PHIL DE LA O CLAIMS VICTORIES AT ROCK ISLAND GRAND PRIX "Arizona pilot improves in every on track session to stand atop the podium" Phoenix, Arizona -- September 7, 2010 -- In his first trip to the most famed street race in the world,...
PHIL DE LA O CLAIMS VICTORIES AT ROCK ISLAND GRAND PRIX
"Arizona pilot improves in every on track session to stand atop the podium"
Phoenix, Arizona -- September 7, 2010 -- In his first trip to the most famed street race in the world, Phoenix, Arizona driver Phil De La O stood atop the podium in two different classes at the Rock Island Grand Prix (RIGP). Competing in his Team Top Kart USA ride, De La O improved with each and every on track session to score three top ten results including two victories in some of the toughest classes of competition.
"This is my first trip to the Rock Island Grand Prix," expressed Phil De La O on Friday afternoon before the event had started. "I have seen videos from the event in the past and now that I am here, have a better understanding to why it is so tough. The track looks extremely fast and bumpy as well as the competition is second to none. I am looking forward to a great weekend of action."
De La O would see battle in three separate divisions as he would contest in the TaG Senior category as well as the Championship Karting International (CKI) sponsored Leopard Senior and Rotax Senior classes. Utilizing the same chassis and engine combination for Leopard and TaG Senior, De La O would contest in the three different classes using two different Top Kart chassis fixed with two different powerplants.
Saturday would see De La O hit the track on nine occasions as each class would be given two practice sessions before qualifying Saturday afternoon. In the first session De La O would look to get used to the track and find his braking and turn-in markers as a slick racing surface provided very little information on how the kart would need to be setup later in the day. The second sessions were much faster than the first as De La O worked with his tuner to make the necessary changes to challenge for the pole later that day.
Qualifying went fairly well for the soon to be motorsports star as a 15th position was recorded in TaG Senior before scoring solid third and second place results in CKI Rotax Senior and CKI Leopard Senior respectively.
Using Saturday evening to prepare their equipment for wheel-to-wheel racing action, De La O and his Top Kart crew went to work on fine tuning for the racing action. With a bumpy racing surface and unforgiving barriers, De La O was about to experience what street racing was all about.
"I have a new respect for the winners of this event and the people that have done so well here in the past," added De La O. "The first sessions are very slippery and it is hard to get a good read on what the kart is doing. By the time you hit the second session, the track has totally changed and it gets faster with each lap. With the bumpiness and the blind corners, a driver must have faith in themselves and their kart."
De La O would start off in TaG Senior where he put on an incredible show utilizing a P1 Engines prepared Parilla Leopard motor. Driving through the field and setting some of the fastest race laps, De La O was on a charge towards the front. Prepping himself for his other events later in the day, De La O steered his Top Kart to a very respectable seventh place result and was the highest classified Leopard in the field.
The next two events would be something special for the American driver as he proved why he is one of the highest ranked drivers in the country. After qualifying third in Rotax Senior, De La O quickly moved to the front of the field on lap four and never looked back. Working with Ariel Castro and AM Engines, De La O went on to take a four second victory as he pulled away from the field with fast and consistent race laps.
De La O was not done there. Utilizing his experience gained in TaG Senior earlier in the day, De La O would move forward from his second starting position early in Leopard Senior. Looking to claim two victories on his first trip to the Quad Cities, De La O drew away from the spec engine field to take another win by almost two seconds.
De La O continued after the weekend was complete, "It truly has been a great event. I knew I would be competitive but to come here and win against drivers that have years of experience here is awesome. I would like to thank my tuner Ariel Castro and AM Engines for the power in Rotax Senior. The TaG classes would not have been possible if it wasn't for Jesus Vasquez of P1 Engines and the Miinch family. Thank you for all your support."