Evan Karp is the 2022 Classico Grand Prix Champion!

There is one race during the regular season of the CalSpeed Super Series that every sport karter once to win; The Classico Grand Prix. With origins from the first laps ever cut at the Fontana, CA facility, the Classico GP is these drivers as big as Daytona, Indy, or Monaco. This is the crown jewel on the schedule, and to win puts you in an exclusive club of some of the best in the business…

After an incredible rare exclusion from the event, top honors in qualifying would eventually belong to Diego Alvarado, the reigning Sportsman champ matching his best ever qualifying effort in the biggest event of the year. Jose da Silva would claim the final bonus point and top starting spot for the heats, which once underway, would start off with plenty of fireworks. Usually we will see heat race winners adorn the front row of a Super Series race, but this time consistency would win over W’s, as 2016 Classico winner Charles Eichlin would score pole position for the A-Main via a pair of 2nds. In fact, you would have to go back to row 3 to find the first heat race winner, with former Classico winner Andrew Wood the highest of the preliminary victors. He would be joined in the W column by Doug Yauney, Diego Morales, Evan Karp, Ariel Rubio and Jeremy Aldridge…

Max Phillips would take off from the pole spot in the first of the three mains at the Classico Grand Prix, but it would be Ethan Chen working his way up from 4th to lead the first of 12 laps. Phillips would slot into second and maintain that spot for the opening circuits, but the driver on the move was Brett Sourapas, who had taking the green from the 5th starting spot. Brett would slowly making inroads through the top 5, getting by Sebastien Koslov on lap one, and then Edmundo Quezade two laps later. The move for 2nd on Philips would cost the group a bit of time, but then Sourapas led the charge to reel in Chen, who at the time had a 1.5 second lead. With three to go they were on him, but the move for the lead would come on the final lap in the middle of the Contino Carousel; a move with contact, and although Brett cross the line first, the win would go Ethan Chen going flag-to-flag and scoring some hardware at Classico.

Unlike the previous main, the B-Main would be a two-horse race right from the get-go. Veteran Frank Hsu would start from pole position, but it would be Sprint Series point leader Ivan Martinez showing his strength on the Classico circuit by taking over the lead on lap 1. Having won twice on the configuration in the Sprint Series, Martinez knew how to get around, and immediately set the pace to beat. Hsu was not to be shook that easily however, and matched the Sprint Series standout lap after lap, never less than a couple kart lengths off his bumper, before making his own move for the lead on lap 10. Ivan wasted no time in his counterattack, re-taking the top spot just one lap later, doubling down on pace as the 15 lap main wore down, cutting fast lap in the process. While the pressure was on, he would not succumb to it, and Ivan Martinez would add het another piece of Classico Hardware to his mantle.

Charles Eichlin would lead the field away for the start of the 20-Lap Classico Grand Prix, a grid that saw four of the top six as former winners, including Charles (’16), reigning Classico winner Sam Hunt, 2018 victor Sean Fite, and winner of the 100th Super Series – 2019 winner Andrew Wood. Right from the start it would be recent All-Star winner and 2021 IronMan Series champ Michael Hazlewood trying to roll alongside Eichlin, but it would be the pole sitter coming out on top to lead lap one. Instead, the mover was P4 man Evan Karp, who not only was looking for his first Classico win – he was shooting for his first EVER Super Series victory. Moving up into the P2 spot by lap 3, Karp slowly bridged the gap to Eichlin over the next handful of laps, also gapping third place Sam Hunt and trailing pack in the process. From their the top two continued to pull away, and aside from an attempt a little passed half way, Karp played the dutiful pusher, while further back things were shape up to come to a crescendo in the battle for third.

Everything would be decided on the final lap; the battle for third saw Sam Hunt attempt to fend off not just one, but three other drivers for the final podium spot, including Bill Kreig, Chase Nickells and Andrew Wood. Attacks and counterattacks ensued, with Chase Nickells pulling the undercut to go from 5th to third through Silk, to steal away the final hardware spot. Up front the move came right at the end; as Charles set up for the Esses, Karp shot to the inside of the left, carrying the outside to drag race to the line…. And coming away with the win by just .068…

The CalSpeed Super Series returns for round #9 September 17th, the penultimate round in the 2022 championship, where we could even see some titles sewn up!

Classico Grand Prix Top 10

  1. Evan Karp
  2. Charles Eichlin
  3. Chase Nickells
  4. Bill Kreig
  5. Sam Hunt
  6. Doug Yauney [M]
  7. Andrew Wood
  8. Darren Mercer
  9. Andres Prieto
  10. Ayrton Demoss

Overall Point Standings Top 10

  1. Samuel Hunt               2285   
  2. Ayrton Demoss           2242
  3. Donnie Clarke             2217   
  4. Bill Kreig                      2178   
  5. Sean Fite                     2139   
  6. Jose da Silva [M]         2116   
  7. Diego Morales [M]      2114   
  8. Doug Yauney               2016   
  9. Michael Hazlewood    1984   
  10. Chase Nickells             1957