Rotax Kart Season Turns Positive for K&N Sponsored Teen

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California High School Freshman Jacob Pearlman (JP) went to the Grange Motor Circuit determined to turn around his Rotax season and reach the Gatorz podium for the first time.
Jacob Pearlman (R), photo courtesty of Sean Burr Goracing Magazine
Jacob Pearlman (R),  photo courtesy of Sean Burr Goracing Magazine

The 14-year-old kart racer faced an 8/10ths of a mile long track with a long 950 foot downhill front straight. There are 14 turns, noticeable elevation changes and a very abrasive racing surface.

“The Grange Motor Circuit is at the end of two miles of dirt roads in California’s high desert,” said Richard Pearlman, Jacob’s father. “Getting in and out of the track is hard on tow vehicles and results in frequent breakdowns. Our K&N Engineering Air Filter is a primary part of our racing package that ensures reliable tow vehicle performance under hot, dry and dusty conditions.

Last Saturday, the daytime high in the pits was around 95 degrees. The combining factors challenge the driver and crew to pick the right combination of kart set up, gearing, carburetion and race strategy. “There is no perfect set up,” said Pearlman. “Compromises must be made in order to get around the track quickly.”

There were 94 entries spread over 5 classes at the track for the Gatorz Karting Cup. It is North America’s largest Rotax Max Challenge Series and racers came from California, Nevada, Colorado and Utah. The 16 kart Junior Rotax field was packed with state champions, IKF and Rotax regional champions and national front-runners from the Snap-On Stars of Karting.

JP was optimistic going into the Jr. Rotax 15 minute timed qualifying session. Working together with DPK /Birel and K&N teammate Cameron Jocelyn, JP posted the 4th fastest qualifying time. JP started on the outside of the second row, right behind Jocelyn who earned the 2nd qualifying spot.

At the drop of the green flag for the 15 lap heat race, Jacob found himself in 7th position coming out of the first series of turns. JP worked his way up to 4th place as the checkered flag flew at the end of the heat.

In the main, JP moved to the front at the first turn and began to separate himself from most of the field. By lap 5, Cameron Jocelyn had worked his way back up to 3rd place and was challenging JP and the leader. Speeds approached 75 mph as the teens contested for the lead position. JP and Cameron exchanged positions on the track several times before Cameron took 2nd position and JP 3rd. Jacob earned his first Rotax podium finish and his 4th podium of 2007.

“The racing was very tight all day,” said JP. “I can’t believe how even these Rotax karts are. All of the front runners were fast, close and clean. It was really fun.”

JP will return to racing on May 12th at Moran Raceway with the Tri-C Karters.

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