Senior Sportsman was on life-support last season with no entries at all until the penultimate round. Another season like that and the class would disappear from the club championship.
But this season has seen a resurgence and Senior Sportsman now sports the largest grids of any class and some of the best racing at PKRA. October 26th was no exception with 13 racers taking the grid.
The field included a good mixture of perennial Sportsman racers including the current and past champions, some Sportsman novices and even a cameo appearance by Darryl Stone. Among the Sportsman novices was PKRA Training Director Joshua Lyon who would have a very eventful day.
Qualifying saw Andrew Snyder on pole followed by Justin Miller, Chad Brassfield and Lucas Barnett. Full qualifying results can be viewed by clicking here.
Heat Race (8 laps)
In the heat race, Justin Miller got a good start. He and Lucas Barnett led pole sitter Andrew Snyder at the end of the first lap. But Andrew fought back to the lead in lap 2. In lap 4 Lucas got around Justin to move into 2nd. Lap 5 saw Andrew fall to 3rd again as Lucas and Justin took over the first two spots. Meanwhile with the problem that marred his qualifying fixed before the heat, Joshua Lyon had steadily moved up from his 8th starting position to 4th while turning the fastest laps of the weekend. By lap 7, he was right behind the lead trio.
Joshua got around Andrew for 3rd place in lap 7 but Andrew outbraked himself trying to regain the position at the end of the back straight ending both of their runs. This photo by Clayton Peck just missed their exit, capturing only the dust trail. Andrew took responsibility after the heat but Josh said it was just a racing incident and that he really enjoyed dicing with Andrew and the other Senior Sportsman racers.
Lucas Barnett continued on to win the heat from his 4th place qualifying spot. Justin Miller, Chad Brassfield and Matt Jackson were close behind. Full heat results can be viewed by clicking here.
The Main (12 laps)
The main promised some action with the fast qualifier starting next to last and the fastest driver from the heat by himself in the last row.
As in the heat, Justin moved into the lead in the first lap. Meanwhile Ed Bush spun while avoiding contact in turn 2 and dropped to last place.
By the start of the 2nd lap, Andrew had moved from 12th to 10th and Joshua had moved up from 13th to 8th.
In lap 4, Joshua moved to 6th while Andrew moved up to 8th with Jorge Ledesma Jr. between them.
Josh passed Darryl Stone for 5th in lap 5 at turn 2 and the next lap passed Matt Jackson in turn 5 to take 4th place as Andrew Snyder settled into 7th behind Darryl Stone where he would finish the race but not before setting fastest lap of the main and tying fastest for the day.
Justin looked comfortable up front pulling a few kart lengths on Lucas in the middle of the race, but Lucas was able to close the gap later in the race. With the exception of Josh and Andrew the rest of the order had stayed fairly constant.
It took till lap 9 for Joshua to catch and pass Chad Brassfield in turn 2 to move up to 3rd.
With a gap to 1st and 2nd and only 3 laps left, it seemed that Joshua may have moved up as far as he would. But Joshua managed to catch and outbrake Lucas into turn 2 on lap 10 and take 2nd. The pass put Joshua off line, hurting his speed down the long back straight which allowed Justin to extend his lead a bit.
Joshua put his head down and closed back up on Justin for the final run down the back straight. It was now or never and Joshua leaned his motor to the limit and swooped past Justin in turn 5 to take the lead.
It was a close finish with Justin, Lucas and Chad all within a second of Josh at the checkered flag.
Full race results can be viewed by clicking here.
Race winner Joshua Lyon commented after the race that he doesn’t know a lot about Yamahas yet but is enjoying racing in this class as he has racing Shifters and TaG.
Senior Sportsman is this season’s largest class, and Rookie Sportsman is the only other class with double digit grids for every race. Both are providing good, hard fought racing at low costs.
More than 30 years after its introduction to kart racing, the Yamaha KT100 is still going strong.
All photos courtesy of NboundZ Racing. All of NboundZ race 5 photos can be viewed by clicking here.