MENEZES SCORES PODIUM FINISH AT SUPERNATIONALS Former two-time SuperNationals winner returns to run in new Junior shifter division LAS VEGAS, NV - (November 23, 2007) - One of the nation's top Junior drivers - Gustavo Menezes - competed ...
MENEZES SCORES PODIUM FINISH AT SUPERNATIONALS
Former two-time SuperNationals winner returns to run in new Junior shifter division
LAS VEGAS, NV - (November 23, 2007) - One of the nation's top Junior drivers - Gustavo Menezes - competed alongside the best karters from around the world this past weekend at the 11th running of the MG Tires SKUSA SuperNationals Presented By Mazda, the sport's most prestigious event. Menezes, a two-time winner at the SuperNationals in the Novice Shifter division, returned to the seat of a shifter kart this fall to compete in the newly developed S5 Jr. class, one which put a SwedeTech-built restricted 125cc stock Honda engine package aboard his Tony Kart. After a slow start to the weekend following trouble in qualifying, the 13-year old battled to an impressive third place finish on SuperSunday.
Getting only three morning practice sessions in Thursday before they qualified, the drivers had very little time to get accustomed to the new package and the technical temporary circuit, which was set-up outside Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Menezes would qualify ninth, 1.5 seconds off the top pace, after getting just five laps in at the end of the session when they had trouble with the drive gear on the engine. The next day, in the first heat, Gustavo fell back to 12th in the opening lap but battled back in the nine -lap race to finish eighth.
With daylight running out on Friday, the second heat race was moved to the first race to be run on Saturday morning. The morning practice session proved to be a plus for Menezes in heat two, as he improved to sixth from his ninth starting spot, dropping nearly a second off his previous fast lap. Later in the day, Menezes continued to lower his lap times in the third and final heat, as did the rest of the field, advancing just one spot to eighth. With his finishes, the Tony Kart driver would start the main event from the sixth spot.
Menezes would hold his grid position in the opening lap of the S5 Jr. main event on SuperSunday, that is until two of the frontrunners made contact. Capitalizing on their misfortune, Gustavo advanced to the third position, where he would stay for the remainder of the 25-lap race to score the podium finish and running the second fastest lap of the race. Over the final circuits, Menezes closed quickly on the second place driver, but came up just a few laps short while suffering through damaged front-end alignment.