The FX Racing Makita Team closed out February at the famed Willow Springs Kart Track in Rosamond, CA for round two of the SuperKarts! USA ProKart Challenge (PKC) SoCal Series. After the dark skies and rain of the CalSpeed opener, the PKC competitors were greeted with perfect racing conditions in the California desert.
Conte Back In the Groove
After missing the first round of the ’09 PKC SoCal season, Philip Conte (Monster Energy/Makita/TrackMagic/MidCities Honda) returned to the driver’s seat in the S4 class with a brand new TrackMagic Hornet 125. Coming off his 2008 championship win, the Lakewood, CA driver sported the #1 on his number plate. With only one day in the kart since his strong performance at the 2008 SuperNationals, Friday’s practice sessions were critical.
Working with mechanic Greg Marlow, data specialist Bill Kreig and the rest of the FX Racing Makita Team, Conte worked through multiple setups on Friday. As the checkered fell for the final practice session, driver and team felt confident they had the right combination to dominate the tight, abrasive Willow track.
Qualifying showed the team’s confidence was well founded as Conte took P2 just under two-tenths behind Jason Attwood, who calls Willow Springs his home track. Heat 1 saw Attwood late arriving on the grid so Conte had the front row all to himself. Making a clean getaway at the start, the FX Racing Makita driver never looked back, taking the Heat 1 win. Heat 2 saw Conte starting from the front again and leading the field until two laps from the end when he was passed by Jeff Smith. Conte pushed back for the remaining laps but had to settle for second place in the end.
Starting second for the Main, Conte was determined to get back to the P1 spot. Making a perfect start, Conte launched into the lead but was under constant pressure from Jeff Smith in second. Conte kept Smith behind up until the last lap, when going into turn seven Smith put a pass on Conte. Conte fought back and retook the position on corner exit, holding on to take the win. Despite a break from driving after SuperNats, the FX Racing driver showed he will be a serious force to reckon with for this year’s championship.
Montgomery Gets Some Magic
Roy Montgomery (Monster Energy/Makita/TrackMagic) had a new ride for this round of the PKC SoCal series as he made the move to the TrackMagic chassis with a new Hornet 125. Montgomery put in two test days prior to the event to familiarize himself with the new ride, spending Friday’s practice sessions working with mechanic Ryan Pfau to put the finishing touches on a setup. It all came together in qualifying with the Newport Beach, CA driver taking P3 – putting his built moto to good use against the ICC machines.
Despite being hounded all race by Brad Dhesi, Montgomery kept his cool and brought home 3rd place for Heat 1. Starting from P3 for Heat 2, Montgomery pushed hard to take second away from Jason Campbell but had to settle for 3rd place at the checkered flag.
Starting the Main, the FX Racing Makita driver again set off to take second, pushing hard in the opening laps. Campbell was able to keep Montgomery at bay, making the Main event result the same as Heat 2 with the FX Racing driver in third. A podium finish was a great result for the relatively new Montgomery as this was his first G1 podium and also his first event on Trackmagic.
Wiener Comes Close to Top Step
Prolific Southern California kart racer Steve Wiener (Monster Energy/Makita/Trackmagic) was on a roll for this round of the PKC SoCal series. Working with mechanic Brad Bowman, Wiener dialed in the kart in the practice sessions, ending at P3, just a half-second off the leaders pace. In Qualifying, the San Diego, CA driver was able to use that speed to take P2 in the competitive TaG Masters field.
Making a great start for Heat 1, Wiener took the lead and never gave it up, despite Mike Kelley getting close at the end. Starting from the pole for Heat 2, Wiener kept the lead and held it until the last corner of the last lap where he was passed by Jeff Deehan, leaving Wiener in 2nd just four-hundreths of a second behind at the flag.
Wiener was determined to get back to P1 in the Main. Dropping back to third on the first lap, Wiener made a move to take P2 into turn 9. Caught out by cold brakes, Wiener went off track, ending his run. Wiener keeps moving up the field at each event and will be looking forward to moving up the podium too.
FX Racing USA, LLC is a professional motorsports and marketing organization with headquarters in San Diego, CA offering programs ranging from auto and kart racing to corporate team building and training. The kart racing efforts are supported by Monster Energy, Makita Industrial Power Tools, K&N, Bell Racing, Trackmagic Racing Karts and Swedetech Racing Engines. For more information, visit www.fxracingusa.com.