ALUMINOS SCORES TWO PODIUMS IN SAN DIEGO PROKART CHALLENGE SOUTH EVENT Chang and Galloni enjoy podium champagne at Qualcomm Stadium temp circuit SAN DIEGO, CA (July 26, 2008) -- The Team Aluminos squad made the journey south to San Diego for...
ALUMINOS SCORES TWO PODIUMS IN SAN DIEGO PROKART CHALLENGE SOUTH EVENT
Chang and Galloni enjoy podium champagne at Qualcomm Stadium temp circuit
SAN DIEGO, CA (July 26, 2008) -- The Team Aluminos squad made the journey south to San Diego for round five of the SKUSA ProKart Challenge South program this past weekend (July 26), for a race held on a 1.1-mile temporary circuit in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium - home of the San Diego Chargers. The six drivers aboard Aluminos-prepped GP Karts put in stellar performances, highlighted by the second place finishes of Blair Chang and Nicola Galloni. The addition of former SKUSA SuperNationals winner Ron White and his brother Joe to the Aluminos program as driver coach and ICC engine tuner, respectively, has certainly paid dividends as the team's pilots are all making huge strides in their development.
Chang competed in the G2 category, beginning the day with a fifth place run in qualifying. Picking up the pace in heat one, Chang worked his way up to second in the first of two 10-lap heat races. Starting from the front row in the second heat, Chang was able to fall in behind the leader but was unable to advance into the number one spot, finishing second to start the main event from the outside of row one. Not able to get off the line as quick as he had hoped, Chang fell back to fifth in the opening lap of the 20-lap main event. By lap 12, Chang had worked himself into second and tried to close in on the leader, however, the distance was too great and Chang had to settle for second - his best finish of the season. Aluminos teammate Kurt Brunner competed in the same class, continuing to improve his skills while learning the ins and outs from the experienced Aluminos staff. Brunner improved each session on track, running his quickest lap of the day in the main event, however, he retired on lap 10.
Galloni was making his third start in the PKC South TaG Senior division aboard an Aluminos GP/Rotax package. The day began on a high-note, qualifying third, just one-tenth off the pole. That luck changed as he was shuffled back at the start of heat one, falling to the tail of the field. He managed to work himself back up to sixth at the checkered flag. In heat two, he advanced to fourth, setting up for a chance of a great run in the main event. After mixing it up with the front runners, Galloni eventually got himself to P1 on lap 14. He would hold off the advances of the field behind him to take the provisional win, however, officials deemed he was too rough in his run to the point, penalizing him one position to second place.
Three drivers flew the Aluminos colors in S3 - Brad Dunford, Kyle Hathcox, and Harley Owen. The trio has steadily improved at each event and they are now in contention for podium finishes each weekend. In qualifying, Hathcox led the squad with the fourth best time, just ahead of Dunford, while Owen was seventh on the speed charts. In heat one, the trio looked outstanding, advancing their positions led again by Hathcox in third, Dunford in fourth, and Owen in fifth. Things would change in heat two as while Hathcox and Dunford were fighting for third, contact was made and this resulted in Hathcox bending an axle. Dunford dropped to the tail of the field in the process. Owen continued on to place fourth whereas Dunford managed to recover to fifth. In the main event, Owen went on to stay in fourth during the entire 20-lap final, matching his best performance of the year. Hathcox worked his way from the tail of the field to cross the line fifth. Dunford spun to avoid contact while working his way into the top-three, dropping him back to finish eighth at the checkered flag.
The team will now return home to Northern California to prepare for the upcoming round five of the ProKart Challenge North program on August 9 at the Jim Russell International Karting Center at Infineon Raceway.