Rajewski claims first CalSpeed win at GP Series Round #2!

Round #2 for the new CalSpeed Grand Prix Series took to the Sportivo layout last night, a change in direction for the 30+ returning drivers from the opening event in May. With twenty or so new drivers entering the fold for the second installment, we saw a mix of new faces and repeat strong runners here in June…

Unofficial practice would start off the night, and unlike last time where there were a few seats left, nearly all drivers took to the track for the extra seat time. Session 1 would see Ryan Ray pace the field, a top ten contender from the opener who entered round #2 with no additional seat time since the last race. Practice group two would see another new face at the sharp end, as Nolan Platefield’s series debuted on the right foot.

Qualifying was next on the docket, perhaps the most important session of the night as it not only decides which of the two mains you will run, but where you will be starting in the field of 25. The groups were set up by points, with the top 25 in the standings taking to the track first, with a rebound performance coming from one of the returning drivers. Rodney Bryant Jr had a tough qualifying outing at the opener, but this time around made the most of the situation and scored top time, securing the overall pole position in style. Group two would see another debut driver at the sharp end, as David Ballantine put in best time in the session, which would end up being good enough for 3rd overall for an impressive start to the night. The first race of the evening would be the B-Main, with qualifiers from the second half of the qualifying results taking to the track first, all looking to snag the win and the final transfer to the A-main. Matthew Slama would sit on pole with Eric Dulaney along side, and once the green flag fell, Slama would take his spot as the pace setter. Dulaney would come under fire straight away by Matthew Pinto, with the latter dispatching his rival and setting his sights on Slama and the possible win. From there it was Slama and Pinto pacing the field, the pair pulling away as the infighting cost the chasing pack time in the early stages. In the end Pinto had a slightly better lap time, but it would be Slama that would walk away as the better of the two Matthews on this day…

The A-main had Rodney Bryant line up first with #2 qualifier Tiange Li along side, the second front row start in as many races for Li. Bryant would hold onto the lead for the opening circuit, but the driver making moves would be round one podium finisher Nick Rajewski, moving up to P2 by the end of lap 2, before making his bid for the lead one lap later. Bryant also had Li to contend with as well, with both drivers finding their way by to see him slip from first to third. The trio would begin to pull away from the rest of the pack at that point, steadily growing their advantage, and all but solidifying the hardware contenders into the second half of the race. Coming to the checkerwed it would turn into a drag race between the top two, with Rajewski claiming his first CalSpeed win by just .003 over Tiange Li, who made it two seconds in a row to start the season. For Rodney Bryant Jr, it was a great follow up to his strong P7 from the opener, with all three looking good in the points.

Round #2 is in the books, with round #3 taking to the Nuotivo layout on Thursday, July 14th; spots are filling up already, so don’t miss out!

Round #3 Registration: https://calspeed.configio.com/search?cid=498

GP Series Round #2 Top Ten

  1. Nick Rajewski
  2. Tiange Li
  3. Rodney Bryant Jr
  4. Josef Nalezny
  5. Steven Dekeyser
  6. Ryan Ray
  7. James Bratton
  8. David Ballantine
  9. Fabricio Curtis
  10. Brandon Boone

Full Results: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1999267

Point Standings Top 10

  1. Nick Rajewski              200
  2. Steven Dekeyser         200
  3. Tiange Li                      195
  4. Rodney Bryant Jr        190
  5. Yingkai Zhao                185
  6. Josef Nalezny              185
  7. Brandon Boone           180
  8. Revin Easley                175
  9. Ryan Ray                     175
  10. Matthew Pinto            175

Full Standings: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GYr2U-FLpxoJ9cxUS_P6I795F_IfEsFm1oSHxjk_tx4/edit?usp=sharing