Sprint Series R2: Martinez two-in-a-row on Grande!

Round #2 of the CalSpeed Sprint Series capped off a busy month of January, taking to the Grande track layout for the only time this season. The third sport karting event in 4 weeks and second Sprint event of the month meant lots of seat time for sport karters at CalSpeed, and while we saw some rebound performances over the season opener, the front of the field looked almost the same…

Qualifying and Heat Races…

Jacob Reis would be the first to strike on the day, claiming the top spot in the group qualifying session, followed by SE standout from a year ago Ethan Chen, and up and coming talent Emerson Thieman in third. The trio would start from the first starting spot for their respective heat races, however, when the dust settled on the preliminary races it would be some veterans at the front. Heat 1 would see title contender Jeremy Aldridge make it two heat race wins in a row to start the year, while round #1 winner backed things up with his first career heat win. Then with a rebound performance, Mike Gonzales showed that he indeed is going to be a threat in 2022 by claiming his third career heat win. Of the three, Andrews would get the nod on pole position after a P4 effort in the timed session.


The first Main of the day would Bill Lin lead the field away from the standing start, a group nearly entirely comprised of newer drivers, with plenty of SE monikers looking for their first piece of hardware. Included in the group was Brian Cohen, making his 5th career start over the past three seasons, and slotting into P2 by the end of lap one. He would start on the coattails of Lin to kick things off, and when the completed the halfway point, would make his move for the lead, bringing with him Alexander Diakoumopoulos, and Ernesto Sanchez. Cohen would be able to maintain his advantage once out front though, taking down the C-Main win and with it a fresh piece of hardware.


The B-main would its pole sitter David Schaefer have issues on lap one, promoting Paul Wagner into P2, with Robert Hernandez and James Bratton in tow. The trio would pull away from the rest of the field, with Hernandez actually clocking the fastest lap of the race just before making his move for the lead just after the halfway point. The pair never did shake Bratton in third however, and when Wagner re-passed for the lead, Bratton came with him, bumping Hernandez back to third. A large gap back to the rest of the field, the three-horse race saw Wagner in control, constant pressure from Bratton, and Hernandez waiting for a mistake. None came though, and Wagner picked off his second B-Main win in a row, and with it, the bump to the A-Main.


The second A-Main of the Sprint Series season would see two of the three drivers from round #1 at the sharp end, as Joey Andrews led away at the start over Jeremy Aldridge, although things would shake up right from the get-go. Point leader and P2 man at the opener, Ivan Martinez took over the lead after a phenomenal start from 6th, helped in part from Emerson Thieman strong start from 5th. That would become the trio to beat with Emerson making the move from 3rd to 1st early, followed by some of the most patience we have seen from a Sprint Series of late. This was much ado from the Veteran Martinez, who slotted into second and dutifully played the pusher until the trio saw the white flag. Martinez and Thieman went side by side in the penultimate corner -horseshoe- and the former came out ahead, with the latter going a bit wide. This gifted an opportunity to Andrews who slipped by for 2nd, and pressed the attack on Ivan into the final corner. He went a little too deep however, and what resulted was an over-under move from the veteran, and a three wide drag race to the line, with Martinez claiming his second Grande Win in a row. Andrews would settle for 2nd just .006 behind, with Thieman claiming his first career podium astern by .064…

The CalSpeed Sprint Series is already SOLD OUT for round #3, taking to the Grande Counterclockwise circuit on March 12th, so be sure to sign up for round #4 before it sells out too!

Sprint Series A-Main Top 10-

  1. Ivan Martinez
  2. Joey Andrews
  3. Emerson Thieman
  4. Brett Lopinsky
  5. Mike Gonzales
  6. Jack McNeel
  7. Denis Shakhovski
  8. Alexander Blake
  9. Nathaniel Small
  10. Albert Yeh

Overall Point Standings Top 10

  1. Ivan Martinez              295
  2. Joey Andrews              295
  3. Jeremy Aldridge          290     
  4. Frank Hsu                    285
  5. Emerson Thieman       285
  6. Mike Gonzales            280
  7. Brett Lopinsky             275
  8. Adrian Comstock        275
  9. Jack McNeel                270
  10. Jacob Abrams             270

SE Sub-Championship Standings Top 5

  1. Nick Rajewski              240
  2. Brain Vidales               205
  3. Bowie Adams              205
  4. Luca Zambello             202
  5. David Ramirez             195