Round seven of the 2017 KTM RC Cup Championship, held in conjunction with the 2017 AMA MotoAmerica/FIM North American Road Racing Championship, made its way to the Pittsburgh international Race Complex and JP43 Junior Team’s Alex Dumas came away with a massive double victory taking his first career victory wire-to-wire and winning the next on a last-lap pass.
Pre-race qualifying was once again topped by Quarterly Racing/On Track Development’s Benjamin Smith (the current RC Cup points leader) with Dumas chasing him down for second at .459 seconds back. Third fastest went to CSVMoto’s Cory Ventura (currently second in points) at 1.073 seconds off the fastest pace set by Smith. The top six qualifiers at the Pittsburgh stop were all within 1.4 seconds at the end of qualifying, ensuring plenty of close racing to come.
Dumas started race one with a statement, bolting away from the line to take the Holeshot while the pre-race speed of Smith was shuffled back through the pack. Soon, it was Smith’s Quarterly Racing/On Track Development teammate Jackson Blackmon battling Ventura for second. While they fought it out up front, Aces High Racing’s Dylan Deutschlander and the Quarterly Racing ride of Draik Beauchamp moved forward through the grid. Smith, working hard to gain ground from a poor start and opening laps, ended up crashing on an outside pass, forcing him to finish with zero points on the race. This put Beauchamp and Deutschlander into fourth and fifth with Savage Racing’s Sean Ungvarsky joining the fray. On the last lap, Blackmon made his move on Ventura for second stick and put down a blistering lap (the first to dip into the 1:59’s all weekend), nearly passing Dumas at the line with a gap of only .045 seconds.
The race victory was Dumas’ first after two runner-up finishes this year.
“In the end, it surprised me Jackson was right behind me and coming so fast,” Dumas Said “I thought it was Benjamin and Cory and then when I saw Benjamin off the track I thought it was just Cory behind me and I didn’t look back. I’ve been here once to do an endurance race so I knew the track pretty well and my bike setup was perfect today and I had a lot of fun.”
Race two took off and Ventura grabbed the Holeshot from the grid. His time up front was to be short-lived as Dumas looked to capitalize on his first race momentum and made a pass into the lead on the first lap. Behind him, Smith and Blackmon followed with Smith looking to rebound from a rare race result outside the points. In the first lap-and-a-half, Smith, Dumas, Ventura and Beauchamp put a gap on Blackmon, Deutschlander and Ungvarsky. But almost immediately a red flag stopped the action on lap two. With a grid-and-go restart ordered and eight laps to go, Dumas made his move to the front and the battle began between himself and Blackmon, Smith and Ventura. Beauchamp slipped back into fifth, losing touch with the tight group of the top four.
On the final lap, Smith passed Ventura for third, allowing Blackmon and Dumas to scrap for the win. Dumas mad a final-lap pass for the lead and held Blackmon to second with Smith salvaging his weekend with a third in race two. Cory Ventura finished fourth with Beauchamp locking down fifth.
The double victory for Dumas was a rare accomplishment. Only the championship leader Smith has done so before this season.
“It was a perfect weekend,” Dumas said. “I was good in practice and qualifying and all weekend long I held a good position in the races. I’m very happy with the setup and the way my mechanic prepped my bikes. We’ve worked hard to get it all right and I feel confident we can carry this momentum to the next race.
Next Event: New Jersey Motorsports Park / September 9-10, 2017
KTM RC Cup Race 1 Results
2. Jackson Blackmon
3. Cory Ventura
4. Draik Beauchamp
5. Sean Ungvarsky
KTM RC Cup Race 2 Results
2. Jackson Blackmon
3. Benjamin Smith
4. Cory Ventura
5. Draik Beauchamp
KTM RC Cup Championship Point Standings
2. Cory Ventura (184)
3. Jackson Blackmon (176)
4. Alex Dumas (173)
5. Draik Beauchamp (165)