RLOKC #9: New Rattlesnake, New Winner, New Champion!
Richard Hilleman crosses the finish line to win the Feature and the Championship.

The final race of the Zero Motorsports Group2 EKart championship was held in the cool November air. Reigning champion Marcos Ramirez entered the day with a 45 point lead. Richard Hilleman and Matt Cresci both had a shot at the championship, but the odds were long. Richard Hilleman won his six pole of the year, setting another new track record for the National B configuration of the SimRaceway Karting Center at Sonoma. Matt gridded second, with a surprise Kenyon Kluge at the wheel of a brand new Aluminos chassis RS5 setting the third best time. Marcos struggled with charging problems all day, and that kept him from his best. Tristan Bayless and Christopher Hilleman filled out the six Kart field.

Kenyon holeshotted the start, leading the pack into the first corner. Marcos and Tristan pushed into the lead before fading about lap 6, leaving a shoot out between Kenyon, Rich and Matt. Kenyon finished off the job, winning his first race in the series.

Kenyon Kluge leads Marcos Ramirez on the way to his first Heat win.

Rich and Matt were next, keeping their championship alive with the double point heat. Marcos lead had slipped to 15 points over Rich, setting up a feature for the championship. Marcos had continued to suffer with charging problems, and started the 14 lap feature with a less than full charge. Kenyon started on his first Feature pole, with Rich, Matt, Marcos, Tristan and Chris lined up behind. Out of the first corner found Marcos and Tristan pushing into the lead. After 7 laps, the pace returned battery heat that pulled the early rabbits back to the field with Kenyon, Rich and Matt all passing both of them. Rich made a play for the lead at turn 1 at the start of lap 8, but Kenyon defended for another lap. Rich pushed harder at the same place on lap 10, completing the pass for the lead. He held that three second lead to win the feature, and the second Group2 EKart championship. Kenyon completed a great day coming second, and Matt finished on the last step of the podium. Christopher Hilleman passed both Tristan and Marcos continuing his surprising finishing performances in Feature.

The First Race of Champions Podium

But that wasn't all. RES hosted the first RLOKC Race of Champions. This five lap race brought five of the champions back to the track for one last encore of the 2014 Season. David Arnstein soothed his wounds from a second place championship season with a dominant win in Kenyon's #96 RS5. Rich came back from an early spin to finish on the last step of the podium. A great time was had by all and we will repeat it again, next year.

Rich showed improved driving and many advantages of the RS3. The RS5 has realized those improvements and mated it with the superior handling of the Alumios Frame. 2015 looks like it will be the most competitive yet, with two champions, and strong 8 kart fields...