Aluminos Race Team Podiums at SKUSA SpringNationals

Kiwi driver Daniel Bray carried his Aluminos entry to third both days in S1 (Photo: Fast Company - DB) The Aluminos race team kicked off the 2012 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour season with a trio of podium finishes at the PKRA Formula K Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona on the April 20-22 weekend. Battling the largest fields recorded at the MG Tires SpringNationals, and 100-degree weather, the Aluminos operation proved again why it’s one of the top karting race teams in the country. Nine drivers in five categories flew the Aluminos colors with returning team driver Daniel Bray standing on the third step both days and team newcomer Austin Versteeg earning his first SKUSA Pro Tour podium finish.

Bray made the long journey from New Zealand to defend his SKUSA Pro Tour championship in the S1 Pro Tour Stock Moto division, teaming up with Aluminos as he had in previous years in his trips to the United States. Carrying the #1 SKUSA plate for 2012, Bray was in the sights of every driver in the field. Among the leaders during testing, Bray clocked in the third quickest lap in qualifying to start Round #1. Going the wrong direction with the set-up in heat one, he lost a few positions but regained them back in heat two. Breaking away with two others in the main event, they were all evenly matched and Bray had to settle for third to start his title defense. The following day Bray was top dog in qualifying, breaking into the 44-second barrier and just missing out on the fastest lap of the weekend by three-hundredths of a second aboard his Aluminos-prepared GP/Stock Moto. A tad slow off the line, Bray lost the lead and ran second in heat one, losing another spot in heat two in similar fashion. Starting third for the main event, Bray worked his way into the second spot. Crossing the line in the runner-up position, officials ruled his defensive line was considered blocking, docking him one position. The Kiwi sits third in the championship chase, well within striking distance of the top spot.

Austin Versteeg scored a podium finish in his SKUSA Pro Tour debut with Aluminos ( - OTP)New to the Pro Tour driver roster for Aluminos is rookie Junior driver Austin Versteeg. The Utah driver’s debut with the team was a big success as he drove to two top-four finishes in the TaG Junior category. On the opening day, Versteeg kicked off the racing with win in heat one as he drove from fourth to first. Some hard racing bounced him back to fourth in heat two, holding onto the position through the 16-lap main event. Hovering around the sixth position throughout the second day, Versteeg knifed his CRG to third in the late stages of the main event to score his first podium in the SKUSA Pro Tour. Versteeg is third in the standings, heading to his home track in July for the SummerNationals.

TaG Master driver Larry Fraser continues to be a contender in the class. The Pro Tour weekend was a heated battle both days as Fraser escaped with finishes of fourth and sixth. Round #1 was Fraser’s best overall performance, running as high as second throughout the day, coming just one position short of the podium in the main event to end the day fourth. An issue in qualifying on day two dropped Larry to the tail of the field to begin Round #2. Retiring on the opening lap of heat one, Fraser bounced back to advance his Aluminos-prepared CRG up to eighth in heat two, gaining two more positions in the feature to end the day in sixth. Despite sitting fifth in the standings, Fraser has room to advance the next event.

Returning S1 drivers Tom Dyer and Brad Dunford joined Bray in the headline category on the weekend. Dyer, running the SKUSA #2 plate for his vice-championship in 2011, started the weekend out as one of the fastest drivers in the paddock. Unfortunately, a case of food poisoning affected his performance once racing began Saturday and forced him to miss out of racing on Sunday. Dunford, the 2011 ProKart Challenge S1 champion, battled tough throughout the weekend, ending with two ninth-place finishes on the weekend aboard his Aluminos-prepared GP/Stock Moto. Austin Schimmel made his S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto debut after clinching the S5 Junior title in 2011. Improving his pace throughout the weekend, Schimmel came from 16th to end up ninth in the opening main event. The following day, as he continued to increase his position Austin was caught up in a hard wreck to open up the second heat race. Because of the hard contact, Schimmel’s frame was destroyed and ended his day early.

The solid S4 Master Stock Moto contingent represented Team Aluminos well in Phoenix, all aboard Aluminos-prepared GP/Stock Moto entries. Phil Dunford led the way with two ninth place finishes. Todd Wilson, a S3 Novice driver on the regional level, gained some solid seat time with results of 15th and 17th. Colorado’s Mike McDonough ran to 14th on day one but heat exhaustion cut his day short on Sunday.

The Aluminos race team will next be at the SKUSA California ProKart Challenge on May 18-19 at Adams Motorsports Park in Riverside, along with the next Red Line Oil Karting Championship on May 27 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. Be sure to visit for more information on their professional race team operation and also for new and used chassis listings.

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