On August 13, some of finest 4 cycle Kart Racers on the West Coast assaulted one of the finest Kart tracks in America, the Santa Maria Kart Track. As anticipated, the Briggs and Stratton WKA Gold Cup West Final provided a great day of racing under the pleasant Pacific sun. Full fields in most of the Gold Cup West championship classes created close racing from the front to back pf the pack in all of the finals. There was a lot to be decided on that warm Sunday. All of the 2006 Gold Cup West champions would be crowned. The first ever U.S. World Formula National Championship, with the coveted WKA Eagles awarded to the winners. The Senior High points championship winner would be determined. Along with that honor goes the Fast Lane Racing School Scholarship. As if all of this wasnt enough there was a new World Formula Engine Package given away. David Clopton was the lucky winner of the motor.
The first GCW class on track for their main was World Formula Light. Since the Gold Cup Wests inception three years ago it has been World Formula light that has defined the spirit of the series. Tight racing where the drivers skill and Kart set up determine the victor. Curtis Lowers won the heat race and would start on the pole. There was a mere .8-second separating the top 7 karts on the grid. They took the green flag and dove into Santa Marias turn one, a lefthander. They where three wide going into the turn, unfortunately that was one kart to many and Lowers was the odd kart out. He would find himself playing catch up at the back of the field. When the dust settled it was local favorite Ryan Priestman that would lead the first lap, followed by Cory Medigovich and Sheila Bukamier-Nash. Sheila would then get around Medigovich and begin to pressure Priestman for the lead. On lap 6 she would pass Priestman and never look back. A battle for second ensued with Ian Graves prevailing over Preistman. Travis Lowe held on for a solid fourth. More importantly it put Travis in the cats bird seat for the Senior High Points Championship and the ride in the race prepared Scion TC at Willow Springs with Danny McKeevers Fast Lane Racing School. Congratulation goes to Travis on a great season, winning the 06 championship and to Sheila on a great race to win her Eagle.
In the Jr. 1 Animal SS ranks it was Ryan Lauer running away with the class. He qualified on the pole, won the Heat and Main. Ryan is one young man that knows how to get around Santa Maria. Michael Davis took second and Christian Rochester third. Ryan will also get the champions jacket for 06. The Jr. 2 Animal race was a similar performance by Taelor Janes. Taelor has really come on in 06 and is starting to show the boys a thing or two. Trevor Agan finished second and Kenton Koch took third. Kentons podium finish gave him the 2006 Gold Cup West Championship in Jr. 2 Animal SS.
The next World Formula National Championship class out was the big guys, World Formula Heavy. Mark Silva would lead the pack with Larry Fisher off pole. It was deja-vue all over again. Green flag fell and it was three wide into the first left hander. This time Larry Fisher would hold on wide to take the lead for the first two laps. It was Cory Medigovich taking over first when Fisher pushed a little too hard and wound up in the fertile Santa Maria soil. The whole time that Fisher, Medigovich and Silva battled, Curtis Lowers was picking his way through the field. Lowers then over took Silva and then Medigovich for the Eagle in World Formula Heavy. Another interesting battle took place between Travis Lowe and Eric Nelson for fourth position. At stake was the Fast Lane Scholarship, Eric and Travis came into Santa Maria only 7 points apart. Travis new if he finished in front of Eric he would take the loot. Travis took fourth and Eric Fifth. Travis gets the ride in the big car at the big track. Eric wins the season championship. Curtis Lowers has the Eagle.
The final World Formula class was up next, World Formula Jr. 2. This class features an unrestricted World Formula at 315 lbs. The fastest time of the event was recorded in this class. Taelor Janes turned a 52.053 in the Prefinal. Thats motoring around the difficult Santa Maria Track. In one of the tightest races of the day Taelor had to survive a last lap last turn incident to take the Eagle. Daylan Coffey was second and Tyler Agan took the final podium spot. Daylans finish was good enough to win the 2006 World Formula Jr 2 championship.
New for the 2006 WKA Gold Cup West was the F-200 class. The racers requested an open or modified class to be added. The F-200 engine spec has experienced a lot of growth in popularity out West it was a natural to add this class to the only exclusive 4 cycle divisional, the Briggs and Stratton WKA Gold Cup West. There nothing in Karting that compares to sound of a pack of F-200s barreling down the long straightaway at 8000 plus rpms. Thanks to the efforts of Burris Racing and the Norcal F-200 Racing Association, F-200s from all over California converged on Santa Maria to race. On the grid it was Sheila Buckamier-Nash on pole. Off pole it was Kurt Burris followed by series points leader David Lowe. Dave would be taken out on the second lap and be forced to retire. How ever he did earn enough points to be crowned the 2006 Gold Cup West F-200 Champ. Sheila would lead flag to flag with Kurt Burris no more than a couple of kart lengths behind. Last but not least on the track was the American Sportsman Father and Son grudge match between Robert and Grant Sharpe. Grant would win this time.
So as the warm California sun set over the Pacific so did the 2006 Briggs and Stratton WKA Gold West Cup season. Its hard to believe that the series will be starting its fourth season in 2007. The Briggs and Stratton Gold Cup West has established itself as the premier 4cycle Sprint Karting series on the West Coast. Of course this would not have been possible without the past, present and future support. The Gold Cup West would like to thank its 2006 sponsors Briggs and Stratton Motorsports, RLV Products, Hearn Competition Karting, Danny Mc Keever Fast Lane Racing School and Nashs Karts. The series participating clubs and tracks, So-Cal Sprinters, Las Vegas Kart Club, Santa Maria Karting Association, Grange Motor Circuit, and for the continued support from Randy Kugler and the World Karting Association.