ProKart Challenge North Round Two Report

Steven Reasoner earned his first podium finish of the year in the PKC North S3 divisionIt was another successful weekend for the Team Aluminos Arrive and Drive program at the second round of the SKUSA ProKart Challenge North series, contested at the Jim Russell International Karting Center on the grounds of the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Recent testing by the Aluminos staff proved to be a key factor in the strong performances by the drivers and crew on April 18. Driver coach/tuner Tom Dyer helped the drivers adapt around the 3/4-mile circuit quickly, as he has recorded many laps around the course. Engine specialist George Tavares keeps the packages running strong all weekend, while top shifter kart driver Fritz Leesmann provided superb help throughout the weekend. GP Kart importer AJ Noud of Rocky Mountain Kart Works was also on hand to offer support to the Aluminos squad.

Returning to the driver’s seat in his 2009 debut with a victory last month, Team Aluminos manager Rob Soares was back behind the wheel in Sonoma. The defending PKC North TaG Masters champion skipped round one to focus his efforts on the Arrive and Drive program. Soares was back behind the wheel with the Aluminos staffed and equipped to handle round two. Aboard his Aluminos GP Kart machine, Soares repeated the same feat he did during the Grange weekend by sweeping each session. In qualifying, his fast lap was roughly half a second quicker than his closet competitor. The pace laps of the heat races were as close as anyone got to Soares in the heat races, as he took the wins by one-second and six seconds. The feature was all Soares as he piloted his Aluminos entry to a 17-second victory.


ProKart Challenge South Grange Report

The Team Aluminos Arrive and Drive program is considered to be in good hands judging by the performance of the drivers under the tent each weekend, along with the recent performance of team manager Rob Soares. The third round of the ProKart Challenge South program commenced at the Grange Motor Circuit on March 28 with Soares producing what he preaches with a dominant performance in the TaG Masters category. Following his lead, three Aluminos drivers scored a top-five finish - two of which earned trips to the podium.

Aluminos team manager Rob Soares scored the TaG Masters victory in his 2009 driving debutThe tone of the weekend began in qualifying with Soares brushing off the rust from not racing since last season’s PKC North finale in September, posting a scorching lap to earn the top qualifier honors by over seven-tenths. He continued the fast pace into the opening heat race as he went flag-to-flag for the win by a margin of six-seconds. The second heat race was a copy of the first except Soares stretched out to nearly a 10-second advantage. The 20-lap feature saw no challenges for the Aluminos leader as he went on to take his first feature win of the season by 14-seconds.

The S4 contingent for Team Aluminos has had a solid start to the 2009 PKC South season with a driver representing the team on the podium at the two opening rounds. The third event of the year saw two making a trip to the post-race ceremonies with Jeff Smith and Phil Dunford placing second and third. Dunford showed the way in qualifying for the team as he placed fourth in the order, just ahead of Smith with Aluminos driver and round one winner Peter Workum in seventh.


ProKart Challenge North Round 1 Report

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 circuitNew 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.


ProKart Challenge South Willow Springs Report

The Team Aluminos karting squad was back into action after a month’s hiatus following the ProKart Challenge South opener in Fontana in January, this time competing at the Willow Springs Raceway kart track in Rosamond, California for the second round of the program. The February 28 event saw six drivers flying the Aluminos colors with driver instructor Tom Dyer and engine tuner George Tavares making sure that each pilot was ready for every session on track. The trio of Aluminos drivers in the competitive S3 division held their own and continued to improve on their personal performance goals, while the S4 contingent produced a podium finish in the main event.

Aluminos newcomer Jeff Smith earned his second straight podium finish in the S4 divisionPeter Workum and Jeff Smith led the way in the S4 group, coming into the weekend sitting second and third in the points. Smith took the unofficial win at CalSpeed but was penalized two spots, giving Workum the victory. However, the PKC awards points for all on-track sessions, so they found themselves trailing the championship leader by five and 10 points, respectively. Smith and Workum ran near identical times in qualifying, placing fourth and fifth in the session.

Workum got the better start for the opening heat race, jumping up to second while Smith eventually drove up to third, where they would finish after 12 laps. After leaving the pre-grid late, Workum had to relinquish his second spot in the final heat race to start from the tail of the field. He would eventually work himself up to the eighth place. Meanwhile, Smith bided his time running in second before taking over the lead with four to go, taking the heat win, which put him on the pole for the main event.


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