The Challenge of the Americas kicked off their winter championship this past weekend in Tucson, Arizona and Canadian drivers made their presence known at the popular west coast series. The series features a full lineup of Rotax Max classes along with the addition of a pair of Stock Moto Shifter categories this year and invaded the Musselman Kart Circuit, a high-speed picturesque kart track located in the Arizona dessert.
Leading the way with the Canadian flag was Rotax Senior driver Kellen Ritter who secured two podium appearances in his Senior debut. After runner-up Christian Brooks was disqualified from Saturday’s race, Ritter was classified second behind Jim McKinney. Canadian Nascar driver Noel Dowler finished fourth.
Ritter, of British Columbia, backed up his efforts on Sunday with a third place result right behind fellow Canadian Coltin McCaughan while race winner Brooks sought revenge in taking a 6-second victory.
Ritter leaves Tucson with the championship points lead.
In Rotax Junior, Alberta’s Matthew Taskinen duplicated Ritter’s results in taking a second place Saturday and a third on Sunday, erupting from a large pack on the final lap to claim the third step of the podium. Both races were won by Texan Nicholas Brueckner.
Alberta’s Griffin Dowler scored two results inside the top-seven in his Rotax Junior debut.
Mini-Max was all Marco Kacic as the British Columbia driver swept the victories in the class while back aboard a CRG kart. Fellow Canadian Townes Allen, under the guidance of Scott Campbell, crossed the finish line in sixth and ninth in his COA debut.
Round two hits the track in a months time at the PKRA Circuit just north of Phoenix, Arizona.