ALUMINOS POSTS SOLID RESULTS AT PKC WEST COAST SHOOTOUT Smith and Diaz score victories for Aluminos in Santa Maria SANTA MARIA, CA (August 25, 2010) - Coming off a successful trip to the SKUSA SummerNationals in Wisconsin, the Aluminos ...
ALUMINOS POSTS SOLID RESULTS AT PKC WEST COAST SHOOTOUT
Smith and Diaz score victories for Aluminos in Santa Maria
SANTA MARIA, CA (August 25, 2010) - Coming off a successful trip to the SKUSA SummerNationals in Wisconsin, the Aluminos operation returned home in California and set its sights on claiming titles at the ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout. The second annual event brought together the two California-based regional programs as a North versus South battle-royal at the Santa Maria Karting Association facility. The team would go home carrying hardware once again as Jeff Smith (S4) and Fernando Diaz (G1) claim victory while Fritz Leesmann stood on the podium in the headline S1 category.
The Aluminos S4 Master Stock Moto contingent has been consistently fast throughout the season with four drivers carrying the colors in Santa Maria in a stacked field of 22 total drivers. Qualifying did not quite go as expected with clear track virtually unobtainable. Jonathan Allen led the way for the squad as his fastest lap put him eighth. Peter Workum, Phil Dunford and Smith were 11th thru 13th respectively. In the opening heat race, Workum retired following an incident which also slowed the pace of Allen in the first lap. Smith however was able to knife his way through unscathed, placing sixth in the end. Dunford followed through, placing ninth. Smith continued forward, gaining two more spots in the second moto while Dunford advanced to sixth in order. Both Allen and Workum recovered lost positions, placing 12th and 13th to line up for the main event.
It only took Smith four laps before he found himself in a familiar role, at the front of the field. Leading the remaining laps of the 15-lap event, Smith took home his fifth regional victory of the season and seventh straight to remain undefeated. The win also clinched the PKC North championship
"I am truly excited with my performance here this weekend," said Smith following the event. "We were able to overcome the qualifying issues and kept the kart clean all the way to the front through the heat races. I can't thank Rob and the Aluminos squad enough, along with Tom Dyer, Fritz Leesmann, engine guru George Tavares and the rest of the crew. This season has been phenomenal thus far and we hope to add more success in the following months."
Dunford held his ground in sixth until Allen was able to work his way up to and around for position. Workum completed his drive from the back to end up 10th, putting all four of the Aluminos drivers inside the top-10.
"Our S4 drivers have done an outstanding job this season," commented Rob Soares, owner of Aluminos. "Working with our Aluminos support program, including our solid group of driver coaches and chassis tuning knowledge along with the in-house Stock Moto power packages, we provide the very best to all our customers. Putting all four of our drivers in the top-10 certainly shows our talents."
Win number two on the weekend came from Diaz, who continues to shine in the G1 category. Diaz earned top honors in qualifying with a lap of 47.564 to secure the position by nearly two-tenths. Diaz piloted his Aluminos-entry to the heat wins, the first by 2.5-seconds and the other eight-lap sprint by 1.3-seconds. After an early challenge that put Diaz back to the second spot in the beginning of the 15-lap main event, Diaz resumed his position at the front and stretched out to a 4.4-second victory - showing the speed and the reliability of Aluminos G1 package. Coming off his SKUSA SummerNationals podium, Colorado driver David Conyers was a consistent top-10 driver on the weekend until capitalizing in the main event to come home in the fifth position.
"Diaz has been extremely fast this season. Leading the SKUSA Pro Tour standings heading into Vegas, we hope to claim the season title with a victory at the SuperNationals. We have also been happy with the progression of Conyers each weekend he races with us. He's a great addition to the Aluminos family." stated Soares.
Driver coach and team driver Fritz Leesmann strapped on the helmet once again to do battle in the headline S1 Pro Stock Moto division. Leesmann was among the quickest in qualifying, coming up 43-thousandths short of the pole position to settle for second. Grabbing the holeshot in heat one, Leesmann scored the win. With another great start, Leesmann led the second heat until coming to white flag when he was overtaken by the pole-sitter, placing runner-up at the checkered. The two drivers went toe-to-toe in the feature with Leesmann taking the advantage in the first half. During the second half of the 15-lap run, Leesmann was unable to match the pace of his rival and went on to score the second place finish. The event was a major step forward in the PKC North championship standings as Leesmann extended his lead heading into the finale.
Fellow S1 driver Brad Dunford put in one of his best performances of the season against the top talent on hand in Santa Maria. Battling for the PKC South title with the event as the series final round, Dunford stepped up to the plate with the help of the Aluminos crew. Dunford would qualify third, just a tick off Leesmann's fast time in the session. After getting shuffled back to fifth in the first moto, Dunford gained one spot back in the second to start fourth in the main event. Advancing to third in the early stages of the race, Dunford ran on the bumper of the top two drivers for the majority. On lap 12, Dunford attempted a pass on Leesmann for second and the result put Dunford in a spin. He would continue on, falling back to eighth in the order where he would cross the line.
"Leesmann is a great piece of our group here at Aluminos, both as a driver and a driving coach/tuner. We are looking forward to closing out the season with him on top," continued Soares. "It's a tough end to the event for Dunford, who continues to grow each weekend as he continues to consistently run up front and challenged for the series championship all year."
The weekend did not end well for Workum - running double duty - and Todd Wilson - the team's S3 Novice Stock Moto driver. Workum competed in the TaG Masters category, looking to chase down a championship in the PKC North program. He was in contention for the win throughout the day until he dropped a wheel off the track and bent his rear drive sprocket lap two of the feature. Wilson was fighting to stand on the podium, running in the second position in the S3 main event until he was involved in an incident with a S5 Junior driver that was competing on track at the same time. Both will look to bounce back in their next outing.
-source: team aluminos