Rotax Max Challenge Kart Racer Has Podium Finish at California Speedway

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Jacob Pearlman earned his first podium finish in the Rotax Max Challenge Presented by Champ Car with a hard earned 3rd place victory at California Speedway.
Jacob Pearlman at Claifornia Speedway Photo: Mark Lacour/MLP
Jacob Pearlman at California Speedway Photo: Mark Lacour/MLP
JP had ongoing engine issues at the Los Angeles Kart Club’s March event, but remained optimistic at the track. The 16-year-old from Carlsbad, California put his No. 125 Birel inside the 2nd row by qualifying 3rd. He was only .04 seconds behind the off pole sitter.

Throughout the day the pits were very active as JP and his crew changed motor components to try and eliminate engine problems. “This was the second race in a row the motor would not cooperate,” said JP’s father Rich Pearlman. “We thought we had the problem solved but we were wrong.”

At the drop of the green flag for the 10 lap heat race, JP’s dropped from 3rd to 4th before the field entered the first turn. He was able to hold on to finish 4th and was on the second row of the grid for the main event. The crew replaced the wiring harness and hoped for the best.

JP rolled onto the throttle at the start of the 20 lap main event and his engine revved to full RPM. He stayed in line with the leaders but began looking for opportunities to move up. At the entrance to turn 8, the 3rd place kart moved a bit wide and JP seized the opportunity. He spent the next 18 laps in a pitched battle for the 3rd position as the first and second place karts slowly edged away.

“It was the first time all weekend that my son was able to race with the leaders,” said Pearlman. “It was very competitive racing.”

JP took the checkered flag at the end of lap 20 1.2 seconds behind the 2nd place kart and only .3 seconds in front of the fourth. “Now that we have the motor problem figured out, we can dial in the chassis,” said JP. “I’m really looking forward to my next race.”

Whether they are racing, towing or in their personal cars, the Pearlman’s use K&N Engineering products. “California Speedway is in a heavily industrialized area,” said Rich Pearlman. “The air quality is generally very poor. The K&N Filters are very easy to clean and reuse. They are a great solution for tough environments.”

JP resumes his quest for his first Rotax Max Challenge win next Saturday at California Speedway’s Calspeed Kart Track.
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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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit