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Colorado Karting Tour Race Recap: Round 1, 2017

Published By Eric Gunderson     May 4, 2017    
Denver, CO, United States - Get Directions
Recap of the racing action from Round 1 of the CKT championship, held at Action Karting in Morrison, Colorado, on April 23, 2017.


Colorado Karting Tour Race Report: Round 1: Action Karting, April 23, 2017

On Sunday, April 23, The Colorado Karting Tour kicked off the 2017 championship season with a visit to Action Karting in Morrison, Colorado. As the sun rose on race day morning, the orderly yet full pits made it clear that the 2017 racing season will exhibit continued growth for CKT. With 85 entrants on hand for the day’s racing action, round 1 demonstrated compelling on-track action across multiple classes.

First to take to the track, the 15 drivers in the First National Denver Junior 1 class quickly made an impression on those in attendance, with several groups of drivers matched very closely for pace. However, in qualifying, #99 Nolan Payne stood out from the crowd, laying down a lap time of 42.597, well ahead of 2nd place qualifier #24 Calen Roach, and #61 Dylan Archer. In the pre final, Payne jumped out to an early lead, with Archer, Roach, and #8 Trayc Walker-Scott close behind. #14 Brody Moore found a way past several drivers early in the going to have the lead group within sight. As the race word on, Payne continued to slowly stretch out his lead, with Archer and Walker-Scott battling for 2nd until lap 7 of the 10 lap contest, when contact near the hairpin corner sidelined a dejected Archer. At the checkered, Payne took the victory, followed by Walker-Scott, Roach, Moore, and #7 Chase Groff. As the green fell for the final, it was again Payne out front. Once again, Moore capitalized on the start, as Walker-Scott briefly yielded the 2nd position to the driver of kart #14. As the laps wore on, Payne drove smoothly and confidently out front, his kart working well for him. Behind him, Moore and Walker-Scott were locked together in a spirited battle for 2nd and 3rd. Walker-Scott looked several times for a way by Moore, but was unable to overtake until late in the going, when Moore made a mistake, yielding the 2nd position to the young driver of kart #8. Behind them, #13 Tavian Rougemont, #11 Vaughn Weber, #65 Paxton Engesser, and #61 Dylan Archer drove nose-to-tail for the majority of the event. While both Archer and Weber did their best to find a way past Rougemont several times, they were unable to overtake, and swapped the 5th position several times as a result. At the line, Payne pumped his hand in the air, ecstatic over his victory by a healthy margin. Walker-Scott took an impressive 2nd, followed by Moore, Rougemont, and Weber. After starting from near the rear of the field in the final, Dylan Archer battled the whole race long to end up in 6th position.

While one of the smaller fields on track at Action, the Junior II class was arguably one of the most exciting to watch on track all day. In qualifying, veteran #78 Timmy Trostel set the pace, with a lap time of 45.113. #11 Brody Lewis was 2nd, followed by series newcomer #0 Baden Dunn, and #99 Daniel Fellows. In the prefinal, Trostel jumped to an early lead at the start, an advantage he would never relinquish. Behind him, the remaining 3 drivers made it an exciting race. Initially, Lewis slipped behind Dunn, who rocketed to the 2nd position on the start. Lewis would not be held back for long, however, and would re take the 2nd place position on lap 3. A bobble out of the hairpin shortly afterward allowed both Fellows and Dunn to slip by, with Fellows elevating himself to 2nd. With 4 laps to go, Dunn would fall by the wayside, sidelined by a slip off the track through the bus stop corner set. At the line, Trostel would take the win, followed by Fellows and Lewis. In the final, Trostel did not get as clean of a start, falling to 3rd as the field roared into turn 1. Despite his accident in the pre final, it was Dunn showing the way early on, followed by Trostel, Fellows, and Lewis. Having lost the lead early, Trostel wouldn’t be denied the lead for long, and re-took the lead from Dunn on lap 6. From there, Trostel rode off into the sunset, opening up a large lead as the three remaining drivers battled for position. Dunn was dogged for several laps by Fellows, who was not quite able to find a way by. With only a few laps to go, Lewis made his move, finding his way past first Fellows, and then Dunn. At the line, it was Trostel taking a big win, followed by Lewis, Dunn, and Fellows.

