Jackie Weiss Kartracing

Sunday, October 09, 2005

RMax Challenge - US Grand Nationals 2005 in South Bend, Indiana - September 21 - 25, 2005

Rotax Max Grand Nationals
Sept 21-25, 2005

Michiana Raceway Park South Bend, Indiana

The last day of competition at the 2005 Rotax Max Grand Nationals wrapped up in South Bend with a full day of wet weather racing on the challenging circuit. Rain began falling just as the last of the opening ceremonies were concluding and that led all finals for the Rotax National Championships being run on wet tires. The day began with a driver parade and opening ceremony where all participants were honored for their attendance. Then a few select celebrities took to the track for a little racing action and they got an introduction to rental karts on slicks in the rain. Everyone coming off the track said they had fun. The ceremonies ended when four skydivers dropped onto the property. The jumps were nearly scrubbed due to the low cloud ceiling, but they decided to go ahead. Once all that was done it was time to get down to business and run some race.

Rotax Junior

With light rain falling and a wet track, the Rotax Junior rolled out of the grid and onto the race surface. A fast pace on the formation laps by polesitter James Kennedy (Birel) left the field strung out before he slowed the pace for get the field in order to take the green. Onto the straight, the field was good for the first five rows and messy behind, despite that, the green was thrown and the race was underway. The green flag caught more than some of the drivers by surprise as a few people were complaining about the poor formation at the drop of the green.

The track was slippery but the drivers were handling the conditions well with only a few spins. One drivers getting into trouble was Brett Smrz (Intrepid) who was moving up from his last place starting position when contact in turn eight ended his day before completing a full lap.
Up front, Kennedy’s fast pace continued as he began building a gap over David Holland (Birel) and Estaban Gutierrez (CRG). Kennedy was rolling off fast laps and before the halfway point had a six second lead. Holland and Gutierrez were locked in a battle with the CRG driver trying to find a way into second. Also near the half, Gerard Gonzales (KRT) was out of the race having slid off the track on the final corner.

Knowing he had the speed when he needed it, Kennedy went into cruise more and while Holland was cutting into the lead, there were not enough laps to make a move for the lead. With hands raised, Kennedy took the win and with it a ticket to Malaysia for the World Finals. It was a solid win for the driver who run with his father as his tuner with no big team support. Holland and Gutierrez joined him on the podium. Running fourth was MacKenzie Johnson (Margay) who had to come from ninth at the start. Rounding out the top five was Sam Lee (Birel).
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