|CALSPEED SUPER SERIES R3 SEES ONLY SECOND MASTERS DRIVER IN HISTORY TO CLIMB THE TOP STEP AS SCHREIBER CLAIMS PHOTO FINISH WIN|
The 2013 CalSpeed Super Series continued this past weekend in Southern California as Round 3 action featured another 100-driver max field. The day would feature several personal bests for both rookie and veteran drivers alike, and would conclude with yet another early season points shakeup towards the sharp end of the overall standings.
As always, the day would begin with a series of morning practice sessions as groups of 25 drivers would take to the track to warm things up. Following the conclusions of practice, the day would then turn to the first official timed session: Qualifying. With qualifying groups determined by practice session times, the battle for pole position in Round 3 would ultimately come down to the final group comprised of the quickest set of drivers of the morning. Series veteran Taylor Hays would look to have the field covered as he would be 0.3s quicker than the rest of the field on his first of two flying laps. Unfortunately he would not be able to improve his time on his second and final lap, leaving the door open for Rene Hourian to edge him by just a tenth as the session came to a close. Hourian would claim his first pole to date, along with the 15 championship bonus points that come with it. Hays would settle for P2, while Kirk Felkamp would slot into P3 as the dust settled.
With qualifying complete, focus would then shift to the real action as drivers prepped for the first round of heats on the day. Group A would be first to the grid with Hourian heading the field on the front row. He would be challenged immediately once the green flag was in the air as Masters championship contender Jay Schreiber made a strong push to take the lead. Schreiber would keep the hammer down and build a nice cushion as Isabella Busalacchi, John Shepherd, and Logan Calvin all tangled with Hourain for P2. It would ultimately be Busalcchi and Shepherd rounding out the top three behind Schreiber’s strong drive for the win. Group B would feature one of the more astonishing things we’ve seen this season as Taylor Hays would round the final corner on lap 1 having built a multiple kart lead from his front row starting position, only to bury himself into the tire wall on the exit. The misstep would drop him well down the order leaving Nicholas Haye to inherit the lead, and the win, amid much pressure from Dave Messimer in P2. With Group C now up, Kirk Feldkamp would continue his qualifying momentum as he held off teammate Bill Kreig for the duration session to take the win. Chris Huerta would slot in just behind for a P3 finish behind the duo. Group D would round out heat round 1 with a strong four-kart battle for the win as Miles Calvin, Sergio Bravo, Jerott King, and Darren Mercer all swapped positions as the laps wound down. M.Cavlin would display some brilliant race craft, nipping defending Masters Champion Sergio Bravo and NorCal hotshoe Jerott King for the win.
The second round of heat racing action would kick off with a familiar face at the front in Group A as former two-time series champion Jon Kimbrell would find himself battling for the win with Bravo. Kimbrell would take the checkers by just under 0.2s at the conclusion of the 10-lap affair. In Group B, it would be Jay Schreiber again finding himself leading the field late in the session, however this time Huerta would not let him get away so easily. Huerta would apply the pressure down the final lap, but Schreiber would hold on to the checkers by just 0.07s to make it two out of two heading into the Main. Group C would feature yet another personal best, this time for young rookie Cody Calvin, as he would make a strong charge toward the front, even overtaking older brother Miles in the process. The battle would ultimately come down to C.Calvin and Jerott King, with the up and comer refusing to balk at King’s challenges. Cody would hold on and claim his first heat race win to date. The final heat race of the day would bring Group D to the grid. Logan Calvin, not to be outdone by his younger brother in the previous session, would make his way to the lead with Bill Kreig again lurking in P2. Calvin would hold on for the win, meaning Kreig would miss out on two heat wins by a combined margin of less than two-tenths.
