Aluminos/PSL Karting Race Team Score Top-Five Finishes at SKUSA SummerNationals

Kiwi driver Daniel Bray scored a top-five finish in the competitive S1 Pro Stock Moto category (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)The professional Aluminos/PSL Karting race team took on a packed paddock at the Superkarts! USA SummerNationals in Tooele, Utah. The Miller Motorsports Park was the site of the third and fourth rounds of the SKUSA Pro Tour on July 20-22, where the operation fielded eight drivers in four categories. Kiwi driver Daniel Bray returned to the states to record a fifth place finish in the headline S1 category with TaG Master driver Larry Fraser matching the same result.

Bray, the defending series champion, qualified third to begin Saturday’s action. He finished third in the opening heat race but struggled with too much grip in the second, dropping to fifth and holding the position through the main event. The following day was another battle trying to free up the GP chassis. Qualifying third once again, Bray suffered a two position penalty for a parc-ferme infraction. Despite his best effort, the rest of the day did not pan out as expected, placing eighth in the main event. Bray commented on the weekend, "We were OK in qualifying because we could do a good time for a couple of laps before the kart started gripping up. But it was weird. We tried everything to dial the grip out but nothing, and I mean nothing, we tried - and which would have worked at any other track - seemed to work there."

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Victories for Aluminos/PSL Karting Race Team at Red Line Oil Karting Championship

Aluminos driver coach-team driver Fritz Leesmann scored his second straight victory in Pro Stock Honda (Photo: Jerry Imoden - Kart Art)The Aluminos/PSL Karting race team recorded another successful weekend trackside, this time taking part in round four of the Red Line Oil Karting Championship at the Simraceway International Karting Center in Sonoma, California. The 3/4-mile circuit is the home track for the Aluminos/PSL Karting squad and fielded eight drivers in four divisions. Driver coach Fritz Leesmann and Aluminos/PSL Karting owner Rob Soares raised the trophy in the P1 position in their respective categories while Micro Max drivers Max Ellgen and Ethan Tavares each stood on the podium.

Four Aluminos/PSL Karting drivers contested the Pro Stock Honda category, led by driver coach/team driver Fritz Leesmann. The current Superkarts! USA Pro Tour S1 Pro Stock Moto championship leader made his second straight series start. His first event was a complete sweep on Memorial Day weekend. This time around, Leesmann was challenged but came away with the feature win and near-maximum points. Leesmann posted a 48.340-second lap in qualifying to secure the pole position by over four-tenths. After a near three-second win in heat one, Leesmann missed the holeshot heat two, finishing a close second. Running in the second position early on in the feature, Leesmann stepped up the pace in the second half of the race, taking over the lead and driving away to a two-second victory. The Diede brothers - Troy and Cody - have been working with Leesmann for 2012, competing in the S2 Semi-Pro division on the Pro Tour. The work seems to be paying off as they both have been running more consistent and have improved their race pace. They ran to finishes of fifth and sixth against a number of S1 drivers, putting in strong performances on the day. Colorado driver Cory Milne was battling for a top-five finish all day but issues at the start of the main event sidelined the rookie driver.

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Aluminos Race Team Podiums at SKUSA SpringNationals

Kiwi driver Daniel Bray carried his Aluminos entry to third both days in S1 (Photo: Fast Company - DB) The Aluminos race team kicked off the 2012 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour season with a trio of podium finishes at the PKRA Formula K Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona on the April 20-22 weekend. Battling the largest fields recorded at the MG Tires SpringNationals, and 100-degree weather, the Aluminos operation proved again why it’s one of the top karting race teams in the country. Nine drivers in five categories flew the Aluminos colors with returning team driver Daniel Bray standing on the third step both days and team newcomer Austin Versteeg earning his first SKUSA Pro Tour podium finish.

Bray made the long journey from New Zealand to defend his SKUSA Pro Tour championship in the S1 Pro Tour Stock Moto division, teaming up with Aluminos as he had in previous years in his trips to the United States. Carrying the #1 SKUSA plate for 2012, Bray was in the sights of every driver in the field. Among the leaders during testing, Bray clocked in the third quickest lap in qualifying to start Round #1. Going the wrong direction with the set-up in heat one, he lost a few positions but regained them back in heat two. Breaking away with two others in the main event, they were all evenly matched and Bray had to settle for third to start his title defense. The following day Bray was top dog in qualifying, breaking into the 44-second barrier and just missing out on the fastest lap of the weekend by three-hundredths of a second aboard his Aluminos-prepared GP/Stock Moto. A tad slow off the line, Bray lost the lead and ran second in heat one, losing another spot in heat two in similar fashion. Starting third for the main event, Bray worked his way into the second spot. Crossing the line in the runner-up position, officials ruled his defensive line was considered blocking, docking him one position. The Kiwi sits third in the championship chase, well within striking distance of the top spot.

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Team Aluminos Throws Four Podiums on the Board at ProKart Challenge Buttonwillow

Brad Dunford (Photo: dromophotos.com)Team Aluminos’ 2012 Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge campaign began with 6 drivers competing in 3 classes at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, and ended with a 1-2 punch on the podium in the premier class of racing.

Throw in a couple of 3rd place knockout performances, and it’s easy to see that this team may well be off to one of their best starts in 5 seasons of competition within the series.

Long-time team member Brad Dunford, began 2012 the same way he started the 2011 season en route to the S1 class championship by winning the S1 main event. He was followed by teammates Cory Milne finishing in 2nd and Kyle Hathcox in 6th. It was Dunford’s smart driving and patience that paid off, as it took a bit of good fortune, courtesy of a racing incident from the leaders, to cement the win. Dunford, who is being groomed for a career in racing, was solid all weekend, beginning with a qualifying run putting him at P4 to start the day. A heat one run to P3, and a consistent second heat slotted him in P3 for the start of the main. The plan for the final, according to Dunford was, “to keep pace and gain some time here and there on the leaders, and look for opportunities”. And that opportunity came when leader Jimmy McNeil and Clinton Schoombee tangled midway into the main. Dunford steered clear and into the lead going on to the race win. Said Dunford later at the hauler, “I’m so happy for this win, regardless of how they come because this class is so competitive and tough. It’s a great result to begin the year and quest to defend last year’s championship.”

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