Yonchuck Closes GoPro Opener with Briggs Senior Win

MOORESVILLE, N.C – Senior Medium 365 served as the only Briggs class to run in the afternoon group at GoPro’s first Karting Challenge of 2021. With the track mostly dry albeit several seconds slow, Todd Baron qualified his No. 11 Deadly chassis P1 with a 1:01.468 lap over senior rookie Cam Burris’ 1:02.194.

Heavy damage on Cam Burris' MGM from the pre-final
Heavy damage on Cam Burris’ MGM from the pre-final

Baron would dominate a crazy pre-final that included multiple accidents on a persisting cold and slow track. The major incident took place midway through the 9-lapper in the tricky left-hand turn 6. When a kart spun in front of the lead pack, fifth-place running Austin Williamson had nowhere to go and slid off the track. With heavy rain Friday, sliding off the track meant Williamson took a trip through the wet and mud, which was splashed onto the racing groove causing numerous drivers to spin their karts into one another.

Turn 6 turned into a parking lot of karts that took about 10 minutes to clear after the race concluded. Burris and Saturday morning’s Senior Heavy P2 finisher Chase Anderson’s MGM karts had the worst damage and neither was able to start the final.

With the afternoon session now behind schedule, the final rolled off at about 7:10pm with Baron the clear favorite after qualifying pole and winning the pre-final. Drivers would have to negotiate the course in a light mist and under an evening fog that rolled over Mooresville, causing the track to become even slicker than it was in the pre-final.

Baron led the opening lap until Laurin Brallier went past on lap 2. Connor Yonchuck followed Brallier past Baron and a lap later took the lead away from the female racer.

Baron (11) and eventual winner Yonchuck (99) wait to start the Briggs Senior final under the lights
Baron (11) and eventual winner Yonchuck (99) wait to start the Briggs Senior final under the lights

Saturday morning’s Senior Heavy winner Victor Turner made it past Baron for third on lap 5 as Brallier started to put some pressure on Yonchuck for the lead. At halfway, Yonchuck, Brallier, Turner, Baron, Zach Linsell and Williamson all ran within a straightaway of one another first through sixth.

Late in the race Turner would make it past Brallier for second and with a lap to go closed in on Yonchuck. But the Winston-Salem, N.C., racer was on a mission, pulling his MGM several kart-lengths ahead of Turner on the final lap to take a convincing victory. Brallier would retake second on the final lap for a solid runner-up result. Turner, Baron, Williamson and Linsell would finish third through sixth.

Yonchuck’s win gave his family’s Flash Products engines a sweep of the day’s senior finals with Turner riding a Flash-powered 206 to the win in Heavy and Yonchuck in Medium.

2021 Karting Challenge Round 1 • GoPro Motorplex • February 27, 2021

Unofficial Results (how they crossed the finish line):

Briggs Senior 365: 1. CONNOR YONCHUCK, 2. Laurin Brallier, 3. Victor Turner, 4. Todd Baron, 5. Austin Williamson, 6. Zach Linsell, 7. Byron Daley, 8. Alex Murray, 9. Sawyer Conrad, 10. Neil Moore.

Pole: Todd Baron; Pre-final winner: Todd Baron

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