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US Open Utah: Heat Racing Gets Intense to Set Grids for Sunday

Multiple drivers sweep the day

Energy Kart USA Shifter Senior

In Shifter Senior Kyle Kirkwood continues to show the way winning the first three heat races by over a second. This, until the final heat race when Champion Racing’s Nick Neri took the fight to the Birel ART driver. Neri came from fourth and took the lead on lap eight from Tyler Bennett who had jumped out to the early lead and controlled most of the early running.

Heading into tomorrow Kyle Kirkwood will start from pole in the prefinal followed by Nick Neri, Tyler Bennett, and Sabre Cook. It looks like Neri might have found what he was missing to really challenge Kirkwood in tomorrow’s action.

Photo Credit: Canadian Karting News

Rolison Performance Group Senior MAX

Similar to Shifter Senior a Birel ART has been showing the way in the hands of Oliver Askew, but unlike Kirkwood he has been able to stay perfect. It has not been easy for the Floridian. RPG’s Luke Selliken nearly won heat one and has been the biggest threat to Askew’s perfection. He went 2-4-2-2 in the heats and will start outside pole for the prefinal. He has been able to keep him honest, but yet to beat him on track. Also looking strong is Walker Hess and Kellen Ritter. The Two have been able to turn the lap time needed to fight for the win and will look for more consistency going into Sunday’s racing.

Photo Credit: Canadian Karting News

Koene USA Junior MAX

Junior Max has been one of the most competitive categories of the weekend with three different winners in the four heats. BENIK’s Manuel Sulaiman won heat one, but finished 7th in heat two after falling back to 13th on lap three. This was won by Canadian Ryan Macdermid followed closely by Nick Brueckner, who won heat three. At this point is seemed it was mainly a three horse race between Sulaiman, Macdermid, and Brueckner. Enter Mathias Ramirez who finished third between Brueckner and Sulaiman and was quicker than both the leaders.

Entering tomorrow it is too difficult to choose a favorite and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Dylan Tavella and Matthew Latifi join the fight for the win. Latifi will roll off in fourth for tomorrow’s prefinal and Tavella will have a bit more work to do coming from 10th.

PSL Karting Mini MAX

Ocala Gran Prix’s Tyler Gonzalez has been on another level so far in the heat races. Not only has he won all four, but he won three of the four by over 1.6 seconds. As many coaches will tell their drivers tomorrow is another day and anything can happen. Drivers like Jak Crawford, Arias Deukedjian, Luca Mars, and Jeremy Fairbairn are not strangers to taking the fight to Gonzalez and he will definitely be feeling the pressure tomorrow morning in the prefinal.

Dallas Karting Complex DD2/DD2 Masters

To say Jeff Kingsley is having a career year is an understatement. Is it true that the DD2 field is not as competitive as years past; although the amount of wins he has accumulated this year is impressive. Kingsley also joins the perfection club in the heats and even won heat four by an impressive 6.9 seconds. It is going to be hard pressed for anyone to challenge Kingsley, although the battle for the final two podium spots are close between Alessandro Bizzotto, Dev Gore, and Michael McCarthy who are all competing on Birel ART chassis.

MG Tires Shifter Masters

Ryan Kinnear and his Intrepid have been showing the way to Ryan Pool and Chris Jennings for most of the heat race action until the final heat race when both Ryan Pool and Chris Jennings were able to finish ahead of Kinnear.

Photo Credit: Canadian Karting News

AM Racing Engines Micro MAX

Diego LaRoque and BENIK have dominated the Micro Max category this weekend and much of 2016. Heading into tomorrow LaRoque will be followed by Josh Pierson, Santiago Trisini, and James Egozi. Carson Morgan has been the biggest threat to LaRoque’s dominance so far this weekend, but a dnf in heat four will force him to start 6th in the prefinal. At a circuit like this starting from the sixth position is nothing to worry about as it is very difficult to pull much of a gap in the Micro and Mini categories where the draft plays such a big role.

Falcone GP Masters MAX

PSL Karting’s Jeremie Charon will roll off in the pole position for tomorrow’s prefinal. After qualifying pole he went 3-3-1-1 in the heat races, which was just enough to edge out both Mike Rolison and Billy Cleavelin. Since returning to the seat at the end of 2015 this has been the most competition Mike Rolison has seen in some time and this is gearing up to be an exciting prefinal and final.