The pinnacle arrive and drive championship in North America kicked off its 2020 season this past weekend, as the Super Series began its 11th installment with the Classico Counter Clockwise layout at CalSpeed Karting. Cool temperatures but blue skies welcomed the field of 82 drivers for the season opener, eventually ushering in new faces at the sharp end, and a new track record before the day was done…
Green-white-checkered qualifying is one of the toughest things to master, with even some of the most skilled drivers taking some time to cut a perfect lap and secure top time overall. Enter Paulo Franca, arguably one of the best shoes in CalSpeed sport karting, who scored his first career pole position this past weekend. Joining him in the bonus points was Sam Hunt in second -continuing his qualifying prowess from last year- and another stout qualifier in his own right, reigning champ Sean Fite in 3rd.
Of the three, however, only Franca and Fite would score victories in their heat races, joined by a pair of new faces in the win column, heat race winners Pietro Moro and Max DeMoss Sr. But they would all be chasing double winner Diego Morales; Morales would capitalize on a solid 5th overall in qualifying to snag his first heat win, but then work up through the top 10 invert in heat 2 to start the year off perfect in the heats. Franca would line up on the outside pole via his win and a third, while row two would reward consistency in the heats with TJ Blackledge on the inside with a pair of 2nds and Ayrton DeMoss on the outsides with a second and a third.
The first main of the year would see Andres Aranda lead the field away for the C-Main start, but it would be veteran sport karter Ben Morse taking over straight away to lead lap one. In fact, Morse would not relinquish the lead for the duration of the race, immediately pulling out to a gap right away. Behind him, Grand Masters standout Brian Starr would work into the runner-up spot after the first circuit and immediately set his sights on the front. But while he pulled away from third, Starr would not make many inroads to the lead before the checkers flew. However, at scales, the leader Morse would come up light, awarding Starr the win, and transfer to the B-Main.
The B-Main would see a pair of strong Sportsman drivers lock out the front row, as Frank Hsu and Dmitry Korotkov lead into turn one at the drop of the green. The latter would be the one to lead lap one however, with Scott Milne slotting into P2, and Hsu settling into 3rd. Hsu would not stay there long however and immediately steal the second spot back, with the group behind jostling for position. None of the front group were content in their position though, with each position being trade lap after lap, while one driver worked his way steadily forward. That would be James Lieser; he would move into the lead until lap ten, but once there, he would be there to stay, scoring the B-Main by just under a second.
Diego Morales may have had the pole position to start the first A-Main of the year, but it would be Paulo Franca coming out on top through the esses, and eventually lead lap 1. Morales would actually slip back to P3, as TJ Blackledge slotted into second, while Sean Fite and Ayrton DeMoss completed the top five. This quintet actually stayed pretty calm for several laps, and were rewarded with an enlarging advantage to the chasing drivers behind until the first move was made on lap 6. It would happen in the esses, with Morales eventually coming out on top, and Franca getting stuck on the outside to slip from first to fifth in one lap. From there the front three would hold station, attempting to drop the back two off the back of the train, and it almost worked, as Franca and DeMoss dueled for fourth for a couple of laps. DeMoss was the one on the charge however, having no intention of losing the front three, and clocked the fastest lap -and a new track record- to bridge the gap to the front. The front five would stay latched together, with no change in position up until the white flag flew; there were fast laps aplenty, and no mistakes, which made it very had to make any moves. In the end, the quintet would finish as they ran most of the race, with Diego Morales scoring his 8th career win, with TJ Blackledge and Sean Fite rounding out the podium.
The CalSpeed Super Series returns February 8th, taking to the Grande CCW course for the first time this season, so don’t miss out on what is certainly a driver favorite course!
Super Series A-Main Top 10-
|1)||Diego Morales [M]|
|10)||Pietro Moro [S]|