Winning momentum fuels confidence heading to West Coast Shootout and SuperNationals
SHAWANO, WI (August 9, 2010) – In the racing business, there’s nothing like watching a well-formulated plan come together. Success in motorsports is primarily a team accomplishment and, at every stage of the sport from karting to Formula 1, the assembly of a racing squad is critical to its eventual performance. When Aluminos’ Rob Soares set about putting together his karting team he knew that he wanted to surround himself with the right people. The staff line-up that he has put together paid off big-time during the mid-July running of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals, when the team scored eight podium finishes and a sweep of the S4 podium on Sunday. Fritz Leesmann (S1), Fernando Diaz (G1) and Peter Workum (S4) all scored main event victories during the competitive weekend. Together, they are now looking forward to this weekend’s ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout in Santa Maria, CA.
“I’m thrilled for my guys and my team and I’m proud of what they’ve done to bring our group to this level,” Soares enthused following the weekend. “We’ve put together an incredible group of guys to support our customers and I know that they have been able to help our racers improve and find the success that they were looking for. Now we’re looking ahead to the West Coast Shootout at Santa Maria and ultimately, the SuperNationals in November.”
While Soares manages the squad, he is very comfortable placing the bulk of the credit on his staff, which includes Tom Dyer, George Tavares, Fritz Leesmann and Lorenzo Mandarino. With Tavares expertly managing the in-house Stock Moto engine program, the remaining three individuals bring race-winning talent to the team as driver coaches, tuners and data acquisition specialists. Considering the fact that both Dyer and Mandarino have SuperNationals victories on their resumes, the depth of knowledge is virtually unmatched. For Aluminos customers, there is always someone to approach if any issue or question should arise.
At the SummerNationals, which were held at USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI in mid-July, the Aluminos team was a powerhouse, putting its karts at the front of the pack in many of the classes. Victories came for Leesmann (S1), Workum (S4) and Diaz (G1), making sure that the Aluminos trailer was filled with hardware on the way home. All in all, they needed to transport eight trophies back to the shop’s NorCal home base following their best weekend to date.
Winning the headline S1 class on Sunday wrapped up an impressive recovery for Leesmann, after he struggled early on Saturday. The veteran driver battled through issues to fight back to seventh on the opening day of competition, but it was his domination of Sunday’s events that was the highlight. Leesmann came out of the gate like a rocket to start Day #2, putting his CRG ahead of Saturday winner Alex Speed in both heat races and the main event to stand on the top step of the podium in the day’s headline class. The win cements Leesmann’s lead in the S1 championship point standings and the chase for the #1 plate for 2011. Also running under the Aluminos tent in S1 were 125cc veterans Brad Dunford and Don McGregor. Dunford was 10th on Saturday and then came back with a strong sixth on Sunday, while McGregor turned in a consistent effort all weekend, carding a pair of eighth place finishes.
The S4 Stock Moto Master category was Aluminos’ power class, as the team drivers were on their respective games in Shawano. Jonathan Allen was a rocket out of the box and would take home a pair of third-place podium finishes after qualifying on pole both days, while Workum stepped into the spotlight to take his first career national win when he came out on top of an all-Aluminos last lap dice on Sunday to edge Phil Dunford for the win. Dunford was eighth on Saturday, but found the groove on Sunday after qualifying third, winning both heat races en route to second in the final tally. Colorado’s Mike McDonough also ran with Aluminos in Shawano and was 11th on Saturday and seventh on Sunday. After such a strong outing, it is certain that Aluminos S4 line-up will be a force to reckon with for the remainder of the year.
In G1, the Aluminos squad featured SKUSA Pro Tour point leader Fernando Diaz and veteran pilot David Conyers. Diaz was on his game all weekend, sweeping Saturday’s events in dominant to stretch out his championship point cushion. On Sunday, he would end up second in the main after his primary competition failed to start a heat race, effectively saving his tires for the final. Diaz pushed to stick with his challenger, but came up just short in second. Nonetheless, the championship lead is solid with just the SuperNationals standing between Diaz and the title. Likewise, Conyers enjoyed a very impressive outing in Shawano, running in the top-five all day on Saturday before improving in the top-three on Sunday. Conyers would eventually cap his SummerNationals experience by standing on the G1 podium in third.
The Aluminos line-up for Shawano featured one TaG competitor in Larry Fraser, and he fought hard against the local competition by running in the top-10 from the first session on. After qualifying eighth on Saturday, he was then forced to battle back from a DNF in the first heat. Fraser was on the move early in the second heat and move to 12th in the short run before using the extended main event to reach the top-five. It was a stellar recovery for the veteran NorCal competitor. On Sunday, Fraser steered clear of any issues early, qualifying fifth before taking fourth in both heat races to secure the outside of the second row for the main. Fraser would eventually fall to ninth in the final tally, but he now sits second in the overall SKUSA Pro Tour points within striking distance to the championship title heading to the SuperNationals.
Team Aluminos will now hit the road for the ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout at Santa Maria, CA this weekend. The race is the finale for the PKC South series, while Aluminos will end their ProKart Challenge North season on September 3-4 at the Jim Russell International Karting Center at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. The Northern California-based operation is building its momentum in order to hit their peak performance come November during the SKUSA SuperNationals XIV at the Rio Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Aluminos is now accepting any inquiries to arrive-and-drive opportunities for the event, with options of ICC, Moto, and TaG packages. Anyone interested in learning more about this professional team are asked to contact Aluminos owner Rob Soares at 925.786.7865 or visit them online at www.aluminos.com. You can also e-mail Rob via email@example.com