Round #2 for the CalSpeed Super Series 2021 season took to the Grande course this past weekend, the first time the series had run on the layout since it was reconfigured back in 2019. A fast and flowing ¾ mile circuit, conditions were overcast and a bit chilly, but it was still better than the wind from round #1, and the racing on track once again did not disappoint.
Qualifying would see some fresh faces at the sharp end, with Tyler Redman claiming his first career pole position in the Super Series, the 2019 Sprint Series champ joined by fellow Sprint Series standouts all around him. P2 in qualy and pole for heat group B would be reigning Sprint Series champ Diego Alvarado, while Seth Willits rounded out the top three and would lead off group three in the heats.
It may have been fresh faces stealing the spotlight in qualifying, but it would be a familiar one stealing it back once racing began, as Paulo Franca would sweep both heats and claim the pole position for the A-Main later in the day. That said, there was still plenty of new faces scoring heat wins, as other than former Super Series champ Sean Fite, the rest were having some break-out runs, including Evan Lawrence, Sheng Wu, and Kiron Chakraborty. But while winning your heat is nice, consistency in both heats is what gets ya the strong A-Main starting spot, and it would be Sam Hunt starting alongside Paulo after doing just that, with a 4th and a 2nd in his two 10 lap bouts.
When the mains got underway it would be Craig Robertson leading the field away for the C-Main, and immediately he would jump out to a near 3-second advantage with all of the infighting going on behind him. But as is the case with the ‘C’, we tend to see drivers end up thereafter have rough heats, and pace and experience say they probably don’t belong there. Unfortunately for Craig, this was certainly the case for not one, but two drivers, as Albert Yeh and Chris Fox worked their way up from 6th and 8th respectively to set out to bridge the gap to the leader by lap 5. The duo would catch him on lap 8, dispatching the newer driver on the same circuit, but then would treat the onlookers with a great mano-a-mano duel for the win. In the end, it would be Fox outdoing Yeh, claiming the C-Main win and the transfer to the B-Main.
The B-Main would showcase another great battle for the win, this time amongst three drivers from start to finish. Chris Millar narrowly missed the auto-transfer to the ‘A’ and would start from pole position, with Sport Kart veteran Bryan Armbrust alongside, and it was Frank Hsu completing the trio for the fight for first starting third. The lead three would play things pretty cool to start things off, and between their solid pace and the battling that ensued behind them, their advantage grew quickly, with them eventually finishing a solid 4 seconds ahead of 4th. For his part, Armbrust wasn’t content with P2, and would steal away the top spot from Millar early on, with the latter keeping up the pressure, and Hsu in tow. There would be no separating them for the duration of the 12 lap run, but it would be Armbrust holding off the pressure of his challenges to win, the trio crossing the line within about 4 tenths of each other.
The A-Main looked like it could just be a continuation of where the IronMan Series had left off, as Paulo Franca Lined up on pole with Sam Hunt alongside for the start. Hunt had other plans however, and would waste little time in his bid for the win, claiming the top spot on lap 2 with Alyssa Yauney working up from 4th to slot in behind. That would bump Paulo down to third, but he would counter one lap later, dishing out the 1st to 3rd swap back at Hunt, with Yauney holding station in second. However, Yauney would make it three lead changes in three laps just one circuit later, moving into the top spot with Franca second, Hunt third, and now fellow IronMan podium finisher Bill Kreig in 4th. A couple of laps later, it was Kreig on the move, going for two at about the halfway point to pick up 2nd, and Sam Hunt following him through for third. From there however, a combination of Yauney putting down solid laps, and the challengers not agree on their order saw the former pull out to a comfortable lead, and the chasing group grow from three, to five, with Evan Karp and Sean Fite entering the mix. Alyssa would hold on for an eventual unchallenged win, while the fight for the rest of the podiumed remained tight, save for Bill Kreig who was able to squirt away for 2nd in the end. That final podium spot would go to Paulo Franca, joining Yauney with back to back podiums to open the year.
The CalSpeed Super Series returns for round #3 March 13th, and heads to the familiar clockwise direction track Sportivo, so sign up today!
Super Series A-Main Top 10-
|8)||Sheng Wu [M]|
|9)||John Rice [GM][S]|
Point Standings Top 10 (drop)
|6)||Diego Morales [M]||364||(298)|
|10)||Sheng Wu [M]||352||(280)|