The endurance arm of the CalSpeed Karting arrive and drive championships kicked things off this past weekend, as the 2020 IronMan Series got underway on the Classico Counter Clockwise layout. The field of thirty would be one of the most experienced entry lists to start a season in years, with nearly every single driver having run a series event in the past. Being January, cool temps greeted the drivers, with the conditions set up for record-fast times across the board.
As is customary for the opening round, qualifying would take place to set the first grid of the year, and it was a new face at the sharp end in what is arguably the trickiest qualifying session of the season. John Rice would claim the pole position after mastering his kart and the conditions during the green-white-checkered session and would lead the field away to start the first once around the clock contest of the year.
But it would be another new face at the sharp end once they crossed the line for the competition of lap one, and that was Doug Yauney. He would hold on to the top spot for the opening handful of laps before IronMan ace and reigning Super Series champ Sean Fite took over the helm on lap six. Fite would also maintain the front for about five or so laps before the third lead change of the race, this time with Chris Huerta stealing away the top spot. The top two would be chased by a solid group of drivers from 3rd-11th, forming a train that held such names as Paulo Franca, Jose da Silva, Diego Morales, and Andres Prieto. Unfortunately, not all in the group agreed with the ‘working together’ platform, and combined with the harmonious pace of the top two, infighting saw the gap to the leaders grow.
It wasn’t until about the 45-minute mark that Chris Huerta would elect to make his first pit stop, the advantage having grown considerably throughout the race, and bolstered by most of their rivals pitting already. Fite would follow suit one lap later, leapfrogging his fellow pace-setter in the process. The second pit stop would be the crucial one, however, and once again it was Huerta who blinked first, this time doing so from 2nd, and perhaps a bit of a surprise to the leading Fite, who stayed out for a couple more circuits afterward. This time when Fite exited, the leapfrog was reversed, and it was advantage Huerta by about a second, a deficit that the new leader would hold onto and bring home the win in round #1. Fite would settle for a comfortable second, and the aforementioned infighting had kept their fight for the win to a two-horse race.
And coming out on top of that infighting would be Ayrton DeMoss; after a small mishap on the pace lap, DeMoss would hang at the tail end of the lead train mentioned earlier, gathering his wits back up and resetting his resolve. When fellow front runner Andres Prieto electing to pit out of the turmoil, DeMoss concurred with the plan, and the duo linked up to cut solid laps. Eventually realizing he had the speed to lead instead of follow, DeMoss made the move in front at about halfway, and never looked back. So after crashing on the pace lap, to finding the final spot on the podium with a healthy gap back to 4th, DeMoss certainly earned the award for most eventful race to start off the year.
Round #2 of the CalSpeed IronMan Series takes to the Grande Counter Clockwise track in less than three weeks on February 8th; spots are still available, so register today!
IronMan Series Round #1 Top 10
|6)||Jose da Silva|
Point Standings Top 10
|6)||Jose da Silva||75|