The 8th and final round of the The 2018 Colorado Karting Tour Championship Season was held on September 08, at Unser Karting & Events, Centennial. Navigating the Centennial course in the clockwise direction, racers were challenged by large changes in elevation, tight sections that award precise driving and patience, as well as with a lengthy front straight that made for some great passing action. With warm weather, a slight breeze, and full fields, the event was an outstanding way to cap off CKT’s strongest season yet.
First on the track were the Kid Kart drivers. Utilizing the full course for the 2nd time this season, it was #48 Asher Donnelly that laid down the fast time in qualifying, with a time of 1:22.907, followed by #25 Matteo Quinto by just 0.2 second, a remarkably close time separation considering the length of the track. Perennial front-runner #20 Elijah Khrestsov was 3rd. As the field came to the green for the pre-final, the formation looked quite good, which pleased officials that had worked so hard for a long season to see solid rolling start formations. Quinto would utilize the draft to pull past Donnelly after the opening few corners, with #44 Rhys Bowman charging to 3rd in the opening laps after #17 Jerome Rondeau and Khrestsov battled briefly in the opening lap. As the race wore on, Quinto and Donnelly pulled away from the rest of the field, determined to settle the race between themselves. Further back Bowman was running largely alone on the track, with Rondeau and Khrestsov still tustling for the 4th spot. At the line, it was Quinto that would take a narrow victory over Donnelly who had challenged several times for the lead, followed by Khrestsov, Rondeau, and #16 Tyler Treadwell. After a strong fun for much of the race, a spin in the uphill ‘bus-stop’ section of the track caused a thrown chain for the young driver. As the drivers came to the green for the main, it was again Quinto and Donnelly charging into the lead as the race began. This time, however, Donnelly managed to hold the position from the outside of the front row, while Quinto would tuck in right behind as Bowman eventually challenged for the 2nd position. As the race progressed Bowman and Quinto would hang tough with Donnelly for a few laps, but eventually #48’s pace was too much for driver #25 or #44 to hang with. A spin in the hairpin section of the track on lap 04 further set Quinto back a few laps in, elevating Khrestsov to find his way past him. At the checkered flag, Donnelly would seal off a solid outing in his final race of 2018, and indeed of the championship. Bowman, Khrestsov, Quinto, and Rondeau would round out the top 5. After a long and arduous season that saw multiple challenges for both rookie and veteran drivers, Asher Donnelly emerged the 2018 Colorado Karting Tour Champion for the Kid Kart category.
Next up were the Adult LO206 Heavy drivers. In qualifying #57 Robert Holubar set the pace, with a time of 1:10.355 that would narrowly beat out #21 Henry Korn and #42 Randy Flores. In the pre-final Holubar and Korn would hop in their seats to get the jump at the drop of the green, with Holubar initially leading the way. Korn made a power move to the lead early, moving Holubar to 2nd followed by Flores in 3rd after a brief challenge for the position. After a solid qualifying effort, #771 Daniel Lopez spun in the opening lap, giving him a large hole to dig himself out of for the remainder of the day. The man on the move was #20 Dustin Courter, who quietly picked his way through the field to inch closer to the pointy end of the field. At the line it was Korn with the win, followed closely by Holubar, Courter, Flores, and Ebersole. With a lively race already in the books for the pre-final, the stage was set for things to be interesting in the final. On the opening laps Korn took advantage of his pole position starting spot to hold the lead, with Holubar slotting into the 2nd position, followed by Flores. Some dicing between Flores and Holubar allowed Korn to pull away slightly until the dust was settled, with Holubar in the 2nd position. Once sorted, the race remained fairly quiet for many laps, with Korn in the lead, followed by Holubar, #20 Dustin Courter, Flores, and #76 Rodney Ebersole and #2 Zachary Dieter dicing things up. As the race began to draw to a close, Korn had a several kart length lead over Holubar, who was doing his best to hold off Courter, while Flores ran by himself slightly further back. At the line, Korn would take the win, followed by Holubar, Courter, Flores, and Ebersole.
