Aluminos Chassis Wins at SKUSA SuperNationals XVII
Big weekend for team and house chassis program in Las Vegas
Kiwi drivers Daniel Bray, Marcus Armstrong and Matthew Hamilton put the Aluminos chassis on the podium at the SKUSA SuperNationals XVII (Photo: Aluminos.com)
Making history this year, the Aluminos operation introduced their own chassis to the North American market and found success right out of the box. Debuting at the Superkarts! USA SummerNationals three months earlier, the Aluminos chassis made its SuperNationals debut this past November at the 17th annual SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. The final stop on the SKUSA Pro Tour and the second national race for the new chassis went very well as the team left with a SuperNats victory, two podium finishes as well as a collection of strong performances from all Aluminos team drivers.
“It’s been a great five months for Aluminos,” stated owner Rob Soares. “We earned victory at our first national event with the new chassis, and it has continued to win at the regional and national level, including the Red Line Oil Karting Championship here in Northern California and the SKUSA Pro Tour. The Sonoma chassis has proven well in the shifterkart categories, and the new Estorli for TaG competition is now ready to contend for major titles in 2014. I couldn’t be happier with the performances we had in Las Vegas for the SuperNationals with all the weather issues, and it’s great to see Aluminos on top once again. An interesting fact, seven drivers have won their first race aboard the Aluminos chassis, including myself, Fraser, Bray, Toft, Buckwalter, Calderon and now Hamilton. It’s an exciting time for us here at Aluminos.”
Winning at the SuperNationals is an incredibly difficult undertaking, and the quality and performance of the Aluminos chassis was again proven in the S4 Master Stock Moto class as New Zealand visitor Matt Hamilton scored the prestigious win with a 1.651-second triumph. Hamilton showed speed all weekend starting in qualifying where amongst a field of 82 racers, Hamilton was the third quickest. Hamilton was perfect through all three of his heat races as he handily scored a trio of wins – his third and final heat race win came with a near five second margin over second place. The main event saw Hamilton reel in the early race leader and then check out on the field as he scored a comfortable victory, and earned the Aluminos chassis its first win in its SuperNats debut.
Kiwi Daniel Bray has been a powerhouse for the Aluminos squad for the past four years, winning the Pro Tour title back in 2011. This year’s Las Vegas run was another great one, as Bray ran near the front all weekend despite the extremely challenging conditions, ultimately bringing Aluminos home their first podium of the day thanks to a third place finish. Through eight rounds of practice, four of which were ran in the grueling wet and cold of Thursday, Bray ran within the top-10 fastest drivers every session. After qualifying sixth Friday afternoon, Bray would run in the top five through all three heat races to earn a fourth place starting spot on SuperSunday. Bray looked sharp in the main event as he spent nearly the entire race in the second spot before relinquishing the position toward the end of feature race. Bray ended up second in the overall Pro Tour championship points to earn the SKUSA #2 plate for 2014.
The top-rung performances continued for Aluminos in the S5 Junior Stock Moto class as their international driver contingent was stellar across the board. A pair of New Zealander’s represented Aluminos very well in S5 Junior Stock Moto as Marcus Armstrong garnered another podium finish for Aluminos while Logan Brown just narrowly missed out on a top-10. Armstrong got after it in qualifying with the second best time of the session. Armstrong started fifth in the main event following the heat races, climbing to the third spot by lap eight and holding on to the checkered flag.
Aluminos driver Jason Toft left Vegas with a solid S1 top-10 run in the seventh spot while Brett Buckwalter finished 10 spots back in the 17th position. Fellow S1 drivers Daniel Langon and Tom Dyer had challenging SuperSunday race, placing 22nd and 27th respectively.
The Aluminos S2 contingent had a rough SuperNationals event with New Zealand driver Jordan Morris and Mexican pilot Fauzi Dib Saad as the only drivers under the tent making the main event. Qualifying on slick tires in wet conditions, Morris bounced back with an amazing drive from about 30th to fourth in the opening heat race. After two finishes outside the top-20, Morris locked up the 33rd spot on the SuperSunday grid as he gained 10 positions to finish 23rd overall. Saad got better as the event went on, qualifying 39th to end up starting 25th for the main event. He would be involved in an opening lap incident to place him on the sideline early. Three other Aluminos drivers showed speed, but could not end with solid results. Allan Cesarman was the only driver to finish the main event, placing 31st with Austin Schimmel recording a DNF and Will Preston unable to get out of the LCQ.
Four other drivers contested the S4 Master Stock Moto main event under the Aluminos tent. NorCal driver Jim Kidd traveled to the SuperNationals with the Aluminos squad, earning a 15th place result after the long battle with the competition and the weather. Kiwi drivers Snow Mooney and Mark Swetman were among the top-20 drivers throughout the event, placing 16th and 18th behind Kidd. Out of Mexico, Miguel Rojas came from the LCQ event after two DNF results in the heat races to race on SuperSunday. An incident on the opening lap however dropped him to the tail of the field and he was eventually forced to retire. Todd Wilson, Kassy Loving and Warren Parish were unable to qualifying for the main event.
TaG Master drivers Larry Fraser and Billy Cleavelin were hampered by the wet weather conditions aboard their Aluminos chassis. They bounced back to come from the tail of the field in the main event to cross the line 12th and 13th respectively for the Aluminos TaG chassis debut at the SuperNationals. Josh Bethune made his first start in the TaG Cadet division at the SuperNationals, but was unable to qualify for the main event.
“With the experience we have under the Aluminos tent, it’s a great experience to bring in new drivers and get them on the right path right away,” continued Soares. “Our data program combined with George Tavares’ relentless approach to tuning an engine has made our program among the best in North America. Add into the mix such as guys like Dyer, Bray, Leesmann, Hamilton, Calderon, and our program just gets even better for those looking to find that extra edge. I want to thank all our customers in Las Vegas and throughout the 2013 season for believing and giving us the opportunity to help them reach their goals. I look forward to working with all of them again, along with new customers in 2014.”
Aluminos is gearing up for another busy season in 2014, focusing on the SKUSA Pro Tour along with a stronger presence at the Red Line Oil Karting Championship in Northern California. For more information regarding the Aluminos chassis, or the successful race team, visit www.aluminos.com.