Next up were the mighty Surface Magic Kid Karts. In qualifying, #55 Hudson Morrow set the pace, with a time of 37.722. #5 Gage Korn was 2nd quick, followed by #4 Colt Sekich and newcomer #48 Asher Donnely. In the pre final, it was Morrow out front with an early lead, followed closely by Korn. As the final wore on, Morrow began to open up a lead over Korn, who was being chased down by Sekich, following a lengthy battle between Sekich and Donnely. At the checkered, it was Morrow well in front, with Korn, Sekich, and Donnely following him to the line. As the drivers creeped around the track on their formation lap for the final, it was clear that Korn was looking for the top spot, peering at Morrow as they neared the starting zone. At the drop of the green, Morrow again took the early lead, with Korn ducking in behind him. Korn wasn’t going to let him have the win easily, and was able to hang with Morrow for a short time, before Morrow found another gear, and began to open up a larger lead. Behind them, Sekich and Donnely raced closely for some time, before Sekich decided it was time to attempt to chase down Korn, and pulled away. As he crossed the line for the checkered, Morrow was well in front. Korn, Sekich, and Donnely would follow him to the line.

Just like Junior 1, the Micro Max class features some new faces this season. However, it was an experienced veteran of the class that took the top position in qualifying. #23 Trayc Walker-Scott placed his kart up front, with a time of 43.337. #54 Jennifer Baker demonstrated that her off-season preparations served her well, qualifying in 2nd a mere tenth of a second behind Walker-Scott. #61 Dylan Archer also impressed in qualifying, turning a time fast enough for 3rd quick, followed closely by fellow newcomer #5 Kaden Dosmann and #51 Joelle Lewis. In the pre final, Walker-Scott and Baker quickly pulled away from the rest of the field, with Walker-Scott taking the early lead. Baker was not to be denied, however, and by lap 3 she was in the lead. Walker-Scott never gave in, and was close behind when his chain guard and chain fell off with only a handful of laps to go, elevating Archer to the 2nd position. Behind the leaders, Dosmann and Lewis raced close together for a period of time, before Dosmann opened up his own space on the track, leaving Lewis to soldier on in 4th. At the line, Baker took the win, followed by Archer, Dosmann, Lewis, and newcomer #34 Trenton Miller in 5th. In the main, Baker began where she left off in the pre final, sweeping into the lead in the opening corners. Archer was beginning to demonstrate additional speed and confidence in his kart, and followed Baker closely for several laps before Baker opened up a larger advantage. Behind them, contact between Dosmann, Lewis, and a charging Walker-Scott forced an early retirement for Walker-Scott, whose radiator was knocked off early in the melee. Dosmann would recover and soldier on in 3rd for the remainder of the race, followed by Lewis in 4th. #17x Gianni Brienza found some additional speed early in the final, before a driving error would sideline him early in the going. At the checkered, it was Baker taking her first win of the season over Archer, Dosmann, Lewis, and Miller.

