UMI's King of the Mountain 2023
UMI’s King of the Mountain 5.0, presented by Airflow Research, maintained its title as the biggest, most exciting night in autocross. 123 drivers from 28 states (and Canada) descended on UMI Motorsports Park for two days of intense qualifying, followed by the Turn One 48-car shootout under the lights. Fans lined the hillside, filled the grandstands and tuned-in online to watch the action unfold.
Another aspect that adds to the competitive nature of KOTM is the $25,000 purse. With the top eight Shootout racers winning their portion of the prize and the overall winner or the King taking home $15,000!!
Class Break Down
Friday was the first day of qualifying rounds. Each class got a total of 7 runs throughout the day. UMI’s course designer, Roger Irvine, gave racers a preview of the shootout course by incorporating elements into Friday’s course. As always with UMIMP hosted events, Friday concluded with a community party at the Finish Line Pavillion presented by A+ Powder Coaters. Attendees gathered for cheese steaks, lawn games and live music. Racers also brought items to auction off at this year’s charity auction benefiting the Emily Whitehead Foundation and Spina Bifida Foundation.
Saturday’s qualifying rounds met drivers with a different course and different challenges. Once again, Roger threw in a few elements from the upcoming big showdown’s course just to give drivers another chance to work on their rhythm.
KOTM 5.0 Fastest Qualifiers:
Each class competes in an F1 knockout style bracket (12-6-2-1). With the winner of each bracket (dubbed the class king) moving on to the championship rounds to compete for $15,000 purse and the title of King on the Mountain!
The shootout started with a bang and quickly, 12 racers in each class got whittled down to 6. Round 1 was over and round 2 had started. Bangshift Chad Reynolds and UMI’s Ramey Womer were on the mic to keep both the live and online audience updated.
If you missed the shootout and want to rewatch it we have the whole livestream on UMI’s YouTube channel, UMI TV. Watch the action as it happens with never seen before, live chase drone footage.
The Super Late Class, presented by Trackspec Motorsports, featured some of the fastest cars in the competition, including the Evo of KOTM 4.0’s King, Shawn Krebsbach. Aaron Shoe and Josh Luster behind the wheel of their Evos had some major speed but also had an unhealthy attraction to cones. Brian Peters laid down an amazing time in Rounds 1and 2 but tapped a cone with the splitter to end his night. In the end, it was Eric Peachey’s Viper against the boosted four-banger of Krebsbach, with Krebsbach taking the win and the title of Class King.
The night came to a close with the championship rounds. Our class kings, Jared Leisinger, Chris Wheatcraft, Shawn Krebsbach and Sam Strano, were prepared to battle to become 2023’s King of the Mountain!
Each of the class competitors got three runs and their times were added to create an overall time. Of course, the fastest overall combined score would give us the King. Wheatcraft and Leisinger put on a heck of a show for the 3-4 spot with just 0.202 seconds total combined time separating them.
KOTM 4.0 King, Shawn Krebsbach, found himself in a familiar situation leading the pack for most of the event. Sam Strano stayed close behind him with a fraction of a second time difference at times. This meant Krebsbach had to go push his limits as far as he could, in hopes of remaining the reigning king! In round 1 of the championship rounds, Shawn Krebsbach managed to set a track record with a 53.923, the fastest time KOTM’s Shootout course has ever been run!
In the final run of the night, Krebsbach picked up two cones on hot tires. When the tire smoke cleared, Sam Strano was crowned UMI’s 2023 King of the Mountain with a combined time of 164.431 seconds!
Great Job Sam Strano!