"Three Championships and one Vice-Championship in 2012 SKUSA Pro Tour"
Article By: Race Tech Development
November 24, 2012 - Heading into the finale event of the 2012 racing season, P1 Engines and a host of talented drivers would travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to take part in the 16th annual Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals. As the biggest event on the karting calendar and the final stop in the SKUSA Pro Tour, P1 Engines powered drivers would have a chance at securing each of the TaG championships as they entered Sin City. When the dust had finally settled and the weekend came to a close, Phil De La O, Luke Selliken and Paul Bonilla would each garner a title in the TaG Senior, TaG Junior and TaG Masters championships respectively.
"It was a very tough weekend in Vegas," explained P1 Engines owner and engine builder Jesus Vasquez. "The competition was extremely high and the on track battles were intense. Some of our drivers had some bad racing luck and didn't fair as well as they had liked but overall, it was a great weekend with three P1 drivers earning Pro Tour titles."
Leading the way into Las Vegas was TaG Senior and SKUSA Pro Tour point leader Phil De La O. Having never competed at the SuperNats before, De La O qualified his P1 Engines powered Top Kart in the sixth position and scored three impressive heat race results including a victory in the third and final heat race. Having to only take the green flag in the final to secure the overall series championship, De La O did that but was involved in a first corner incident that sent him back to 15th. Driving forward to the sixth position, De La O would be involved in more contact that would eventually take him out of the race. Having taking the green flag, Phil De La O was deemed the TaG Senior champion for 2012.
Fellow TaG Senior drivers Austin Elliot, Chris Wehrheim and Tommy Andersen would all have decent weekends showing the pace to run at the front of the field. Elliot would show the best of the three as he turned his fourth place qualifying effort into three third place results in the heat races and a solid front row starting spot for the main event. Battling up front early, Elliot was involved in contact that would eventually take him out of the race and ruin any chances at a victory.
Wehrheim had a tough go of it in the heat races but managed to directly transfer to Super Sunday and would start the main event off in the 29th position. With a never say die attitude, the Georgia resident showed great patience and speed in Sunday's wheel-to-wheel action to come home seventh. World Karting Association front-runner Tommy Andersen would compete in his first SKUSA event and would run inside the top-ten all week long but fell just outside the mark to claim a 12th place result in the main event.
TaG Masters pilot Paul Bonilla had a shot at the title but would need to have a near-flawless weekend to stand atop the box. Heading to Las Vegas second in the points battle, Bonilla took over the point lead after the three heat races with a trio of top five results. Looking to score the win and title on Super Sunday, Bonilla would lead the main event and cross the stripe in second, garnering just enough points to maintain his place at the top of the SKUSA Pro Tour TaG Masters championship.
TaG Junior pilot Luke Selliken started his championship winning weekend with an impressive qualifying effort on Friday. Claiming a heat race win and starting the main event on the outside of row two, Selliken went on to stand on the podium with a third place effort en route to his first career SKUSA Pro Tour championship.
Hunter Corbitt had a great run in the TaG Cadet class but contact would ruin his chances at the victory and championship. As a strong contender for the overall series title, Corbitt would claim the 19th position in Sunday's main event and secure second place in the overall series championship.
Vasquez continued, "I would like to congratulate all the SuperNationals winners as well as Phil, Luke and Paul on their championships. Very deserving for all three drivers."
P1 Engines will now shift their focus to the 2013 racing season. With the opening round to the World Karting Association Manufacturer's Cup program only six weeks away, P1 Engines will be back in the shop preparing for the annual Daytona Kart Week set for December 27-30.
For more information on P1 Engines or to book one of their national level engines for testing or event weekend use, please visit them online at www.P1Engines.com or contact P1 owner Jesus Vasquez at 951.662.3464 or via e-mail at Champions@P1Engines.com . Also, to follow up-to-date results and information on P1 Engines, become a fan of the "P1 Engines Fan Page" on Facebook.
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