Created on Friday, 20 March 2009 19:00
For Team Aluminos, the Infineon Raceway Jim Russell International Karting Center in Sonoma, California provides the perfect back drop for their full service arrive and drive race team. Heading into the ProKart Challenge North 2009 season opener, Team Aluminos was looking forward to helping their racers build and improve on their 2008 successes, as well as current 2009 accomplishments. Led by team manager Rob Sores, driving coach/tuner Tom Dyer, engine specialist George Tavaras and help from top shifter kart driver Fritz Leesmann, Aluminos began its quest for championships in ’09 with six drivers flying Aluminos colors at the event, three of which earned pole positions and trips to the podium ceremonies.
Earning the award for furthest traveled, New Zealander Daniel Bray returned to the States to contend the opening round at Infineon for Team Aluminos. The runner-up at the SKUSA SuperNationals in November, Bray set the tone for the weekend in the S1 division as he posted the fastest lap of the Qualifying session (47.426) by more than three-tenths. A bad start to begin the opening heat race put Bray back to second spot where he would finish. Starting on the outside of row one, Bray got the hole shot in Heat two to lead the early portion of the race. A couple of jostles for position and Bray would settle for second to start the feature from outside row one. After getting a great start, Bray was leading heading into the tic-tack-toe section of the course when he misjudged the entry and spun off course. Bray dug deep and recovered to finish third to visit the podium once again with Aluminos Arrive and Drive program.
Fernando Diaz earned a podium spot in his first outing with Aluminos and first trip to the Infineon circuit
New to the Aluminos program in 2009 is Fernando Diaz, who made the journey up from Southern California. Competing in the G1 category, Diaz gave Aluminos its second pole position of the event with his 48.560 lap time, besting the defending series champion. What was more impressive was that this was Diaz’s first visit to the Infineon kart track. The opening heat would not go in Diaz’s favor as he would get shuffled back after the opening lap but recovered to finish the race third. In Heat two, Diaz would not put forth a solid opening lap and fell one position. After regaining the spot back the following lap, Diaz began battling for the second spot. Unable to keep the position, Diaz ended in third to start inside row two for the feature. Running with the S1 group, the first lap incident mixed up the G1 field as well as Diaz found himself second when they crossed the stripe for the first time. As the race settled in, he found himself in a three-way battle for the class lead. After running third for the first portion of the main event, Diaz put his machine into the second position during the latter half and would see the checkered flag in that position. The effort was a solid performance for Diaz who had not raced in over four months.