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16-year old kart racer Augie Lerch of Tucson got smashed out of the qualifying final of the Rotax Challenge of the Americas on Saturday after just two laps, but bounced back Sunday to finish fifth in the Buddy Rice Senior Max Division.
The Rotax Challenge of the Americas parked for competition at the Musselman Honda Circuit this weekend for the first of three stops on it's winter qualifying circuit.
The event featured drivers ranging from under ten-years old to over 50-years old, brought in race teams from all over the country, Canada and South America with the top drivers earning spots at the Rotax Grand Nationals this fall in New Orleans.
Lerch, a top-15 driver nationally in his category, had run well early in the day on Saturday, but was spun out and had an engine stall in the Pre-Final that dropped him to 11th, then the collision in the Final had him plummeting to dead-last in 35th place for the day.
Luckily each day was a separate qualify event and the former Salpointe Catholic student who is now home-schooled, posted Top 8 times in all of the early runs leading into the Final.
His best time for the day on the road course was 51.258 seconds.
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