Article By: Rolison Performance Group
After enduring a rain soaked weekend at the third and fourth rounds of the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas series in Fontana, California last month, Rolison Performance Group heads to beautiful Sonoma, California looking for victories and sunshine at the final rounds of the championship. Although Gatorz competitors only saw five minutes of sun throughout the entire weekend, Team RPG was able to wrap up the series with a pair of race wins and championship podiums onboard their new Kosmic karts.
Derek Wang – DD2
Having already switched from black to blue in the senior category, Derek entered the Sonoma round with a new Kosmic DD2 chassis. Having tested the Kosmic DD2 for the first time just a few days prior to the event, Derek set the pace from the first timed practice forward. After setting the pole time on Saturday, he endured extremely difficult track conditions to score a pair of main event wins.
“With the heavy rain, it was a challenging weekend for everyone in Sonoma. We made our share of mistakes but we always had the pace and the team had the know-how to overcome the weather. I’m happy to get a pair of victories over the Championship winner and hope that I’ll earn a chance this season to race Nicholas again at the World Finals.” Derek commented after the race.
Derek missed the prize of a World Finals ticket by finishing 2nd in the season standings. Instead, he is awarded a pair of Gatorz sunglasses.
Mike Daniel – Masters
Due to a scheduling conflict, Mike Daniel had virtually no testing prior to qualifying on Saturday. Mike was able to qualify in sixth place on Saturday amongst strong competition and extremely wet conditions. While he improved his qualifying effort on Sunday to fourth, Mike ended the weekend with where he started with a pair of sixth place finishes.
“I had a good time at Gatorz this winter. Sonoma was much different for me this year, but I’m looking forward to racing in better weather for the rest of the season” Mike commented after symbolically handing over his 2010 Gatorz Challenge of the Americas crown to the 2011 winner.
Kyle Byers, Carlos Calderon – Senior
Kyle Byers continued to impress in his first year of Senior competition. Adjusting to the new category, a new chassis, and a set of unfamiliar tracks, Kyle ran solidly in the top ten in his Kosmic kart. Amongst 35 competitors, Kyle ran as high as 4th on Saturday and finished 7th. He was able to produce another top 10 result on Sunday to cap off his first Gatroz Challenge of the Americas season.
After a streak of bad luck in Phoenix and Fontana, Carlos went into the Sonoma weekend looking to improve on his 4th place performance from 2010. Unfortunately, his bad luck continued with a non-starting engine on Sunday’s main event. After frantically working on the kart while the field rolls off, the team was able to get Carlos running prior to the green flag. But a first lap collision had Carlos playing catch up for the rest of the race.
Parker Mckean, Luke Selliken – Junior
Despite a weight disadvantage, the 5’7” tall Parker McKean set the pole for Saturday’s event. However, a race start procedure technicality had the pole sitter scrambling and eventually penalized on Saturday. Fighting back in the main event, Parker was able to drive from 12th to 4th. Parker also finished 4th on Sunday to solidify 3rd place in the championship.
Luke was a victim of the challenging conditions and finished 11th on Saturday and DNF on Sunday.
Rolison Performance Group returns to the Northwest to regroup for the upcoming regional Gold Cup, I-5 Corridor, and Rotax Pan Am series.
Rolison Performance Group provides a range of services from complete race-weekend support to one-on-one driver development through instruction, on-track practice, testing, and training. Race weekend support packages, arrive-and-drive-programs, and driver instruction days are available in 2011. For more information, please visit www.rolisonperformancegroup.com and join the RPG Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Rolison-Performance-Group/127186247319642
Rolison Performance Group is the new leading Northwestern United States distributor for Kosmic Racing Karts.