[May 9, 2012] Round 5 of the CalSpeed Super Series featured yet another massive sold out field of 100 drivers, as the usual front-runners all looked to reel in
current championship points leader Logan Calvin. Joining the group of CalSpeed veterans in Round 5 would be an influx of nearly 30 first-time Super
Series racers, all aiming to shake things up throughout the field. By days end, it would be Patrick Britain claiming his second win of the 2012
season, edging first time podium-climber Steve Hansen and fellow championship hopeful Aaron Downs.
The day would kick off as the field would be split evenly into four separate run-groups of twenty-five drivers each. Following the conclusion of morning practice, the groups would take to the track for the first timed session of the day: Qualifying. The ladies of CalSpeed would get off to a quick start in Round 5 as Isabella Busalacchi and Kristlyn Queener would claim P2 and P3 respectively. The only driver to top Busalacchi’s time would be Rookie of the Year points leader KC Cook, who claimed pole position over his 99 rival racers by just two-tenths of a second. Also turning heads in the qualifying session would be first time Super Series driver, and local Rotax pilot, Cameron Jocelyn, who would slot into P4 on the overall time charts heading into the first round of heat racing.
With the day moving from Quafliying to Racing, Heat Group A would be lead into turn one by Cook, but he would not remain at the point for long. Rene Moreno, Mike Lewis, and Robby Stanovich would all make their way past Cook, who would plummet to an eventual sixth place finish in the session. The big story in the first group would be the black flag call on championship hopeful Mike Kai for contact as he battled for the race lead. The drive-thru penalty would send him back to P20, making the rest of the day an uphill climb for the sport kart veteran. Heat Group B would see pole-sitter Isabella Busalacchi suffer a similar fate as Cook, as she would be shuffled back to P5, as Round 1 winner Darren Mercer put a gap on the field. Just three-tenths would separate P2-P5 as Patrick Britain edged Aaron Downs, Kirk Feldkamp, and Busalacchi at the checkers. The ‘Pole-Curse’ would continue in Heat Group C for Kristlyn Queener, as she would limit the damage and post an eventual P3 result, giving way to current Masters Championship leader Sergio Bravo and last season’s Rookie of the Year Tyler Bryant. Bravo and Bryant would have a great battle as Bravo would claim victory by only five-hundreths of a second at the line. Heat Group D would be the final session of Heat Round 1, with Cameron Jocelyn starting at the point. Jocelyn would quickly find himself in no-man’s land as both Miles and Logan Calvin would work their way past and began to pull ou a lead, while the pack sitting in P4 and beyond would lose ground in the fray. The elder Miles would take the win over brother Logan in another close finish, and begin to chip away at the younger Calvin’s championship lead.
As the day moved into the second round of heat racing, the make-up of the groups would be shuffled based on how drivers finished in their first session. Heat Group A would see Sergio Bravo pick up where he left off, breaking the ‘pole-curse’, and taking the win over Britain and Busalacchi. Group B would be next to take the track, and it would be déjà-vu as Miles Calvin lead brother Logan, as well as Cameron Jocelyn for the duration of the session. Miles would claim the win, making him two-for-two, and matching Bravo’s results thru two rounds of racing. Heat Group C would be an exciting one as Mike Kai would charge thru the field from his P20 starting position, working his way all the way to sixth when all was said and done. Up front, Kirk Felkamp would edge Darren Mercer for the win by just over a tenth of a second, while Downs would settle in for a P3 result. Heat Group D would be the final round of racing before the day transitioned into the Mains. Rene Moreno would put in another strong drive as he would match Bravo and M.Calvin, winning both his heat race sessions in as many tries. Stanovich and Lewis would not be far behind, earning both a spot on the coveted A-Main grid after two strong runs each.
The D-Main would be the first to take to the track in the final round of action, and generally features the newest crop of CalSpeed racers. Rookie drivers Andre Moye, Luc Berne, and John Fedele would have a fantastic three-way battle in the last few laps of the 12-lap affair. Moye would fight hard to hold off the late charge from Burne and Fedele, as they were the only two drivers to post laptimes in the 1:04’s. Although Berne would post quick time of the session, more than half a second faster than any other driver on track, Moye would find a way to beat him to the stripe for the win and the coveted transfer spot to the C-Main by just over a tenth of a second.
