Team News: Kartwerks Crew Finds Success at New Castle Rounds of GLSS & WKA

KartWerks logoThe opening round of the Great Lakes Sprint Series and the third round of the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series were held on back-to-back weekends at the renowned New Castle Motorsports Park and the Kartwerks crew was in attendance for both events.

Praga pilot Griffin Kunz again lead the way in his first trip to NCMP with second and third place finishes in Yamaha Rookie at the GLSS event. Kunz was a quick study of the draft on the infamous long NCMP straightaways, finding his spot at the top of the charts and setting himself up for the National event the following weekend.

Joining Griffin for the GLSS event were fellow Yamaha Rookie competitor Owen Mahle and Yamaha Junior driver Evan Fritts, both making their Regional Series debuts. Despite a rain shortened Friday practice both drivers were able to make huge strides under the watchful eye of tuner/coach Andy Schlosser. Owen dropped his times by more than ten seconds over the two days while Evan scored a best of seventh in Saturday’s Final!

Roman Tretiak has been travelling with the team since winter testing but for New Castle he made the move to a Praga Dragon for his TAG and Senior Rotax program. Roman had a light field to compete against in the combined Senior class and easily set the fast time of the day each day for the event while picking up first place honors in the TAG class.

The Manufacturers Cup event the following weekend came with bigger turnouts in all of the classes as Yamaha Rookie led the way with 29 entries!

The increased competition level provided Griffin all the incentive needed and he once again landed on the Podium with a fourth place finish on Saturday, just .422 seconds off the lead and .07 seconds from second as a matter of inches separated the second to fourth place finishers! Sunday was shaping up to be even better as Griffin was the pusher and fast kart in a four kart train before the leaders got tangled up with lapped traffic with one lap to go. Griffin and two other karts in the lead pack were caught up in the crash and were scored at the end of the order.

The Kartwerks traveling contingent continues to grow as Luca Mars made his first National start, also in the Yamaha Rookie class on a Praga Piccolo. The young racer from Pittsburgh, PA had a solid weekend in what was his first trip ever to NCMP. With a solid baseline to build on from the team’s compiled data, Luca was able to gain confidence, speed and consistency throughout the weekend and will be a regular part of the traveling team for the remainder of the 2013 season.

Alex Lester, our Kartwerks/Praga Cadet driver, had a rough start to the weekend trying to find speed around the big 1.2 mile circuit. After some adjustments based on what the team learned in testing, Alex was able to shave 2 seconds off his lap times from Saturday to Sunday and close the gap on the racers he normally competes with.

Returning to the team for another WKA round was Reston, VA racer Ayrton Climo. Ayrton ran the TAG class and finished a career best 12th in Sunday’s final after an up and down weekend.

Dan Schlosser, Team Manager: “Griffin was really impressive once again learning a new track quickly and honing his racecraft. His feedback continues to improve and when combined with our data program allows us to move quickly through our testing regimens. The best is still ahead this season! As much fun as it is to see our karts at the front of the grid, it has been equally as satisfying to see our new drivers blossom in the more competitive environments we have been racing in. Our success in that respect will allow us to have some exciting announcements soon as this program grows!”

The team will be off for Memorial Day weekend but will once again be in Indiana, this time cheering for former local kart racers such as Graham Rahal, Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden in the Indy 500 as well as former Robo-Pong 200 teammate Alex Tagliani! Kartwerks will be back on track for Round 4 of the Pitt Race Karting Series on June 2nd before heading back to New Castle for the second USPKS race.

Transportation, Tent and Support Services as well as Arrive & Drive Opportunities are available for the PRK Series, USPKS at New Castle and both GLSS & WKA at South Bend in June. Please contact Dan Schlosser for details – dan@kartwerksusa.com

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