[April 12, 2012] Round 4 of the Calspeed Super Series was another ‘sold-out’ affair as 100 west coast kart racers suited up for battle. The event would
feature CalSpeed’s fast and technical ‘Grande Counter-Clockwise’ layout, a configuration that would leave several usual
front-runners feeling disappointment in their result, while many others were able to post personal bests. By days end it would be a virtual repeat
of Round 3 in the A-Main as Aaron Downs would claim victory by the narrowest of margins over championship points leader, Logan Calvin.
As always, the day would begin with the timed qualifying sessions for all four run-groups following the conclusion of morning practice. Setting quick time, and picking up where he left off with last month’s Ironman victory in the series’ opening round, Dave Messimer would throw down the gauntlet with a blistering 1:04.5 lap. Rookie of the Year contender KC Cook would again turn heads with a strong qualifying effort by grabbing P2, even out-pacing championship leader Logan Calvin who would slot in P3 overall.
Moving into the first round of heat racing, Messimer would be first up in Group-A and would run flag-to-flag, claiming the victory over a trailing Darren Mercer and Luis Arrieta with a fair amount of breathing room to spare. Group-B wouldn’t be as kind to Cook, who had a tough run from a very promising pole position. Cook would plummet to a 10th place finish even though he trailed the leader by just over three seconds at the checkers. The top four would be separated by less than a second for the win, with Aaron Downs edging Miles Calvin, Matt Widner, and Tyler Bryant at the stripe. Group-C would see L.Calvin match Messimer’s earlier flag-to-flag run for the win, while the real action was for P2. Sergio Bravo and Robby Stanovich would battle hard, with Bravo edging Stanovich at the line. That result would not hold however, as officials would flip the positions post-race after determining that Bravo had cut the track after running wide in an attempt to overtake Stanovich in the waning laps, thus crediting Stanovich with the P2 finish. Group-D would feature another exciting battle as Mike Kai, Taylor Hays, and Patrick Britain would all run nose-to-tail for the majority of the session. Kai would pull a slight gap as the fight for position intensified between Hays and Britain. Britain would edge Hays by a margin of just two-thousandths of a second at the finish line, however, officials would once again intervene post-race as Britain would be called for an inadvertent chop-maneuver on Hays just four corners from the checkers. Hays would be credited with P2, with Britain settling for P3 when all was said and done.
Heat Round 2 would continue to produce some fantastic on-track action, as Messimer would again make an impressive run from his pole position in Group-A to claim the win with Mercer again trailing off his rear bumper. Cook would rebound from his disappointing P10 finish in the prior heat round to claim a respectable fourth place finish in the group. Group-B would be highlighted by a nice run from Miles Calvin as he would relegate younger brother Logan to a P2 finish. Widner would again be in place for another strong showing as he claimed P3 in the group. Group-C would be all Sergio Bravo, as he bounced back from the post race penalty in his previous run to put a massive five-second gap on Rotax pilot Matt Hart to claim a convincing victory. The final heat race of the day would belong to Taylor Hays as he put some distance between himself and Aaron Downs for the win. Downs would not have an easy run to maintain P2 as he would be hounded by a charging Luis Arrieta for much of the session, however Downs would keep his head down and edge Arrieta by just a tenth of a second at session’s end.
With all Heat Rounds concluded, the D-Main would be the first to take to the track in the final Round of the day. With all drivers vying for the win, and subsequent transfer spot into the C-Main, the action picked up quickly at the front of the field once the green flag waived. Phoenix, Arizona natives Kyle McGrath and David Acevedo would be joined by Minnesota hot-shoe Brian Warden; all three dueling for control of the lead. Meanwhile, young Cody Calvin [yes, another Calvin] of Northern California’s RPM Indoor Center, was busy picking off positions and moving towards the front to join the fray. Calvin would not only catch the lead group, but would drive past them en route to a win that was greeted with cheers from the fenceline. He would earn a spot to compete in the very next session… the C-Main.
The C-Main would provide only a couple laps of excitement as Bill Krieg, after a rough couple of heat race finishes, would find himself needing to race his way into the B-Main. Krieg would make quick work in the opening laps to take control of the lead and would not look back. It wouldn’t take long for the regular “A-Mainer” to build a gap over the likes of series rookie Mike Pastore and fellow top driver Rene Moreno. At the conclusion of the 12-lap affair, Kreig would coast easily onto the rear of the B-Main grid.
The B-Main would feature a similar storyline to the C-Main. This time it was Patrick Britain looking to race his way into his normal A-Main surroundings after a tough second heat race saw him finish well down the order. Britain would leave little doubt as he drove away from the field, Kirk Feldkamp being the only other driver in the field within reach of the championship contender. Britain would not falter, undoubtedly feeling a bit of relief in the fact that he would not be breaking his streak of A-Main appearances.
The Round 4 Super Series A-Main would be one of the more ‘interesting’ races we have seen this season. After qualifying at the top of the field in the morning session, and sweeping both of his heat races, Dave Messimer lead the field to the green flag, eyeballing a potential perfect day. That thought would quickly become a distant memory as Messimer struggled with his kart draw and would ultimately retire from the session early… a disappointing end to a very strong day. Also suffering tragedy after just two corners would be Miles Calvin, who was caught out in the marbles while attempting to drive around the outside for the race lead. Calvin would spin and find himself P26… dead last on lap 1 of 15. Meanwhile, control of the lead would be handed back and forth between Mike Kai, Aaron Downs, and Logan Calvin. The battle would allow a second pack of karts, headed by Matt Hart, to join the fight for the win. Downs and L.Calvin would find themselves in familiar territory late in the race, a rematch of Round 3’s A-Main battle for the win, with identical results. Downs would edge Calvin by just two tenths as the checkers waived. L.Calvin would not be too disappointed however, as he would exit Round 4 having extended his championship lead over his main rivals. One of those rivals, brother Miles, would be credited with the drive of the day as he turned his lap 1 debacle into a brilliant run from P26 to P10 when the dust finally settled. As has often been said, championships are not won on your best day, they are earned by minimizing the damage on your worst ones… we’ll have to wait and see if that holds true for the elder Calvin as the season shakes out.
Round 5 of the CalSpeed Super Series is slated for Saturday, May 5th, 2012. As the season moves into the “middle” rounds of the championship chase, we look for the true title contenders to start making their moves to the top of the charts. Thus far, Logan Calvin has been unshakable, while two-time series champion Jon Kimbrell has had a tough go of it thus far in 2012. KC Cook has a strong grip on the Rookie Championship having extended his lead over both EJ McKinney and Kristyln Queener. Sergio Bravo also sits in control of the Masters Championship, however the likes of Dave Messimer and Jay Schreiber are sure to make it hard on the reigning champ as he hopes to repeat. Registration is under way so please contact CalSpeed Karting today at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 951.506.9363 to secure your spot on the grid!
1. Logan Calvin
2. Aaron Downs
3. Patrick Britain
4. Miles Calvin
5. Bryan Armbrust
Team SPV / Chatterbox
[M.Calvin / D.Mercer / P.Britain]