The Unser Karting Junior Max drivers were next on the track. In qualifying, it was #217 Liam Letzsch that would take the pole, with a quick time of 38.340. #214 Macy Williams Impressed in her debut in the junior category, placing her kart in 2nd position, just ahead of another class rookie, #298 Cameron Lazaroff. In the pre final, Letzsch jumped out to an early advantage as the field roared into turn 1. #222 Cody Dempster was looking for a way to get to Letzsch’s bumper early in the going, but contact during a pass in the hairpin in the opening laps set him and #234 Jaden Stohr with significant ground to make up to catch up with the rest of the field. A charging #216 Weston McDonald-Clatt quickly inherited the 2nd position, leading a string of 4 drivers all battling for the 2nd position. Despite falling back a handful of positions on the opening lap, Williams capitalized on the mistakes of Dempster and others to elevate herself in front of McDonald-Clatt by lap 5, followed by an equally ambitious Lazaroff. Together, these two drivers put their heads down and slowly opened up a minor lead over McDonald-Clatt, #227 Brienza, and #276 Everest Fedler. At the checkered for the pre final, it was Letzsch taking the win by approximately 4 seconds. Lazaroff made yet another passing move late to take over the 2nd position, crossing the line ahead of Williams in 3rd, McDonald-Clatt 4th, and Brienza 5th. As the drivers rolled out for the main, it was Letzsch and Lazaroff leading the pack on the warm up lap. At the drop of the green, Letzsch again shot out to an early lead, with McDonald-Clatt, Williams, and Lazaroff all left to squabble over the 2nd position. Contact in the opening laps saw Lazaroff off the track, slowing Williams and McDonald-Clatt. As a result, Fedler, Brienza, and McDonald-Clatt were all able to slip by, pushing Williams back to the 5th position. Within a few laps, it became clear that Fedler knew he had a good kart underneath him, ducking his head down in an effort to chase down Letzsch further up the track. As the laps wore away, Fedler continued to close. With only a handful of laps remaining, Fedler made his move for the lead, slipping past Letzsch on lap 12. Letzsch would not let the win slip away easily, however, and remained closely on Fedler’s tail the remainder of the race. At the checkered, it was Fedler taking the win, followed by Letzsch, McDonald-Clatt, Brienza, and Williams.

The Competitive Edge Academy LO206 Cadet drivers were next to take to the track, and it was clear early on that two drivers were set to do battle throughout the day. In qualifying, #5 Alex McPherson-Wiman would take the pole, with a time of 45.895, a scant tenth of a second ahead of “Run Your Rust Off” winner #22a Archer Eversman. As the green flag fell for the pre final, it was Eversman getting the jump into the first corner, with McPherson-Wiman close behind. The lead duo quickly separated themselves from the rest of the pack, leaving the others to battle it out for the 3rd position. #51 Joelle Lewis held this position early, but rookie #85 Andrew Wilson would make a move late in the going to relegate Lewis to 4th. At the front, Eversman never faltered, and lead McPherson-Wiman around the track while driver #5 looked for a way past. At the checkered, Eversman would take the victory, ahead of McPherson-Wiman, Wilson, Lewis, and new driver #11 Tyler Pompian. In the final, it was again Eversman getting the early advantage, with McPherson-Wiman falling in close behind. Just like in the pre final, Eversman and McPherson-Wiman quickly separated from the rest of the field. Eversman and McPherson-Wiman seemed fairly matched around the track—one would gain in some areas, and the other in other portions of the track. As the race wore on, McPherson-Wiman drew alongside Eversman several times, but was unable to complete the pass, Eversman finding ways to retain his lead. Behind the leaders, Wilson and Lewis again engaged in a spirited battle for the 3rd position in the opening laps, with Wilson prevailing. After an early accident sidelined him early in the going in the pre final, #22 Luke Fisher was on the move, and made several passed throughout the race to elevate himself up to the 5th finishing position. At the checkered, Eversman would take the victory, a mere kart length ahead of McPherson-Wiman. Wilson would come 3rd, followed by Lewis, and Fisher.

