It was a busy weekend for the RaceLab this past weekend; as they competed in round number four of the West Coast Kart Club series. With many drivers traveling north to test for next weekends Rotax Can Am event, the entry numbers were high and the racing was very competitive.
Under the RaceLab tent, there were 7 senior drivers along with new junior driver Kellen Ritter. Kellen had taken a few years away from the sport, but is back racing now, and was up to speed quickly. With the weather staying dry on Saturday, all the team drivers were able to get lots of practice laps in and fine tuning their set-ups for the Sunday main event.
Sunday morning came and the rain had arrived. The team worked hard to convert their set-ups to a full rain set-up and got a couple more practice sessions in before qualifying. Qualifying went well for the team. In Rotax Jr, Ritter was able to run smooth in the rain and take the 5th spot, while in Rotax Sr. it was all Chris Eagles. Having raced the majority of this season in the rain, Eagles was more than prepared for the rain, and it showed on the time sheets taking pole by over a second. In the RoK GP class, Chris Eagles was able to take the second spot, behind Mike Peltier, while Ray Lord took an impressive third. Bob Wakeling ended up taking the 6th spot and Davey Lam was unfortunately unable to make the qualifying session due to an equipment issue.
The pre-final races were exciting, as the rain continued to fall for the first couple races. Ritter got off to a great start in Rotax Jr, and was able to hold on to his position in 5th spot. RoK GP saw Eagles hold on to second spot, while Wakeling made the charge from 6th up to the third spot, which gave him a great inside starting position for the final. Rotax Sr. came after the lunch break and the rain started to ease off leaving for a dry race. Andrew Zimmer took the early lead, with Chris Glover taking second from Eagles at around the lap 4 mark. Chris was able to hold on to third, posting some great lap times along the way.
In the finals, there was some great competitive racing in all classes as the weather stayed dry. In Rotax Jr. Kellen was able to post some great lap times, and pushed hard to end up in the 5th position. He is looking forward to the Can Am event next weekend, and racing against some of the top junior drivers in the Northwest. The RoK GP final was as exciting as it gets, with Wakeling making an impressive pass in turn 5 on the first lap to take over the lead from Peltier. After lots of battling throughout the race, an unfortunate spin would leave Eagles falling back in the order. Wakeling took the win for the RaceLab, while Ray Lord took an impressive 3rd spot taking the last step on the podium. Davey Lam was able to compete in the final, and held on to the 6th spot. The other notable mention of the race was RaceLab’s newest member, Sean, who really picked up the pace in his CRG RoK kart, and was able to race his way to a great finishing position.
All in all, it was a great weekend for the team, and a great test weekend for Ritter and Eagles as they head in to the competitive Rotax Can Am race next weekend. With many new drivers on the team, the development has been tremendous and race team coach Michael Hogg is impressed with their improvement as drivers.
“For many of our drivers, this is only their first or second year of karting, and it has been really great to see their development this year. This weekend saw a lot of varying weather conditions and put our drivers though a real test. We will review the weekend and get some more driver training days in, and we will be ready for the next event!”
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Photos courtesy The RaceLab