Race Rotax US Trophy West Series RD 1 & 2 Report

February 28, 2024 | Article by David Cole – EKartingnews.com

The 2024 Race Rotax US Trophy West Series is underway as the opening two rounds of the program were contested at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association facility over the February 23-25 weekend. The Glendale, Arizona facility featured three days of official on track action, including two separate days of competition following a full day of practice.

The event featured a 44% overall increase in entries from last year, with the largest growth coming in the categories that are competing for the 2024 Rotax Grand Finals tickets and the EXGEL Driver Exchange Program with Japan. Nearly 20% of the total entries competing in Phoenix were from Canada.

A unique format compared to other karting events with two different layouts utilized in the same weekend. The first three sessions of Friday practice were conducted in the clockwise direction – reserved for the action in Round Two on Sunday – before the track switched to the counter-clockwise layout – which was used for Round One on Saturday. Race Rotax at the end of the weekend celebrated the ‘Weekend Trophy’ podium, awarding the top-three in each category based on the two Finals results over the two days.

The opening round in Senior MAX was a sweep by Canadian Frederique Lemieux. After she secured the fast time in qualifying, Lemieux went on to win both heat races. The 18-lap Final was a wire-to-wire victory, reaching the checkered flag ahead by over two seconds. Cooper O’Clair finished second with Macy Williams in third. Sunday saw a two driver battle all day with Christian Miles finding speed overnight to battle O’Clair. Miles set fast time in qualifying with O’Clair winning the first heat. Miles responded with a win in Heat #2, and the fight continued into the Final. Canadian Griffin Dowler joined the battle, as all three led at one point during the 18-lap main event. In the end, Miles secured the position and went on to win by over three seconds. O’Clair was second with Dowler in third. The weekend winner was O’Clair standing at the top of the podium over Lemieux and Miles.

Canadian Antoine Lemieux opened the action in Junior MAX with victory in Round One. He and Nixx Eggleston went back and forth on the day. Eggleston set fast time in qualifying before the two each took a win in the heat races. Lemieux was able to grab the lead at the start of the 18-lap Final, driving away to a three-second advantage. Gage Korn drove up to second ahead of Killian Harris. Sunday began with Kyle Drysdale becoming the top challenger for Lemieux. Drysdale set fast time in qualifying and beat out Lemieux for the win in both heat races. Lemieux once again assumed the lead at the start of the Final and went wire-to-wire for a second victory on the weekend. Drysdale slipped down the order as Eggleston advanced to second and Korn finished third. The two victories put Lemieux on top of the weekend podium with Korn second and Eggleston in third.

Jaxon Porter was the lone driver on the weekend to sweep both rounds, dominating the action in Mini MAX. Porter did not relinquish the top spot in two heat races on Saturday after setting the fast time in qualifying. Matteo Quinto jumped to the lead to start the 14-lap Final before Porter took back the position on lap two. From there, Porter drove away to a four-second advantage at the checkered flag. Quinto was second with Gage Grant in third. It was a repeat performance on Sunday for Porter, except for leading all competition laps, including the green-to-checkered run in the Final to a five-second advantage. Quinto repeated his runner-up finish as did Grant in third with all three filling out the weekend trophy podium in the same positions.

It was a two driver fight all weekend in the Micro MAX division including Lucas Tarango and Cam Becker. The two drivers each won a heat race in the opening round action after Tarango set fast time in qualifying. It was Tarango leading the majority of the 15-lap Final before Becker – who fell to third early – put on the pressure in the closing laps. The two went back and forth for the lead as Becker came away with the position and the victory. Tarango settled for second with Conner Lypka in third. Becker returned on Sunday to set the fast time in qualifying while Tarango responded with a win in both heat races. Tarango once again led the majority of laps in the Final, this time leading the first 14 circuits. On the last lap, Becker stole the top spot and went on to earn a second checkered flag on the weekend. Tarango and Lypka finished second and third. With the same results over the two main events, the weekend trophy podium was Becker first, Tarango second and Lypka third.

Veteran drivers made up the Masters MAX division at the opening event. Billy Cleavelin was able to win the opening round over Heat #1 winner Christopher Mann and top qualifier Clayton Kesler. It was Mann that led the way for much of the day on Sunday. He set fast time in qualifying and won the opening heat before Cleavelin took the second heat win. Mann was able to fend off Cleavelin for the victory in the Final with Kesler in third. The weekend trophy top prize went to Mann with Cleavelin in second with Kessler rounding out the podium.

Full championship points after two rounds can be found HERE. The second stop of the Race Rotax US Trophy West Series will be in one month, as the Musselman Honda Circuit will host Rotaxians on March 22-24 to contest the third and fourth rounds of the championship program.

All event Image and Video by : Race Rotax – 1 AIM

About J3 Competition:

J3 Competition is an American-based distribution and competition product resale company that focuses on the sector of high-performance kart racing. With tenure being recognized as a world leader in the development of the karting industry, J3 Competition is the proprietor of COMPKART, Competition University as well as the owner of Race Rotax.  In addition, J3 Competition is the United States distributor of BRP-Rotax products designed for kart racing including; Rotax, XPS lubricants, and MoJo tires just to name a few.  Contact: media@j3competition.com | +1 (814) 864-1846.


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