Next on the track were the drivers in the Mini Max category. Despite the small kart count, qualifying served notice that this class was going to extremely competitive at the front of the field. In qualifying, #178 Timmy Trostel would take the pole position, with a time of 40.050, just ahead of class newcomer #102 Maximilian Opalski, with #154 Jennifer Baker in 3rd. In the pre final, it was Opalski with the jump on the start, followed closely by Trostel. Trostel would not wait his turn at the front for long, slipping past Opalski on the 2nd lap. Opalski and Trostel quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field, lead by #118 Jack Armstron and Baker. On lap 6, Opalski took another shot at Trostel, who fell directly behind him in 2nd. The lead duo then engaged in an epic battle for the lead for the remainder of the race, with the two drivers swapping the lead almost every lap. With two laps to go, Opalski finally prevailed, and would open up a small advantage over Trostel. At the line, Opalski would take the win, followed by Trostel and Armstrong. In the main, the leaders made it clear they were going to pick up where they left off in the pre final. However, it was Trostel taking the early lead, forcing Opalski to fall to 2nd. Baker made a move early to slip past Armstrong for the 3rd position. As the laps wore on, Trostel and Opalski again separated from the rest of the field, and would race closely throughout the contest, with less than 2-3 tenths of a second separating the two drivers at any given point in the race. Opalski seemed to find some speed throughout the middle portion of the race, and pressured Trostel heavily for the lead. Opalski would be unable to complete the pass for the lead, however, and was forced to settle for second at the finish line, Trostel pumping his hand in the air as he took the victory in a very close race. Baker soldiered on throughout the race, pushing her kart and herself to the limit several times, doing her best to chase down the two veteran drivers at the front in her first race in the Mini Max category. With only a lap remaining, Armstrong would encounter trouble with his motor and chain, and was sidelined, elevating #188 Gabby Brienza to 4th at the finish. #199 Zachary Morris would complete the top 5 at the finish.

As the Loan Simple Stock Honda Shifter and Open Shifter drivers took the track for qualifying, the officials and racers at CKT were excited to see a healthy field of drivers competing for the top honors in each class. In qualifying, #11 Ryan Rudolph would take the pole, scorching the track with a new track record of 36.225! #21 Harry Voigt would qualify a close 2nd, followed by birthday boy and defending champion #77 Phillip Craycraft. In Open Shifter, #314 Jacob Meister dug the spurs into the side of his immaculately prepared FA Kart, propelling him to the pole position with a time of 37.211, just ahead of #20 Dustin Courter and #12 Josh Weis. As the flag fell for the pre final, Rudolph would shoot out to an early advantage. However, he was not without competition, as Craycraft got an extremely good start, nipping at Rudolphs heels for several laps before Rudolph began to inch away. Behind the leaders, #5 Cory Milne would take advantage of mechanical issues for Voigt to elevate himself to 3rd, with #68 Stephen Jenks in 4th. Behind them, #20 Adam Powers and Courter would engage in a battle for the lead early in the Open class. After taking the pole, Meister was forced to 3rd for much of the race, but was sidelined with only a handful of laps to go after finding the leading edge of one of the curbs. At the line, it was Rudolph taking the win, followed by Craycraft, and Milne. After battling hard for the lead in Open shifter, it was Powers with the win, followed by #717 Timber Gleeson, and Meister. In the final, Rudolph and Craycraft quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field for the lead. With Milne electing to not start the main, Jenks was left to soldier on in 3rd. After mechanical issues in the pre final, Voigt had the bit between his teeth, and drove through the field to contend for the 4th position near the end of the final. Behind the leaders, Gleeson faltered on the start, Allowing Powers to retain his lead, and open up a sizable advantage as Weis worked his way through the field. At the finish, Rudolph would again emerge victorious, followed by Craycraft and Jenks. In Open Shifter, Powers would emerge victorious, followed by Weis and Gleeson.