The Henry’s Welding Co. Junior Rotax drivers have provided excitement throughout the year, and Round 08 was no exception. In qualifying, #217 Liam Letzsch would set the top mark, with a time of 54.827, followed by #782 Max Opalski and #214 Macy Williams. In the pre-final Letzsch would lead at the top of the green, but some big moves by #218 Jack Armstrong early would impress spectators as he would elevate himself further up in the pack in the opening laps. As the race continued Williams would pull to the sidelines, dejected with a broken kart, potential electrical issues setting her up for a tricky push towards the final event. Back on track, and Letzsch was on cruise control, maintaining a gap between himself and the rest of the pack, lead narrowly by Armstrong and then Opalski. At the line, Leztsch would take the win, followed by Armstrong and Opalski. As the final drew onto the main straightaway for their start, it was again Letzsch that would take the early lead, with Armstrong shuffled back slightly by Opalski and almost #99 Nolan Payne in the opening circuit. Armstrong would parry quickly with an aggressive move to the inside of Opalski at the top of the hill, muscling his way past a resistant pilot of #782. This tussle wasn’t done, however, as Opalski would attack just two laps later into the hairpin, using every fiber of his brake pads to make a very late move down the inside of Armstrong, somehow making it all work. Armstrong wasn’t a fan of the pass, however, and contact a couple corners later would sideline both drivers, with words exchanged afterwards as both were out of the race. Naturally, this left Payne to pick up the pieces left by the other drivers, now running alone in 2nd, happy to be free of the squabble. After dejection in the pre-final, Williams was on the move early, and now ran in front of #278 Timmy Trostel, doing everything she could to hold him off as she seemed to reach her maximum pace several laps in. At the line, Letzsch would take a runaway win, with Payne in 2nd, and Williams somehow managing 3rd, which was just enough to hold onto the championship. Trostel and #298 Cameron Lazaroff would complete the top 5.
The Amsoil Junior 1 category is always an exciting one. On track, #11 Vaughn Weber was in rare form yet again, laying down a quick time of 1.01.162, scorching the rest of the field by nearly a second, with #5 Alex McPherson-Wiman and #61 Dylan Archer completing the top 3. In the pre-final, Weber would launch to an early lead, followed by a hungry pack of drivers lead by McPherson-Wiman and #22 Archer Eversman, who traded early on with Dylan Archer. As the race progressed, Weber was in another zip code, while McPherson-Wiman seemed to always be slightly out of reach for the pack behind him. At the line, Weber put a sharp period on his day with the win, followed by McPherson-Wiman and Dylan Archer. In the main, it was again all Weber out front early, but with McPherson-Wiman slipping on the start as the field came to the green quite slow. Soon a pack of 3-4 drivers had formed battling for the 2nd position, with Archer the leader for much of the race until Eversman would take the lead, only to be overturned to 3rd towards the end of the race as #60 Rye Myers picked his way through the lead pack. Yet again, it was truly a race of his own for Weber, who cruised to another victory on the year in Junior 1, well ahead of Myers, Eversman, Archer, and McPherson-Wiman. With his victory, Vaughn Weber further sealed his championship in the Junior 1 category.
The KMG Plumbing & Heating Junior 1 Cadets were up next to hit the track. In qualifying #11 Tyler Pompian would set the pace, with rookie #10 Marcus Johnson an impressive 2nd place in only his first race! #51 Joelle Lewis was of course also right there in times, with little separating the top 3. In the pre-final Lewis and Pompian got off to a jack-rabbit start, quickly separating themselves from the rest of the field. As the race wore on, the duo swapped the lead several times, increasing their lead over the main pack with each lead change. After a strong qualifying showing, #1c Cadence Presley was sidelined in the opening staging laps, which allowed #34 Allie Nelson to move forward in the running order, followed by a brief show of pace by #5 Gage Korn before mechanical issues forced a premature end to the young driver’s race. With only a few laps to go, it was still anyone’s race out front! Pompian and Lewis continued to go back-and-forth up until the checkered flag, with Pompian getting the best of the battle, followed by Lewis, Nelson, and a good run by #13 Darrick Potts. Pompian and Lewis wasted no time dropping the gloves once again as the final got underway, both pushing well away from the rest of the pack, with Lewis in the lead. After some slips in the pre-final, Marcus Johnson was moving through the field in the opening laps, climbing into the 5th position by the halfway point. On lap 6 Pompian would make his move to the lead, a lead he would retain for the remainder of the final. At the line, it was Pompian with a narrow victory over Lewis, Potts, Nelson, and Johnson. Final review of the race would shift the finishing order slightly due to some race start issues from officials, so the order would officially remain Pompian, Potts, Lewis, Nelson, and Johnson. With her solid podium finish, Joelle Lewis would cap off a masterful sophomore season in Junior 1 Cadet, taking the championship in the class.
