Kyle Hathcox scored the SKUSA Pro Tour S2 championship at the SuperNationals (Photo: dromophotos.com)
Created on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 08:00
The 2011 season wrapped up for the Aluminos operation with the 15th running of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. While victories eluded the team and its 16 drivers under the tent, the week was a successful one for the Northern-California operation. Two drivers stood on the podium thanks to Aluminos-prepared Stock Moto packages while Arizona driver Kyle Hathcox locked up the S2 Semi-Pro SKUSA Pro Tour series championship.
Hathcox entered Vegas as the point leader in the S2 category with little room for error with a host of drivers close behind in the standings. Among the front runners in practice, qualifying came and the speed was gone as he clocked in 35th overall. Starting from row nine for each of the three heat races, Hathcox put in a championship-like performance in all three as he drove through the field. Recording results of second, eighth and fifth, he soared up the results order to start sixth in the main event. Quick early, Hathcox was on the edge of the top-five until his competitors began racing rough. Wise to stay out of trouble with the big picture in site, Hathcox elected to stay away from trouble despite falling down the order. Finishing 10th and keeping his championship rivals in close proximity; Hathcox earned the series championship and the coveted #1 plate for 2012.
Fritz Leesmann stood on the podium once again in Vegas in the S1 Pro category (Photo: F. Leesmann)
Two drivers added to the hardware earned by the Aluminos squad at the SuperNationals - S1 driver Fritz Leesmann and S2 pilot Cory Milne. Leesmann, the defending Pro Tour champion, stood on the podium a year ago and was primed to do so again after qualifying fourth. A heat one crash put him down the order but back-to-back third-place finishes in the remaining runs put him fourth on the grid for the main event. Holding the spot through the 25-lap main event, Leesmann ended up on the fourth step of the podium for a second straight time. Like Fritz, Milne was a front-runner all week long. Coming off a double victory at the SummerNationals, Milne continued the momentum in Vegas. Qualifying eighth, Cory ran top-five through the three heat races to start fifth for the feature race. Running third at one point, Milne would go on to score his best finish ever at the SuperNationals with a fifth place effort. That boosted him up the Pro Tour standings to give Aluminos a 1-2 result in the S2 title chase.
Aluminos driver coach and two-time SuperNats winner Tom Dyer entered the event in the championship fight for the S1 title. Trailing the point leader, Dyer needed to record strong finishes through the heat races and feature to overtake the point standings. Qualifying third, Dyer recorded second, fifth, and fourth in the heats to end up third overall on the main event grid, while gaining points in the title chase. Needing a win to secure the title, Dyer was in position to do so until the opening lap when he was turned around in the third corner. Never giving up, Dyer drove from last to 13th to secure the second place in the championship standings for the #2 plate in 2012. Joining Dyer in S1 was ProKart Challenge South champion Brad Dunford. After a promising year, the season ended rough with a DNF crash in the main event while battling inside the top-10. Rounding out the Pro category contingent for Aluminos was Denmark driver Michael Bo Anderson in the KZ2 division, recording a 17th place finish.
Six drivers carried the Aluminos name in the popular S4 Master Stock Moto category. Mexican driver Eduardo Leon showed the way in his first start at the SKUSA SuperNationals. Qualifying 14th, he finished sixth in all three heat races to start ninth for the main event. Advancing one position, Leon drove to a strong eighth place performance. Phil Dunford recorded another top-15 finish at the SuperNationals, placing 14th after battling forward from a 20th starting position. Close behind was Colorado driver Mike McDonough, who started 30th and advanced up to 18th. Jonathan Allen and David Conyers had their races cut short while Carlos Barrera did not qualify in his first Vegas start.
In G1, the open engine Master shifterkart division, Denmark’s Henrik Hojman recorded his best finish in four years at the SuperNationals. Hojman held the 14th position through qualifying and the heat races, improving to 11th at the end of the main event. Arizona driver Peter Workum and Brazilian Roberto Calca Jr. both had their races end early in the main event after promising results at the start of the week.
Cory Milne finished fifth in S2 to clinch the #2 plate for 2012 (Photo: Milne Family)
Larry Fraser continues to carry the Aluminos banner strongly in TaG Master. Due to a transponder issue, Fraser was forced to start dead last in the 44-kart field for each of the three heats. In the first two races, he battled his way up to 17th and 22nd before getting involved in a wreck in the third run. Starting 32nd in the main event, Fraser showed his talents by advancing up to 17th in the 20-lap race.