PR Engines Capture Titles and Podiums at 2013 SKUSA SuperNationals
Operating one final time as D Power Racing Engines, Daniel Patino made his way to Las Vegas for the annual SKUSA Supernationals to support 19 drivers searching for podiums and SKUSA Pro Tour titles. With the opportunity to win both the TAG Senior and Junior championships, D Power Racing Engines came into this event as prepared as possible to have the best IAME Leopard and Vortex Rok TT packages in the paddock to conclude the company’s best season in the TAG categories.
Extreme weather would create extra challenges throughout the week that would see drivers have to run through warm, dry conditions one day and then cold and heavy rainfall the next. The TAG Junior drivers would experience the heaviest of rains running almost the entire week in the wet. Austin Versteeg and Colton Herta would both be utilizing D Power engines and were two of the quickest drivers all week. Versteeg would be entering the race with a shot at the Pro Tour championship and after some bad luck would need a strong run in the final to bring home the title. On a mission early, Versteeg charged from his 28th starting position into the top 15 within five laps when a series of incidents knocked him back through the field. Having to recover once again, he was only able to climb back to the 22nd finishing position. That result was enough to secure 3rd place in the championship and will carry the #3 plate next season with eyes on winning the championship with his PR Engines IAME Leopard. Herta would be racing in just his second karting event of the season, but didn’t show any rust with two 4th place heat finishes to give him an 8th place starting position for the final. Picking off one driver at a time, Herta had worked up to the top 5 by halfway. Having lost the lead draft, he was running comparable times, but couldn’t ever quite close the gap and had to settle for 5th in the very talented 62 driver field. This would prove to be the only race podium for the event, but not without controversy.
In TAG Masters, four drivers would race with D Power Racing Engines prepared Vortex ROK TT’s. Having proven over the past few years to have the strongest ROK TT engines in the country, this was the year that D Power looked to take the top spot at the most prestigious race of the year. With Diego Pelosi, Ethan Wilson, and Jason Bell all starting in the top 15, expectations were high heading into the final. Coming from the 9th position, Wilson was flying and battled his way through the field running the fastest laps. Wilson got to the lead on lap 15 and never looked back taking an emotional first Supernationals victory for both Wilson and D Power Racing Engines. Pelosi would cross the line in 8th, while Bell and fellow driver Jesus Robles finished just outside the top 20. Unfortunately, Wilson was deemed to be illegal on a technical measurement along with the 3rd place finisher for the same thing. Both engine builders were adamant that the procedure was not done correctly, but ultimately they lost the battle. Following the event, outside inspectors performed the tech procedure on Wilson’s engine and every time it was found to be legal and within the rules. It was an extremely disappointing way to have a victory taken away and another podium that had both been rightfully earned.
TAG Senior is always the most competitive category at the Supernationals and D Power would have ten drivers running their engines with some of the top names in the sport aiming for victory. After finishing on the podium multiple times, this was looking to be the season D Power would claim the win, especially with title contenders Andrew Zimmer and Louie Pagano armed with their IAME Leopard powerplants. Six of these drivers would make the final with Daniel Formal leading the charge starting from the 5th position on his Vortex ROK TT. Unfortunately, Formal’s opportunity for victory was cut short with a first lap incident that ended his race before it ever started. Pagano was battling his way through the field and set the fastest lap in the race and looking set to avenge his second place 2012 finish with a victory, but a broken exhaust continued the tough D Power luck for the race. Andrew Wiener ended up finishing the highest with a fantastic drive from 45th to 10th in the main event, earning the Hard Charger of the Race. Luckily, issues plagued the other championship contenders and Zimmer and Pagano were able to hold onto their 1-2 position in the point standings. This was the second time D Power Racing Engines has helped power drivers to TAG Senior championships in the four seasons of the SKUSA Pro Tour and it was the first time an engine builder has occupied the first two positions in the final standings.
“It has been an unbelievable season that has seen so many strong results in a number of different series and categories,” reflected head engine technician Daniel Patino. “The Supernationals were bittersweet; to finish on the podium and bring home the Pro Tour 1-2 is an amazing accomplishment, but knowing we were so close to our first victory in this race and to have it taken away unfairly is very difficult. I am so thankful for each and every customer that makes this business possible and we look forward to bringing in the new season with our new PR Engines identity to continue to seek more wins and championships!”
PR Engines is located in Santa Ana, CA and specializes in the building of all TAG engines. With national wins and championships over the last few years, Daniel Patino has become one of the top engine builders in the country. To find out more about achieving your own Personal Record in 2014, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and check out www.pr-engines.com for all the latest news and information.