CalSpeed Grand Prix Series Round 2 Preview

Round 2 of the new CalSpeed Grand Prix Series will see 50 drivers take on the Sportivo layout later today, the clockwise course marking a change in direction that these drivers will maintain through the rest of the season. Round #1 was taken down by budding competition karter Steven Dekeyser last month, with Sprint Series regulars Tiange Li and Nick Rajewski filling out the podium on either side.

Tonight’s race will see 31 of the 50 drivers from the opener back for another go, including all of the top 15 and 17 of the top 20. In today’s preview we’ll take a closer look at the track that will host round #2, break down the qualifying groups, as well as take a closer look at our top 5 drivers from round #1…

The Track…

·      Turns – 13

·      Overall length – .659 miles

·      Front Straight – 550 feet

·      Back Straight (Sportivo to Monaco) – 565 feet

·      Braking Zones – Kimbrell, Turn 4, Sportivo, Monaco, Long Beach

·      Primary Passing Zones – Kimbrell, Turn 4, Monaco, Long Beach

·      Track Record- 61.808, Diego Alvarado, Super Series Round #1 2022

The Drivers…

Qualy Group 1     

  1. Steven Dekeyser
  2. Tiange Li
  3. Nick Rajewski
  4. Yinkkai Zhao
  5. Brandon Boone
  6. Matthew Pinto
  7. Rodney Bryant Jr
  8. Matthew Slama
  9. Jayden Martinez
  10. Reven Easley
  11. Ryan Ray
  12. Marcus Guerrero
  13. Cuauhtemoc Arana Bravo
  14. Steven Nava
  15. Eric Dulaney
  16. Ethan Broitman
  17. Nathan Olin
  18. Fabricio Curtis
  19. Josef Nalezny
  20. Chris Pineda
  21. Kartik Gopalakrishnan
  22. Allen Person
  23. Aaron Geoulla
  24. Charlie Ibarra
  25. Daniel Parisi

Qualy Group 2

  1. Andrew Mekhail
  2. Mike Buongiorno
  3. Adam Ahmad
  4. Shady Ahmad
  5. JD Lebrilla
  6. Scott Randall
  7. Adam Lin
  8. Austin McCullough
  9. Brandon Schmidt
  10. Brennan Caines
  11. Craig Vasquez
  12. David Ballantine
  13. Evan Garner
  14. James Bratton
  15. Johnny Vega
  16. Kevin Young
  17. Marc Salvador
  18. Nathan Avila
  19. Nolan Patefield
  20. RC Flock
  21. Samantha Vega
  22. Zachary Abrahim
  23. Korey Givens
  24. Nathan Gray
  25. Tarun Mehta

Championship Top 5-

#1 Steven Dekeyser – Topping the charts in unofficial practice group 1, Steven Dekeyser time would sit 5th on the combined charts, pace he would back up in qualifying with a P2 overall – fastest in the 2nd group. When the racing commenced, he would prove to be the driver to beat, cutting fast lap en route to a win in the very first GP Series event.

#2 Tiange Li – Tiange Li looked to be the early favorite last month, not only clocking the fastest time in unofficial practice, but then backing it up with quick time in qualifying to snag the first pole positon of this 4-race season. He would lose the top spot to the aforementioned Dekeyser on the opening lap of the main, but proved by the end that he could cut equal lap times as he closed in towards the end of the race.

#3 Nick Rajewski – SE title contender over in the Sprint Series, Nick Rajewski’s entrance into the GP Series would see him at the sharp end all of round #1. He would clock the 2nd fastest time in unofficial practice before backing it up with a 3rd overall in qualifying, and in the race locked in the final podium spot after making the move just a couple laps from the end.

#4 Yingkai Zhao – Another new Sprint Series regular, Yingkai Zhao had pace for the front all event at round #1, going third quick in overall practice before going 3rd quick overall in qualy, just .014 off of Dekeyser. He would sit third for the first half of the race before Rajeski found his way by, and then battled it out for 4th, coming out on top at the end.

#5 Brandon Boone – Of the top 5, Brandon Boone may be the one to watch for a big improvement tonight, as he was the only driver not to practice, but then put up the 4th overall time in qualifying. While he settled for 5th on the day after battling at the end of the race, it was a solid outing in what was his first CalSpeed race…

The opening round gave us our first look at these up and coming talents in sport karting at CalSpeed, but with 40% of the field new for round #2, could we see a new face at the front? These front 5 were the first to show what they had, but there are a few drivers further back that could surprise in the second installment of the CalSpeed Grand Prix Series!

See you all tonight at 5pm!