SKUSA: PKC-S: Team Aluminos Santa Maria summary

ALUMINOS WRAPS UP PROKART CHALLENGE SOUTH SEASON Season comes to a close in Southern California for Aluminos drivers SANTA MARIA, CA (August 30, 2008) -- Six months of fierce southern California competition for Team Aluminos was put to bed...

ALUMINOS WRAPS UP PROKART CHALLENGE SOUTH SEASON
Season comes to a close in Southern California for Aluminos drivers

SANTA MARIA, CA (August 30, 2008) -- Six months of fierce southern California competition for Team Aluminos was put to bed this past weekend following the final round of the Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge South regional program, which was held at the Santa Maria Kart Track in Santa Maria, California. Six drivers were back under the Aluminos tent, supported by the team's highly talented trackside staff that included 2005 SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro winner Lorenzo Mandarino as driver coach. All six were looking to improve their positions in the final championship standings as the series finale was sure to be a wild one.

Three Aluminos drivers ran in the aggressive S3 Light category, which saw the team's talented young trio of Brad Dunford, Harley Owen, and Kyle Hathcox end up fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in qualifying. They held their spots through the opening heat race, but in the second moved, Dunford advanced two spots to third, running with the top two finishers. Owen and Hathcox each advanced one position to finish fifth and sixth, locking in the third row for the main event. The 20-lap feature saw Dunford battle all race long for the third and final podium position, only to come just a few kart lengths short at the line. Owen and Hathcox would gain extra knowledge following the championship leader on-track after he caught and passed the duo, having starting last due to an issue in Heat #2. They would finish right behind him in sixth and seventh. Once the championship points were calculated, Dunford was classified fourth overall with Owen and Hathcox finishing up fifth and sixth in their rookie shifter kart campaigns.

Aluminos G2 driver Blair Chang nearly put himself on the top of the podium after placing his GP kart on the pole position to begin the race day. However, a rib injury would prevent him from performing 100% in the heat races. After placing third in the opening heat, Chang sat out the second heat to preserve his energy for the grueling 20-lap feature. After just one lap, Chang pulled off to prevent further injuring himself. Despite missing the opening round, Chang managed to end the season third in the championship. Fellow Aluminos G2 pilot Kurt Brunner continued to learn and improve each weekend on-track and ran nearly every lap in the three races, retiring from the feature on lap seven.

Nicola Galloni, the lone Aluminos entry in the TaG Senior class, has also been nursing a rib injury during the last two months. Running against some young and fast pilots, Galloni held his own to run near the top-five all day. In the 20-lap main event, Galloni held on to claim a fifth place finish, advancing him to fourth in the final point standings.

-credit; ta

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Series Kart
Drivers Lorenzo Mandarino , Blair Chang