The Bondurant Championship Race Series continues to heat up as 17-year-old racer Neil Alberico captured back-to-back wins during races five and six of the season on Nov. 27-29, 2009.
"We last saw Alberico finishing third during the previous series races, but he stayed focus and battled to the top of the podium during our November race weekend," said Alan Rudolph, vice president at the Bondurant School. "He ran the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:03.009 during qualifying to capture the pole position! The field keeps growing in the Bondurant Championship Race Series and we continue to be impressed by all the drivers' performances."
Hailing from Los Gatos, Calif., Alberico got behind his first go-kart at age 11 and soon competed in International Kart Federation (IKF) regions 7 and 11, Stars of Karting and Championship Karting International (CKI). The teenager's prowess behind Bondurant's open-wheel Formula Mazdas is undeniable.
"I worked hard during practice and qualifying to separate myself from the rest of the field, and that mindset seemed to work throughout the race weekend as I put my head down and went for it," Alberico said. "The Bondurant Championship Race Series has been my first wheel-to-wheel racing action, and the instructors have done a really good job getting to know me as a driver and keeping all the cars even. The series has been great for me and I hope it leads to more open-wheel racing."
The latest Championship Race Series events took place at Firebird International Raceway's Main Track - a 1.6-mile long, 11 turn course with a long straightaway that utilizes the facility's NHRS drag strip. Drivers lapped the course in the 1:03-1:10 range during practice sessions and stayed tight during race five. While Alberico held a consistent lead, drivers Alan McCallum, Phil De La O and Jamie Sloane competed for second. Eventually, McCallum and De La O pulled ahead to finish second and third, respectively. And although Tucson, Ariz.-based Slone finished fourth, he remains on top of the points leader board.
During race six, De La O took an early lead but a wide turn left the door open for Alberico to finish first and McCallum to place second. De La O once again rounded out to the podium.
In addition, two newcomers joined the race series: Jason King of Ontario, Canada, is a graduate of the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving's shifter kart and Grand Prix Road racing courses. He completed the first two races of his career in fifth place. Huntington Beach, Calif.-based CJ Wilson - who drove MX-5 Cup cars and a variety of formula cars this past year - finished sixth.
Additional highlights from the Championship Race Series events - including action-packed video footage from the racers' perspective on the track, driver profiles, race recaps and more - can be seen at www.bondurant.com/championship-race-series by clicking on Race News and Highlights. The next race takes please Dec. 12, 2009.
Bondurant's Championship Race Series, which is sanctioned by ASA Racing, includes 18 races over nine weekends during the 2009-2010 race season. The first place winner will receive a prize package valued at more than $35,000. Runner-up will win a prize package valued at $9,000 while the 3rd place race series winner will receive a two-day Advanced Formula Car Racing Course worth $3,895 at the Bondurant School.
The Bondurant Championship Race Series is open to anyone 15 years or older that is a driver of "good standing" with the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. Cost to participate in the Championship Race Series is $3,495 per event, which includes car rental, instruction and maintenance of the vehicle. Participants bring their own safety equipment including suits, gloves, head and neck restraints.