and Teammate Hogg Win International Event in Spain
October 31, 2007
This past weekend, 11 drivers from North America competed at the
inaugural IAME International Challenge where 31 teams made up from
16 countries, including Canada and the United States, competed in
a six hour endurance race at the Circuito Internacional de Zuera
in Zaragoza, Spain. Team Canada was lead by Claudio Valiante and
the IAME importer Italian Motors while the USA team was headed by
Jim Russell Jr. and Russell Karting, the United States IAME importer.
The six hour race, with all teams running aboard FA Kart/Parilla
X30/Vega packages, was split into two-three hour contest over the
weekend with the team of David Jurca and Michael Hogg, running for
Team Canada, taking the first race win and the overall victory.
Although Jurca is American, in this event he was running for Canadian
team leader Claudio Valiante.
Following the full day of practice Friday, the competition
officially began with Qualifying. Canada 1 team of Jurca and Hogg
continued their strong pace, placing fifth overall behind Spain,
Belgium, France, and South Africa, separated by less than two-tenths.
USA 1 (Brandon Adkins-Wesley Boswell-Joey Wimsett) and Canada 2
(Fritz Leesmann-Will Martindale-David Zippie) were 12th and 13th
respectively while USA 2 (Mark Dismore Jr.-Devon Sandeen-Chris Scribner)
were 17th out of 31 teams.
race format would be two-three hour races and combining the finishing
times to produce an overall race winner. Certain rules that were
implemented were pushed to the limit and made teams come up with
different strategies. No one kart could be on track for 30 minutes
straight. Thus, if a driver was on track for 30 minutes and one
second, they would be assessed a penalty. The pit stops were a minimum
of five minutes from the time they entered pit lane, to the time
they exited. This allowed the teams, who were each provided one
mechanic per kart by IAME, to make any necessary changes to the
kart that were needed.
Team Canada 1 quickly moved to third at the start
of the first three hour race before making their first pit stop
on lap 17. They eventually worked up to second before pitting again
on lap 45. Following that, they took the lead on lap 67 when USA
1 ducked into pit lane. From there, they regained the lead after
their third and fourth stops to take the first race win by one lap
over Belgium. Team Canada 2 moved up to tenth from 15th in their
first stint before pitting on lap 18. However a broken starter would
while pitting would cost them 20 minutes, eventually finishing the
race in 23rd, down 20 laps.
USA 2 team got the checkered flag running in sixth
position. During the driver changes, they had problems getting the
kart restarted. Following the officials dealing out the penalties,
they were moved up to third for the first race, just two laps back
of Canada 1. USA 1 team had really bad luck, crossing the line in
15th place, six laps down. The first driver stint was stopped early,
near lap 14, with a cut rear tire resulting in a flat. Around lap
60, they had worked themselves to the front of the field, leading
for nine laps before pitting again. Following that stop, a broken
engine caused a six minute delay that saw Boswell pushing the kart
in from the track for an engine change. Following penalties, they
were placed 19th with a five lap punishment.
The second race put the teams back in their qualifying
positions for the start rather than by the results in the first
race, forcing all four North American teams to driver forward again.
Canada 2 rebounded from their bad luck during race one to earn a
fourth place finish, putting them 15th overall. Team Canada 1 ran
a conservative race except were handed a one lap penalty, dropping
them to sixth in the second race. That would be enough to place
Jurca and Hogg first overall by one lap, completing 142 laps in
each of the races.
USA 2 again had a solid day though were assessed a
one lap penalty for making a pit stop outside the pit window. They
finished just one lap down in ninth place and fifth overall, three
laps behind Jurca and Hogg. USA 1 had a few more issues in race
two. A five lap penalty from running to long to make a stop and
a miscue in the pits that caused the brake pads needing to be replaced
caused a delayed them even further. In the end they finished 21st,
10 laps down and 16th overall.
“It was a great experience and was thrill to
have the opportunity to compete for the United States,” commented
Mark Dismore Jr. from his Indy home after returning from Spain Monday
night. “I'm proud the US and Canadian drivers had a great
showing running up front all weekend long. I’d be happy to
return next year to compete.”
“The format was much different than what I expected,”
said USA team manager Jim Russell Jr. “We had to adjust our
strategy with the pit stop rules and tire management. I am proud
of our drivers who did exceptionally well, each having their own
driving style and worked together to find the common setup. I’m
already thinking about what to change for next year.”
The winning team of Canada celebrated in Spain fashion,
hitting the night scene and staying an extra day for some site-seeing
around the city of Zaragoza and thus could not tracked down for
(Left to right: Claudia Valiante, Fernando Alonso,
David Jurca, Michael Hogg)