KTM RC Cup Championship Tightens Up With Two New Winners Emerging From Round 2
This is a press release from KTM…
Alton, VA (May 14, 2017) – The KTM RC Cup Championship tightened up over the weekend as two new winners emerged from Round 2 of the nine-race KTM spec series, taking place alongside the 2017 AMA MotoAmerica Championship. Teammates Draik Beauchamp and Jackson Blackmon each captured a career-first race win at Virginia International Raceway, giving the Quarterly Racing/On Track Development Team a double-victory in Alton, Virginia.
Beauchamp and Blackmon join their teammate Benjamin Smith as one of three unique race-winners aboard the KTM RC CUP RACEBIKE thus far, giving the team three of the top four positions in the championship standings. Coming off a 1-1 sweep at the opening round, Smith carried his momentum into the weekend as he claimed pole position for the second-consecutive round. His teammate, Blackmon, qualified close behind in 2nd after missing the opening round due to a wrist injury,
Blackmon didn’t seem to miss a beat as he used his favorable grid position to jump into the early lead in race one. Blackmon was able to put a gap on the rest of the field through the first half of the race but Smith and Beauchamp pushed each other in a close battle to eventually catch Blackmon up front.
Beauchamp overtook the lead on lap eight but Smith immediately answered back as he assumed the lead in a three-way battle on the final lap of racing. Beauchamp capitalized on the draft to make a final pass on Smith to take over the lead and Blackmon followed suit to secure 2nd place.
Smith, who led the most laps of the race, finished 3rd in race one. Quarterly Racing’s Jake Leahey finished 4th and JP43 Junior Team’s Alex Dumas rounded out the top five.
Draik Beauchamp: “It was an awesome race, it took a lot of work to get here. I’m just glad I finally got up to this position and hopefully I can keep doing this and having great battles with these guys – we’ve been fighting hard the entire race and it panned out pretty well. That was a spectacular job by them with the ride that they had and the team for how much they’ve worked their butt off to get us here to this point.”
In race two, it was Blackmon who once again assumed the early lead with Smith and Beauchamp close behind. Blackmon was able to hold on flag-to-flag to earn his first-career victory, while Smith and Beauchamp went to battle once again for the 2nd place position. Beauchamp made a mistake that forced him to slow down and check-up, leaving Smith with nowhere to go but into Beauchamp’s rear tire. As a result, Smith went down and Beauchamp continued to chase after Blackmon out front.
Later in the race, Beauchamp was pushing hard to catch Blackmon and he tucked the front end and went down, allowing Dumas to inherit the 2nd place position. Trevor Standish and Toby Khamsouk stepped into the 3rd place battle for the second half of the race but a quick run off the track by Standish allowed Khamsouk to land the final podium position with 3rd, while Sergio Rodriguez II moved into 4th and Standish ultimately finished in 5th.
Jackson Blackmon: “The race was awesome, I got a really good start like I did yesterday and as soon as I got a lead I just put my head down. A couple laps in I saw a little bit of a gap but then it went back to zero so I took a glance back and all I saw was Draik so I wasn’t sure where everybody else was. But then I saw the gap all of the sudden go to +6 so I figured there must have been something going on so I just kept on putting my head down, not sure what was going on and just really put in some good hard laps. It’s so awesome to be up here on the top of the step and I can’t wait for the next one!”
After two rounds of racing, only one point separates Smith and Beauchamp in the championship standings, while Dumas sits only five points back in 3rd place. Despite missing Round one, Blackmon’s double-podium bumped him into the 4th place position and Khamsouk rounds out the top five.
Next Event: Road America / June 2-4, 2017
KTM RC Cup Race 1 Results
1. Draik Beauchamp
2. Jackson Blackmon
3. Benjamin Smith
4. Jake Leahey
5. Alex Dumas
KTM RC Cup Race 2 Results
1. Jackson Blackmon
2. Alex Dumas
3. Toby Khamsouk
4. Sergio Rodriguez II
5. Trevor Standish
KTM RC Cup Championship Point Standings
1. Benjamin Smith (66)
2. Draik Beauchamp (65)
3. Alex Dumas (60)
4. Jackson Blackmon (45)
5. Toby Khamsouk (43)