Challenge of the Americas Mini Max Championship title

  • Christian Brooks drove his way to his third and fourth win this season and the Challenge of the Americas Mini Max Championship title April 1st, 2012 The fifth round of the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas went into the books on Saturday, March 31 following the action at the CalSpeed Karting facility in Fontana, California. Nearly 100 drivers took part in seven categories in the first of two days of competition to close out the program’s 2012 season. The challenging fields and course led to some dramatic results on the day, shaping up the championship fights even further with two of the titles locked up provisionally before the final day.
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  • The war for the point title began its third stage with the top two drivers battling for the pole position. Championship leader Christian Brooks (Energy) topped the charts, edging out Sting Ray Robb (Tony Kart) by just ten-thousandths of a second with a 53.649 lap time. Round four winner Nicky Hays (Birel) was third with Canadians Carson Vogel (Tony Kart) and Garrett Gulenchyn (Tony Kart) rounding out the fast-five.
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  • The Pre-Main saw the lead pack began as one, become two, and finished with four fighting for the win on the final circuit. Hays jumped out to a big lead early, putting Robb and Brooks behind him by at least two seconds. The two worked together and ran him down. As the three karts fought for the lead, this allowed Jeff Fulham (LH) to close in, making it four drivers in the hunt. An exciting last lap with side-by-side throughout the course saw Brooks escape with the lead and the win. Robb jumped to second in the final corners, putting Hays to third and Fulham in fourth. Gulenchyn drove to fifth with a host of drivers behind him.li>
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  • Just two drivers stood out in the Main Event, as title chasers Brooks and Robb broke away from the field to joust for the victory. Each took a turn at the point, running nose to tail the entire time to set up for an exciting last lap. Brooks was out front as they took the white flag, with Robb waiting until turn 7 to make his move. The result gave Brooks the favorable line through turn eight, forcing Robb to relinquish the spot again. Up to the top of the track and down to the stripe, Robb waited for a sling shot move. The finish came to just 64-thousandths of a second with Brooks earning his third victory of the season. Robb finished second but was fast lap of the race, earning five bonus points. Hays rounded out the podium with Horatio Fitz-Simon (CRG) to fourth and Royal McKee (Energy) into fifth.
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  • The sixth and final round of the 2012 -Gatorz Challenge of the Americas took place at the CalSpeed Karting facility in Fontana, California. Outside the Auto Club Speedway, bright blue skies with the sun shining down provided great weather to crown the seven champions for the international Rotax Max Challenge program. Despite rain overnight, the track gained grip with lap times quicker in the morning sessions than on Saturday, roughly three-tenths quicker in the early classes but was went away near the end of qualifying. As the temperature rose, so did the competition on track, setting up for a great finale that crowned the Senior, Junior and DD2 champions, each earning a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals in Portugal later this year in November.
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  • Trailing in the standings, Sting Ray Robb (Tony Kart) began his hunt for the title with five bonus points for topping the charts in Mini Max qualifying. His 53.315-lap was quicker by over a tenth of Royal McKee’s (Energy) fast lap. Championship leader and Saturday winner Christian Brooks (Energy) was third with Horatio Fitz-Simon (CRG) and Nicky Hays (Birel) rounding out the fast-five. After tech inspection, it was discovered that Robb had mounted the wrong tires for the session, and thus was removed from the results. That moved McKee to the pole position and Robb to the back of the 12-kart field for the Pre-Main.
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  • The luck turned against Brooks in the Pre-Main as contact in the opening lap put him at the back of the field. He would eventually finish ninth, setting up for some drama come the Main Event for the championship. On the flip-side, Robb drove a great race and was made it a three driver battle for the win with McKee and Hays. McKee led early but lost the spot to Hays mid-way through. Near the end when Robb caught them both, they shuffled position until Hays secured the lead and the win. McKee fought off Robb for second. Garrett Gulenchyn (Tony Kart) advanced to fourth with Carson Vogel (Tony Kart) up to fifth.
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  • Brooks showed why he was the 2011 United States Mini Max Grand Nationals champion, with an impressive final showing in the Main Event. Starting seventh, Brooks worked his way to the point and drove away to the victory. Despite a three-second starting procedure penalty, he still held the victory in the final classifications and secured the class championship, earning another trip back to the Grand Nationals. McKee fought off Robb to the stripe for the second spot, ending in a photo finish. Fitz-Simon drove a great race, back to fourth from 12th with Hays ending up in fifth.
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  • Clean Sweep for Christian Brooks at the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas - Tucson, AZ 29 January 2012 The final group of the qualifying order was the Mini Max category. Out of the gate quick was defending US Rotax Grand Nationals champion Christian Brooks (Energy) as he posted the only lap below the 55-second mark. His 54.447-lap put him nearly eight-tenths ahead of Horatio Fitz-Simon (CRG). Sting Ray Robb (Tony Kart) was third in the timed session with Nicky Hays (Birel) and Royal McKee (Energy) rounding out the fast five.
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  • While not challenged in the qualifying session, Brooks had his hands full in the Prefinal as Robb picked up the pace to challenge for the win. The two ran nose to tail with Robb taking the lead a few times before Brooks would retake it. At the line, Brooks held Robb off for the win. McKee advanced to third with Jeff Fullham (LH) up to fourth and Hays back to fifth after Fitz-Simon retired on the final lap running in the top-five.
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  • Brooks proved to be too much in the feature and scored the opening round victory. At the drop of the green flag, Brooks and Robb pulled away from the field. Lap by lap, Brooks stretched his lead over the 18-lap event. By the checkered flag, Brooks had a three-second gap over Robb for the win. McKee controlled the third position, challenged late in the race by Fitz-Simon, who came up from the 12th starting spot. Jessica Dezall (PCR) capped off the top-five.
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  • Continuing his sweep on the weekend, Christian Brooks (Energy) began the second day of action on the top of the time sheets. Mini Max qualifying was Brooks session, posting a 54.725 to secure the pole position for the Prefinal. Jeff Fulham (LH) was second in the session with Sting Ray Robb (Tony Kart) moving up to third late after getting some clear track. Horatio Fitz-Simon (CRG) moved up as well, moving Royal McKee (Energy) to fifth at the end of the session.
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  • Brooks held his ground at the front of the field, driving away to a near four-second win. Robb assumed the second spot early and finished in the spot as McKee jumped to third over Fitz-Simon and Fulham. Completing what was a stellar weekend by the defending US Rotax champion, Brooks left the field quickly and stretched out to seven-second margin of victory in the Main Event. The performance was a unique one for the category, normally providing lots of excitement for the victory. With Brooks out front, the drama unfolded behind him with a gaggle of karts challenging for the second spot. At the checkered, McKee was the driver holding the second spot followed by Robb, Nicky Hays (Birel) and Fulham with Fitz-Simon in the mix as well.

 

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