World Championship Top Qualifier Tater Sontag has converted his pole position into a win in the opening A-Main of 2WD. The Team Losi Racing driver survived a number of moments including one on the opening lap to lead a chaotic race from start to finish. Getting a few opportunities to challenge Sontag at the front, sixth place qualifier Aydin Horne would finish 2nd after seeing off a challenge from multiple World Champion Ryan Cavalieri, the Schumacher having to give back a place to the Team Associated after they made contact. Starting second on the grid defending Champion Spencer Rivkin had a rough opening lap that dropped him to last with the Arizona driver only able to recover to 6th behinds team-mate Davide Ongaro.
With the emotional pressure of starting from pole on his 1:10 Worlds pouring out as he sealed the A1, Sontag summed up his winning effort with, ‘It was a little rough for sure. I had a moment on the first lap but lucky still came out in front. I had one more bobble myself so for sure getting that race done is a lot of weight off my shoulder.’
‘Honestly it was a surprise to move up the field like and I was caught off guard by my position’, was Horne’s reaction to the first of the three A-Mains. The 21-year-old continued, ‘I went defensive instead of offensive but it was a good race’.
Cavalieri said, ‘I got a great start man and drove around the carnage’. He added, ‘I thought I could get around Aydin but clipped the pipe and we made contact. I didn’t feel it warranted a penalty but I had to give the spot back.’ Fired up by his race, the Californian said, ‘I’ll try do the same thing and try not be in the carnage’.
Tater Sontag will line-up as Top Qualifier on his 2WD World Championship debut, the 16-year-old securing pole for the title deciding A-Main with a P3 for the fifth & final round of qualifying this morning in Arizona. With several drivers desperate for a strong round this morning to make the cut for the A-Main, it would be Broc Champlin who came out fastest from Davide Ongaro and Sontag. Reigning European Champion Marcus Kaerup had been on target to TQ the round until he came upon traffic. With no call from the race control, onlooker calling for the call to be made by officials for the traffic to open on, as the Dane tried to execute a pass they tangled. Losing almost 2-seconds, a clearly frustrated Kaerup would finish P5 for the round. Having TQ’d the opening qualifier Dakotah Phend would need to be marshalled and Q4 pace setter Spencer Rivkin would have a mistake meaning they didn’t better their points tally. Overall Rivkin will try to defend his World Title from P2 behind Tater and ahead of newly crowned 4WD Champion Ongaro who lines up third followed by Champlin.
Commenting on Q5, Tater said, ‘It went well. I knew that Spencer and Dakotah were going to push for the TQ but I could see in my peripheral vision that Dakotah had a bad first lap and then Spencer had a mistake. After that I just tried to run a decent round and hit my marks like I have been trying to do every other run’. Asked about the finals, the 16-year replied, ‘I’m going to freshen up my car and just do what I can. I’ll try to hit my marks and see what happens’.
‘I was going good but made a driver error all on my own’, explained Rivkin. Looking to the finals, the Team Associated driver who is chasing a third 2WD World Championship Title today, said, ‘Congrats to Tater on the TQ but think we are in a good position. We are starting P2 and we’ll let it rip.’
Ongaro said, ‘I’m happy with 3rd place in the A-Main. We arrived at our goal to make the A-Main’. The Italian continued, ‘I tried for the TQ but I think 3rd place is a better position for the start. It will be a close race but 2WD you can make more mistakes so let’s see’.
Making it four different drivers to post a TQ run over the five rounds of qualifying, Champlin said, ‘my car car was easy to drive and felt fast. The run put us 4th for the Mains’. Confident he can race at the front in the finals, the Schumacher driver said, ‘there will be a lot of opportunities as everyone is having bobbles over a run so we’ll aim to capitalise on that and try to move forward in the race’.