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September 17, 2004 News
Gatorz Cup Willow Springs Report
Article by: - by Tom Jenson
The Gatorz Karting Cup held its’ first race under the guidance of new series owner Andy Seesemann Saturday night at Willow Springs. None of the drivers seemed to be aware of this fact but that didn’t seem to matter as the transition went smoothly. Or, as smooth as can be expected. The weather was hot during the day, then it got windy but when night fell, it was perfect desert weather. The wind stopped and everyone was pumped to race.

Two years ago, I met Andy Seesemann at Lake Perris and this night I found myself as the official score person for the series. When Andy introduced me at the drivers meeting, I had never scored a race in my life. On Monday, I picked up the AMB electronic scoring system from the previous owners, Brian and Nicole Stiver and on Saturday night I was scoring the Gatorz Karting Cup. No pressure. After all, I had read the manual and it did say that AMB scoring was easy to use. It was a good thing for me that Gatorz boasts 20 minutes of qualifying, 20 lap pre-mains and 33 lap mains because it gave me plenty of time to work with the AMB scoring system, not to mention that it also gave the drivers all the seat time they could ask for at a major racing event.

Rotax is quite impressive. The engines are pretty quiet, they are relatively inexpensive, there is plenty of horsepower, and there were a lot of major players in the southern California karting scene filling the grids. Not being all that familiar with Rotax, it gave me the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. Long story short, I like it.

Of course there were hitches but they were relatively minor. Like, no radios for one. After the new race director Guy Keesee and his team from Flagpros worked out their signals, Guy and I worked out a system of hand signals of our own. At 4:00 pm sharp the Cadet Class and the Mini Max took to the track together for qualifying. Vinnie Maestas qualified the fastest, won the pre-main and finally won the main but no without a battle from Dakota Dickerson who was hot on his trail all night. In the Cadet class, Dylan Nobile beat out my little buddy Tommy Scaggs in the main. Then Tommy came up to the scoring booth and tested my patience for the remainder of the evening until Andy threw him out. Tommy: “What’s this button for.” Me: “Don’t touch that.” Tommy: “What’s this button for.” Me: “Don’t touch that.” It was a true test of my ability to work under pressure.

The next class, Rotax International, was some of the best racing of the night. Joey Collins was the fastest in qualifying; he was followed by AJ Webber, Howie Idelson, Jake DeAngelis and Dennis Howell rounding off the top five. In the pre-main, Joey Collins motored away for the win. Howie Idelson was alone in second and the battle for third and fourth between Flemming Tranberg and AJ Webber went back and fourth until Tranberg pulled of the battle. The main was a completely different story. In the first turn there was a racing incident that involved several karts. Howie Idelson limped away but Joey Collins never got going. In true form, Howie motored his way back up to eighth during the 33 lap main. But the battle was up front. The match between Flemming Tranberg and AJ Webber continued to the end. But, starting eighth in the main was Zach Woodsford from Las Vegas and he would not be denied. He fought his way to the lead and beat out John De Martino, who started 13th for the win. Third went to Flemming Tranberg, fourth went to AJ Webber, and fifth place went to Dennis Howell.

By far, the largest class of the evening was Rotax Masters and the qualifying sessions had to be split into two fields to accommodate the large turnout. Once combined, Mike Mautner came out on top, edging out Robby Mott by just .005 seconds. Third fastest was Waqar Meyer followed by Ralph Bush, who failed to show for practice and then Brian Padrnos, who rounded out the top 5. In the pre-main Robby Mott dominated the field and finished 14 seconds in front of Mike Mautner. The battle was for third, fourth and fifth with Waqar Meyer coming in third followed by Kyle Eggleton and Brian Padrnos. In the main Robby Mott dominated the field again and took home the first place trophy.Waqar Meyer edged out Mike Mautner for second followed by Brian Padrnos and Kyle Eggleton. A first lap pile-up in turn one and a fouled plug left four karts disabled and four more karts failed to finish.

In Junior Rotax, Roger Scott Jr. qualified the fastest, won the pre-main but failed to make a bid for the win the main by placing fourth. The battle was up front for first. Mike Herda, Jeff Pesner, and Connor DiMond swapped positions for most of the race, but it was Jeff Pesner who took home the top prize, beating Connor DiMond .283 seconds followed closely by Mike Herda .63 seconds later. What a race that was being the cleanest race of the evening. In the Rotax Junior B Class, David Scott got top honors with Nick Haye coming in second.

TAG & RM1 was the final class of the evening. Bill Flemming qualified the fastest followed by Axel Korn, Richard Wilson and Troy Tom. In the pre-main Bill Flemming took the pole for the main by winning the race with a slight lead of Axel Korn, followed by Ben Bottomley, Troy Tom and Richard Wilson. But, in the main, it was Richard Wilson in his RM1, winning the race with a 16 and ½ second lead over Addison Rader. On Rader’s tail was Troy Tom who came home with a third place trophy followed by Axel Korn and then Kevin Blaha.

When I pushed the checkered flag on the AMB system, I breathed a sigh of relief. Andy’s transition day was about as smooth as he could have hoped for and it looks like the Gatorz Karting Cup will continue to be a success. On behalf of Andy and the rest of the staff at GKC, I would like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting this fantastic series. Thanks to Marianne Howell for making registration quick and painless. Thanks to Guy Keesee, race director and all the hard working people from Flagpros. And one final thanks to Doug Fleming for stepping in to do post race tech when nobody else would.
Pacific Mountain Central Eastern International Western Canada

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