K1 Speed Challenge

The fourth K1 Speed Challenge was simply no contest.

12 COCSD racers took on 12 from the San Diego Miata Club (SDMC) and two representatives of the Corvettes of San Diego (CoSD) at the San Diego K1 Speed on Sunday, November 23rd.

We used the same format as previous Challenges, with SDMC and COCSD each getting their own 14-lap qualifying session.  To keep the size of the qualification sessions relatively small, we also had a “mixed” group, with 4 COCSD racers, the 2 CoSD racers and 2 SDMC racers.  After the 3 qualifying sessions were run, we broke the field into 3 groups – the “fast” group, which consisted of the 9 racers with the slowest qualifying times; the “very fast” group, with the middle 9 qualifiers; and the “ridiculously fast” group, with the fastest 8 qualifiers.

The “fast” group was made up largely of SDMC racers.  Alan Atha and Bob Swanson were also in the group, along with Matt Arena’s friend, David.  They ran the first 16-lap race for position.  SDMC swept the top 3 positions, with Daryled Bristol winning.

The very fast group (qualifiers 9 - 17) line up on the starting grid.
The very fast group (qualifiers 9 – 17) line up on the starting grid.

The “very fast” group was also largely SDMC racers, with two notable exceptions.  Eric Gatley and Matt Arena failed to qualify for the “ridiculously fast” group, but they both ran well in their group race.  Eric won it easily and Matt came in third.

The top “ridiculously fast” group was completely dominated by COCSD racers.  Seven of the eight who qualified for the group were COCSD racers.  Aurora Williams – the only female racer from SDMC, qualified seventh fastest and was the only SDMC racer to make it to the top group.  She finished the race seventh, only after causing Lisa DiSabatino to spin out.

Craig was loose before the big race.  Unfortunately, once the race began, it was his kart that was loose.
Craig was loose before the big race. Unfortunately, once the race began, it was his kart that was loose.

Randy Brown was the top qualifier, beating me by 3/1000ths of a second.  He led the group race from start to finish.  Our K1 Speed buddy, Rudy Iribe finished second and Randy Standke was third.  I struggled with a crappy kart for the race (it happens), but still came in fourth.  Jeff Wilkinson was fifth, with Travis Adams in sixth and Lisa D. in eighth.  Be sure to check out my video of my perspective of the race.

After the races, we drove up to the Corvette Diner for lunch and to hand out the special awards.  Eric was given the “Sandbagger” award – a filled sandbag, for failing to qualify for the top group, then dominating the “very fast” group.  Lisa qualified eighth, but was hampered by a kart with a failing battery (that happens, too).  She was given the appropriate “Dead Battery” trophy.  Randy Standke could not get past Rudy or Randy, but in trying to do so, set a new COCSD single-lap record, becoming the first in the Club to break the 22-second barrier.  His effort earned him the “Drive It Like You Stole It” award.  SDMC did not go home empty-handed.  Daryled is an experienced autocrosser and he tried to pass his knowledge on to his teammates.  Apparently, it only served to make them slower.  So at the request of an anonymous SDMC member, has was given the “Just Plain Nuts” trophy.

Overall, COCSD took 9 of the top 11 places.  It was the most lopsided Challenge to date.  All of our Friday practice sessions clearly paid off.  We’ll see if the Miata Club is willing to try it again next year, or if we will have to find another club to battle.

The "ridiculously fast" group winners podium, K1 Speed Challenge, Nov. 2014
The “ridiculously fast” group winners podium, K1 Speed Challenge, Nov. 2014
The "very fast" group winners podium.  1st: Eric Gatley, COCSD; 2nd:  ,SDMC; 3rd: Matt Arena, COCSD
The “very fast” group winners podium, K1 Speed Challenge, Nov. 2014.
K1 Speed Challenge group photo.
K1 Speed Challenge group photo.
There was a big group at the Corvette Diner after the racing was over.
There was a big group at the Corvette Diner after the racing was over.
All smiles after the "ridiculously fast" group race.
All smiles after the “ridiculously fast” group race.

Photos by Dawn Standke and Mark Booth

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