Laura Poorter came to the United States from Holland to compete in the Ford
Focus Midget Series for K&N Engineering. The 17-year-old had a good first
season, finishing 6th overall.
“She went into the final race at Irwindale Speedway in 4th place,” said
K&N Sports Marketing Director Charles Maier. “If she would have won the race we
probably would have come in 3rd overall. Instead she crashed out in the main
event and that pushed us back to 6th place.”
17 Year Old Racer Laura Poorter
The ½ mile oval at Irwindale features banked paved tracks. “There was no margin
for error,” said Maier. “She was coming from the back and had to chase her way
to the front. Laura pushed too hard and went into the wall. She was not hurt.
The competition was very tight all season.”
From the last race of the 2006 Ford Focus Midgets California (paved) Series to
the 65th Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway it was a short turnaround
“The car had a lot of repairs and we stripped it down to the frame and
reassembled it for Turkey Night,” said Maier. “We did not have a chance to do
practices the evening before or leading up to the race because of some
mechanical challenges. We pulled it off the trailer onto the track and within 15
minutes Laura was two-tenths off the live record. That was fantastic.”
Holland Native Laura Poorter at Irwindale
Poorter then faced another problem on Turkey Night. “We had the tires mounted by
a tire manufacturer and they put two left rear tires on the car,” said Maier.
“It was a mistake we didn’t catch, nor the manufacturer, nor USAC officials.
Laura still went out there and qualified 10th out of the best 32 cars coming out
of the gate.”
By the main event, the tires were corrected. “The rules forced Laura to start at
the back of the pack,” Maier said. “She drove all the way up to 9th place and on
the last lap coming up to the finish line someone pulled directly in front of
her. In order to avoid an accident she ended up spinning the car just before the
finish. Laura took 14th.”
This season we learned a lot as a team, said Maier. During the 2006 season, more
than 150 Ford Focus Midgets competed nationwide in 100 USAC-sanctioned events.
In 2007 USAC plans to expand.
Follow Laura Poorter's progress throughout the racing season at the
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