Peter Workum earned his first victory in the G1 category at Buttonwillow (Photo: dromophotos.com)
Created on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 16:19
Entering the fourth month of the 2011 season, the Aluminos operation is preparing to enter the core of the season and the start of the national championship campaign. To get ready for the upcoming Superkarts! USA SpringNationals at the end of April in Tucson, the professional kart racing team traveled down to Buttonwillow Raceway Park for one final day of wheel-to-wheel action before the trek to Arizona. The ProKart Challenge South program was host of the two-day event with six drivers competing under the Aluminos banner. G1 driver Peter Workum and S1 standout Brad Dunford put Aluminos back on the podium with a victory and runner-up finish on the day.
Dunford - who earned the feature win at the opening round of the series - was a consistent front-runner at round three in Buttonwillow. After coming up just 58-thousandths short of the fast lap in qualifying, Dunford led the opening heat race before losing the spot to finish second. Placing second once again in heat two, Dunford started the main event from outside row one. As he showed last year at the SKUSA SuperNationals, Dunford was great on cold tires as he grabbed the holeshot and led the early portion of the race. On lap eight, Dunford lost the lead and began a long battle to hold onto the second spot. Still within reach of the leader, Dunford took the checkered flag in the second position.
Workum made his 2011 debut last month, moving into the faster G1 category after solid time in the S4 Stock Moto division. At Buttonwillow, Workum swept the action in the class as he earned fast lap in qualifying and won the heat races and main event. The challenge for Workum was keeping up with the younger S1 and S2 fields that ran at the same time. Workum will go back to a familiar ride for the SpringNationals - TaG Master - a category he competed in regularly in 2009 and 2010 at the regional level.
Just two drivers carried the Aluminos banner in the popular and competitive S4 Master Stock Moto category with Brad Dhesi and Phil Dunford doing the honors, qualifying mid-pack in 10th and 11th. Dunford picked up numerous positions in the first heat, placing fourth while Dhesi was ninth and then ran into trouble for the second heat and feature to be unable to finish. Dunford soldiered on to finish fifth in heat two and seventh in the main event, putting him fifth in the championship chase thus far.
Todd Wilson and Jim Baltutis represented Aluminos in the S3 Novice Stock Moto division, both making just their second start on the season. Wilson qualified second but a spin in the opening heat dropped him to seventh in the order. He would muscle his way back through heat two and the main event to finish fourth. Baltutis knocked off the rest last month at Willow Springs and again at Buttonwillow. Improving each session out, the weekend was a success for Baltutis.
Brad Dunford getting congratulated by his father Phil after his first victory back in February (Photo: dromophotos.com)Aluminos Driver Spotlight - Brad Dunford
Cypress, California driver Brad Dunford has been under the watchful eyes of the Aluminos staff for the last four years. After getting introduced to the sport at the age of 12 by his father Phil, the two would only head out to the kart track every once in a great while until four years ago. Both were introduced to Rob Soares of Aluminos and dove head first into the sport competitively. For Brad, it has been a chance to learn from two of the best drivers in the sport - Tom Dyer and Fritz Leesmann. The 2010 season was his first at the elite level (S1 Pro Stock Moto), placing third in the ProKart Challenge South standings and seventh in the SKUSA Pro Tour championship chase.
Dunford scored his first victory of his career at the ProKart Challenge South opening round at the Adams Motorsports Park back in February. Dunford beat out the reigning series champion, a SKUSA Pro Tour champion and other accomplished drivers in the sport. After three rounds in the series, Dunford has finished on the podium two times and is well in the hunt for his first regional championship, just five points out of first place in the standings.
“This will be my fourth season racing competitively, and my fourth season with Aluminos,” stated Dunford. “All the guys on the team are great and I can’t thank them enough for what they have done to help me improve both on and off the track in the sport. I still feel that I have a lot to learn and they are directing me on the right path. The win at the PKC South opener in Adams was amazing. I had never won a race at any level prior to that, so it was a long time coming for sure. I hope to add more to that with the help of Aluminos this season.”
Dunford will contest the rest of the ProKart Challenge South program in addition to racing the SKUSA Pro Tour in the S1 Pro Stock Moto division with Aluminos.