K1 Speed’s factory kart team cracked into the top 10 this past weekend at Auto Club Raceway in CalSpeed Karting’s first 4 hour enduro of 2011. The team which consisted of K1 employees Brad Harvey, Amanda Bryant, Ben Swanson and K1 Race Gear-backed driver, who also competed at the Machismo 500 in Las Vegas last year, Jacob Pearlman. The team had been training and getting seat time for the previous 2 months between various K1 Speed centers and at Adam’s Motorsport Park to become more familiar with competing on an outdoor circuit in karts utilizing 4 stroke engines.
Practice came early Saturday morning and the team got used to making driver changes and pit stops, along with getting a feel for the kart and the 3/4 mile long asphalt track. Lap times between everyone varied a bit and we were running about mid-pack during practice. As the morning pressed on the track warmed up a bit and the lap times came down. Heading into qualifying Jacob Pearlman was put into the kart for the 10 minute session qualifying the team in 6th for the start of the race with a lap time of 1:03.46. Overall the entire field qualified within half a second of each other with the top 5 teams within 1 thousandth of a second – this was closest qualifying group to ever race in an enduro at CalSpeed.
Before the start of the main, the team got together with the aid of Jacob’s Dad Richard, who had been helping with timing for the team during practice and qualifying, to put a strategy together for making the mandatory 11 driver changes and 1 fuel stop during the 4 hour race. Richard’s years of karting experience with Jacob added some good inside perspective and the team was set to go. The Lemans style start was fun to watch as drivers had to run to their karts where they sat idling and the drivers would jump in and go for the start of the race. The tight field freight trained around for the first few laps and pit strategy already came into play as teams gambled with making early pit stops. The K1 Factory Team had dropped off the lead lap and fell back a bit, but as the race went on and the other teams began to make their pit stops they began to move back up the field. As the day went on and especially by the final hour, the team got progressively faster. The final splash-and-go fuel stop combined with a driver change put the team just 1 lap behind 4th -8th positions and it was a race to the finish to move up in the field. When the checkered flag came down the team sat in 9th overall for the day.
Team member Brad Harvey went on to say “This was a great day of racing for us, and there is definitely a lot of thanks to go around to the people that helped make this happen. Jacob and Richard’s years of karting experience really helped out with their driver coaching and on-track position information. We are only going to go faster from here and I’m looking forward to the next event which is an 8 hour enduro in April. I want to thank the CalSpeed staff for putting on a great event, along with K1 Speed and K1 Race Gear for the custom suits for the team and for their support coming into this event”
From Jacob Pearlman “I really had a lot of fun today, its been a while since I have gotten to compete out here at CalSpeed, the track layout was fast and consistency played an important role for the teams to perform well. I want to thank the K1 Speed Factory Team for letting me drive with them and I am looking forward to racing with these guys again.”
Said Amanda Bryant “This was awesome, I’m really happy to be given the opportunity to come out and drive for K1 Speed and K1 Race Gear. We were all able to get progressively quicker throughout the day and having it come down to the last 30 minutes really showed that we have great potential here with this organization to be up there in the top 5. I want to thank K1 Speed and K1 Race Gear for all their support.”
“We had our work cut out for us today,” stated team member Ben Swanson “The 4 stroke engine and Sodi Chassis gave us a bit of a learning curve to overcome, but I am happy with how we performed. We are hopefully going to train a bit more before the next event and come out to the 8 hour enduro in April and be a stronger team. I can’t thank K1 Speed and K1 Race Gear enough for their support, I’m looking forward to seeing what this team will do going into the rest of the 2011 race season.”
Richard Pearlman added, “These guys ran great today for a first time out, their professionalism, supporting each other, and their ability to adapt to changing track conditions and find a faster way around the circuit along with staying consistent was definitely the key with today’s race. These guys are going to only get faster from here and possibly become a good contender for future events.”
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Need Race Gear and Equipment – K1 Race Gear has all the track support equipment you need for your indoor or outdoor track days. Check them out on-line and make sure you tell them the K1 Speed Factory Team referred you-
Want to compete in the CalSpeed Karting’s Enduro Series – check them out here