|July 11, 2011 News
|eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month - Mike Mantel - June 2011
| Mantel drove to five Duffy wins at the IKF Road Race Grand Nationals|
(Photo: Ken Johnson)
In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.
Road racing is a game of speed, endurance, and luck. A driver must have all of these in order to cross the finish line first. Multiple wins at the road racing event is not uncommon as the rule structures allow for a driver to race in two or more classes over the weekend, in some cases with the same kart. California native Mike Mantel, who now calls New Braunfels, Texas home, may have entered the IKF Road Race Grand Nationals on June 15-18 with just two machines under the tent, but this pair of chassis gave him seven opportunities to score the prestigious Duffy trophy for victory. After the four-day event closed, Mantel left the Eagles Canyon Raceway in Decatur, Texas with five Duffys - which has earned the honor of being named the eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month for June.
Mantel’s journey to five Duffys began on the second day of racing action, in the TaG Light division. In the first of two heat races, Mantel went wire-to-wire for a 1.5-second win. The second heat featured a close battle with Adam Kelley, as the two swapped the lead numerous times in the 15-minute moto. Through the final lap, Mantel was able to put some distance on Kelley and crossed the line first by just seven-tenths to earn his first Duffy. The second of the day came in Formula 80 Senior. A great start to begin heat one had Mantel out to a one-second advantage after the first lap. With consistently fast laps, Mantel drove to a 3.867-second win. Allen Fleming battled Mantel in the second heat as the two were able to break away from the pack early. Eventually, Mantel was able to pull away with 2:00-flat laps and earned the win by 12 seconds to wrap up Duffy number two on the day.
Friday was Day #3 of the event and another double Duffy run for Mantel. The Formula 80 Sr. Heavy class provided his third trophy. Challenged early in heat one, Mantel once again showed the consistency to pull away and score the race win. Repeating the pace in heat two, Mantel drove to a 10-second victory to score the class victory. Jumping into the Rotax Max Light ride for a 30-minute race, Mantel was up to the challenge and it showed when the checkered flag waved. Leading flag-to-flag, Mantel took Duffy number four by over 30 seconds.
Matching his Duffy in TaG Light, Mantel took home the Duffy in TaG Heavy on the final day of the event. After scoring the first heat win by nine seconds, Mantel was trailed closely early in heat two until pulling out to a four-second victory for his fifth Duffy of the event. Mantel also added a runner-up in Formula 80 Senior II, losing out after winning the first heat to heat two winner Chance Pool.
Mantel just returned back to his home in Texas after competing at the IKF 4-Cycle Sprint Grand Nationals at the Shasta Kart Klub facility in Redding, California where he earned the Duffy in the World Formula Medium class as well.
| Mike Mantel - EKN Driver of the Month - June 2011|
(Photo: Ken Johnson)
June 2011 EKN Driver of the Month -
Hometown: Redondo Beach, CA
Marital Status: Married to Liz Mantel
Children: Max Mantel - 8 Months old
Height/Weight: 5’6” / 150 lbs
Occupation: Tuner, Driving Coach
Chassis: Kosmic/Tony Kart
Engine/Engine Builder: Iron Rock Motorsports, Hyper Racing Engines, DDR
Sponsors: Power Plus Racing Oil
Series You Compete In: IKF Nationals
Years Karting: 26, off and on
How did you get started in karting? I use to watch sprint cars at Ascot Speedway as a child and wanted to get involved. I started karting on the flat track oval when I was 8 and won my first championship that year at Ascot.
What has been the high point in your racing career? I think I have two high points in my karting career. Winning 2 Duffy’s by the time I was 11 years old and recently winning 6 more as an adult.
What are your goals in racing? I would have to say that my goal would be to drive for a team in any professional series.
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Smooth, Fast, and Consistent
Funniest moment at the race track? Bending over to pick up my go-kart and having the back of my suit split in two. I guess my suit was a little too tight.
Favorite Track: Adams Kart Track and Laguna Seca
Favorite form of professional motorsports: Formula 1 and Nascar
Favorite karting driver: Ron Emmick
Favorite professional driver: Ayrton Senna
Favorite website: Ekartingnews.com!
Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction
Favorite actor/actress: Jack Nicholson
Favorite music/group: The Offspring
Favorite vacation/activity spot: El Salvador
Favorite food: Pizza
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? Spend time with my family and teach my son the basics…like walking
What are your goals outside of karting? To be a good dad and husband
What type of street car do you drive? Ford F150
What type of street car would you like to drive? Porsche GT3
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? Re-using lock nuts over and over again until things start falling off the kart. They are 10¢, throw them away!
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Minimize the cost of karting to increase participation.
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? I love how easy it is to toss the kart in the back of my truck and go to the track to run some laps.
June Driver of the Month - Honorable Mention:
- Anthony Honeywell: IKF Road Race Grand Nationals/KART Road Race Nationals - 4 Duffy wins/3 Triad wins
- Brad Dunford: SKUSA ProKart Challenge South - S1 victory (third win of season)
- Courtney Atkinson: WKA National Road Racing Series - 3 wins (PP Can Sprint 360 1&2, Yamaha Sportsman Medium)
- Mike Stroik: WKA National Road Racing Series - 3 wins (Animal Limited Mod 360, 380, Animal Sprint 335)
- Andy Kiker: WKA National Road Racing Series - 2 wins (Unlimited - fast lap of 1:25.826)