PGR’s Williams, Hays victorious in SKUSA ProKart Challenge at Adams Motorsports ParkPhil Giebler Racing
Phil Giebler Racing’s Carter Williams of Clovis, Calif., and Nicky Hays of Huntington Beach, Calif. drove to feature victories Saturday iin the Superkarts! USA California ProKart Challenge at Adams Motorsports Park.
For the 17-year-old Williams, it was his fourth victory in five features in S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto in the series. He was fastest in qualifying and won both heats and has a commanding lead in the championship going into the final event, the Streets of Lancaster (Calif.) Grand Prix, on Sept. 26-27.
It was Williams’ initial victory on the famous .75-mile Adams track.
“Carter was able to get the monkey off his back after winning so many races over the past few years at other tracks,” team owner Phil Giebler said. “He’s had a few slip through his fingers at Adams and he was determined to not let not to let that happen this weekend. The new 2015 FA Kart was hooked up and Carter had some great starts, which helped keep him in front.”
Hays also ran the table in TaG Junior with the fastest qualifying lap and triumphs in both heats. He was driving the Ricciardo Kart for the second time in a SKUSA event.
“We hardly changed anythng all weekend and the kart worked well in all conditions and with new and old tires,” Giebler said. “Now we understand more how to work with the Ricciardo and Nicky is driving it well. He feels very comfortable with it, which gives him confidence. Trutech racing engines helped give us the power he needed to stay up front.
“Both Carter and Nicky were flawless this weekend and were up against some strong compeition, which didn’t make it easy for them.”
Hannah Grisham of Glendora, Calif., finished 11th and Charlie Jafari of Dana Point, Calif., was 13th in the TaG Junior feature.
Grisham was sixth fastest in qualifying and finished third and fourth in her heats.
“Hannah was a strong contender for a podium all weekend, but engine gremlins, most likely from dirt finding its way into the carburetor that caused a major misfire, put her out of contention in the feature,” Giebler explained. “It was Charlie’s debut with the team and it became a bit of a baptism of fire. He was unable to make practice on Friday, which left him only one seven-minute session on Saturday to prepare. His chain broke in qualifying and he wasn’t able to start the second heat from getting rear ended before the start. It made for a difficult day, but he pushed through and learned a ton with limited track time.”
Matt England of Phoenix, Ariz., finished ninth, Jake Nielsen of Los Angeles was 10th, Gino Alfonso-Macauley of Northridge, Calif., was 12th and Dallas Hollins of Fontana, Calif., was 13th in TaG Senior.
“Matt showed good pace in the heats (placing fifth and seventh), but was unable to move forward in the final,” Giebler said. “Gino recovered from an on-track accident in the second heat (which left him 15th/DNF) and was able to move up after starting at the back. Jake has very little racing experience and he had a great run against some talented veterans.”
Vatche Tatikian of North Hollywood, Calif., led the points in TaG Master entering the event, but he crashed in the heat race and another accident took him out of the feature. He finished 12th and remains in contention for the championship going into the Streets of Lancaster. Tatikian qualified fourth fastest and was sixth in he opening heat.
John Nielsen of Los Angeles, Jake’s father, finished 10th in the TaG Master feature. Like his son, Nielsen has limited experience. He qualified in seventh position and was seventh and 10th in the heats.
“It was a great drive and pace by John, but he had some bad luck in the heats,” Giebler said. “He has come a long way in a short amount of time.’
Owned by the 2007 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Phil Giebler Racing competes nationally at the highest level of karting in the United States. Giebler is a resident of Huntington Beach, Calif. The team uses Fernando Alonso, Tony Karts and Ricciardo and is a major dealer of OTK brands FA Kart, Tony Kart, Ricciardo, Kosmic and Exprit.