X2 Xcellence - 5 Wins
The much anticipated U.S. debut of the Arrow X2 CIK chassis took place during the past three weekends in a row at the JET Karting facility in South Bend, Indiana. The X2 was not originally slated for release until next season, but Drew Price Engineering chose not to keep it under wraps any longer after final testing had proven to be so successful. KartSport North America, the North American Importer for Arrow Racing Karts, made a last minute decision to airfreight karts in before the important summer stretch of races. The decision proved to be a good one as the X2 took 5 major event wins and helped gather critical data for the Nationals.
KartSport NA development driver Will Owen was the first American to get laps in the new X2 CIK. He competed in TAG 1 and TAG 2 at the Route 66 Sprint Series event. Owen captured the pole convincingly both days, with 33 karts entered on Saturday, and ended up with a second place finish to his credit after hounding the leader the entire event. The duo bested third place by over three seconds. It was a career best weekend to date for the young Colorado pilot. Owen was the only X2 mounted driver in the event.
Owen had company on the X2 at the next event, the Rotax Summer Shoot Out. Masters veteran Scott Falcone swept the entire weekend convincingly on his X2 CIK 31. Shell/Pennzoil/AJ Allmendinger sponsored driver Kyle Kirkwood was the first driver to show what the X2 was capable of. Kirkwood smashed the competition in Rotax Junior on Sunday in a tough field of 20+ drivers. He set the pace in qualifying, won the prefinal by over three seconds, and won the final by over eight seconds. Will Owen had another solid effort with sixth place run, pacing as fast as the winner the entire race.
Sam Beasley made his return to karting after a short hiatus from the sport. Beasley came home third with the fastest lap in Rotax Senior while getting acquainted to his Arrow kart again.
The last of the three races in South Bend was the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series. With nearly 600 entries, competition proved to be at the highest level. It also marked the “official” return of Sam Beasley. The KartSport driver smoked the field in qualifying in TAG 1 and Leopard. Unfortunately in the prefinals, contact with the curbs in the chicane section forced the chain off his kart in both classes which set the stage for some excitement. Not to be outdone, South Bend was a coming out party for first year Senior driver Jacob Donald. Donald qualified next to Beasley in Leopard to make it an all X2 front row. After Beasley’s misfortune, Donald went on to win the prefinal. He then went on to dominate the final, beating the top TAG drivers in the country by over two seconds. While Donald was checking out, Beasley drove from 28th to 2nd, pacing three tenths of a second faster than any kart in the race. WKA penalized Donald for the seat being 2mm too low, which relegated Beasley to the top step of the podium in his return. Donald would go on to win KPV Lite on Sunday in his X1E for a bit of redemption and his first National Senior win.
Beasley wasn’t done yet though. Starting off of grid position 27, he carved his way to second place at the checkered flag, over a quarter second faster than any other driver. Owen also ran a career best P7 in the class as well.
Kyle Kirkwood put his yellow Shell/Pennzoil themed Arrow X2 out front in KPV Heavy qualifying in a field of 38 drivers. Kirkwood would go on to finish second in the final, and won the final leading every lap in the process.
“We couldn’t be happier with the performance of the new X2. We still have some things to learn, but win this many major races with one model kart in our debut certainly makes a statement. Arrow drivers on the X2 won with the 30/32 design in Rotax Junior on Mojos, Rotax Masters at 405 pounds, KPV Junior 100cc on YLC tires, and Parilla Leopard with YLB tires. I can’t see how a kart can be any more versatile than that,” stated KartSport North America’s Eric Jones. “We can’t wait to get these out to Utah for the SKUSA SummerNationals to keep the momentum going. KartSport is going to continue airfreighting karts in to keep up with the demand.”