The month of August may mean hot temps here in Socal, but it also brings one of the most hotly-contested events on the CalSpeed calendar: The Classico Grand Prix. The crown jewel in the Super Series season, the Classico GP sees not only season regulars, but also plenty of talent coming in for a one-off shot at the biggest sprint race of the season. The 2019 affair was one of the most exciting to date, but here in 2020, it did everything it could to one-up that spectacle…
Striking first on the day would be a new face and name in the top qualifier ranks, as Michael Hazlewood claimed his first career pole position in the Super Series. He would be joined by a pair of Sprint Series and sportsman category standouts from last year too, as Chase Nickells backed up his pole position from the Sprint Series the day before for P2 overall, while 2019 Sprint champ Tyler Redman claimed the 3rd and final heat race pole with the third best time.
Once the heat races got under way however, it was the veterans of the sport and the Classico Grand Prix that came out in force, all led by one of the best in the sport karting business, Logan Calvin. He paired up a third in heat two with his win in his first race for top points going into the mains, and with it pole position for the A-Main. Fellow heat race winner and point leader Diego Morales locked into P2, while Classico ace and heat race winner lined up third, with Andres Prieto claiming best of those without a heat race win to start 4th after a P2 and P5 in his heats. Fellow heat race winners would be pole sitter Michael Hazlewood, 2019 GP winner Andrew Wood, and Paulo Franca.
Winning any race at the Classico GP is special, and that includes the C-Main; for the 2020 C-Main, it was a tail of two drivers right down to the the end. Nick Marascio led the field away at the start, and would immediately work up to a .6 tenth lead by the end of lap one, while Dmitry Korotkov would slot into second after a solid start from third on the grid. For the next several laps it was Korotkov giving chase, clicking off laps that were fast each time by a tenth. Little by little he crept closer, until getting to the bumper of Marascio on the penultimate lap. He would make his move on the final lap, moving into the lead and holding on for the win; he didn’t lead a single lap until the end, where he led the most important one.
Unlike the C-Main, the B-Main was a much more straight-forward affair, as veteran Bill Kreig took control early, and never looked back. Starting in P2, Kreig claimed the top spot in the opening circuit, and from there clicked off laps consistently quicker than those chasing him. Helped a bit from the infighting behind, his lead would grow to an eventual 4+ seconds at the end, scoring the B-Main win and the transfer into the Classico GP A-Main.
A three way battle and a last lap pass was one of the most excting finishes to a Super Series race ever, and that just happened to be last year’s Classico Grand Prix. For 2020, it didn’t look like the race would emulate that finish at first, but by the end, it was a 5-way battle for supremacy…
Right from the start it would be point leader Diego Morales leading the field away from the P2 spot on the grid, and with the infighting immediately behind him, he would pull out to an almost 2-second lead at a quarter distance. Behind him though, a charging Sam Hunt was looking to make it three A-main wins in a row, and joined by Patrick Britain, the pair slowly began to reel in Morales. By the halfway point the lead was down to just under a second, while the chasing duo had also built a near 2-second lead on to the chasing pack behind. Crossing the line for the start of lap 14 of 20 it was now a three-horse race for Morales, Hunt and Britain, and it looked like it would be a mirror image of 2019 as the lead trio had 3 seconds over Ayrton Demoss and Paulo Franca, who had emerged as the pack leaders behind.
Hunt wasted no time however, and attacked into Kimbrell, and with Morales over the outside, the fight continued down the hill and eventually into a three-wide situation before the lap was over. The result? No change in position, but about a second lost in their advantage. More of the same the next lap, but this time it was Britain moving up into second, but the trio had lost yet more time; third times a charm? Negative. The next lap saw Morales still in the lead, and while Hunt and Britain swapped places once again, not only had Ayrton DeMoss gone purple with fast lap and Franca in tow, but they had erased the gap to the leaders.
It was now a 5-driver battle for the win with four laps to go…
The next lap was fairly calm, but that was a feint; Britain would make the move on Hunt the next time by, dropping him back to 4th as DeMoss followed through. On the penultimate lap it was the exact same thing, this time Britain to the lead, DeMoss into second, and Morales back to third, while Franca dropped the once lead-hopeful Hunt back to fifth. And on the final lap it was DeMoss’ turn to make the move, stealing away the top spot from Britain, while Franca came through as well to bump him back to the final podium spot. It would be Ayrton DeMoss’ first career Super Series win, and on the biggest stage, just like has happened the last couple of years with Fite and Wood. And to make things a bit more sweet, along with the special trophy and an event poster, he earned a test day in a KA 100cc kart via the Formula Works team.
Super Series A-Main Top 10-
|5)||Diego Morales [M]|
Point Standings Top 10 (drop)
|1)||Diego Morales [M]||1544||(291)|
|7)||Max DeMoss [M]||1360||(304)|
|8)||Pietro Moro [S]||1312||(304)|