Todd Wilson scored his first podium of the season with a second place run in the S3 category (Photo: dromophotos.com)
Created on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 20:07
Another solid weekend at the track for the professional kart racing team Aluminos as they did battle at the Willow Springs kart track in Rosamond, California for round two of the ProKart Challenge South series. Nine drivers in six categories kept the Aluminos tent busy throughout the March 11-12 event and the hard work paid off with four drivers earning trips to the podium and two others adding top-five results.
Aluminos doubled up on podiums in the S3 Novice Stock Moto category with second year team member Todd Wilson and newcomer Jim Baltutis. Both were making their first starts of the 2011 season and each were just a bit off pace during the qualifying sessions. As they day went on, both continued to shake the rust off and gain pace. Wilson was up to fourth in both heat races while Baltutis, away from the driver seat for some time, continued on at the tail of the field. When the main event waved off, the two crept their way forward. Baltutis shined as he showed the way ahead of Wilson for much of the race as they moved up to the second and third positions. Wilson kept close and took over the spot on lap 19, holding on until the checkered flag with Baltutis in third. For both, the podium was an excellent start to the season with plenty of room for improvement as the year goes on.
Another Aluminos newcomer, Ryan Rush, added a runner-up finish to the results sheet for the squad. A regular at the Willow Springs circuit, Rush joined Aluminos for the PKC event and it equated into a pole position during the TaG Master qualifying session. Rush’s 45.700-lap edged out another local driver for the top honors. Ryan led the opening laps of the first heat before losing the spot in the closing stages. Running second the rest of the day, Rush earned the second step of the podium to complete his debut with Aluminos.
Ryan Rush drove to a second place podium effort for his debut performance with Team Aluminos (Photo: dromophotos.com)
Aluminos driver Peter Workum made the transition from the S4 category to the G1 division for the Willow Springs event. Workum battled with a veteran karter that has been in the category for a number of years and showed well. After qualifying close to the pole position time, Workum’s first heat race was cut short when he was involved in an opening lap incident. Bouncing back in heat two, Workum drove to the win to start the main event from inside row one. The two battled back and forth over the 20-lap feature alongside another competitor from a different class. Workum would end up crossing the line second in class but scored the fast lap of the category, showing great pace in his first start for the category.
Adding top-five results to the Aluminos tally were S1 Pro Stock Moto driver Brad Dunford and TaG Senior pilot Larry Fraser. Dunford was coming off a thrilling victory at round one, however, the Willow Springs circuit was not as kind to him. A DNF in the second heat after the rear bumper detached put Dunford at the back of the main event grid. At the start, contact with another competitor put him back to the tail of the field once again but came away with a fifth place finish. Fraser’s encountered trouble at the start of the day as his qualifying time was disallowed due to a using the incorrect fuel mixture after placing the third quickest time of the session. Fraser recovered to finish fifth in the opening heat and third the next. Similar to Dunford, Fraser was involved in an opening lap off-track excursion that put him to the back of the pack. The veteran bounced back to push himself back to the fifth spot by the checkered flag.
The S4 Master Stock Moto contingent for Aluminos came away from Willow Springs with fair results. Three drivers under the tent were part of a 22-kart field, the largest of the event. Phil Dunford was primed for a top-five finish overall, possible a podium run in the feature until an opening lap in heat two put him on the sidelines and the back of the starting grid for the main event. Dunford did not quit, driving to a 12th place finish in the final. David Conyers and Brad Dhesi came away with solid results, avoiding any trouble on the day to record eight and 11th place finishes in the main.
Casey Scherer returned to the driver’s seat with the help of Aluminos to score the victory at last month’s PKC North event in Dixon (Photo: dromophotos.com)Aluminos Driver Spotlight - Casey Scherer
Danville, California native Casey Scherer returned to the sport of karting after a two year hiatus with Aluminos, earning the S4 Master Stock Moto main event win at the ProKart Challenge North opener in Dixon last month. After attending the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driver Karting School, Scherer became a die-hard karter. In his early days, Casey and Aluminos owner Rob Soares worked together and helped Scherer build his karting knowledge. Over a 12 year period, Scherer competed in 80cc shifter, ICC, moto-shifter and TaG. Scherer would later work with Andrew Alfonso as a mechanic, scoring victories together and traveling international competitions together.
Scherer’s last competitive season was in 2009 where he competed in the ProKart Challenge North S4 category, taking home a victory and runner-up in the final two events. Out of the seat since, Scherer returned with Soares and his Aluminos operation.
“It was a pleasure to be working with Rob again and the entire crew at Aluminos,” stated Scherer. “They make racing fun. Driver coach Tom Dyer is excellent and engine specialist George Tavares was right there after every session to examine the powerplant. I was able to get help from so many different people under the tent, it provided a real positive atmosphere. To go out and win after being out of the seat for two years says it all. It was a real treat to drive with them.”
Scherer plans to compete with Aluminos in 2011 depending on what races fit his schedule, and expect him to be near the front when he does.