Up next would be the C-Main, and it would feature one of the better battles of the day as regular A-Main driver Mike Kai would find himself needing to race his way thru the C and B Mains after his black flag earlier in the day. Kai would look to have a firm grasp on the session, but would not figure on one Jeff Latimer putting up as strong a fight as he would. It would ultimately come down to the final corner where Latimer just couldn’t make that pass stick heading into Turn 15, known to all the regulars as “Long Beach”. The small bobble handed Kai the victory and the transfer spot into the B-Main, but a commendable effort by Latimer nonetheless.
As has been mentioned before, a CalSpeed B-Main is no walk in the park, even for an experienced racer. It has come to pass that every round, drivers who normally enjoy a spot on the A-Main grid, find themselves having to race their way in after a tough heat race at some point in the day. This month’s B-Main would be no different as it would feature the likes of Jay Schreiber, Luis Arrieta, and Diego Morales, as well as Mike Kai joining the back of the grid after his C-Main win. With the green flag in the air, it would not take Morales long to work his way to the front and begin to build a gap in veteran fashion. Schreiber and Arreita would be joined by a charging Mike Arnold, as the three’s battle would allow Morales some breathing room ahead. While there was plenty of action at the front, all eyes were on Mike Kai, who immediately began picking off positions and working his way forward. With just a handful of laps remaining, Kai had gone from P26, to a battle for P2, P3, and P4. Kai and Schreiber would tussle hard for several laps, with Kai ultimately gaining the advantage, but it would be too late to catch race leader Morales, as he sailed to victory. With the win, Morales would claim a spot on the A-Main grid, but the drive of the day would undoubtedly go to Kai for the P26 to P2 run.
A CalSpeed A-Main is designed to feature the best of the best on any given Super Series day, and routinely features some of the best of the best in the sport as a whole. Round 5’s A-Main would be just a little less “stacked” than normal as two-time Series Champion Jon Kimbrell would be absent due to other commitments. This would leave Sergio Bravo, Miles Calvin, and Rene Moreno all gunning for the sweep of the day, as all three had won both of their earlier heat race sessions. As the 26 kart field took the green under the 2x2 rolling start, drivers all looked to simultaneously protect their position, as well as advance where possible. Patrick Britain would be in full ‘advance’ mode, as he would make a bold move into turn 1, only to make it stick , and then make his way to the lead shortly thereafter. Similarly, Steve Hansen and Aaron Downs would pick up several positions as they put themselves in the right place, at the right time at almost every crucial spot. Unfortunately for Bravo and Moreno, their hopes of the day ‘s sweep would be dashed as both tried desperately to hang on, but would fall to P8 and P6 respectively. Logan and Miles Calvin would again find themselves bumper to bumper, just as they had all day long. Logan would again trail Miles for much of the session, until a last corner move saw him make the pass but run well off track as he struggled for grip. Logan would rejoin ahead of Calvin, but officials would make the call to flip the younger Calvin’s position back behind his brother deeming the pass illegal. As the 15-lap feature drew to a close, Britain would earn his second win of the season, matching him with eventual P3 finisher Aaron Downs in that category. Steve Hansen’s brilliant race would not go un-noticed as he claimed his first podium ever with a fantastic run to P2 in the session. The win gives a major boost to Britain’s 2012 Championship hopes as the season hits the halfway point next month, as both he and Miles Calvin walked away from the day having cut into Logan Calvin’s championship lead.
Round 6 of the CalSpeed Super Series is scheduled for Saturday June 2nd at the CalSpeed circuit in Fontana, California. Drivers will be looking to use that day as their last tune up for the 2012 Sport Kart Grand Nationals, slated to be held at CalSpeed later in the month. The event is set to feature drivers from all over the country, all looking to claim part of the $5000 prize purse up for grabs. Also coming up later this month is the Sodi World Series Grand Final in Paris, France, to which CalSpeed drivers Miles Calvin, Jon Kimbrell, and Isabella Busalacchi have all been invited to compete. We wish them luck as they look to represent not just CalSpeed, but the USA as a whole, as they go up against the best drivers from over 20 different countries at that event!
FULL ROUND 5 RESULTS:
1. Logan Calvin
2. Aaron Downs
3. Patrick Britain
4. Miles Calvin
5. Bryan Armbrust
Team SPV / Chatterbox
[M.Calvin / D.Mercer / P.Britain]