TEAM ALUMINOS MAKES PODIUM AT PROKART CHALLENGE NORTH OPENER Three drivers under Aluminos tent visit podium at Infineon event SONOMA, CA (March 14, 2009) -- For Team Aluminos, the Infineon Raceway Jim Russell International Karting Center in ...
TEAM ALUMINOS MAKES PODIUM AT PROKART CHALLENGE NORTH OPENER
Three drivers under Aluminos tent visit podium at Infineon event
SONOMA, CA (March 14, 2009) -- For Team Aluminos, the Infineon Raceway Jim Russell International Karting Center in Sonoma, California provides the perfect back drop for their full service arrive and drive race team. Heading into the ProKart Challenge North 2009 season opener, Team Aluminos was looking forward to helping their racers build and improve on their 2008 successes, as well as current 2009 accomplishments. Led by team manager Rob Sores, driving coach/tuner Tom Dyer, engine specialist George Tavaras and help from top shifter kart driver Fritz Leesmann, Aluminos began its quest for championships in '09 with six drivers flying Aluminos colors at the event, three of which earned pole positions and trips to the podium ceremonies.
Earning the award for furthest traveled, New Zealander Daniel Bray returned to the States to contend the opening round at Infineon for Team Aluminos. The runner-up at the SKUSA SuperNationals in November, Bray set the tone for the weekend in the S1 division as he posted the fastest lap of the Qualifying session (47.426) by more than three-tenths. A bad start to begin the opening heat race put Bray back to second spot where he would finish. Starting on the outside of row one, Bray got the hole shot in Heat two to lead the early portion of the race. A couple of jostles for position and Bray would settle for second to start the feature from outside row one. After getting a great start, Bray was leading heading into the tic-tack-toe section of the course when he misjudged the entry and spun off course. Bray dug deep and recovered to finish third to visit the podium once again with Aluminos Arrive and Drive program.
New to the Aluminos program in 2009 is Fernando Diaz, who made the journey up from Southern California. Competing in the G1 category, Diaz gave Aluminos its second pole position of the event with his 48.560 lap time, besting the defending series champion. What was more impressive was that this was Diaz's first visit to the Infineon kart track. The opening heat would not go in Diaz's favor as he would get shuffled back after the opening lap but recovered to finish the race third. In Heat two, Diaz would not put forth a solid opening lap and fell one position. After regaining the spot back the following lap, Diaz began battling for the second spot. Unable to keep the position, Diaz ended in third to start inside row two for the feature. Running with the S1 group, the first lap incident mixed up the G1 field as well as Diaz found himself second when they crossed the stripe for the first time. As the race settled in, he found himself in a three-way battle for the class lead. After running third for the first portion of the main event, Diaz put his machine into the second position during the latter half and would see the checkered flag in that position. The effort was a solid performance for Diaz who had not raced in over four months.
The third podium finish earned by the Aluminos squad was Peter Workum in S4, whom like Diaz was also making his first appearance at the Infineon kart track. Already a feature winner in the PKC South program, Workum looked to kick off the North series with the same result. A disappointing fourth in Qualifying led to the same finish in Heat one as the Aluminos squad continued to adjust Workum's ride to compete for the win. The changes got Workum on the right track as he put in a second place run in Heat two to start outside the front row. During the feature however it would not be enough as Workum settled for the third position.
The highly-contested S3 division saw two drivers represent Team Aluminos with Brad Dunford and Steven Reasoner competing. Reasoner picked up where he left off at the 2008 SKUSA SuperNationals, running up front and snared the pole position with lap of 48.194 to edge Rolex Grand-Am driver Memo Gidley. The heat races proved to be a little more challenging as a couple racing bobbles led to third and fifth place finishes in the two heats. After some debriefing, the Aluminos squad made the necessary changes to get Reasoner back toward the front, finishing a strong fourth in the feature. Dunford, competing in his second year in the S3 category, showed good pace all day and battled hard to break into the top-five, but ended the day in sixth. Aluminos newcomer Paul Blickman made his first PKC start and spent the day gaining valuable experience in the S4 division, improving each session he hit the track.
Team Aluminos will now gear up for a journey south again for round three of the ProKart Challenge South program, set for March 28 at the Grange Motor Circuit in Apple Valley, California.