Pitt Race held the first round of the LO206 series Saturday, May 25th on the Wilson Circuit with over 40 racers across four different classes. The addition of the Cadet/Sportsman and Kid Kart classes broadened the age range from kids to adults participating in the series. The weather couldn’t have been any better in the morning with only a small chance of rain in the afternoon. Spirits were high during the drivers meeting and everyone was excited for the racing to start. A small discussion on the rules for the Cadet/Sportsman class ended with a ruling of driver choice for Slide/Weight combo (225 Red slide and 265 Green slide). Everyone was very open to the idea and they were off for the first round of practice.
Kid Kart started off practice by running half the track. All of the participants were excited and ready to go. They seemed a little confused at the end of the session exiting the track, but overall their practice session went well. The next three classes went off without problems. CJ Bowman ended the Cadet/Sportsman practice with the fastest time of 1:08.7, a full two seconds faster than the rest of the field. Leading the Junior Class was Jacob Hall with a great time of 1:06.6. Newcomers Jack McNamara and Natee Lewis were not far behind with only 1.7 seconds off Bowman. Vaughn Glace had the fastest lap of 1:05.5 in the Royale Racing Sr class. The next six drivers were less than one second off Glace’s pace. Everything was looking good for qualifying.
The Kid Kart class started off the qualifying sessions. The two participants were excited to get going. Griffin Vukich had the better lap of 56.054, a full eight seconds faster than Zachary Koffler. Bowman was leading the pack again in the Cadet/Sportsman class with a time of 1:08.687, just beating his best time from the practice session. JJ O’Neil and Sean J. Sholtis ended qualifying just seconds behind Bowman. The Junior class was led by Hall with the best lap of 1:06.7, Anthony Discesaro trailing just .6 seconds behind, and Lewis only 1.3 seconds back. The start of qualifying for the Royale Racing Sr. class was delayed slightly to ensure Timing and Scoring had all 24 entries in the system. David Kalb laid down the fastest lap of 1:05.7 while newcomer Kody Johnson was only .004 behind. Rudy Agras, Jeremy Warren, and Douglas Borsch finished out the top five all .1 second behind Kalb.
Overcast skies and humidity welcomed the Pre-finals. Vukich took the Kid Kart pole leaving Koffler about three seconds behind. Bowman took the Cadet/Sportsman win with Sholtis and O’Neil in second and third, respectively. Hall led the Junior class, Discesaro shortly behind in second, and Lewis in third. This is the first time Lewis has been in an LO206 with almost no practice under his belt. Everyone fought for the pole position in the Royale Racing Sr. class with Warren ultimately taking the spot. Agras, Kalb, Tristen Altman, and Glace were all not far behind. With the threat of rain in the forecast, everyone was ready to get into the Finals.
Vukich kept the lead for the 8 laps of the Kid Kart final bringing home the win. The Cadet/Sportsman class ended with Bowman in first, Sholtis almost 20 seconds behind and O’Neil coming in third. The Junior class had some exciting racing with Discesaro and Hall battling for first, with Discesaro ultimately getting ahead of Hall by .1 second. McNamara came just behind in third place. Rain also came into play during the Junior class, worrying most of the senior class participants but not enough to interrupt the race. The rain held back for the Royale Racing Sr. class. The entire field ran on slicks which brought out some great racing. The top five kept changing as everyone was aiming for the win. It was Warren, all the way from Indianapolis, who pushed forward for the gold medal. Agras came in just .097 seconds behind with Altman coming in third. Borsch and Glace rounded out the top five.
It was a successful season opener for Pittsburgh International Race Complex. The series would not be what It is without the help of all of the sponsors: Royale Racing, Subway, Al’s Corner, Sewickley Car Store, Xtreme Xperience, Bridgestone Tires, Track First, and Rock Auto.