G-Phactory fights it out in Sonoma and Shawano September 17, 2008 (Huntington Beach, Calif.) -- It was an exciting weekend for Southern-California based G-Phactory, with its drivers competing at both the Rotax Grand Nationals presented by Mazda,...
G-Phactory fights it out in Sonoma and Shawano
September 17, 2008 (Huntington Beach, Calif.) -- It was an exciting weekend for Southern-California based G-Phactory, with its drivers competing at both the Rotax Grand Nationals presented by Mazda, held at USA International Raceway in Shawano, Wisconsin, as well as the ProKart Challenge's NorCal season finale at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
In Shawano, Michael Self was the lone G-Phactory representative, but was picked as one of the race's favorites given his impressive race in the 2007 Grand Nationals. And he was right on form from the beginning, as one of the fastest in practice before throwing down a lap good enough for second in qualifying. He spun in his first heat, but rebounded with a pair of wins to begin the pre-main in third position.
Self picked up a spot at the start of the pre-main, before falling steadily backwards in the changing conditions, eventually finishing 12th. And that put him precisely in the middle of a large crash at the start of the main, which bent the axle on his kart and dropped him to last of the running karts. Self drove his Sodi kart back through the field to finish in eleventh -- an undeserved result after showing such speed throughout the entire week.
In Sonoma, Adam and Andrick Zeen were joined on track by their driver coach and former Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Phil Giebler. Giebler was looking to gain more data on the team's current kart and chassis package to prepare for the final races of this year, as well as the beginning of 2009.
It was a hard fought class, including the likes of Alex Speed and Jason Toft. Giebler would fight from his 10th qualifying position to fifth in the first heat and first in the second. However, incidental contact between Toft and Giebler meant he would have to start the final in fifth, right ahead of Andrick and Adam, who would start sixth and seventh. In the main, Giebler moved up to third but did not have time to run down the duo of Speed and Toft, while Adam fell back at the start but charged back through the field to finish sixth. Andrick had a minor mechanical issue to end up in eight.
"I was racing hard and wanted to win, but there was nothing intentional about the contact on the final lap of the heat," said Giebler. "I just didn't expect Jason was going to slow down that much when Alex passed him.
"We've really had to change our approach as the Rok TT has been given restrictions and weight penalties. But, as Michael proved at the Rotax Grand Nationals -- on a completely different engine and tire -- we are able to adapt the Sodi to a variety of conditions. I learned a lot about our package, and I think it's going to be very beneficial in the upcoming races in Las Vegas."