SIMA Summer series wrap up


Sumas, Washington USA

After a whole season of fun and exciting racing, the 2011 SIMA Summer Series came to a close on October 1st. The success of SIMA’s inaugural year proved beyond a doubt that karting is on the rise once again. The extremely bright future of both SIMA and karting in the Pacific Northwest was made clear by the strong turnout of racers and encouraging growth of many classes. With a price package worth over $8,500, the series sponsors made the choice to race at SIMA a no brainer. Cans of VP Fuel and Ribtect vests were raffled off at every race, and sets of Bridgestone and MG tires were awarded to podium finishers in every class. Rain or shine, the racing at SIMA was always thrilling and the atmosphere always friendly.

The 2011 Summer Series started out with a bang on April 23rd. No one could believe their eyes when 20 shifter karts lined up on grid to kick off the season. A perennial crowd favorite, the shifter class always delivered excitement and good racing. Competition was tight from front to back, with star performances from many of the competitors. Each class had a random starting order and inverted 2nd heat, which really mixed things up and gave everyone the chance to race against drivers with different skill levels. Remo Ruscitti was consistently fast and ultimately took the championship win by a narrow margin, only one point ahead of runner up Michael Valiante. Scott Hargrove was not far behind in 3rd place, and Adam Isman placed 4th in the championship, ending the year with a strong 2nd place finish. Don McGregor was never far from the front, either. The shifter class also enjoyed the participation of several drivers from down south, like Brandon Scheiber, Steve Purdue and karting legend David Jurca.

One of the highlights of the season was the incredible growth of the Tag Sr class. Twenty TaG drivers battled it out in a hotly contested class full of promising young drivers and seasoned veterans. By the end of the season, the TaG class was a crowd favorite. And no wonder why! Newcomers like Franck Barthelon and Ron Hyde shot right to the top of the field, challenging seasoned veterans like Rico Picillo and Sean Hafenrichter. Hyde narrowly missed the podium on a number of occasions, and Barthelon’s debut season was hampered only by a brief stint of bad luck. Meanwhile, Sean Hafenrichter ran away with the championship. Kurt fisher was the runner up, with rookie Rob Hargrove not far behind. Fresh off a three year sabbatical, Will and Fred Lin impressed with consistent top ten finishes.

In Masters the racing was always just as good and you never knew who would end the day on the top step of the podium. Dave Curry and Dexter Closterman had plenty of great battles along with Kurt Fisher, Russell Ferguson and Jim Hargrove. At the end of the season, Fisher emerged as the class champion, with Hargrove 2nd and Curry 3rd.

Many of the top drivers in the nation showcased their incredible talent and speed in the IAME Sr class. Italian Motors team drivers raced against each other hard, leaving nothing on the table . To the crowds delight, the usual suspects battled it out up front. Hargrove, Valiante, Ruscitti, Jurca and Isman - It was always anyone’s race. New addition to the team Austen Debord drew attention with McAllister, McGregor and O'Farrell demonstrating great speed but narrowly missing the top step on the podium . Michaell Valiante ended up taking the championship followed by David Jurca and Scott Hargrove.

When asked about the series, owner Claudio Valiante was very pleased. " The series continues to grow and we are getting more and more karters in to the sport. We are bringing juniors back in to the sport and we have to have one of the best prize pay backs with $6500.00 of sponsor product being given away. We really need to thank RIBTECT, MG Tires, Bridgestone Tires and P1 fitness for contributing to the series to make it such a success".

All told, the 2011 Summer Series at SIMA was a resounding success. There was never a dull moment in the racing, and drivers especially enjoyed the $6,500 prize package. Spectators made good use of the state of the art SIMA Café and savored some of the best racetrack in the country. If nothing else, the 2011 SIMA Summer Series was a taste of what is to come in the approaching SIMA Winter Series. Series events, sponsors and banquet details will follow.

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