The second half of the 2021 CalSpeed Sprint Series kicked off over Memorial Day Weekend, as round six of ten would take to the longest and fastest of the reverse layouts, Grande Counter Clockwise. With the Winter Series in the books, the second best 4 out of 5 sub championship would get started, as drivers would not only vie for the overall points, but would score their first tallies in the Summer Series department…
The first driver to make some noise in the second half of the year would be top ten overall contender Mike Gonzales, scoring his second career pole position, with round #3 winner Leo Ovtcharov P2, and round #5 winner Carl Zhu rounding out the top 3. Notably, last month’s pole sitter and second in the points Michael Martin clocked a lap just .012 off of Zhu to continue his strong qualifying runs in fourth.
The Heat Races…
The first heat race would see Gonzales lead the field away for the first standing start of the day, but he would come under immediate pressure from martin, and newly-crowned Winter Series champ Evan Lawrence. Lawrence would eventually wrestle the lead away, but could not drop the pair, and the trio fought all the way to the checkers with Lawrence coming out on top, followed by Gonzales, and Martin.
In heat two it was a mano-e-mano fight between lead off man Leo Ovtcharov, and challenger Vince Azua, the pair eventually pulling away from the rest of the field. Azua would take over in the early stages, but Ovtcharov fought back at the mid point, before Vince finally made his way around and held off Leo for his first career heat win.
In the final heat it would be another close race, this time between the most recent winner in the Series carl Zhu, Albert Yeh, and up and coming talent Lucas Weisenberg, the trio pulling away to make it a three-horse race. In the end it would be Zhu holding on for his second heat race win in a row, and with his strong qualy effort, would lead the field away for the second A-Main in a row as well…
The Sprint Series would not only be Randee Tolentino’s CalSpeed debut, it was also be his first time in a kart, and he looked to get pretty comfortable with things, as he led from the start of the C-Main. In fact, he would pull out a decent lead before finally getting tracked down my fellow newcomer, young Case Vanderschaaf, would made the pass stick just past half way. From there both Tolentino and Vanderschaaf would roll on unchallenged, with the latter crossing the line first, however the win would be decided at scales. Unfortunately, Case would come up a bit light, handing the win back over to Randee, who extatically moved on to the B-Main…
Things would get interesting right away in the B-Main, as leader and rising new talent Randy Mermell would slide down the order after a penalty, promoting SE title contender Frank Chen to the top spot. Young Jack Lofaro would ride in second for a bit, but would also slip back outside of contention as he would fall first to Heather Perrin and then Craig Robertson. With the infighting behind him, Chen would start to pull away, and even after things stabilized, the gap to Perrin in second was static; the two even cut the exact same fast lap time. For Chen however, it was a B-Main win, trophy, and transfer on to the A-Main…
There were two Sprint Series events in the month of May, with Carl Zhu winning round #5 over Evan Lawrence and Michael Martin, the three pulling away from the rest of the field for e 3-horse race. Here in round #6 you might think it was Déjà vu’, with Zhu leading over Lawrence and Martin once again, with the three pulling away to a handy lead in quick succession. This time however, Lawrence got to the front early, with Martin taking the fight to Zhu shortly thereafter. Instead of have to do the attacking, this time Lawrence was on the defense, with both challengers keeping the pressure on all race long. The point leader was not to be denied however, claiming his second win of the season, and his second win in a row on the configuration, while Zhu would slip past Martin in the end to settle for 2nd. Two rounds in May, but the same three drivers on the box, just with a flip of the top two…
The CalSpeed Sprint Series has a bit of a break before continuing into the Summer with round #7, slated for July 10th on the Nuotivo layout, and a return to the forward direction tracks!
Sprint Series Round #6 Top 10
- Evan Lawrence
- Carl Zhu
- Michael Martin
- John Rice
- Jeremy Aldridge
- Matthew McCoy
- Albert Yeh
- Ivan Martinez
- Jack McNeel
- Jacob Reis