ProKart Challenge North Round 2 Report

Team Aluminos continues to be a consistent factor in the early months of the 2010 season. In its third season, Team Aluminos has recorded strong results and strives to guide their drivers to the top of the charts. For a fourth straight event, Aluminos recorded at least one victory with S4 driver Jeff Smith scoring a win at this past weekend’s ProKart Challenge North Round 2 event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.

Jeff Smith scored his second straight S4 feature win (Photo: Tony Leone - sixspeedphotos.com)Smith’s weekend wasn’t a complete sweep like his round one victory. Aboard a new Mirage kart for the first time, prepped by the Aluminos staff, Smith was narrowly edged out for the top spot in the morning qualifying session. Falling back to third on the opening lap of the first heat, Smith knifed his way to the point by lap three. Hounded through the remaining laps, Smith was able to post the fast lap of the heat to make some space before taking the checkered flag. With a better start from the pole in heat two, Smith was once again at the point, leading all eight laps while recording another fast lap for the win. With momentum on his side, Smith drove a smart and error free 20-lap feature race to score his second straight victory and the first in North America for the Mirage brand, running similar lap times to his first two heat races.

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ProKart Challenge South Willow Springs Report

Aluminos driver Larry Fraser claimed the runner-up spot in the competitive TaG Senior category (Photo: Tony Leone - sixspeedphotos.com)Another successful weekend went into the books for Team Aluminos following the second round of the ProKart Challenge South program. Challenging weather conditions put the Aluminos squad to the test at the Willow Springs Raceway kart track in Rosamond. Following solid testing sessions in the previous weekend, the result saw five drivers in an Aluminos entry battle for victory three categories.

Scoring the best result for the squad was veteran Larry Fraser who came away from the wet and rainy weekend with a runner-up finish in TaG Senior. Fraser started out the day second in qualifying in what would be the wettest conditions of the day. Once the green flag waved on the race action, Fraser led seven of eight laps in the first heat race to take the win by a tight 0.123-margin. Heat two looked to be a repeat of the first until a lap two spin sent him off-track. Falling down the order, Fraser was able to climb back and finish fourth, setting the fastest laps of the race. A great opening circuit of the 20-lap feature race put Fraser to the point quickly and engaged in a strong battle with two competitors for the lead. Never having a chance to break away, Fraser fought hard throughout the main event to take the checkered flag in the second position.

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ProKart Challenge North Round 1 Report

Aluminos driver coach Fritz Leesmann sat back into the seat to score the inaugural S1 victory in ProKart Challenge North historyThe opening round of the SKUSA ProKart Challenge North program on February 13 was a successful event for the Team Aluminos squad. At the Jim Russell International Karting Center in Sonoma, California, Team Aluminos used their home track knowledge to put three of their five drivers competing on top of the podium, with a runner-up finish added in for good measure. Team tuner Fritz Leesmann scored the headline S1 victory with Jeff Smith and Larry Fraser scoring wins in S4 and TaG Senior.

Leesmann, an ICC standout the last few years, made his Stock Moto debut aboard an Aluminos-powered entry. Out of the box race day, Leesmann was the driver to beat as he posted the fast lap of the qualifying session - a 48.909. He would go on to lead all eight laps of the opening heat race, however a fault at the start cost him two positions in the finishing order. Leesmann battled back in the second heat to reassume the point by lap five, en route to the win. In the 20-lap feature, Leesmann was untouchable as the NorCal native posted the fast laps of the race to score the win by over eight-seconds.

“It was great to get back into the seat as it’s been a few months for me,” stated Leesmann following the event. “Aluminos gave me a chance to get back in and have fun. The Aluminos stock moto engine package is awesome so all I had to was fine-tune my CRG chassis throughout the event. If feels good to be on top of the podium.”

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ProKart Challenge South CalSpeed Report

The 2010 season got underway for Team Aluminos as the Northern California-based operation headed south to Fontana for the opening round of the Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge South at the CalSpeed Karting facility. Eight drivers piloted Aluminos-prepped machines in five categories ranging from Stock Moto to TaG. Ending the 2009 season with Team Aluminos driver coach Tom Dyer on top of the S3 podium at the SKUSA SuperNationals XIII, Team Aluminos began the 2010 season in the same fashion as Fernando Diaz put in a stellar performance in G1 for the victory to jump-start 2010.

Fernando Diaz earned the first victory for Team Aluminos in 2010, scoring the feature win in G1A contender at the SKUSA SuperNationals XIII until a mechanical issue put him on the sidelines, Diaz returned behind the wheel for redemption. Diaz set the tone for the event as he posted the fast lap in the qualifying session - 45.569, quicker by nearly two tenths over his next competitor. In the 10-lap heat races, Diaz would walk the field to wins by three-seconds and five-seconds to secure the pole for the main event. At the start of the final, Diaz was relegated to second behind the defending class champion. After just two laps, Diaz regained the top spot and immediately stretched out to strong advantage, going on to take the victory by just under two seconds.

“It feels great to start the season with a win,” commented Diaz following the event. “We tested here two weeks prior and I feel it helped me a lot in order to find the right setup. Working with Fritz Leesmann and Tom Dyer under the Aluminos tent certainly helped with making the right decisions on the set up as the event went on to help secure the victory. I can’t thank them enough.”

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