"Arizona pilot set to contest the world in December"
Article By: Race Tech Development
Phoenix, Arizona - September 26, 2012 - With a ticket to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) already in his possession, Arizona pilot Phil De La O Jr. would head to Englewood, Colorado to compete in the 2012 Rotax Pan-American Championships. Arriving at 'The Track' at Centennial, just in time for the first official event day, De La O would trade in his Top Kart machine for a Sodi Kart in preparation for the Grand Finals later this year in Portiamo, Portugal.
Forgoing the unofficial test days leading up to the event, De La O would utilize Thursday's five test sessions to get up to speed with his fellow competitors. After coming to grips with the tricky layout in session one, De La O would be only a few tenths off in session two. Gaining speed with each and every session, the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas Rotax Senior champion was confident heading into the race weekend.
In Friday afternoon's qualifying session, De La O would jump out with a fast lap early and set one of the quickest laps of the sessions. Falling victim to teammates hooking up and drafting late in the session, De La O would fall back one position and claim a second place starting spot for his efforts. With the three-heat race flight format in effect, De La O would line up outside row one for all three heats.
Heat one would not start out well for the young champion as a dismal start and contact would see him off the race course and mired back in the 14th position. Working hard to get gain as many positions as possible, De La O went on to claim a ninth place result en route to the fastest lap of the heat. Heat two would go better for the Arizona driver as a second place result would lead into a victory in heat three. As speed, coupled with results improved throughout the weekend, De La O went on to score the fastest lap in all three-heat races.
Back to the track on Championship Sunday, De La O would be looking to score the victory. With the heat race points calculated, another front row starting position would be earned for the Team USA member as he would line up in the off pole position. With a fast Sodi Kart that was prepared and tuned by Tim Lobaugh, De La O quickly went to work in the 16-lap prefinal. Taking the point and never looking back, De La O went on to turn the quickest lap of the race, a staggering three tenths of a second faster than the next quickest driver, as well as claimed the victory and pole position for the main event.
With all the classes now complete, Rotax Senior drivers assembled on the grid and proceeded through their pace laps leading up to their main event. With De La O on the pole position and the pace setter for the stout field, the second and fourth place drivers did not maintain his pace and jumped out to an early lead. Knowing that a penalty would likely be incurred to his rivals, De La O went on about his business with fast lap after fast lap as he moved forward from the fourth position.
Slotting himself second in the running order by the time the checkered flag flew, De La O would be crowned Rotax Pan-Am Champion after the running order was adjusted due to start line infractions. Again scoring the fastest lap of the race, De La O will now shift his focus to Team USA and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals later this year in Portugal.
"This was a great tune-up event for us," explained De La O after garnering the title. "We worked with the Sodi Kart to get some extra testing on the chassis before the World Finals in December. The kart is good and Tim Lobaugh had it tuned to perfection. I think we have a good shot at the world championship later this year."
Phil would like to thank his sponsors and supporters for a successful event: Grand Products, Team Top Kart USA, De La O Motorsports, Red Bull, Sodi Kart, Tim Lobaugh, Dallas Karting Center, Mike Jones, Peoria Cleaners and Northwest Floor and Wall.
For sponsorship opportunities and more information on Phil De La O, Jr. and De La O Motorsports, please visit them online at www.DeLaOMotorsports.com or contact Phil De La O at 602.697.1255 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .