With multiple race wins and championships already added to their resume in 2012, Canadian karting powerhouse PSL Atlantic would travel south to the Jet Karting of Michiana Raceway Park facility near South Bend, Indiana in search for United States national championships. With Team USA berths on the line, the Rotax Grand Nationals would bring a mixed bag of weather throughout the week, but the CRG outfitted operation would once again find their way to the top step of the podium with veteran karter Alan Rudolph in the Rotax DD2 Masters division.
“The US Grand Nationals were a well organized event and the racing was second to none,” explained PSL Atlantic’s Mike Dobbelsteyn. “The only thing that could have made the week better was two national titles and a little better weather later in the week. Alan performed like he normally does and was the dominant driver in the Rotax DD2 Masters field and Fritz was at the pointy end of the Rotax Senior field until contact in the main event took him out of contention for the win.”
Leading the way for the PSL Atlantic squad in Thursday morning qualifying was multi-time shifter kart champion Alan Rudolph. Scoring the Rotax DD2 Masters pole position and third overall in the Rotax DD2 and DD2 Masters combined field, the Arizona resident was more than half a second clear of his closest Masters competitor and would begin his dominant run on the weekend.
With the morning qualifying session concluded on a damp track, Rudolph would enter the three heat race flight program as the rain would continue to fall for the remainder of the week. True to form, the talented pilot and 2012 Florida Winter Tour champion swept all three heat races to score Championship Saturday’s prefinal pole position.
With lake-effect rain hampering the on track conditions on Saturday morning, half of the Rotax DD2 Masters field would switch to slick Mojo tires while Rudolph chose to utilize the wet weather compound. Jumping out to an early lead, a dry line would begin to develop and Rudolph would lose his advantage. Falling victim to the faster slick tires, the CRG pilot would fall down the running order to finish eighth.
Back on track for the main event, the weather had finally broke and all the Rotax DD2 Masters drivers would be on the same dry tires. Starting outside row four, Rudolph would bide his time in the 26 lap main event as he would pick off his rivals one by one. Taking the point just after the hallway mark, Rudolph scored the fastest lap of the event en route to an eight second victory and his first national championship in the Rotax ranks.
PSL Atlantic would also enter front-runner Fritz Leesmann in the Rotax Senior division. Already qualified to compete for Team USA through his Gatorz Challenge of the Americas Rotax DD2 title, Leesmann would see action against a strong field of competitors as he would look to add to his 2012 win total and vie for the national title.
Qualifying fourth in Thursday morning’s wet timed run, Leesmann would start all of his heat races from outside row one as he began his quest for the United States national championship. With rain falling for all three heat races, Leesmann would battle hard to maintain his position at the front of the field and would end with three top five results with a pair of thirds and a fourth, setting himself up for a solid prefinal starting position on Saturday morning.
Looking to maintain his efforts at the front of the field, Leesmann and the rest of the Rotax Senior field would endure more rain and a wet track for their prefinal. Holding station throughout the 14-lap event, Leesmann was excited to start near the front of the field for Saturday afternoon’s main event and have his shot at bringing PSL Atlantic another title.
With the rain subsiding after Saturday’s opening ceremonies and drivers parade, the entire Rotax Senior field would enter the grid on dry weather tires as an all out battle would ensue for the victory. Looking to make quick work of the three drivers in front of him, Leesmann’s final began with disaster, as the Team USA member would spin after contact on only the second circuit. Falling deep in the field, the California resident would rebound to drive forward to a 16th place effort.
Dobbelsteyn continued, “It has been a great year for PSL Atlantic and CRG. We have managed to claim a Florida Winter Tour championship and a Gatorz Challenge of the Americas title and qualified two drivers for the Rotax Grand Finals in Portugal later this year. The Canadian National Championships are next on the radar for us as we will look to add some Canadian titles to our 2012 results.”
Traveling back north to Canada, PSL Atlantic will compete August 22- 26 at the Circuit Karting Mont-Tremblant for the annual ASN Canada FIA Canadian National Championships.
For more information in PSL Atlantic or to inquire on team driver opportunities with the PSL Atlantic team, please call Mike Dobbelsteyn at 506-458-9357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.