Challenge of the Americas RD3 - Sonoma, Saturday report

Columns: Events
The series finale for Challenge of the Americas welcomed perfect weather conditions for the opening day of racing at the Simraceway Performance Karting Center. The Sonoma, California facility welcomed over 80 drivers in the Rok Cup USA and Briggs divisions for the fifth round of the 2018 championship chase. Saturday provided those in control with the opportunity to secure provisional titles heading into Championship Sunday, thanks to their performances on the day. Saturday gave some the opportunity to claim their first hardware at the Challenge.

The Senior Rok division looked to belong to Hannah Greenemeier (Kosmic). Hannah led early in the Final, getting pressure from CalSpeed double winner Jake Drew (PGR / Ricciardo). Lap eight, Greenemeier came out of toe-tac-tic section, losing a chain and ending her chance at the victory. The fight for the victory now became a battle of four drivers, including Drew, Ryan Tate (FA Kart), Michael Avansino (FA Kart) and Bijoy Garg (SSM / Exprit). All but Tate took a turn at the point with some great racing, that ended with Garg securing the lead with a few laps remaining, breaking away enough to be unchallenged for the victory in his Senior debut. Drew won the fight to the line for second ahead of Avansino with point leader Jim McKinney (Ruthless / FA Kart) sneaking up to fourth in the late goings ahead of Tate. For McKinney, his results helped to clinch the provisional championship with one round remaining.
Twenty shifters filled up the Rok Shifter Senior / Masters race group. Point leader Alex Keyes (Birel ART) jumped out to a big lead early in the Final with drivers fighting for the second spot. Hunter Pickett (Aluminos) eventually put himself into second by the halfway point and quickly ran down Keyes. Pickett scored the victory by one-second over Keyes, who locked up the provisional championship.
Patrick O’Neill (RWR / CRG) was able to steal the Rok Shifters Masters victory from Kevin Woods (RWR / CRG) late in the Final. Championship contender Nick Firestone (DR Kart) worked his way up into the second spot over Michael Guasch (LEM / Formula K) with Jeff Smith (Tony Kart) in fifth.
Things were decided on and off the track in the Junior Rok division. On track, Austin and Ashton Torgerson stepped up their game to challenge point leader Ugo Ugochukwu (Tony Kart). The Torgerson brothers were locked up, with Ashton pushing Austin most of the race. Ugo slipped past Ashton on the final lap but contact allowed Austin to get away and reach the checkered flag first. Officials however penalized Austin for contact early in the race with Ugo, thus promoting Ugo to the victory. The win gives Ugo the provisional championship heading into the season finale.
Rok Masters championship leader Erik Jackson (Vemme Kart) showed the way in the 25-lap Final. With Jackson going wire-to-wire for his first victory of the season and fifth straight podium to lock up the provisional title. Jonathan Silva (FW / CompKart) closed up on Jackson mid-race, but a slipup while on his bumper dropped him back.
After a 5 way battle up front, Chase Gardner (Vemme Kart) was able to secure the lead and cross the line first for his second victory of the series. His win locked up the provisional championship. Ethan Nascimento (Vemme Kart) led for a moment, but had to settle for second to earn his first podium finish of the year.
Mini Rok Sat. Final
1. Chase Gardner +0.263
2. Ethan Nascimento
3. Enzo Swan
4. Stephen Eisert
5. Logan Toke
6. AJ Zarcone
7. Rye Myers
8. Tuesday Calderwood
9. Patrick Molnar
10. Max Pankewitz
Senior Rok Sat. Final
1. Bijoy Garg +1.199
2. Jake Drew
3. Michael Avansino
4. Jim McKinney
5. Ryan Tate
6. Filip Niemkiewicz
7. Hunter Kelly
8. Christopher Martin
9. Jenson Altzman
10. Brody Shucard
Masters Rok Sat. Final
1. Erik Jackson +1.882
2. Jonathan Silva
3. Nick De Graaf
4. Ed Quinn
5. Mike Giles
6. Alan Morte
7. Kurtis Breeding
8. David Pergande
9. Steve Piggott
10. Reynaldo Nieves
Junior Rok Sat. Final
1. Austin Torgerson +1.220
2. Ugo Ugochukwu
3. Ashton Torgerson
4. Ethan Ho
5. Bryson Lew
6. William Ferguson
7. Brenden Ruzbarsky
8. Cooper Becklin
9. Jovy Levin
10. Logan Calderwood
Rok Shifter Senior/Masters Sat. Final
1. Hunter Pickett +1.030
2. Alex Keyes
3. Nicky Hays
4. Kol Bailey
5. Zach Pettinicchi
6. Clinton Schoombee
7. Enzo Prevost
8. Cabot Bigham
9. Patrick O’Neill
10. Kevin Woods


Credits: Sean Buur 

Created by: scorradengo - 15/04/18

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