TEAM ALUMINOS VICTORIOUS AGAIN IN APPLE VALLEY FOR PROKART CHALLENGE Aluminos owner Soares and G1 driver Diaz dominate as squad continues win streak APPLE VALLEY, CA (March 27, 2010) - Team Aluminos continues to march on as the third...
TEAM ALUMINOS VICTORIOUS AGAIN IN APPLE VALLEY FOR PROKART CHALLENGE
Aluminos owner Soares and G1 driver Diaz dominate as squad continues win streak
APPLE VALLEY, CA (March 27, 2010) - Team Aluminos continues to march on as the third month of the season draws to a close. For a fifth straight event, Team Aluminos leaves the race track with victory in hand, this time doubling up at the ProKart Challenge South event at Grange Motor Circuit in Apple Valley, California. Aluminos manager Rob Soares strapped on the helmet for the first time in 2010 and dominated the TaG Masters category while G1 driver Fernando Diaz returned to the team for a sweep in his division. S1 pilot Brad Dunford kept his name in the title chase with his second podium on the year in the headline division.
Diaz missed the second round of the PKC South program but showed little weakness in his return aboard an Aluminos prepared entry. A lap of 52.680 was best in the qualifying session and put him on the pole position for the opening heat race. Nearly leading all the laps, Diaz ran to a 1.703-second victory in the opening stint. Heat 2 saw Diaz trailing early on as the off-pole man jumped the start and held the early lead. After some exchanges for the lead, Diaz crossed the line second but was awarded the win following the official's penalty on his competitor. The 20-lap feature would then be a great showdown between the two. Running second for the first half of the race, Diaz stepped up his game. After the two exchanged the lead, Diaz confirmed the position as the white flag flew. Holding off the final lap charges of the current defending champion, Diaz got to the line 0.209-seconds ahead to score his second victory of the season.
For Soares' return, it was like riding a bike. The 2008 PKC North TaG Masters champion returned behind the wheel thanks to the help of Aluminos driver Larry Fraser. Race day started as Soares posted a scorching lap of 56.150 during the qualifying session to scoring the top honor by over half a second. Never backing off, Soares recorded runaway wins in both heat races. Continuing that trend in the final, Soares continued to knock off the fast laps of the race to claim his first victory of 2010 by over thirteen seconds.
Dunford continues to make strides each weekend out and taking on the challenging Grange circuit went well for the young SoCal driver. In qualifying, Dunford was just a tick off the fast lap of the session to sit third in the order. Getting a great jump at the drop of the green, Dunford ran second for most of the first heat until losing the spot on the white flag lap. Dunford would have to watch the second heat from the sidelines as he retired following contact on the opening lap. The DNF put Dunford at the back of the field for the main event. Getting off the line clean and avoiding any trouble, Dunford was up to third the first time across the stripe. Keeping pace with the leader and the point leader, Dunford put in a solid performance to score the third position and his second podium on the year. The results on the day keep Dunford well into the point chase with three races to go.
One of the most popular and challenging categories in the ProKart Challenge South program is the S4 category. The Aluminos squad has found success there in the last few years and continues to provide drivers with the right equipment to run up front. Phil Dunford continues to impress each time on the track and did just that by recording the second fastest lap in qualifying. Jonathon Allen also made one of his best qualifying efforts to sit seventh while former class winner Peter Workum struggled back in ninth. Dunford was a solid third in the opening heat until getting shuffled back to sixth in the final circuit. Workum was one driver able to get by as he charged up to fifth while Allen fell to ninth in the order. Contact would eliminate two of the Aluminos drivers in the opening lap of Heat 2 as both Dunford and Allen would be involved. Workum would continue on, falling back early on and finishing seventh. Both Workum and Dunford teamed up to move forward in the 20-lap feature event. Running sixth and seventh, Workum tried to gain one more position however contact was made. The result put Workum off track and at the back of the field while Dunford capitalized to move up fifth. Dunford held on to record his second straight top-five finish. Workum eventually finishing 11th, while Allen got hit in the rear and spun off on the opening lap forcing a come from behind run in 10th.
Aluminos newcomer Todd Wilson contested his second race with the squad in the S3 Stock Moto Novice category. Learning more each weekend working with the Aluminos driver coaches and technical staff, Wilson is adapting to the sport quickly. Wilson finished fifth on the day in class, taking the checkered flag in each session with no issues.
"Leaving the race track with wins is always great," stated Aluminos' manager Rob Soares. "I'm happy to win in my race but more happy for Fernando to score his second win and Brad with another podium. Our S4 drivers once again showed they have the speed, we just ran into some tough racing luck. As we keep winning, we position ourselves into the points chase in different categories, which illustrates our abilities here at Aluminos."
The Team Aluminos squad will now focus their attention on another conquest, the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour. The debut event is set for Infineon Raceway on April 16-18.