TEAM ALUMINOS WRAPS UP A BUSY TWO-WEEK SCHEDULE WITH PROKART CHALLENGE Dunford and Smith earn podium results for Aluminos in San Diego SAN DIEGO, CA (April 25, 2009) -- It was a busy two weeks for the Team Aluminos squad as they contested two ...
TEAM ALUMINOS WRAPS UP A BUSY TWO-WEEK SCHEDULE WITH PROKART CHALLENGE
Dunford and Smith earn podium results for Aluminos in San Diego
SAN DIEGO, CA (April 25, 2009) -- It was a busy two weeks for the Team Aluminos squad as they contested two events roughly 500 miles apart on two different types of courses. Following a strong showing at the second round of the ProKart Challenge North event in Sonoma, California, the team loaded up to head down San Diego for the fourth event of the '09 ProKart Challenge South program. A 1-mile temporary circuit situated outside the Qualcomm Stadium would be the site for the April 25 event with eight drivers sporting the Team Aluminos colors. Second year S3 driver Brad Dunford earned his first podium trip of the season with his third place run, while Jeff Smith earned his third straight runner-up finish in the S4 category.
Under the watchful eyes of the Aluminos staff over the last two years, Dunford has continued to make strides in his driving, race craft and understanding about chassis tuning. The Cypress, California driver qualified fifth in the lining up behind his fellow championship contenders. Dunford would gain one spot in the opening heat and two more following a great start for the final heat to line up second for the feature. After another great start to begin the 20-lap feature, Dunford engaged in a race long battle for the podium that resulted in a third place finish, gaining some valuable championship points.
The event began slowly for Smith as he was only seventh after the S4 qualifying session. Once the racing action began however, Smith's pace picked up as he hauled himself up to fourth in the first heat and then gained one more spot in the second heat race. In the feature, Smith had his hands full, holding off another competitor for the second spot. After 20 laps, Smith would come out on top with a last lap final corner pass to seal the runner-up spot on the podium and continue to hold the championship lead.
Joining Smith in S4 was Peter Workum and Jonathan Allen, both driving to top-five finishes on the day. Workum edged Allen in qualifying to line up fifth in the order and would hold that spot in the opening heat while Allen fell one position. Workum advanced up to fourth in the final heat while Allen stayed static in seventh. The feature however Allen picked up the pace and the Carmel Valley, California driver advanced up to finish fourth. Workum's race would be marred by a spin at the start. He restarted and charged back making it back up to fifth after 20 laps.
Following his first podium finish last weekend at Infineon, Steve Reasoner experienced a tough turn-around in the early stages of the Qualcomm event in S3. After qualifying seventh, the Ripon, California driver was unable to start the first heat with mechanical issues. Once resolved by the Aluminos staff, Reasoner came up from the tail of the field to regain the seventh spot. In the feature Reasoner gained two more positions to finish fifth in his first PKC South event.
16-year old Harley Owen continues to make improvements each event. After sitting 10th in the S3 order, the Phoenix, Arizona pilot advanced to eighth at the end of the feature race. Owen currently sits seventh in the championship.
It was an up and down weekend for the G1 Aluminos contingent in San Diego. Fernando Diaz and Blair Chang were both making their 2009 PKC South debut, sitting third and sixth on the timing sheets following qualifying. Chang retired in the opening heat as Diaz finished fourth. The two swapped stories in the final heat as Diaz watched from the sidelines as Chang charged up to third. Both however, would DNF the main event after experiencing issues. Chang retired due to a bent steering shaft and tie rods after clipping a tire barrier attempting to get every inch out of the apex, while Diaz pulled off prematurely with an undisclosed problem.
The Team Aluminos squad will now have three weeks to prepare for the mega event of the PKC schedule, the West Coast Shootout with both the North and South programs competing at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park kart track on May 16. The full Aluminos crew will be on hand to ensure the best results will be achieved at the marquee event.