Closing out their second round in the state of Arizona, the 2015 Rotax Challenge of the Americas wrapped up the fourth race of the six round championship at the PKRA karting facility just north of Phoenix on Sunday. It was another perfect day of weather, mainly sunny with only a few clouds and cool breeze to keep the temps in the low 80s.
The fourth race of the championship helped determine the title races as some confirmed their status up front while some others tightened up the gaps before heading to the championship finale in Sonoma, California next month.
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The championship in the Mini-Max category is wide open entering the final round in Sonoma thanks to some excellent racing and a fourth different driver to top the podium on Sunday in Phoenix.
A wild race on Sunday saw the red flag fly on lap one after a large incident blocked the exit or corner one and the ensuing red flag brought the group to a sudden halt where some drivers weren’t very heads up and crashed over their slowing competitors. Officials were forced to delay the race to allow drivers to repair before the race was restarted.
Sebastian Alvarez (PSL West/PSL Mini) got things underway with Ashton Torgerson (Overdrive/TonyKart) tucking into second and Griffin Dowler (RPM/Kosmic) falling back to third after starting off-pole.
Dowler quickly regained the spot and put his sights on the leader of Alvarez. On lap four Dowler made a move for the lead, but neither driver gave an inch resulting in both drivers making contact and going off track. This opened up the lead to Payton Durrant (KoeneUSA/TonyKart) and Jak Crawford (Nash Motorsports/TonyKart) while Alvarez regained in sixth and Dowler at the tail of field in 18th.
Durrant put his head down and didn’t allow Crawford to make a move, building up a large lead and becoming the fourth different winner in as many races. Crawford held on to second while Torgerson completed the podium. Marco Kacic had a great recovery after starting deep in the field to finish fourth with Hannah Greenemeier (RPG/Kosmic) rounding out the top-five. Alvarez had crossed in fourth but received a 10-second penalty for his actions, placing him ninth while Dowler only managed to get back to twelfth.
Heading into Sonoma, Kacic leads the way with Alvarez and Crawford tied for second. Durrant isn’t far behind in fourth with Torgerson and Dowler within striking distance.