Among the backdrop of the Utah Mountains, under sunny skies, the US Karting Grand Prix hit the ground running at the Utah Motorsports Campus with amazing racing from the start as day one of wheel-to-wheel action got underway.
The intense on track action started early with the first group of the day. As with all traditional Briggs & Stratton racing in the USA, the Briggs World Formula class tipped off the day with amazingly close racing, proving the consistency of the 4-cycle engine package. Running a drafting school the entire race, the whole class finished within a half second between first and last. In the end, Chris Passanate scored the victory with a margin of 0.073 seconds over Darin Marcum.
Group 2, made up of Senior, Master, and IAME TAG Sprint racers, saw the three classes intermix the action throughout the race. After the 25-minute battle, Justin Schuh took the win in TAG USA Master. Filip Niemkiewicz easily won the TAG USA Senior class, while Oklahoman Jason Lorang handily won the IAME Sprint class.
The first of four SuperKart Shootout races made up group three with Yamaha Laydown. Dave Fultz commanded the SuperKart field, while the multi-national champion Jason Lorang won a hard-fought battle of the Yamaha laydowns.
Stock Moto and Open Shifters made up the largest group of the day and the fourth race. After an initial battle at the start of Stock Moto, Brandon Scheiber took the class by a comfortable 20-second margin over second place Dan Votino. Conversely, in the Open Shifter category, Todd Cameron and Travis Henson took the race to the checkered, with Cameron taking the win with a slim 0.024 margin.
TAG USA Sr/Hvy showed a great rolling start with the fields barreling into turn one. Emerging from the initial corner, the field started to spread out, with Darren Young taking the win over Justin Schuh by a mere four-seconds.
Mid-day action saw the Tillotson 225 Category Pre-Final setting the stage for Sunday’s main event. At the start, polesitter Tyler McIntyre led the entire field through the first lap, but that comfort level quickly diminished as the Kosmic kart of Andy Nish and Margay driver Gabe Sessler threatened McIntyre for the lead. After getting the pass done, Nish and Sessler went to work to pull away from McIntyre. The two battled throughout the Pre-Final with the two GFC karts of Ayrton Little and Bruno Carneiro working to catch the larders. At the checkered, Nish narrowly took the win over Sessler by a tenth, followed by the two GFC karts, with pole-sitter McIntyre rounding out the top five.
The final race group of the day saw a ton of shifter karts battle for their respective categories in the short 25-minutes on track. Of the large group, G-125 Sprint winner Todd Cameron battled the entire race with Steve Donia and won with a photo finish taking the top spot by 0.043 seconds.
At the official podium presentations, the first Craig Sender Memorial Award was presented to Brandon Scheiber for his commitment and dedication to Shifter Kart Racing.
Racing continues Sunday at the Utah Motorsports Campus with full fields of classes. Broadcasting live timing on Race Monitor, action is just a tap away.
Special thanks to UMC for their amazing hospitality, and the sponsors of the event, VisitSaltLake.com, Tillotson, RLV, OdenthalRacing.com, CMC, Huggler Racing, Conrad Group Insurance, and Kart-O-Rama for their continued support of the first annual US Karting Grand Prix.