De La O has Winning Speed in Another Challenging Weekend July 2, 2009 (Glendale, Ariz.) -- Rebounding from a weekend of rotten luck is a tough thing for a young karter to do, especially as a karter competing in the nation's toughest karting ...
De La O has Winning Speed in Another Challenging Weekend
July 2, 2009 (Glendale, Ariz.) -- Rebounding from a weekend of rotten luck is a tough thing for a young karter to do, especially as a karter competing in the nation's toughest karting championship. CRG racer Phil De La O, competing in Championship Karting International in both the Iame Junior and KF3 classes, had the speed to win at the first CKI event at Newcastle Motorsports Park, but just not the luck.
This past weekend, at the CKI event at New Jersey Motorsports Park, De La O was back to compete in both classes and got off to a good start with a fourth-place qualifying effort in Iame Junior, but took pole position in KF3.
The Iame Junior heat races were a battle, as De La O fought to a fourth, fifth, and another fourth place on New Jersey's twisty track. In KF3, De La O spun in the opening heat race but rebounded to finish fourth, and backed it up with two wins to take pole position for Sunday's pre-final, his speed clearly dominant over the rest of the field.
The KF3 prefinal saw De La O lead the race flag-to-flat to sit on the pole position for the final. The Iame Junior pre-final was more chaotic, with several karts making up the lead train until contact shuffled the deck. However, De La O picked his way through from his fourth starting spot to finish in second and sit on the front row for the final.
Up first was the KF3 final, and at the start something went amiss with the powerplant of De La O's kart, which retired him even before one lap of racing was completed. Determined not to leave New Jersey with a good result, De La O jumped into his Iame Junior kart and started off-pole. Some minor contact early in the race meant De La O lost time to the leader, and ran in second matching the leader's laptimes but unable to make headway. A late race battle made things interesting for De La O, but he responded and pulled away to finish the race in second.
"It was tough to have something out of my control take us out of the KF3 final," said De La O afterwards. "The KF3 kart was really fast all weekend and I think we would have won that race. Things ended up well in our Iame Junior kart, considering how hard it was to move forward in all of the heat races. It is tough to lose a race the way it happened in KF3, but at least we had the speed to win and we will have more races to get it done. If we had a little better luck, things would be different -- but either way I need to drive the best I can, and I am happy with how I drove."
The next race for De La O will be at the CKI race at the Calspeed Karting Center, located at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on August 7-9. De La O competed at the track earlier this year in the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas, finishing third on both days.