TEAM ALUMINOS HAS CHALLENGING WEEKEND AT SECOND PROKART SOUTH ROUND Chang and Elliott put Aluminos colors on the podium at Buttonwillow BUTTONWILLOW, CA (April 26, 2008) - The podium steps have been a familiar fixture for the Team Aluminos...
TEAM ALUMINOS HAS CHALLENGING WEEKEND AT SECOND PROKART SOUTH ROUND
Chang and Elliott put Aluminos colors on the podium at Buttonwillow
BUTTONWILLOW, CA (April 26, 2008) - The podium steps have been a familiar fixture for the Team Aluminos kart racing team throughout the first four months of the 2008 season. Beginning with success in the Superkarts! USA WinterNational Championship Series and now continuing in the ProKart Challenge North and South programs, Aluminos GP karts have been found in the lead pack each and every weekend. This trend continued at Buttonwillow Raceway Park for the second round of the SKUSA ProKart Challenge South program. With the team working closely with driver instructor/tuner Tom Dyer and George Tavares - the Aluminos in-house engine builder and data analysis expert - the squad turned in an impressive group performance. G2 pilot Blair Chang earned his first PKC South podium of the year, while S3 team driver Marc Elliott notched his second trip to the rostrum.
Chang moved back to the G2 division for this outing after opening the year in the G1 shifter category. A second in qualifying put him in a position to challenge for the class victory, but unfortunately in heat two, a DNF sent him to the back for the start of the main event. Chang would be up for the challenge during the 20-lap race, starting from the ninth position and advancing to sixth by the end of the opening circuit. Breaking into the top-five a few laps later, he would put down the fastest laps of the race in order to work up to third by lap 16. The gap, however, to second would be too much to cut into with the short amount of laps remaining and Chang would cross the line third, capping off a stellar weekend. It's only a matter of time before he takes the top step of the podium.
Four drivers carried the Aluminos banner in the competitive S3 Light category. Brad Dunford led the way for the team in qualifying as he was the third quickest in the session, pacing teammates Kyle Hathcox, Marc Elliott, and Harley Owen in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Dunford and Elliott split the top finishing spot for Aluminos in the heat races, each finishing fourth in one of the motos. In the main event, however, Elliott would make it a third straight podium finish following the opening round of the PKC South at CalSpeed and his run at the PKC North race just weeks ago, crossing the line third. Running fourth for most of the race, Elliott sized up his competition and made the pass for the position with just a few laps remaining. Owen would save his best run for the final, jumping up to fourth while Dunford fell back to sixth as Hathcox crossed the line in seventh.
New Zealander Daniel Bray returned to the United States for the first time since competing at the SKUSA SuperNationals last fall with Team Aluminos. Bray adapted quickly to the Buttonwillow course with a third in S1 qualifying. A couple slip-ups in the heat races forced the talented Kiwi to come from the tail of the field in the main event. Charging hard each and every circuit of the 20-lap event, Bray managed to record a fifth place finish.
Lastly, Team Aluminos had a last-minute surprise presence in the TaG Senior group as Larry Fraser rented one of the team's kart to compete on Saturday after suffering an engine failure that would have put him on the sidelines. Fraser would steer his Aluminos GP to fourth in qualifying and would advance to third in both heat races. In the main event, he would take second at the checker to salvage what could have been a disappointing day.
Up next for Team Aluminos will be the second round of the ProKart Challenge North program as the squad will return to the Jim Russell Karting Center at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on May 9-10.