After three days of intense, hard fought racing action on the ¾ mile CalSpeed Karting Center circuit, it was rising sports car star Stevan McAleer representing Grand Prix New York / Victory Lane Karting, taking home the 2013 Sport Kart Grand National Championship at the conclusion of the 2013 Grands weekend. McAleer would overcome a longshot scenario entering the Sunday SuperFinal, in which he could afford nothing less than a win, while also needing his main championship rivals to finish no better than sixth in that same session. A brilliant run in the SuperFinal would earn him that win, and he would indeed get the help he needed from his challengers, vaulting him from 4th to 1st in the final points standings as the weekend came to a close, earning him the 2013 Title in dramatic fashion.
Also claiming top step honors this past weekend was Jay Schreiber taking the coveted Masters Class Title. Schreiber, currently in the midst of a career year leading the Masters category in the CalSpeed Super Series, took control of the weekend early as he snagged both a heat win and P2 finish on Day 1, as well as another heat win and P2 finish on Day 2, setting him up as the clear championship leader heading into the final day.
Schreiber’s cause would be aided by up and down runs from rivals Sergio Bravo and Dave Messimer, as both caught their share of rough luck at various points in the weekend. Eventual Vice Champion Sergio Bravo would notch a number of Top5 finishes to his credit over the three days, while Messimer would claim P3 in class, winning two heat races in the process. It would not be enough for either, as a strong P4 run in his PreFinal would clinch Schreiber the Masters Title before the SuperFinal grid would even be set. A perennial Masters contender, Schreiber would climb to the top of the podium for the first time as a champion of the category, capping off a spectacular weekend for himself.
The Team Championship category was also one that was highly sought after in the 2013 edition of the SKGN. Team SPV / Random Manufacturing would arrive as the defending champions with Miles Calvin and Darren Mercer selecting defending Overall Champ Logan Calvin as the stand in for Patrick Britain, now spending time in the broadcast booth this year. The trio would jump off to a quick start on Day 1 as both Mercer and L.Calvin claimed two wins apiece. A Day 2 bounce back by Miles Calvin extended their points lead handily heading into the final day of action. From there it would be a battle for P2 as 111 Ink , Slipstream Aero West Sales, and Briar’s Racings Finest all lead the charge. 111 Ink, anchored by KC Cook, would score P2 by events close, while Slipstream Aero West Sales lead by Jon Kimbrell, secured P3 in class. When the dust finally settled, Team SPV / Random Manufacturing had successfully defended their championship by a margin of just under 90 points to their nearest rival, with Mercer being the only team member to score an Overall podium in the process.
Back in the Overall category, McAleer arrived at the facility for the first time on Friday morning, and got just one 10-minute warmup session before being thrust straight into racing action in Heat Round 1. The lack of practice would prove to be a non-issue for the sport karting veteran as he would immediately find pace, notching a P2 and two P3 finishes on the first day. Despite the strong results, Day 1 would ultimately belong to Arizona native Chaz Baca Jr, representing Octane Raceway, as he claimed three Heat wins en route to the overall points lead heading into Day 2.
His three wins would best Darren Mercer, Jerott King, and defending Champ Logan Calvin, as they all notched two wins to their credit to kick off the weekend. Day 2 would see a surge from McAleer as he claimed his first win in the fifth round of competition, while multi-time Indoor National Champ Jon Kimbrell went on a run claiming wins of his own in the sixth and seventh rounds, with KC Cook matching Kimbrell step for step. Cook would leave Day 2 action as the new overall points leader with a host of hopefuls very close in tow, setting up an epic Super Sunday showdown for the championship.
With Super Sunday set to feature just a single PreFinal session for all competitors before setting the field for both the LCQ and SuperFinal, it would be the last chance for those in the championship hunt to score some valuable points against their rivals. Cook would open the action in Prefinal Group A by claiming a P2 finish just behind Taylor Hays at the stripe. Cook’s satisfaction with that finish would quickly fade as Mercer [P2 in points] would find checkers in Group B, King [P3 in points] would do the same in Group C, and McAleer [P4 in points] would follow the trend in Group D.
That would set up a variety of championship scenarios heading into the SuperFinal, with Mercer now leading Cook by just a single point, King also in contention, and McAleer needing an outright win and no better than a P6 finish from the others to realize his Championship hopes. Tension would be at a fever pitch as the group rolled off for qualifying in tight formation, so tight in fact that it would cost all but McAleer the chance at a truly clean lap. McAleer would be happy to find himself lining up on the front row, scoring a P2 next to pole sitter Jon Kimbrell, while Mercer, King and Cook would all be bogged down deeper in the field. With the green flag out, Kimbrell, McAleer, and BRKC hot shoe Anwar Beraoul-Smith would form a three kart breakaway while the rest of the championship contenders tried desperately to work their way forward.
An rare mechanical failure would put Cook on the sidelines early, an unfortunate end to his championship aspirations, while Mercer would climb as high as P7 while King struggled further back. Ultimately, as pit stops cycled thru, it became clear that McAleer was in position to do the unthinkable, win the 2013 SKGN SuperFinal and claim the 2013 Championship in the process. He would round the final corner of the 50-lap feature and give a single fist pump as he crossed the line, a rare show of emotion from the otherwise reserved Scot.
With the win McAleer secured not just the 2013 SKGN Championship, but also collected the $2000 cash payout that went along with it as he stood atop the podium, champagne in hand. Mercer, finishing P12 in the SuperFinal, earned himself Vice Champion honors and the $1000 cash prize, while Cook, King, and Baca all grabbed podium finishes and the payouts that went with it after a long, hard weekend of amazingly close racing. A wide variety of media coverage of this year’s championship is available, including the archived live broadcast footage provided by Kart Racer TV, Patrick Britain, and Livestream.com, as well as a all official timing results and championship standings via MyLaps.com. Plans have already begun for the 2014 edition of the Sport Kart Grand Nationals, as interest has already spiked from around the globe. Keep an eye on CalSpeedKarting.com, as well as SportKartUSA.com for further details as they are announced.
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: http://organisation.mylaps.com/championship/view.jsp?id=30231
OFFICIAL TIMING RESULTS: http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/916172
ARCHIVED BROADCAST FOOTAGE: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4448306?query=kart%20racer%20tv&cat=account
END OF DAY PRESS CONFERENCES: http://www.youtube.com/user/CalSpeedKarting1
CALSPEED KARTING FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/calspeedkarting