Number of podium finishes and strong engine performances by Greg Bell’s LEM squad at SKUSA SuperNationals XVI
Article By: Leading Edge Motorsports
LODI, CALIFORNIA (December 7, 2012) – The 2012 season for Leading Edge Motorsports was another successful year on track and off the track. With a growing customer base in northern California, and strong relationships formed within the industry, Greg Bell and his LEM program continues to be ranked among the top karting shop and race team in North America. The ability to adapt to any circuit, finding success with three different chassis brands, and supply the best engine program under the Leading Edge Power banner in the country puts Bell and his entire program at the top.
“It’s been a solid 2012 season working with our many customers and the high-quality products we provide,” commented Leading Edge Motorsports owner Greg Bell. “With our solid history with the Intrepid brand, we were able to transition that over to the upcoming Praga chassis, both in our Stock Moto and TaG categories. Now with the OK1 kart, we have a wide variety for our customers, and we can support any direction they wish to go. This year, and our week at the SuperNationals, proved each brand can be successful under the Leading Edge Motorsports banner.”
The year completed with the LEM operation competing at the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals XVI at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas just before Thanksgiving weekend. A mix of nationally-ranked stars and regional drivers sampling the largest karting event in the world filled out the LEM tent for a week long battle against some of the best drivers in the world.
Leading the squad in Las Vegas at the SuperNationals was S4 Master Stock Moto driver Trevor McAlister. It was his first start in the S4 category at the event after running all season long, scoring numerous victories including the SKUSA SummerNationals and the California ProKart Challenge. ‘T-Mac’ was among the quickest in practice and started the official sessions fourth in timed qualifying. A front row starting position in the heat races, Trevor drove to victory in the opening two heat races and second in the final moto. He ended up tied for first in the point total, classified second based on the qualifying times. From the outside of row one, McAlister held onto the second spot through the opening corners. Pressured early, he fought off all challenges for his second position. This in returned lost him any opportunity at the leader, and he drove on to place runner-up. As they proved all season long, the combination of Bell working with McAlister alongside mechanic Tad Funakoshi and the Praga chassis demonstrated to be lethal and quick all season long, with visions of more victories and championship coming in 2013.
Ryan Kinnear joined the Leading Edge Motorsports squad for the SuperNationals, piloting the new OK1 chassis in the S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto division working with former top shifterkart driver Jordy Vorrath on the wrenches. A former Intrepid driver, Kinnear took to the IPKarting OK1 frame like he had been racing it all season, posting fast lap in the final two practice sessions. The following day in qualifying, Kinnear was seventh in timed session. The heat races faired well, except for the second round where a DNF was recorded after a mechanical issue with the engine put him on the sides. He ended up classified 15th and started the main event from row eight. Clean through the opening corners of the race, Ryan knifed his way into the top-10 by the completion of lap one. Bit by bit, he began advancing even further, quickly into the fourth position. By lap 14, he had secured the third position but by that time the leaders had enough distance. Running similar lap times, Kinnear ended the event in third place - his best result ever at the SuperNationals.
Mariana Ramirez Savage, from Mexico, also recorded her best finish in Las Vegas by ending up 17th aboard her LEM prepared Intrepid. Qualifying 26th, she steadily worked forward in the heat races to start the main event 19th. She fought valiantly in the main event and ended with her best results at the SuperNationals as well. Alejandro Gonzales, Adam Booker, Alex Tartaglia and Jack Freese capped off the S2 roster for Leading Edge Motorsports. Each had their own struggles on the event and finished outside the top-20.
Jess Peterson led the LEM contingent in the stacked TaG Senior category. Piloting a Praga kart, Peterson finished his first SuperNats main event in three years, placing 25th. Randy Froom, quick all season long, moved to the OK1 chassis just prior to the SuperNationals. Some growing pains showed as he learned the new chassis, hovering around the top-20 in TaG Master. A wreck in the heat races diminished his hopes of moving forward, and he eventually DNF’d in the main event. AJ Jergins and Zach Dante had a challenging week, unable to qualifying for either of their main events, but learned much under the Leading Edge Motorsports tent at the largest karting event in the world. AJ had a failed water pump in qualifying, which put him behind in the nearly 90 kart field. He continued to improve as the event went on. Zach was fast in practice, but was run over by another competitor in qualifying and fought valiantly the rest of the event.
The Leading Edge Power engine program had a successful week at the SuperNationals. Bell worked alongside IPK North America as all the TaG drivers from Senior to Cadet utilized Leading Edge Power. Among them was defending TaG Junior champion George Russell of the Team Forza Racing from the United Kingdom. Russell dominated the category all week, qualifying P1 and winning all three heat races. Out comfortably in the lead in the main event, another competitor closed in, passed and drove away to the victory with Russell comfortably in second. Issues in tech arose when the provisional winner’s engine was deemed to be non-compliant. After much discussion, the results were left as they were, leaving Russell in the second position.
“The situation with Russell and the other competitor in tech is unfortunate,” stated Bell. “George was dominant all week, and then suddenly someone was able to run him down and drive away? We saw the part in question and there is no doubt he had a performance advantage. However, we have to go with how they rule, yet we know our engines are 100% to the standards and the best power you can produce. Overall, the entire Leading Edge Power program in Stock Moto and TaG engines continues to prove as the best in North America.”
Attention now turns toward the 2013 season, as Leading Edge Motorsports is moving forward, still providing the best service in the industry for any type of customer, whether it’s local, regional and national. The LEM race team will be focused on competing at the Rotax Challenge of the Americas, California ProKart Challenge, and the SKUSA Pro Tour. Bell is also looking to begin working with single-driver programs, looking to form a more personalized program under his tutelage for the Florida Winter Tour, WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series, and other racing series. Open test days at the track are also available.
To learn how you can be a part of the growing operation that is Leading Edge Motorsports and working with veteran Greg Bell, contact Bell directly at 209.369.0921 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to visit www.leadingedgemotorsports.com
About Leading Edge Motorsports:
Since 1995, Greg Bell and his Leading Edge Motorsports outfit have provided the foundation for a number of the sport’s champions. Based in Lodi, California, Leading Edge Motorsports is a full-service kart shop providing the best equipment for all levels of the sport. As an Intrepid dealer, LEM is available to support Northern California customers of the brand. The combination of LEM, Bell and driver Brett Felkins scored the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour TaG Senior championship in 2011. LEM was recognized as the national Team of the Year by eKartingNews.com in 2001, and in 2006 along Champion Racing. Bell added a Mechanic of the Year award that same season. From arrive-and-drive programs and kart preparation to driver coaching and parts supply to get you on the track, Leading Edge Motorsports is the answer to the question of success. Winning never gets old.