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MD Varsity Karting Week Two Results
Racing News




Week 2
January 29, 2015

The second week of the Maryland High School Varsity Karting Championship was fast and intense. The Monaco track at Autobahn Indoor Speedway was the stage for the second round of racing, starting the night with a short coaching session from Pro Racer Jordan Wallace where the student racers got to learn the way to attack this very technical track.

After the coaching session the racers took to the track for their qualifying rounds, where each racer gets two heats on track to try and throw down a fast lap to set them on the grid for the finals. Early on, the students had a little trouble adapting to the very tight and technical track, with times hovering in the low 23 seconds range, about half a second off the pace of our adult league racers, with a few standouts like Leonidas Williams and Brendan Stern getting down into the 22ís in their first heats.

The second round of qualifying heats saw the pace pick up considerably with every racer on the grid getting down into the low 23ís, while the front pack of about 7 racers running sub 23 second laps to put them all in the A-Final. Jackie Ding was one of those 7 racers qualifying P5 and the only drive from the Sandy Spring Friends School to make the A-final, he was just out qualified for the fourth spot by Ben Punsalan from River Hill, which arguably is the strongest team in the Championship. Leonidas Williams would start the A-Final P2 for the Baltimore Lab School, and Brendan Stern would start P3 for the Jemicy School, and Jacob Connors of Old Mill starting P6 and Brian Tuma of Bowie High rounding out the field starting P7.

The C-Final saw 7 rookie drivers take the grid, Conor Patro of the Jemicy School started on Pole and lead all 14 laps and finished more than half a lap ahead of second place. The B- final saw Trey Conroy of Mt. St. Joeís started on pole and led every lap to take home the B-final victory. The racing from both the B and C-final showed the top racers that this season is still very much anyones for the taking and teams that start slow can quickly catch up.

The A-Final was the primetime event of the evening, featuring the powerhouse team of River Hill High School leading the way. The race started with the pack going three wide into turn 1, Zack Spicer leading the way from his P1 starting position, while Leonidas Williams who had been having a fantastic evening was shuffled back to 4th from his P2 starting spot after being on the losing end of that 3 wide situation. Brendan Stern quickly moved into the second spot followed by Ben Punsalan, sandwiching Stern between the two very experienced River Hill drivers, while Spicer opened up and considerable lead on the field. Further back in the field Jackie Ding and Leonidas Williams battled for the 4th position, with both pulling illegal moves to make passes only to give the spot back in order to avoid penalization, it was great sportsmanship and racing from two fantastic young racers. Jacob Connors of Old Mill high school made his first appearance in the A-Final and while the battle at the back with Brian Tuma of Bowie high, they both learned valuable race craft and pace from the intense competition they had out on track.

At the front Zack Spicer of River Hill began to slow in what appeared to be a mechanical problem, allowing both Stern and Punsalan to catch up to him by lap 9, but instead he was playing the team strategy game, baiting young Stern of the Jemicy School into trying an outside passing move which opened the door for Spicerís team mate Punsalan to make an inside pass in the back hairpin to jump into 2nd place. Stern would fight back on the next lap reclaiming his 2nd place position with a great move in turn 1 and that is how the race would finish. Zack Spicer

with his 2nd victory in a row in as many weeks, Brendan Sterns would finish 2nd, Ben Punsalan 3rd, Jackie Ding 4th, Leonidas Williams 5th, Jacob Connors 6th and Brian Tuma rounding out the field in 7th.

It was another great night of racing. The field of 21 racers put on a fantastic show and raced hard all night. River Hill High School looks to be the team to beat going into next week, which will be the first week of points scoring for the young high school racers, but donít count out schools like Sandy Spring Friends lead by Jackie Ding, the Jemicy School lead by Brendan Sterns, Baltimore Lab School lead by Leonidas Williams, and Bowie High lead by Brian Tuma, this season is looking to be incredibly competitive and intense. The Maryland High School Varsity Karting Championship Officially starts next week, February 3rd, with the first week of points scoring events this season. Stay tuned or come out and check out the action 6pm Tuesday nights in February at Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Jessup, MD to see the best High School Racers in the state!

For more information on Autobahn Indoor Speedway visit: Link
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