Championship weekend got underway on Saturday as the Rotax Challenge of the Americas rolled into the heart of wine country to the SIM Raceway Karting Center in Sonoma, California for the third and final round of the west coast winter championship.
Before things even got underway, a little controversy was found in the paddock as two drivers failed technical inspection following the final round of practice. An engine builder was caught adding a substance to the fuel and series officials came down hard on the two drivers, sitting them out of Saturday’s competition and ultimately ending their chances at their respective class championships.
One of the sidelined drivers was Rotax Junior Nick Brueckner (Orsolon/TonyKart) forcing him to watch his friends and competitors compete from the sidelines.
A two driver battle erupted in the Junior Max Final as Sting Ray Robb (BBR Karting/TonyKart) and Trey Brown (RPM/TonyKart) duked it out in the early stages. But as the two traded the lead, Canadian Kellen Ritter (BBR Karting/Kosmic) joined in the action nearing the halfway mark.
After Brown and Robb exchanged the lead through the halfway mark, Ritter took an opportunity to sneak by Brown and from there the three ran nose to tail but no driver had enough to make a move.
Robb claimed the win and inched closer to the championship while Ritter made it a BBR Karting 1-2 with a personal best second place finish with Brown settling for third. Annie Breidinger (VRP/Kosmic) enjoyed her best race of the season to finish fourth while Michael Michoff (RPG/Kosmic) completing the top-five, setting the fastest lap in the process.