We had 10 drivers show up to compete in our first race of the 2010 season at K1 Speed Seattle, and we were pleased to see that several of the competitors were new to the Challenge GP series. The veteran racers were eager to welcome the new faces and were being very gracious before the race and after the qualifying sessions had come to a close; several of the new drivers found themselves receiving advice on the optimal lines and braking points. Even the experienced competitors found the race to be a challenge though, as the session was run in the opposite direction. With a reverse track layout, everyone was on a level playing field for the most part, leading to an exciting qualifying session!
Runner-up in last season's Challenge GP series, Javier Cantu-Lucero qualified on pole position at our indoor raceway after setting the fast lap in the two qualifying sessions. Just behind him was Austin Treloar, followed by Erik Bee. The three started at the front of the grid and were eager to defend their positions as the race got underway. As the green flag was dropped for the main event, everyone was able to get off of the line cleanly. We were pleased to see that nobody fell behind (it could also be said that nobody gained a position though!) and there were no incidents as the karts funneled into Turn 1.
The front of the pack were running consistent lap times and were forming a procession as they lapped the track, but there was plenty of excitement farther back on the grid. On lap 3, Carlos Simental pushed his cold tires a bit too hard and went wide, allowing Theodore Georgas to take advantage and move up one position. Perry Skountrianos made a spectacular move on Michael Raiche on lap 10, throwing the nose of his kart into the inside of Michael's before he could close the door. The move put Perry in 6th place, but 2 laps later, Michael pressured Perry into making a big mistake around the hairpin turn and Michael was able to regain his original position. Perry's spin cost him two positions but by the end of the race he had gained back one position which left him where he started in 7th. Though they weren't fighting for a podium spot, the mid-pack challengers were involved in some of the best racing we've seen!
At the front of the pack, Javier was being hounded by Austin Treloar who was putting up a valiant fight! Javier was able to keep his cool though and drove home to victory, despite Austin putting forth his best efforts to knock Javier off of his spot! Austin ended up claiming the second spot on the podium ahead of Erik Bee who finished in 3rd place. It was a great race and a fantastic way to start of the 2010 Challenge GP season in Seattle. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we were pleased with the turnout.
If you would like to compete in our Challenge GP kart league and race our high performance electric karts around one of the best indoor go kart tracks in Washington State and the Seattle area, join us on February 9th for Round 2! We hope to see you there!