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Wet Weather Strikes Gatorz Karting Cup Season Finale at Moran Raceway

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The Gatorz Karting Cup season finale took place at Moran Raceway in Beaumont, California. Gatorz is the largest Rotax Max Challenge presented by Champ Car in North America.

Jacob Pearlman at Moran Raceway, photo by GoRacing magazine Jacob Pearlman at Moran Raceway, photo by GoRacing magazine
Teen Jacob Pearlman from Carlsbad, California was in position to finish in the top 5 in the points battle. The weekend’s racing was complicated by the threat of rain. Temperatures were in the low 50s over the weekend. A few weeks before, the temperature at Moran was a blistering 110 degrees.
Jacob Pearlman uses K&N Engineering Products Jacob Pearlman uses K&N Engineering Products
Jacob Pearlman delayed by weather at Moran Raceway, photo by GoRacing magazine
Jacob Pearlman delayed by weather at Moran Raceway, photo by GoRacing magazine

JP and his DPK Birel with K&N Products was quick in the first practice session on Saturday morning. The Junior Rotax racers were the only group to get laps in before the rain hit hard. The track was soaked by the second practice session.

“JP drove on rain tires and in wet conditions for the first time in 18 months,” said Jacob’s father Richard Pearlman. “He used the session to become familiar with the most effective racing line and braking points under slick conditions. In southern California we aren't use to wet weather.”

The Junior Rotax grid headed out for a 20 minute qualifying session. The track was soaked but JP managed to qualify mid-pack, in 7th position. When the rain finally stopped, the field was delayed as competitors made last minute decisions on whether to run rain or dry tires.

“After idling on the grid for several minutes, Jacob’s motor began to sputter as he took to the track,” said Pearlman. “By the time the field was halfway around the one mile circuit, JP’s Rotax motor cut out with a fouled spark plug and would not restart. Our crew worked hard in the pits to get the motor restarted. The good news was as we were working the field-start was delayed.”

JP sped from the pits over a half lap behind the other karts and really started racing. He was able to improve his position to 9th by the end of the heat. “To make a long day even longer, there was a two hour wait until the 23 lap main event,” said Pearlman. “During this time the rain had almost completely stopped, but the skies remained threatening.”

Planning the kart set up and tire choice for the main event was a constant process for JP’s crew. The weather continued to alternate between brief periods of sun, clouds, fog and drizzle. The crew chief made the decision to mount a fresh set of racing slicks in anticipation of a dry track.

In the final JP raced hard from the drop of the green and was heavy on the gas. As he approached the first turn, JP passed two karts. He eventually moved from 9th to 5th place. He spent 22 laps bumper to bumper with Louie Pagano as they contested 4th place. They exchanged race positions 4 times with JP and his DPK Birel with K&N products moving past his DPK teammate, to take 5th place for good on lap 21.

“Jacob finished 5th in points in his first year of Rotax competition,” said Pearlman. “K&N’s quality and reliability have been a key contributing factor to our success throughout the year.”

JP has one race left on his 2007 schedule. On October 13, he will run both the HPV-2 and HPV-4 Jr. classes with the Tri-C Karters at the Grange Motor Circuit.

Follow Jacob Pearlman's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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