SKUSA Spring Nationals
May 2, 2016
Sting Ray Robb returns from France to tackle SKUSA Spring Nationals in Stock Honda
Sting Ray Robb flies directly from KZ competition in France to try yet another class in Phoenix to attend SKUSA Spring Nationals. Eddy Tinini (team principal at CRG) asked SR to represent the NORDAM in the highly attended Phoenix completion in a class he had never been in before. Still recovering from fractured ribs and jet lag, the resilient youngster climbed into the Stock Honda CRG, prepared by Eddy Tinini and the Swedetech Team, all under the Nash Motorsports corral.
After a day of sorting out the technical driving differences required in yet another new packaged, the youngster did not disappoint, putting the CRG on the pole in his first ever Stock Honda race.
One thing Sting Ray did struggle with was the clutch release with the Honda compared to the KZ he raced a few days earlier. On the start of the first heat, he stalled the engine and was gobbled up in a brutal wreck as three or four of the back markers plowed into his rear bumper, even though he was waiving his arm in the air.
A total rebuild of his kart put him in a frantic recovery mode to get on the track for the next heat race, only to get absorbed by two competitors who had tangled up in directly in front of him.
The Final proved to be another challenge, as Sting Ray came out of the first turn in last place. He managed to press forward in the scheduled 16 lap race, swiftly passing kart after kart in the short 45 seconds per lap Phoenix track. The officials shortened the race to 12 laps to make up for a late schedule. As we watched the monitor, it was evident that Sting Ray was close to a second faster per lap than the front runners. With what was thought to be “4 laps to go” the checkered flag came out, having only raced for 9 minutes and Sting Ray was in 5th place.
Sunday was nearly a repeat of Saturday, qualifying P1 again which added credence to Sting Ray’s piloting skills. In the first heat he suffered a flat tire and retired early. In the Final he was again starting at the back and didn’t finish again in the final. Disappointed but proved he has the stuff, even though the youngest of most drivers on the track.
On Sunday, having one day to familiarize his track experience, he qualified 1st, set fastest lap again and finished 3rd with a win close to his grasp before getting held up in lapped traffic with only a couple laps to go.
In the weeks to come Sting Ray will be competing in the World Speed “Formula Speed” open wheel cars in Sonoma, California. That will be another first as he has never driven or even sat in one, and on a track he has never been on. It will certainly be interesting to follow his path as he moves to each new venue in his career.
Steve you have freedom to cut this apart