Kyle Hathcox drove to a third place finish in the Pro Shifter category (Photo: dromophotos.com)
Created on Friday, 21 October 2011 08:00
As the season nears the end, the Aluminos operation is in full preparation for the biggest race of the season - the SKUSA SuperNationals XV. To prepare for the upcoming November event, seven drivers suited up for the third running of the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix in Southern California on October 8-9. The street race gave the Aluminos squad a great test circuit for the temporary course outside in the Rio Hotel and Casino parking lot where they have scored victory and will look to clinch SKUSA Pro Tour championship this year as well. Leading the way in Lancaster was Arizona driver Kyle Hathcox as he stood on the podium in the Pro Shifter category.
Brad Dunford joined Hathcox in the Pro Shifter division, recording the third quickest time in the qualifying session. Hathcox clocked in with the fifth fastest lap but charged forward in the opening heat race. Up to third after the first lap, Kyle went to the lead by the completion of lap two. Battling for the position the entire 10-lap moto, Hathcox ended the run in a photo-finish, coming just inches short of the victory and finishing in second position. Dunford was looking to move forward as well until contact with the barrier was made on lap four, ending his race. Hathcox continued his battle at the front but was shuffled back to fifth in the final two laps. Dunford worked his way up to seventh after starting at the back of the 20-kart field but was gone after lap five in the main event when he misjudged the speed of a kart in front of him, making contact with their rear bumper and was sent off into the barriers. The 20-lap main event proved to be solid for Hathcox - the SKUSA Pro Tour S2 point leader - as he eventually locked up the third position to stand on the podium.
Phil Dunford led the Aluminos S4 contingent with a sixth place finish (Photo: dromophotos.com)
Another solid group of drivers flew the Aluminos banner in the S4 Master Stock Moto category. Leading the way was Phil Dunford with a sixth place finish in the main event. Dunford kept his Aluminos-prepared GP machine in the top five both days. After qualifying fourth, he finished fifth and third in the two heat races. Jonathon Allen, David Conyers and Mike McDonough each added a top-11 finish. Allen ran seventh through qualifying and the heat races. He was on the charge forward until a cracked spark plug created a sputtering engine and he held onto ninth in the main event. Conyers kept pace with him, placing 10th. McDonough came back from a DNF in heat one to end up 11th after the 20-lap main event.
TaG driver Larry Fraser stepped up to the challenge against a number of drivers half his age in the TaG Senior category. Showing the talent and the capabilities of the Aluminos tuning, Fraser was fifth in the qualifying session. Contact while in the lead group of heat one put Fraser at the back of the 24-kart field. Advancing forward in heat two, Fraser pulled off a great recovery to end up seventh in the feature race.
“This was a good weekend for our team and our drivers,” stated Aluminos owner Rob Soares. “The Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix was a great test for the upcoming SKUSA SuperNationals. While we may not have earned a victory, our drivers and crew gained valuable data and setup knowledge for Vegas next month. The season has been about helping our drivers reach their goals for the year. Many have reached their goal and are now looking to end the season on a high note with strong finishes in Las Vegas next month.”
David Conyers and Jonathan Allen ran consistent to finish in the top-10 in S4 (Photo: dromophotos.com)Aluminos Driver Spotlight - David Conyers
They say the sport of karting is for all ages, anywhere between 5 and 75. For Aluminos driver David Conyers, he is still learning at the age of 58. Unlike many who are in karting, Conyers was turned on to the sports following a 10-year career in GT-1 and Formula Continental cars. Looking for something pure, simple, exciting and less expensive, karting was the answer for him 15 years ago. Since then Conyers has enjoyed racing around the Colorado scene and on the national level. A year and half ago, he made the move to work with Aluminos.
“After racing karts for 15 years, I felt I should be better than I am at this point. That is why I joined the Aluminos team,” stated Conyers. “They have a great team spirit, all for one and one for all. Everyone is given the opportunity to be their best and attention is given to all drivers no matter your results. The instruction I receive is excellent and the maintenance/set-up changes are taken care of by some of the best mechanics, so as the driver all I have to concentrate on is the data and improving my skills behind the wheel. I can say with certainty that I have learned more in the last year and a half then in the previous 10 thanks to Rob Soares and the crew at Aluminos.”
Racing in the highly-competitive S4 Master Stock Moto category, Conyers recalls his results from last year’s SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals as his best feat thus far. A third and fourth place finish in the main events was the best weekend yet for the Colorado driver with plenty of time to earn many more in the future with Aluminos.