The second day of action at the United States Pro Kart Series Ohio Grand Prix went into the books on Saturday, with three rounds of heat races for the eight categories here at the Motorsports Country Club of Cincinnati. The temps were much lower today in Batavia, Ohio, reaching a high into the 80s, however, the humidity remained in the area. Brief rain sprinkle again hit the ‘Kart Plex’ but only delayed action for five minutes and MG rain tires stayed on the shelves. It was the first time to measure up the facility in racing trim, and it’s showing that setup and limiting mistakes will be key in order to come out on top in Sunday’s main events.
AJ Myers (Magik Kart USA) has been flawless over the first two days of action here at MCC in the SRP Engines Pro Shifter class. Setting fast time in qualifying, Myers grabbed the holeshot victories in all three heats on the day. Two-time SKUSA champion Marijn Kremers (PSL / Birel ART) kept the pressure on all day, as the two were the top tier of the class on the day. Alan Isambard (Piquet / Sodi Kart) ran third in the opening two heats before recording a DNF in the third, allowing Tahlon Yockel (Magik Kart USA) to claim the position and will launch from P3 spot in the main event. Michael Riccio (Magik Kart USA) was fifth twice and fourth in the final heat, and will start fourth with Davide Greco (PSL / Birel ART) starting fifth next to Isambard.
The Franklin Motorsports X30 Pro division was a two driver showcase as well with top qualifier Ryan Norberg (RPG / Kosmic) and Speedsportz winner Joe Turney (CDR / Kart Republic) at the helm. Norberg took the win in the opening heat while Turney was just a bit better in the final two, claiming the wins and the pole position for the final. Norberg will now start from the outside of the front row for the 20-lap main event on Sunday. Harley Keeble (Piquet / Sodi Kart) put in three fourth-place results on the day to retain the third spot on the grid. Championship leader Diego Ramos (PSL / Birel ART) improved his position after qualifying sixth, placing sixth, fifth and third to now start on the outside of row two. Blake Nash (Nash / EOS) and Alessandro de Tullio (IM / Kart Republic) finished third in the other heat races, set to go from fifth and sixth.
Four different drivers won in the six heat races on the day for Mike Doty Racing KA100 Senior. Top qualifier Harley Keeble won two (AvsB, AvsD) and will retain the pole position for the Final. New Castle winner Cooper Shipman (IRM / Tony Kart) won two as well – CvsD and AvsC – coming from 11th in qualifying. He will join Keeble on the front row Sunday. Finnegan Bayliff (TKG / Kart Republic) and Emerson Reed (RPM / Tony Kart) were the other winners on the day, taking the top spot in BvsC and BvsD respectively. Reed worked his way forward all day after qualifying 18th overall. They will make up row two while Brandon Lemke (Exprit) and Austin Jurs (Redspeed) fill up row three.
It has been a perfect score for Ernesto Rivera (RPG / Kosmic) in the Rolison Performance Group X30 Junior category. Rivera used the top qualifier position from yesterday to win all three heat races. He led all but two of the 36 laps on the day, earning fast lap of each heat race. Turner Brown (SCR / Redspeed) – making his USPKS debut in X30 Junior – came up from seventh on the grid to finish second twice, and third in the final heat to put himself on the outside of the front row for the Final. Nathan Dupuis (SCR / Redspeed) qualified second but slipped back to sixth and fifth before leading two laps in the final heat. He ended up second at the flag to now start from third. Jackson Wolny (RPG / Kosmic) made up positions all day after qualifying 11th. Finishes of fourth, sixth and fifth put him outside Brown for the start of the final while Enzo Vidmontiene (MottazSport / Kart Republic) and Sarah Bradley (SCR / Redspeed) will make up row three.
It was Ernesto Rivera (RPG / Kosmic) who won all three of his heat races in the BBS Racing Engines KA100 Junior class. The split format for the heat races put Rivera in group B after qualifying sixth on Friday. Rivera drove to the race win in all three and will now lead the field to the green flag in search of his third victory on the season. Austin Olds (MPG / Kart Republic) picked up the CvsD win, finishing inside the top-seven in the other two to move up from seventh in qualifying to starting on the outside of the front row. New Castle winner Oliver Wheldon (JC / LN Racing Kart) improved as well, placing third, fourth and third to take the inside row two position for the start on Sunday. Payton Westcott (Nash / EOS) drove to win in AvsD heat at the end of the day and she will start fourth. Enzo Vidmontiene (MottazSport / Kart Republic) and Turner Brown (SCR / Redspeed) will go from row three. Top qualifier Steven Miller (Nash / EOS) was penalized a large number of positions in the opening heat race for contact, dropping him to 22nd in the order. He came back to win the AvsC heat race and place second behind Westcott to end the day. Miller will be starting back in the 14th position for the 20-lap Final.
The field is tight at the front of the Speed Concepts Racing KA100 Masters division. Two drivers have really stood out however with championship leader Mike Rolison (RPG / Kosmic) battling local driver Andy Kutcher (Redspeed). Rolison got the first and third heat race wins as Kutscher held off the two-time winner in the second heat. Rolison will start from the inside of the front row with Kutscher on the outside. New Castle winner Laurentiu Mardan (Tecno Kart USA) came up from eighth to finish fourth, seventh and third to claim the third starting spot with Jamie Sieracki (FMS / Merlin) losing a spot from qualifying, now going from fourth. Top qualifier Mario Barrios (RPG / Kosmic) slipped back in each of the heat races, placing third, fifth and ninth to line up fifth for the Final.
Marco Romero (Benik) was able to escape the wildness that is the DNJ International Services Mini Swift class. Romero – who qualified fourth on Friday – came up to win the opening after early fighting and then again in the third heat. He placed third in the second heat to record the fewest points on the day and earn the pole position for the Final. Championship leader Lucas Palacio (TKG / Kart Republic) started third each heat race, winning the second while placing runner-up and third in the other two. He will now start alongside Romero on the front row. Travis Pettit (TKG / Kart Republic) ended with a clean day of three straight fourth place finishes. Royce Vega (Benik) had two runner-up results but a 12th in the opening heat puts him in row two along with Pettit. Rocco Simone (MottazSport / Parolin) worked forward on the day, and will start fifth with top qualifier Cameron Marsha (Nitro Kart) slipping back in all three heat races to now go from sixth in the Final. Championship contender and New Castle winner Michael McGaughy (RPM / Parolin) had two DNF finishes and will start back in the 25th spot.
Team Ferris Racing Micro Swift championship leader Parker Ives (RPM / Nitro Kart) added to his advantage in the chase, winning two of the three heat races to claim the pole position for the final. He finished second to Aston Wyatt (Speedsportz / Birel ART) in a close finish in the final heat. Zayne Burgess (Piquet / Sodi Kart) recorded finishes of second, third and third to move himself into the second spot on the main event grid. Josh Bergman (Piquet / Sodi Kart) and Liam Nachawati (Parolin USA) were among the big movers. They qualified 10th and 11th, and are now starting the Final from the second row. Bergman had a best result of third with Nachawati placing runner-up in the second heat. Juan Diego Garciarce (Orsolon / Parolin) also improved on the day after qualifying 14th, he will now start fifth alongside Maxwell Macha (SLA / Sodi Kart). Top qualifier Colton Schniegenberg (GWR / Energy) slipped down the order all day, and will roll from seventh on Sunday. Wyatt had a DNF in the opening heat, and will have to fight forward from 13th on the grid.
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