The Rotax Senior, Master, Open TaG, and Unser Karting KA 100 categories were up next. In qualifying, it was #370 Jackson Dunn with the fastest overall time, turning a 55.113, narrowly edging out #22 Seth Axelson and #286 Alexis Apodaca. As the green flag fell for the pre-final it was without Dunn, who had issues with his kart that sidelined him for the event. This left Axelson to jump into the lead, followed closely by Apodaca and a determined O’Donnell early in the going. As the race wore on Axelson’s pace was tough to match for the other Rotax Senior drivers, and he began to slowly pull away ever so slightly. #346 Erik Vanwagenen was off to a solid start in Open TaG, and would slip to 4th overall as the race progressed, with #329 Bob Rodrick giving pursuit. Opening lap contact between Rodrick and #615 Matthew Newton would shuffle him down in the running order in Masters competition, but eventually he would start climbing back up through the field to regain some positions before the checkered. After a strong qualifying effort, it was #145 Greg Welch out front in KA 100 with #76 Everest Fedler giving chase not far behind. #7 Alan Cortes had a strong run going early in the race before a spin would sideline the driver in rather spectacular fashion. At the checkered it was Axelson, followed by Apodaca and O’Donnell, with Vanwagenen leading Open Tag, Newton in Masters, and Welch in KA 100. As the field left the grid for the final, a familiar kart was placed back into the running order: #370 Jackson Dunn. Finally getting the gremlins sorted out, Dunn was on a mission to move forward, and he would do exactly that as the green flag was displayed, muscling into the 2nd position in the opening corners to begin a silent stalk of Axelson in the lead. Apodaca seemed to be off the pace, and would eventually pull in after holding up O’Donnell on the start momentarily. Further back and it was Newton and Manov trading places for the Masters victory, with Newton eventually triumphing. Welch’s transponder appeared to not be working yet again, but he was indeed in the lead for KA 100, with Fedler and #14 Kenny Schmied doing their best to keep up. At the line after a close battle Axelson would open up a larger lead in the closing laps over Dunn and O’Donnell. Newton would triumph over Manov for Masters, with Welch finally getting his transponder sorted to display as the winner, and subsequently the champion in the KA 100 class’s inaugural season with The Colorado Karting Tour.
Up next were the Loan Simple SKUSA Stock Honda and Open Shifter drivers. In qualifying, #21 Henry Korn would be fastest around the Unser Centennial circuit, with a time of 54.336, topping #68 Steve Jenks and #12 Josh Weis. #69 Norbert Laczko was fastest in Open Shifter, with a time of 55.463. In the pre-final, Korn lead early, with Jenks and Weis in tow. #168 Louis Mendez had a strong start, climbing into the 4th position from further back in the pack. At the line, Korn would take the win by a reasonable margin of 1.5 seconds over Jenks and Weis further back. Lazcko eventually drove his way past series newcomer #5 Dave Eller to take the overall Open Shifter win. In the main it was Jenks that appeared to have done his homework the best, rocketing off the start to edge out Korn into the first turn, as a chaotic field of shifters followed behind. From 4th place on back, a rare sight in CKT action, as a large gaggle of shifter karts hung closely together for much of the race around the Unser course. Out front, Jenks was in control, with Korn and Weis minding their manners in the podium positions. #17 Rene Palmieri had an exciting start, but slipped back slowly through the field as Lazcko and #314 Jacob Meister worked their way upward through the field. Contact midway through the race would sideline #9 Cody Russell, who ricocheted off of multiple karts before finding a safe spot in the infield grass to retire from the race. Jenks was in control, and would lead wire to wire to take the win over Korn, and Weis. Laczko has improved steadily all season, and would bring home his Energy Kart with another Open Shifter category win well ahead of Meister, who avoided some chaos early to bring it home for the podium, and his first CKT Championship in the Open Shifter division. With his 3rd place finish overall, Josh Weis became the 2018 Loan Simple SKUSA Stock Honda Shifter Champion for The Colorado Karting Tour.
