HOMESTEAD, Fla. (May 24, 2018) - The beginning of the summer stretch for the 2018 Karting Challenge presented by MG was greeted with week of heavy rain and nasty track conditions. The track itself struggled to drain all of the water off the circuit, forcing a brand new layout to be run. Overall, the added challenge was welcomed by the 75+ drivers in attendance.
costa overcomes adversity in tag mini
The rain-filled raceday appeared to be in the hands of Miguel Costa after qualifying, as he scored the pole by more than two tenths of a second over Max Garcia, Jakub Kolar, and Matias Orjuela. However, a drying track is always a challenge for drivers, especially the leader. Costa found himself to be on the harsh end of this lesson when he came in too hot into turn 4 on the opening lap and made heavy contact with the outside barriers, forcing an early exit from the Pre Final.
This opened the door for Kolar to slip through to the lead, making the more cautious decision to stay on rain tires. The circuit continued to dry over the course of the session, though, allowing Matias Orjuela and Max Garcia to slip past who gambled on slicks. The duo finished 1-2 with Kolar holding onto third.
In the Final, the story was all about Miguel Costa. Starting from last, he passed three karts within the first lap and methodically cut his way to an eventual victory. Kolar would drive his way up through to second, with Garcia dropping to third.
alan isambard victorious in tag junior
Rain or shine, Alan Isambard has proven that he can and will rise to the occasion in TaG Junior.
A heated Pre Final saw Isambard get turned around in Turn 4 after he and Ashton Chilton made contact, opening the door for Lucas Rodriguez to slip into second. Chilton was then handed a two position penalty for the incident, moving Rodriguez to the point for the Final.
In the main event, Isambard put his head down and worked his way back to the top spot, leading the trio for the majority of the race. Rodriguez did a great job in his TaG Junior debut to remain in second, but slightly misjudged defensive move in the final corners allowed Chilton slip by and take the silver medal on the day.
Brandon simeone takes tag senior
Brandon Simeone finally broke the bridesmaid streak of podium finishes last weekend with a solid drive in the rain and dry conditions, outrunning Round 1 winner Jason Angles and newcomer Jesse Krill. The win itself was a dominating one, due in part to a DNF for Krill in the Pre Final that saw the driver come a little too close to the barriers exiting turn 6. His drive from last to 2nd should not be overlooked, coming up just one position short of a feat to match Costa in TaG Mini.
ramirez wins in chaos-filled lo206 junior
Alejandro Ramirez has sat on the sidelines for nearly two months having to reflect back on what could have been in the second round of the series. He was in the fight for the win throughout the day before contact found him at the tail end of the field.
He was determined this weekend, though, and while he had issues in the Pre Final after a second place qualifying run, a solid start to the main event found him in the lead by lap 2. Ramirez never looked back, while controversy went on in the mid-field where Blanco and Ashton Chilton came together, ending Chilton's day and sending Blanco to last. This allowed for Vance Devine to move into second with Brandon Spring jumping into third to round out the podium.
Beckham Jacir and Dan Breitenstein completed perfect days in their respective categories, with Jacir sweeping TaG Micro and Breitenstein taking top honors in LO206 Heavy. Rocco Pasquarella scored a big first career win in LO206 Cadet, holding off a hard-charging Gregory Pelea who made his Karting Challenge debut.
Pasquarella was not the only first-time winner; Jack Copeland scored a big victory in LO206 Senior, defending a late-race charge from Michel Garrido in order to lead every lap of the main event.
Up next is Round 4 of the Karting Challenge presented by MG Tires on June 24th.
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