ART Grand Prix America Wins Again at LAKC
After a successful February season opener, ART Grand Prix America returned to the Calspeed Kart Track for the second round of the LAKC championship. The largest karting club on the west coast saw six drivers run with the team. After a strong practice day in hot and windy conditions, race day would bring much nicer weather and competitive racing in all of the categories.
Brad Harvey would be making his debut with the team after a multiple year hiatus from karting in the PRD Masters category. After a difficult test day getting involved in an incident that was not his fault, the San Diego native would bounce back with a strong 9th place qualifying effort continuing to better his lap times which was the main goal for the weekend. Harvey would survive an action packed pre-final to move up to 8th and better his best lap by another half a second. Looking to continue the momentum, his final would unfortunately be cut short after a first lap incident. It wasn’t the finish the team was looking for, but Harvey will look to test and keep improving before next month’s event.
PRD Junior would see the team enter two drivers into the day’s largest class which had 18 drivers. Last month’s winner Chance Skaufel would be joined again by Aaron Aguirre and they would have a strong qualifying session timing in 4th and 5th respectively. The two would do a great job in the pre-final carving through the field and would finish 1-2 with Skaufel taking the win and Aguirre finishing 2nd. Looking to bring home the second straight win the two settled in behind each other. Aguirre would move around Skaufel on the second lap and set out to drive away. Aguirre would see his gap open and close throughout the race, but would hold on for his first career LAKC victory. It was a brilliant drive and he would be joined on the podium by teammate Skaufel who would battle to a 3rd place finish and stretch out his points lead.
Chris Cricca would return to the driver seat in PRD Senior for his first race of the year. It would be a trying day for the 19 year old as small issues plagued him all day. Showcasing his ability, Cricca continued to battle during each session and made a number of impressive passes even as the pace was not as strong as desired. Cricca worked his way into the top 5 during the final before some contact dropped him to 8th at the end of the race. It wasn’t the result the team had planned for, but it was great to have Cricca back in the seat as preparations begin for the driver for the SKUSA Pro Tour opener in May.
Matias Podboj and Gianfranco Casadei would compete in the combined S1, S2, and Open Shifter classes that would see a total of 24 drivers on track. Podboj wasn’t able to test Saturday leaving him to go into qualifying with little track time. He would time in 7th overall and 2nd in S1 as the team went to work to dial in his machine. Casadei would be stuck in traffic throughout the session and his 13th place overall and 7th in S2 wasn’t indicative of his pace. The two would move up the field in the pre-final doing a great job to finish 4th and 5th overall by Podboj and Casadei respectively. They would both finish 2nd in their respective categories and with a few more adjustments would be looking for main event victories. The final would unfortunately be plagued with mechanical DNF’s for the two as Podboj’s radiator was pierced and he ran half the race with no water leading to reduced power before pulling in to save the engine. Casadei was running strong in the top 5 overall and beginning to chase down the S2 leader when just past the halfway mark the carburetor broke loose and fell off ending what was proving to be the most competitive effort of the season for the Brazilian. The final results were disappointing, but the speed that was shown in the shifter categories was once again very encouraging.
ART Grand Prix America will now look to the next SKUSA PKC round at AdamsMotorsportsPark at the end of the month that sees the team go in leading the S3 category and in the top 5 in the championships in multiple classes. Limited arrive and drive opportunities are available in all classes and drivers are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. To learn more about the race team, how to become an ART Grand Prix dealer, or to find an authorized dealer in your area visit www.artgpamerica.com and stay active on the team’s social media pages, Facebook: ART Grand Prix America and Twitter: @artgpamerica.