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While most people visit Key West for vacation, there was no time for relaxing this weekend in Islamorada. Chris MacCluage (Broward Motorsports/Dean's Team/Worx Racing Components/Monster Energy) entered the weekend with a lead in the points race over Eric Francis and Brian Baldwin, but the title belt is still up for grabs for anyone to capture at the midway point through the season.
MacClugage began the season defending his 2016 title with a clean sweep in Daytona Beach, which propelled him to the #1 spot in P1 AquaX's world rankings. He was able to follow up with another overall victory in the second round all while battling illness in St. Pete Beach. After winning a moto in Sarasota, Macc was sitting with a comfortable lead. The man considered as the GOAT didn't get there by being comfortable with a lead though.
Hungry as ever, the Macc Attack came out swinging and didn't let up until the last checkered flag on Sunday. Moto one, moto two, and moto three all went to the defending champ to help extend the points lead to 70. For comparison, the gap that separates 2nd place to 6th place overall on the tour's standings is 64.
One of the strongest showings of the weekend came from someone who just missed out on the podium, but is charging up the standings faster than anyone after a slow start to the season. Mike Klippenstein consistently improved every moto in Islamorada, putting on a show in the final race of the weekend by passing his teammate Chris MacCluage for a bit, before Chris regained the lead. Klipper finished 3rd for the race, and placed 4th overall.
The most encouraging part was that this was Klipper's first race on the new GP1800 platform in the AquaX series, after spending several years on the FX model. The multi-time world champion seems to be figuring it out and is looking to put a late season charge on towards a podium finish for the 2017 season.
In the 300 Amateur class, it was another Broward Motorsports/Dean's Team racer on a Yamaha taking the overall as Cody Tetreault extended his points lead for the series. He remains in a close battle with Carlito Del Valle of CRT Racing, who's improving every race after crossing over from the drag racing world to endurance racing. David Gorie was again consistently at the front of the back also and took home 3rd overall.
Jennifer Nolan had her best weekend of the year, sweeping all three motos of the 200 Amateur class. Nolan continues to climb the standings after missing the first race of the season, and is putting herself in position to compete for the title.
With the season rounding past the halfway point, there's no letting off from here on out with the next P1 AquaX round is just a couple weeks away. The tour returns to Chicago, Illinois on September 9th and 10th. The Windy City brought some of the best moments of the 2016 season and with close point battles throughout the standings, it's shaping up to repeat.
For more information on P1 AquaX Endurance racing, visit them at www.p1aquax.com.