With all heat racing complete, it would then be time to get into the final round of the day, the Mains. Up first to the grid would be the D-Main group where all 25 drivers would be vying for the win and the transfer spot to join the C-Main that comes with it. With the drop of the green, Adam Nagao would quickly establish himself as the man to beat. Fellow rookie Faisal Qaisi, in just his first Super Series appearance, would do everything possible to keep within striking distance but would concede just a minute bit of time to the leader lap after lap. Conversely, Joe Velazquez would be charging hard in P3, setting the session’s quickest laptime when all was said and done, however he would run out of laps during that charge, ultimately settling for the P3 finish. Nagao would take the checkers have built himself in excess of five seconds on Qaisi en route to the C-Main transfer spot and the win.
The C-Main would feature a close two-kart battle for the majority of the session as Phoenix native Jason Burstein and Super Series Rookie Aaron Scott played cat and mouse with one another from drop of the green. While the two would run nearly identical best laptimes, Scott would prove just a bit quicker on the time charts, however it would be Octane Raceway’s Jason Burstein getting the better of him in terms of position as the checkers waived. Burstein would beat Scott to the stripe by just over a tenth of a second to claim the transfer position into the B-Main, while Mike Dixon would get the better of Alfredo Anguiano in a very tight battle for P3. Also earning an honorable mention in the session would be Adam Nagao, who after winning the D-Main, started 26th on the C-Main grid before working his way up 10 positions to a P16 finish to cap his day.
The Round 3 B-Main will go down as one of the more entertaining sessions in the Super Series to date as both David Kelmenson and Taylor Hays would be starting well down the grid after tough results earlier in the day. From the drop of the green the two would quickly start working their way forward. Hays would have the tougher task as his P18 starting position meant he would not only need to be at the top of his game, but also get a little help from those up ahead if he hoped to have any shot. Help would be exactly what he would get as a battle for the lead raged between Rene Hourian, John Shepherd, and Jose da Silva. The three would not realize that with every attempted pass on one another, Kelmenson and Hays simultaneously closed in. With just a few laps remaining Hays and Kelmenson would catch the lead battle, and with much A-Main experience under their belt, would put their racecraft to work. Each would pick their way through, Hays grabbing the lead with a lap to go. Kelmenson would hang on Hays bumper and attempt a final corner move, however it would be Hays completing an improbably and impressive P18 to P1 run to take the win by 0.092s. Hays would earn redemption for his earlier heat race debacle by racing his way in to the transfer spot to join the Round 3 A-Main.
As the 26 kart A-Main field rounded the final “Long Beach” corner prepared to take the green flag for the only 2x2 rolling start of the day, it would be veteran Masters driver Jay Schreiber leading them to the start having won both of his earlier heat races. The field would barrel through the first few corners in relatively clean fashion as both the inside and outside trains merged into one. Kirk Felkamp would quickly emerge in the early going as the race leader with Schreiber slotting in on his back bumper. The duo would then employ a brilliant bit of strategy as Schreiber would not challenge Feldkamp with a pass, instead opting to sit just off his back bumper, well within his draft. The rest of the field however would be fighting madly for control of P3 as a 15-kart train would form consisting of both Miles and Logan Calvin, Jerott King, Sergio Bravo, and Bill Kreig towards the lead end. Employing the ‘frenemy’ strategy would prove effective for Schreiber and Feldkamp as the two would amass a nearly 8 second gap on the rest of the field on the Talladega-esque Nuovo circuit. With the white flag in the air Logan Calvin would get the better of Jerott King to claim control of P3, while up ahead Schreiber would be lining Feldkamp up for the final corner move that they both knew was coming. Feldamp would do his best to defend, however both would emerge onto the front straight side by side. A drag race would ensue as both drivers attempted their best “aero tuck” coming to the stripe. Schreiber would get their first, just 0.023s ahead of Feldkamp for the Round 3 A-Main win as the contrasting emotion was evident from both as they made their way back to pit lane.
With the win, Schreiber becomes just the second Masters driver in series history to reach the top stop and spray the champagne. With the conclusion of R3 action, defending series champion Logan Calvin retakes the points championship lead, while the Masters duo of Sergio Bravo and Jay Schreiber sit in P2 and P3 overall. Round 4 of the 2013 Super Series Season returns to CalSpeed on Saturday, May 4th, and will take on challenging Grande Configuaration. Registration is now open and the grid is nearly half full already so register today!