Team News: Team PSL Karting Pilots Win Big in SKUSA and WCC Action
Fritz Leesmann and Cody Diede victorious at SummerNationals while Thierry Cote earns WCC title
With the busy summer months upon the karting community, Team PSL Karting recently took in two major events and left victorious in both. The July 19-21 weekend saw three Team PSL Karting pilots at the second stop of the SuperKarts! USA Pro Tour at the Grand Junction Motor Speedway in Grand Junction, Colorado. The following weekend, two drivers running with CRG West, the Northwest USA and Western Canadian CRG distributor, were on track at the Western Canadian Championships (WCC) at the Warburg Kart Track, located southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. With Fritz Leesmann and Cody Diede leaving Colorado with one win each and Thierry Cote leaving Edmonton the Western Canadian Champion in the Mini Max class, the strength of the PSL/CRG package continues to be evident.
Always a threat in shifter kart racing, defending S1 Pro Stock Moto champion Fritz Leesmann scored his second win in Pro Tour action in 2013 while in Colorado. Posting fast lap in qualifying on Saturday to start his SummerNats campaign, Leesmann backed it up with both heat race victories later in the day. Starting the day’s final on pole, Leesmann lead early on before he was overtaken in turn 11. Swapping position for the lead over the next few laps, Leesmann was eventually put back to third where he would finish on the day. After missing out on the sweep on Saturday, Leesmann didn’t let it slip by on Sunday. Again scoring the day’s pole position and both heat race wins, the Californian drove to a two second victory and took home $1000 for his efforts.
In the S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto category, brothers Troy and Cody Diede would both make trips to podium presentations as the duo excelled against a staggering field of 37 karts. Saturday saw the brothers make up the second row for the heat races, as Troy qualified third and Cody fourth. Troy then went on to score both heat wins, while Cody posted eighth and fourth. The two were able to get a jump on the field at the start of the final, with Troy ahead of Cody. A battle between the brothers then ensued, with Cody scoring the win ahead of Troy, just as they did at the SummerNats in 2012.
Back to the track on Sunday, Troy would clock the fastest time in qualifying to secure the pole position for the heats. Cody placed third overall, lining himself up right behind his brother. Working together at the start of heat one, the duo came out 1-2 with Troy in the lead. Cody was then able to capitalize on a mistake made by Troy to get by for the lead, and went on to score the heat win with Troy in second. Troy then managed to keep the lead throughout heat two, scoring the victory with Cody back in third. The start of the final then proved disastrous for Cody, who went out on the first lap and was eventually classified 35th. Troy lead early before being overtaken on lap five, but he held on to score his second, second place podium result of the weekend.
The following weekend, PSL branded pilots would be on track north of the border to take on the Western Canadian Championships at the 1.2km Warburg Kart track near Edmonton, Alberta. Dominating the Rotax Mini Max ranks, Quebec’s Thierry Cote would be the driver to beat throughout the event. After taking the pole position, Cote went unchallenged in all three heat races, and then dominated both the prefinal and final to top the blocks and claim the WCC Mini Max championship title. Showing his driving prowess in both wet and dry weather competition, Cote also earned his ticket to the Micro & Mini Invitational during the 2013 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) in New Orleans, Louisiana later this year. The rising talent will now look to carry his momentum into the Canadian Karting Championships in just over one month’s time and be a contender for the national title.
Marco Kacic would also steer his CRG chassis to a podium result and his own ticket to the Micro & Mini Invitational as he challenged the small, yet competitive field of Rotax Micro Max drivers. Progressing through the heat races nicely with second, first and fourth place results after placing second in qualifying, Kacic would claim third in the prefinal and start the main event from inside row two. Looking to make a bid for the top spot, Kacic would eventually finish in the second position, taking the WCC Vice-Championship Micro Max title and adding another podium result to PSL’s growing resume.
Team PSL Karting will be trackside in 2013 at the Rotax Pan American Challenge, the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, the Coupe de Quebec and the Canadian National Championships. Team PSL Karting is associated with CRG, Maxter Kart Engines, Rotax, Tillett Racing Seats, Sniper, Unipro, Douglas Wheels, Vega, MG Tires, Arai, Bell, ULV, Mir, Freem, Elf Fuels, Alfano, MaxJet Software, D.I.D. Racing Chains, KC and Power Mist.