Checkered flag victory for Tri-C Karters teen racer Jacob Pearlman,photo by Sean Buur of go racing magazine
California State Karting Championship victory lap for teen racer Jacob Pearlman, photo by Sean Buur of go racing magazine
High Desert California karting track hosted the 45th annual California State Championship, an International Karting Federation event, photo by Sean Buur of go racing magazine
Pearlman, also known as JP at the track, won the pole as the fastest qualifier in his No. 125 DPK Birel with K&N products. He also finished first in both the pre-main and main events in the Rotax International Senior Class. On race day, JP fought the competition, a virus, crash damage and several mechanical issues, including a failed radiator, exhaust pipe and ignition system.
It was always Pearlman’s intention to compete for the state championship in both the TAG Senior and Rotax International Senior Classes. He didn’t count on a bad sore throat or no voice. Despite his illness, the high-school junior insisted on hitting the track and turned the fastest practice time of the day in Rotax.
The next day he raced against the top seeded nationally ranked racers. “JP’s condition worsened overnight, but he managed to qualify mid-pack in a TAG Senior field with the top racers,” said Rich Pearlman, Jacob’s father. “He missed the 12 lap pre-main for a quick visit to the local urgent-care center where a doctor cleared him to race. We rushed back to the track, but JP had to start the 16 lap main event under the lights in the back.”
“I knew at that point my chance to win the TAG race was over,” said Jacob Pearlman. “But, I wanted to use the session to test my racing skills at the Rotax race on Sunday and try and work my way back up into the top-10.” Although JP had a good start, he was caught up in a big wreck, involving half of the field in the third turn of the first lap. The hard contact damaged the back of his kart and his brakes were stuck for the rest of the race.
The high desert of Southern California was warm and sunny on Sunday morning. Jacob was felling better and was fast during practice on the track. He kept his momentum throughout the day for his first California State Championship and the fastest lap of the day for any of the Rotex classes.
“It was a very challenging weekend for me,” said JP. “The Cal-State Championship was a goal we have been working towards for the last four months. K&N has been an amazing part of our racing program. We rely on their products both at the track and in our personal vehicles. I was very proud to have K&N on my kart for the victory lap.”
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