California Teen Qualifies for Rotax Max Challenge North American Grand Nationals

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Teen racer Jacob Pearlman of Carlsbad, California has made it to the Rotax Max Challenge North American Grand Nationals.
Jacob Pearlman at Apex Raceway
Jacob Pearlman at Apex Raceway

Round 7 of the Gatorz Karting Cup at Perris, California had significant championship implications. It also determined the qualifiers for the North American Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals.

“With so much on the line, the racers were aggressive and determined,” said Jacob’s father Richard Pearlman. “Despite all the competition and getting caught in two crashes, Jacob held on to move up to 5th place in season point standings. He also earned a qualifying spot in the Rotax Max Challenge, presented by Champ Car in Denver, Colorado.”

The racing day began with an uncooperative motor for JP. “When the official racing began in the afternoon, the best JP could do in qualifying was an unusual and disappointed 11th place,” said Pearlman. “It didn’t stop him. JP lined up on the inside of the 6th row for the start of the 20 lap heat race. By the end of the sixth lap, he moved up to the 8th position as was running with the lead pack.”

Another kart pulled in front of the whole group in the narrowest and tightest part of the circuit. The resulting contact among several karts sent JP’s #125 DPK/Birel with K&N Engineering Products spinning into the deep sand of the infield at Apex Raceway. He finished 12th in the heat.

The 34 lap main started at 9pm. “Trouble found JP in the very first turn,” said Pearlman. “Contact in the front of the pack sent one of the lead karts into the infield, then back on the track in front of Jacob’s kart. The impact shot JP and his Birel into the outside line of karts. Jacob held on even though he was hit by four other karts.”

JP corrected in time and was back on the gas tracking down the pack. He moved forward from 16th to finish in 7th place. He is optimistic as he looks toward the Grand Nationals next month. “Wow, I can’t wait to go to Denver,” said JP. “I am really proud to have K&N Products on my kart for the Grand Nationals. K&N is a key part to our success.”

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