Next on the track, the Senior Rotax/Open TaG division showed considerable growth in entries from the opening race. In qualifying, returning veteran #205 Max Fedler would take the pole in Rotax Senior, with a time of 38.217, ahead of #7 Alfredo Jampit and #37 Frank Diranna. In TaG, #92 Jeff Callies would take the top spot, with a time of 39.386, ahead of #14 William Dunford, and #22 Seth Axelson. In the pre final, it was Callies out front in TaG, pulling away to a moderate lead over Axelson and Dunford. In Senior Rotax, Fedler ran the majority of the race unopposed, with newcomers Diranna and Jampit battling it out for the 2nd position. At the checkered, Fedler would take the win in Rotax Senior, with Callies taking the victory in TaG. In the main, Fedler would race away cleanly at the start, but contact further back in the field would cause Jampit and Dunford to spin off the track in the opening corner, with Jampit and Dunford unable to continue the race. Fedler would race away in the lead to his first victory of the year, followed by Jeff Callies who would take the victory in Open TaG. At the line, Callies was followed by Axelson, who crossed the line just ahead of Dunford, who would take the 2nd position in rotax senior.
Perhaps saving the most exciting class for last, the combined Amsoil Adult LO206 Light and Henry’s Welding Co. LO206 Heavy class featured 26 drivers throughout the day. In qualifying, #20 Dustin Courter would set the pace, with a time of 45.890, followed by #5 William Barkley and #21x AJ Jacobellis. In the Heavy division, #556 Dieter would lead the way, with a time of 47.761, followed by #29 Mac Frewen and #403 Jeremy Davis. In the pre final, Courter would surge to an early lead thanks to a helpful push by his row, Barkley following him through turn 2. #21 Henry Korn demonstrated serious pace early, stalking Barkley’s rear bumper for several laps before Barkley found his own space on the track. An opening lap skirmish would relegate #12 Austin Chalman back to 6th, which elevated #14 Ryan Williams ahead of Jacobellis and #328 Alex Doman. In the heavy class, Zac Dieter would slot in behind some of the light category drivers, riding on their bumper as they scythed through traffic. #2 Rodney Ebersole was quick to fall in behind Dieter, and the two pulled away from the rest of the heavy drivers. At the line, Courter would take the victory in light, and Dieter in heavy. In the main, Courter would again get the jump early, followed by Barkley and Williams. Chalman found his way past several competitors early in the going to elevate himself to 4th, where he would remain throughout the contest. As the laps wore on, the front of the pack remained largely unchanged. Further back, however the racing was turbulent and at times chaotic. Just as he did in the pre final, Dieter was able to weather this storm well, and found himself a safe place on the racetrack to protect his lead, holding off Ebersole and Davis as they found themselves mired in traffic throughout the race. At the finish, Courter would take his first win of the season, followed by Barkley and Williams. Series newcomer #322 Jackson Dunn impressed with a strong race day finish of 6th overall. In the heavy class, Dieter would keep his nose clean throughout the race, finishing slightly ahead of Ebersole for the victory, with Davis 3rd.

After the races, the drivers and competitors present at the track worked to set up the podium for the B2 Energy trophy presentation. With mild weather and impressive on track action, the race day finished ahead of schedule, a credit to the fair racing exhibited on track, and by the quick and efficient execution of the race day officiating team and staff on hand from Action Karting. A special thanks should be extended to the officiating team of Chip Korenek, Ian Francis, McKenna Carey, Doug Welch, and the corner workers Alan, Will, and Mark. In addition, the staff at Action Karting was instrumental in ensuring that the race day was a safe and productive day. The Colorado Karting Tour would like to thank our class sponsors, patrons, and racers for helping us conduct a safe and fun event throughout the day, and for again demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship and race craft.

The Colorado Karting Tour will next journey to SBR Motorsports Park on May 21, located in Peyton, Colorado. For more information on this event, we urge our competitors and fans to visit on our website,, to pre-register for this event. Lee Seigel of SBR has been gracious enough to provide us with a pit map for this event, and we urge our competitors to contact him through his website, to reserve your pit spaces early. In addition, like and follow us on Facebook, @TheColoradoKartingTour-CKT.

CKT will be holding a Board meeting on May 09 at Unser Karting Denver at 6pm. All are welcome to attend.

If you have constructive comments or concerns, please contact us via email at: [email protected]

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