Successful Weekend at Lone Star Grand Prix for Leading Edge Motorsports
Gonzalez, Freese and McAlister all notch podium finishes for top California team
Leading Edge Motorsports has been a frontrunner in kart racing for years, and they are off to a strong start in 2014. Led by industry veteran Greg Bell, the LEM operation can be found at all of the sport’s major events, supporting its drivers in their chase for victories and podiums. The powerhouse team was most recently found at the Lone Star Grand Prix in Lockhart, Texas, as Bell put in significant road miles piloting the LEM hauler from California to the LoneStarState in support of this unique one-off street race, which took place the first weekend of March. It was another strong outing for Bell’s drivers, as they brought home three podium finishes, surviving the challenging track and tough weather conditions.
“I had not felt like this at an event in years,” stated Bell. “The Lone Star Grand Prix is something new to me and the karting community as a whole, and it fueled our performance over the weekend. The fields were very impressive, including the size of the grid and the quality of drivers. The limited amount of track time played in our favor, as the LEM group was ready to rock in both the dry and wet conditions. We should have left with a couple of victories, but I’m still pleased as three of our drivers went home with hardware and the passion to return next year for better results.”
Jack Freese made his LSGP debut in the headline Stock Honda Light category. Freese looked fantastic in Texas as his LEM teammates and tuners helped the shifter pilot stay inside the top-five throughout the entire weekend. Following a fifth place run in qualifying, Freese maintained the position in Saturday night’s Prefinal, which was becoming darker and darker with each passing lap as the sun has already set. Thanks to the street lights in downtown Lockhart, there was just enough illumination to finish up the day. Starting on the inside of row three for Sunday’s main event, Freese took to the wet circuit like a veteran, as the sophomore Senior driver made the most of the rain race, driving from fifth on the grid to an impressive third place finish among some of the best in the sport.
Leading Edge Motorsports was represented well in the shifter categories, but thanks to Juan Gonzalez, the team also recorded a strong finish in the TaG categories at the Texas event. Gonzalez raced in the TaG Junior field, and was among the contenders following a drive from outside the top-10 to the fifth place position at the end of the eight-lap Prefinal on Saturday. Thanks to a great start, Gonzalez was running second in the rain-soaked main event aboard his LEM Praga chassis. He was eventually passed by last year’s race winner, but still maintained a spot on the podium, taking the checkered flag in third. Following post-race technical inspection, he was promoted back to second when the winner removed from the results. This was a tremendous result for Gonzalez, as he overcame challenging conditions to give Leading Edge yet another trophy result.
Big names were in the paddock to contest many of the classes in Lockhart, and not many in karting are bigger than that of Trevor McAlister. The Texas native, who now calls California home, has won at every level of the sport over the years, and continues to be a threat each and every time he climbs into the seat. ‘T-Mac’ has been teamed up with Bell again for the last few years and on this weekend, he contested the Stock Honda Heavy field aboard a Praga. McAllister began the weekend by qualifying sixth in a very deep field, and followed up that run by gaining two positions in the Prefinal. The main event on Sunday saw Trevor continue to improve his standing up the leaderboard, working from fifth after losing a spot on the start. The conditions were tough, but McAlister excelled when challenged and advanced to finish on the third step of the podium in his first visit to the LSGP.
Out of Leading Edge Motorsports’ four drivers, only one was returning to the Lone Star Grand Prix for his second go at the race. Ryan Kinnear ran to a podium finish in Stock Honda Light in the 2013 edition of the street race. Kinnear would tackle the headline category once again, while also entering in to the 125 Modified/ICC class. The first of Kinnear’s two categories to hit the track in Lockhart was the new class, 125 Modified/ICC, providing extra track time for the Texan. Qualifying saw Kinnear post the third fastest lap of the session, but the tight event schedule did not allow for Kinnear to make the Prefinal, putting him to the tail of the field for the final. Starting dead last in the wet main event on Sunday, Kinnear was making his way up the order when contact in turn one ended his race early.
Things started off brilliantly for Kinnear in Stock Honda Light. The Intrepid driver earned the second position in Saturday’s qualifying session, as he missed the pole by only a tenth of a second. Ryan would hold the runner-up spot through Saturday night’s Prefinal, which ended in an Intrepid 1-2 finish behind Champion Racing driver Jake French. Unfortunately, Kinnear tweaked his Intrepid chassis in the previous main event on Sunday, which would keep him from competing in the main event on Sunday. His speed, both in the dry and wet, will position Kinnear as one of the top contenders in the S1 Pro division this summer.
The Leading Edge Motorsports crew is now back in California, preparing for the next battle, which will be the third stop of the California ProKart Challenge on March 28-29 at the AdamsMotorsportsPark in Riverside. The following weekend, LEM and SuperTuners Inc. travel to the SimracewayPerformanceKartingCenter in Sonoma, California to contest the final round of the Rotax Challenge of the Americas. 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, providing industry leading Intrepid, OK-1 and Praga chassis brands. 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 in cooperation with 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.