WKA: IRL SoK: PSL Karting Team New Castle summary

LEESMANN AND SCHREIBER RUN TOP-FIVE FOR PSL AT RACE OF THE AMERICAS Canadian team has up-and-down weekend at the prestigious East vs. West event in Indy NEW CASTLE, IN (June 1, 2008) -- The Montreal-based PSL Karting team escaped a long and...

LEESMANN AND SCHREIBER RUN TOP-FIVE FOR PSL AT RACE OF THE AMERICAS
Canadian team has up-and-down weekend at the prestigious East vs. West event in Indy

NEW CASTLE, IN (June 1, 2008) -- The Montreal-based PSL Karting team escaped a long and difficult event in the United States this past weekend at the 'Mazda Race of the Americas', the annual shootout hosted by the Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by IndyCar Series. New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Indiana was the site for the 'East vs. West' match-up over the May 30-June 1 weekend, where the Eastern and Western divisions of the series clashed on their way to the finals in October. Following a full day of practice on Friday, a handful of the PSL staff that were still under the team tent preparing for the following day's action survived through a severe thunderstorm that rolled across the area in the late evening, one that saw many other team tents unable withstand the heavy winds and rain. Fortunately for the Canadian team, no one was hurt and they suffered only minor damage tent damage. On-track, the team fought changing conditions and fierce competition as well, coming out with mixture results.

Six drivers flew the PSL colors in the headline ICC division, led by veteran Josh Schreiber and Florida Winter Tour champion Fritz Leesmann. Schreiber was on his game all weekend, running with the lead group in every session. Following a fifth in qualifying, the Pennsylvania native kept that pace through the three heat races to start fifth in the two finals. He would hold that spot throughout the first 18-lap final with the leaders just in front of him, still within striking distance. Looking to improve in the second final, Schreiber's race was cut short after he made a bold yet unsuccessful pass attempt into turn four on the second lap that left him with a 28th place finish.

Leesmann's weekend journey did not start out so well. Trying a new setup for the weekend, Leesmann was 19th following the qualifying session, not what was expected. Working up through the heat races from the middle of the field, he was classified 15th following the qualifying motos, leaving him lots of work to do in the mains. Continuing to improve on his set-up, Leesmann advanced four spots in Final 1 for an 11th place finish, however, he would save the best for last, capping the weekend on a high note. During the final 18 laps of the weekend, Leesmann put down a strong set of early laps to break into the top-10 early. At the halfway mark, the Kohilo Racing-supported pilot was fourth, the position he would hold to the checkered flag. Considering his start, leaving New Castle with a solid top-five was a positive result.

As a last-minute addition to the PSL line-up, ICC rookie Jacob Neal returned to the PSL tent for the first time since running the Florida Winter Tour. The PCH Motorsports-supported pilot adjusted well to his first visit to the NCMP facility aboard a shifter kart, inching close to the top-10 early on. One bad heat race unfortunately put Neal back to 18th on the starting grid for the feature events. Showing great composure, Neal worked himself to an eighth place run in the first final. The second would not fair as well, as contact put Neal to the tail of the field. As he began working himself back through the pack when he connected with another driver, this time ending his race for good on the side of turn two.

New to the PSL driver roster, Jess Peterson performed well, earning a top-10 in the final race of the weekend. After placing in the top-20 in qualifying, Peterson advanced in each heat race, including a ninth in heat three. His results put him 12th on the grid for the finals, however, his first race would came to an end early with a 25th place classification. The Californian would bounce back to battle for 18 laps against roughly six others drivers for a position in the second half of top-10. When the checkered fell, Peterson was eighth at the line, completing a strong debut for the team.

Rounding out the PSL ICC contingent were Canadian Tom Cadieux and Florida's Corey Rossman. Cadieux crept up to the top-10 but was never able to break through in the finals, recording finishes of 14th and 21st. Rossman struggled through most of the weekend, placing 26th in the first feature, but recorded his best finish in the final race of the weekend with a 17th.

Tommy Beshro and Jordan Jadallah ran in the JICA division for PSL Karting squad. Both looked to have a solid weekend on the horizon after qualifying 14th and 17th, respectively. Beshro turned that grid spot into a 12th and sixth in his pair of heat races to start the feature races from the seventh spot. Jadallah went downhill from there, placing 17th and 23rd in the qualifying motos as was forced to run the Last Chance Qualifier, where the Kohilo Racing-supported pilot placed fourth to transfer on to the main events. In Final 1, Beshro was shuffled back at the start but continued to press his way forward, placing 16th in the final tally, while Jadallah retired four laps into the race with mechanical issues. Beshro fought even harder in Final 2, hoping to finish the weekend with a top-10. It was not meant to be, however, as he would come two laps short of the finish line. Jadallah made the best of starting at the tail of the field and advanced his way from 36th to 18th at the checkered flag.

Federico Moreno made his Stars of Karting debut with PSL Karting in the TaG division, the team's lone entry in the competitive category. Unfortunately, Moreno was 42nd on the time sheet qualifying on the dirty track. Muscling to 21st and 16th place runs in his heat races, he was classified 30th for the feature events. He improved to a 24th in the first final, but was hampered with a stuck throttle at the beginning of the second final gave everyone a scare as he went hard into the final turn barriers, clipping a corner worker in the process. Fortunately, everyone was OK, although Moreno's weekend was done.

The PSL Karting squad will head back to Montreal to prepare for the Stars of Karting Eastern Division finale, set for July 11-13 at the USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI before heading to the final Western Division round in Seattle at the end of August.

-credit: www.pslkarting.com

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