Next up were the Junior 2 drivers, and a healthy field was on hand to partake in the final round of the championship. In qualifying it was #98 Cameron Lazaroff with the quick time of 1:02.889, narrowly ahead of #214 Macy Williams and #78 Timmy Trostel. In the pre-final, the train was in full effect from the get-go, with Lazaroff leading much of the final ahead of Trostel and Williams, the trio separating themselves from the field. Trostel seemed to have a little more in the tank in the final laps, however, and would separate himself from Lazaroff and Williams despite their best efforts to bump draft to keep up. #99 Daniel Fellows would hang tough with the leaders for a period of time, but faded mid race to settle for 4th ahead of #0 Baden Dunn. At the line it was Trostel, Lazaroff, and Williams 1-2-3. The stage was set for another harrowing Junior 2 throwdown in the final, but it was not to be for Lazaroff at the start, plummeting to 4th nearly instantly as Trostel, Williams, and Dunn made moves on the opening laps to separate from the rest of the pack. Undeterred, Lazaroff dusted himself off, and would pick off Dunn a few laps later, but not quite in time to be in contact with Williams and Trostel who were now out front alone. Lap traffic of #2 Kelly Gordon came into play a handful of times, but each time all the drivers made it through, albeit a couple times with hesitation which allowed Lazaroff to close up ranks. With just a few laps to go, the rhythm picked up a bit, as Williams began to look for a way past Trostel. No doing, however, and out of the final turn, it was Trostel with the win, followed narrowly by Williams, Lazaroff, and further back Fellows and Dunn.
The Micro Max and Mini Max drivers have not shied away from a bit of controversy in several races this year, and Round 08 was not a departure from this. In qualifying, it was #160 Rye Myers laying down the fast time of 59.537, flat roasting the rest of the field as #161 Dylan Archer would post the 2nd fastest lap about 0.7 seconds back, with #177 Kaden Dosmann in 3rd. In the pre-final, a little extracurricular activity in the middle of the inside row caused Myers to get a big shove forward on the start, sweeping into the lead. Just like that, he was gone. With #199 Zachary Morris’ transponder acting up, it was still clear to see that he was on the move forward in the pack ever so slightly, eventually leading Dosmann and Archer in a pack of 3 a ways behind Myers. Riding in Micro Max, #22 Archer Eversman ran smoothly all pre-final, to finish solidly as the leader of his class ahead of #37 Lasse Gaxiola. At the line, Myers would emerge victorious, with Morris, Dosmann, Archer, and #13 Tavian Rougemont the top 5. After considerable hemming-and-hawing before the final, the field was set, and once again Myers would prove fastest out of the gate, with Morris and Dosmann tussling for the 2nd position as Archer would watch slightly further back. As the race wore on Myers continued to put a hurting on the field, and other leaders were attempting to put a hurting on each other! Well, perhaps not quite, but they sure were racing hard! Neither Dosmann, Morris, Archer, or Rougemont was giving an inch to each other! At the finish, Myers would cap a strong season in Mini Max with the championship, followed by Dosmann, Archer, Morris, and Rougemont. Eversman would yet again sweep the day in MicroMax.
Last, but certainly not least, it was the big field of Adult LO206 Light drivers. On pole with authority was #22 Seth Axelson, who has turned up the wick lately in his Briggs, laying down a 1:09.225, ahead of #21 Henry Korn and #303 Jose Rivera. In the pre-final Axelson would get away clean…but the same could not be said for much of the rest of the field! In the opening laps Rivera would fall back to 3rd behind Korn, the three leaders slowly pulling away from the rest of the pack, where #8 Jackson Dunn plummeted in the standings after a rough opening lap. #11 Mike Weber and #118 Matthew Lapoehn lead a sizeable pack of drivers, all bumping and grinding along to see who would come out on top. At the finish, Axelson was confident in his kart, arriving clear of Korn and Rivera by a reasonable margin. In the final, Korn seemed to find some extra speed, hounding Axelson from the drop of the green, quickly making his way by the pre-final winner to pull the duo away from the rest of the field that saw Rivera briefly lead before falling far down the standings in the opening laps. #83 Alan Cortes was making hay in the mid pack, picking up spots with intent before a thrown chain would sideline the driver with only a few laps to go. #42 Randy Flores and #47 Sana Bhatti came together as well, with some paint traded between two drivers who certainly won’t be sending each other Christmas cards this year. With a few laps to go, #145 Duncan Warnke had worked his way into the top 5, where he would finish slightly behind the leaders. After remaining near the front all day, it was Korn that would take the victory ahead of Axelson, Warnke, Weber, and Lapoehn.
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 Donny 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, Martin and the team from Rotax BRP, and the Unser Karting & Events staff 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’s 2018 Championship Season may be over, but CKT isn’t quite done for the year! The tour will soon head to Peyton, Colorado to host the 2nd annual Colorado Karting Classic at SBR Motorsports Park. With several special races on hand, including a 4-hour endurance race for the Adult LO206 categories, things are looking to heat up down south on October 07. This course shall be run in the counter-clockwise direction. To learn more, head over to our website, www.coloradokartingtour.com.
CKT’s next board meeting will be on October 09 at Great Scott’s Eatery, Denver from 6-9 PM.
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