Record numbers continue to highlight the 2016 AMP Kart Championship Series season. 114 entries packed into the paddock at Atlanta Motorsports Park, a 32% increase from Round 2. Mother nature did not make it easy on the racers as temperatures in the afternoon danced near triple digit numbers. Toughing through the heat on and off the track, the drivers at hand were determined to put on a great day of racing.
Bryce Sanders (Maverick / IAME) struck first in TaG Rookie qualifying, besting season rival Christian Foster (Birel / IAME) by just over one tenth of a second for the pole. The two drivers made up the first row of the class with Vincent Capitillo (Tony Kart / IAME) qualifying in third. After getting a much better start than Foster, Sanders was able to cruise to victory in the Pre Final by nearly six seconds. Sanders would be challenged significantly in the main event though, as Foster finally found the extra pace he needed to truly fight for the win. Foster laid the pressure on Sanders all race long, but young Bryce Sanders drove a flawlessly to complete a perfect day from start to finish. It was Sanders’ third career victory in the class, with Atlanta Karting teammate Vincent Capitillo capturing his first podium in the division by finishing third.
Raiden Nicol (Tony Kart / IAME) went uncontested in the TaG Cadet class. Taking a third straight win in the division, Nicol now begins to set his eyes on the 2016 season championship, as he very well could lock up the title before the finale in October. Nicholas Daniel (OK1 / IAME) finished in second as he continues his climb up the speed charts.
Tyler Klein (Tony Kart / Rotax) has been able to best the TaG Junior field in every event he has competed at in 2016. Taking the pole in qualifying over returning driver Willis Woerheide (DR / IAME), Klein would once again find himself being hunted by a driver not too far off of his own speed. However, mechanical problems plagued both drivers’ days. Woerheide surrendered a chance at the Pre Final victory to Klein on Lap 1, and Klein reversed the roles in the Final with a brake failure, marring him to fourth. Woerheide capitalized by being first to the checkered flag in his return to karting, followed by Alex Giles (Sodi Kart / Rotax) in second and Nicholas Pearson (DR / IAME) in third.
Mechanical woes in TaG Junior appeared to pour into the TaG Senior class. This was bad news for sophomore TaG Senior driver Henry Brass (DR / IAME). Brass was nearly three seconds clear of the field in qualifying and practically coasted to a Pre Final win, but a water pump failure in the main event forced him to retire early.
With Brass out of the picture, a four way battle at the front ensued between Brian Katz (Tony Kart / IAME), Mike Marmurowicz (Merlin / IAME), Mike Bruce (Arrow / Rotax), and Discovery Parts’ own Max Zappendorf (CRG / Rotax). Bruce and Marmurowicz separated themselves from the group after a few laps of shuffling to settle the race amongst themselves out front. In the end, Bruce’s determination held out over Marmurowicz, allowing him to snag his first career victory in the AMP Kart Championship Series. Katz held off Zappendorf to round out the podium, finishing just under ten seconds behind the leaders.
Improving from Round 2, Lon Washburn (Top Kart / IAME) proved himself to be the driver to beat in TaG Master qualifying by setting the fastest time by nearly three tenths of a second over Tony Kart driver Craig Foster (Tony Kart / IAME) and Arrow driver Donald Davis (Arrow / Rotax). Washburn lost the lead early to Foster in the Pre Final, but Foster’s chain snapped in half at the midway point, surrendering the lead. Washburn still had Davis on his tail but was able to keep him at bay to the checker. Jose Garcia (DR / IAME) had problems early, but rebounded to go straight to the front at the start of the Final. Lon Washburn and Craig Foster both had issues that ended their races early, handing the win to Davis with Fletcher Wulff (CRG / IAME) finishing second and Garcia dropping to third with engine troubles.
The biggest grid of Shifter karts that AMP has ever seen was one of the many highlights in Round 3 of the AMP Kart Championship Series. Jason Campbell (DR / CR125) bested the other ten drivers to take the pole in qualifying by three tenths of a second over AMP regular Angus Hunt (Tony Kart / CR125) and Alabama driver Chad Lee (DR / CR125). Campbell would go on to win the Pre Final over Hunt and Lee with ease, although the Final would not be so kind to the DR driver. Both Campbell and Hunt had an issue at the drop of the green, forcing all other competitors to make evasive action. After the dust had settled, it was Chad Lee who had taken the checkered flag over a hard-charging Jason Brown (DR / KZ) who finished in second.
LO206 Senior / LO206 Master
In the biggest turnout of LO206 Seniors and Masters to date in at Atlanta Motorsports Park, it was Matt Horst (Razor) who stole the show in his debut at the circuit. Horst qualified on pole and was joined on the front row by none other than AMP frontrunner Adam Phillips (Razor). Razor chassis drivers locked out the entire Top 5, with John Nichols (Margay) qualifying in sixth. Horst came under pressure from John Beach (Razor) and Mitch Hendrix (Razor) as well as Nichols in the Pre Final, but held on tight to remain on point for the Final. In the main event, it was nothing but the blue, yellow, and black sixteen Razor out in front as Horst pulled away to a near ten second gap over second place Nichols and third place Jose Garcia (DR). In LO206 Master, the fight came down to Hendrix and Bob Barthelemy (Razor), swapping the top spot in the class numerous times before a slip on Barthelemy’s end in Turn 2 surrendered the number one spot to Hendrix.
More about Karting at Atlanta Motorsports Park:
Atlanta Motorsports Park is a motorsports members’ club that hosts kart races open to the public once month throughout the year along with other scattered public events. The fourth round of the AMP Kart Championship Series will take place on July 16th, less than three weeks away.
For more information on kart racing at Atlanta Motorsports Park as well as registration for the fourth round of the AMP Kart Championship Series, click here.