lead. After some mechanical issues in the pre-final, Weis was on the move quickly from further back in the pack, elevating himself into 2nd position by the end of the 5th lap. Relegated a few spot backs at the start, Laczko, Foley, and Meister were all running close together, battling for their respective positions. Halfway into the race, and Korn had opened up a sizeable lead, with Weis slowly eating away at the deficit. Further back it was Lackzo out front, followed by Meister and Russell. At the line, Korn took the victory, and with it his first Stock Honda win in his career. Weis certainly earned the ‘hard charger’ award for the race, crossing in 2nd, followed by Voigt. Laczko took the victory in the Open category, followed by Meister and Russell.
The Junior 2 class has also grown noticeably this year, with some returning faces accompanied by some enthusiastic new racers jumping into the category. In qualifying at Action, #14 Macy Williams narrowly beat out #98 Cameron Lazaroff, with a time of 46.930, followed by #61 Cole Tuttle in 3rd. In the pre final, Williams got the jump on the start, with Lazaroff slotting into 2nd briefly, before Tuttle took over the position a few corners later. A few laps later, and #78 Timmy Trostel threw his hat into the ring, muscling past Lazaroff and then Tuttle for a short period, before Lazaroff countered, bringing Tuttle with him temporarily. As the race wound down, the lead pack separated themselves from the rest of the field, running nose to tail, biding their time to make their final moves for position. As the white flag fell it was still Williams out front, but only just! Lazaroff and Trostel were nipping at her heels. In the final corners, Tuttle began to close through the draft, which would have been ideal, had Lazaroff and Trostel not made contact in the final corners, unfortunately collecting kart #61 in the process. Williams narrowly escaped the tangle to emerge victorious, with Tuttle and #99 Daniel Fellows making it across the line to complete the top 3. With several drivers looking for redemption in the final, the green flag signaled the beginning of a truly intense battle. Williams took the lead with authority early on, followed closely by Tuttle and Trostel, who rocketed past several karts in the opening laps. On lap 8 Trostel made his move for the lead, which Williams attempted to counter before settling for the 2nd position, observing as kart #78 navigated the track ahead of her. With a handful of laps to go, it was Trostel, Williams, and Tuttle together in a small group ahead of the main pack of drivers, each doing their best to hold their position. With two to go, Williams made her move, elevating herself to the lead in front of Trostel, who drove the wheels off his kart to keep up. Tuttle looked briefly to the inside of Trostel, but to no avail. At the line, Williams took the win, narrowly leading Trostel and Tuttle to the line.
In Micro and Mini Max competition, it was #160 Rye Myers setting the pace in qualifying, laying down a time of 42.596, edging out #161 Dylan Archer and #77 Chase Groff. Series newcomer and first time Action Karting visitor #13 Dax Cothran qualified an impressive 4th. In the pre final, it was Myers leading the way to the green, with Archer taking the top spot heading into turn 1. Archer would set the pace from there on out, with Myers, Groff, and #13 Tavian Rougemont giving chase. As the laps turned away, Archer and Myers broke away from the rest of the pack, which was lead by Groff as a battle raged behind them between #199 Zachary Morris, Cothran, and #177 Kaden Dosmann. At the checkered, it was Archer taking a narrow victory over Myers and Rougemont. #107 Braden Hindson had a solid run from further down in the field, elevating himself to 5th at the finish. Archer would again take an early lead in the final, followed closely by Myers and Rougemont, who was displaced swiftly by a charging Cothran after a technical infraction following the pre final. As the race wound on, Myers dogged Archer for the lead, with Archer content to set the pace until lap 8, when Myers made his move to the lead. Further back Dosmann and Groff battled for much of the race, following a pack of drivers including Rougemont, Hindson, and eventually Groff and Dosmann as they drove forwards as the race progressed. With just a handful of laps to go, Archer was sidelined by mechanical issues, leaving Myers free to cruise to victory. Rougemont would therefore inherit 2nd, followed by Hindson in 3rd, with Groff and Dosmann completing the top 5. A sole driver in the Micro Max division, Joelle Lewis set the pace in qualifying, pre-final, and main, running consistently and smoothly, respecting othe r Mini Max contenders as he improved her pace throughout the day.
Last but certainly not least, the Adult LO206 Light category was next on the track. In qualifying, #21 Henry Korn set the pace, laying down a time of 48.994, just ahead of #118 Matt Lapoehn and #29 Eric Vanwagenen. In the pre final, Korn started from the front and would creep away in the opening laps ahead of Lapoehn and #20 Dustin Courter, who was initially on the move through the field. By halfway with Korn still out front, it was #328 Alex Doman methodically picking his way through the pack, with #21x AJ Jacobellis giving everyone a run for their money at times in corners further back. At the checkered, it was Korn by slightly over 2 seconds, followed by Doman and Jacobelis. Korn would again lead the going for the first few corners of the final, with Doman and Jacobellis again in tow. This time, however, Courter was also in the thick of things, which proved opportune when an unforced spin by Korn allowed kart #20 to inherit the front position. Contact between Lapoehn and another driver sidelined a strong run by the CompKart driver early, which left Courter, Doman, and Jacobellis out front to battle it out for the win. Courter seemed uninterested in hosting a battle, however, slowly pulling away to a sizeable lead over Doman and Jacobellis, who were locked together attempting to catch the leader. Further back #11 Mike Weber had his hands full with #45 Duncan Warnke and a resurging Korn, who would recover to take 6th at the checkered. Before he could reach the flag, however, it was all Courter taking a dominant victory, with Doman, Jacobellis, Weber, and Warnke completing the top 5.
With the race day over, Colorado Karting Tour racers hung around for the podium presentations. Many had contested multiple classes on the day, and were excited to applaud their fellow racers for their successes. Others quickly packed up, and hit the road, determined to come back rested and prepared for Round 02 at SBR.
As a racing series largely driven by the tireless efforts of a driven group of officials, volunteers, and supporters, The Colorado Karting Tour in particular wishes to thank our series supporters, our raceday crew of Donni Holder, Ian Francis, Cody Dempster, Kenny Francis, CJ Weidner, Jack McPherson-Wiman, Julie Williams, McKaylie Williams, Craig Mansfield, Danielle Hindson, Steven Chapman, Ryan Tucker, Ron Rudolph, the Bandimere Speedway medical crew, and the staff at Action Karting for putting on a great event. By and large, these individuals and team members support kart racing in Colorado not by choice, but by a drive to see the sport grow and benefit the racers, who themselves understand the time and effort these individuals put forth to put on an event that they can come and enjoy.
The Colorado Karting Tour will soon head to Peyton, Colorado, to host Round 02 of the 2018 Championship Series at SBR Motorsports Park on May 20, 2018. This course shall be run in the clockwise direction, and is shaping up to be an outstanding event! To reserve your pit spot, contact Lee Seigel at SBR Motorsports Park.
CKT’s next board meeting will be on June 12, at Great Scott’s Eatery in Denver, from 6-9 PM. All are welcome to attend.
To stay up-to-date with all of CKT’s media, announcements, and scheduling, head to our website: www.coloradokartingtour.com, or via Facebook @ColoradoKartingTour-CKT. You can also find us on Instagram @coloradokartingtour