Pro Karting - Giebler Racing’s Menezes 14th, Daughters 19th At Rotax Max Challenge Senior
PALM BEACH, Jan. 21, 2012: Phil Giebler Racing’s Gustavo Menezes and Mason Daughters reached the two feature races in the Florida Winter Tour’s Rotax Max Challenge deep and talented Senior division last weekend (Jan. 14-15) at Palm Beach International Raceway.
Menezes, of Coto de Caza, Calif., finished 14th Saturday and was 34th Sunday after being involved in two incidents of contact. The features had 40 starters and there were 69 karts in qualifying.
“Gustavo did well considering he hadn’t been in a kart in a year and a half,” Giebler said. “He had a run of incidents after winning the last chance qualifier Sunday. He started the pre-final 29th and bent his frame in the crash. In the final, he fell victim to a spinning kart.”
Daughters, of Polo, Mo., made his debut in the Senior division and finished 19th Sunday and 31st Saturday.
“Overall, it was a great debut for Mason,” Giebler said. “He finished second in the last chance qualifier Sunday, started 30th in the final and ended up 19th. He qualified 23rd Saturday, but was involve in a first lap, first turn pileup. Mason fell down to 37th and worked his way back up to 28th. He was involved in another accident in the final and finished 31st.
“Mason was starting to feel more at home in the 15-and-older class on Sunday. He’s a fast learner and he’ll be learning a ton this winter.”
Nicolas Morales also drove in the Senior division for Phil Giebler Racing at PBIR. The Colombian showed excellent speed, but a technical disqualification after qualifying and a penalty for rough driving in the last chance qualifier kept him out of the feature on Saturday and contact in the pre-final and final ruined his chances of a good result.
“I was very optimistic for some great results from Nicolas,” Giebler said. “He posted top times in practice and two top-threes in qualifying. He was disqualified after Saturday’s qualifying because of a missing gasket in the cap of the carburetor. The Rotax tech officials agreed that it did not give any added performance, but because it is supplied with new engines and all competitors must use all the parts that come with the engine.
“Nicolas started 30th in the last chance qualifier and finished 10th, the last transfer spot to the final, in a six-lap race, but was penalized for making contact with another driver. There were plenty of other crashes in the race, but they were called racing incidents and no other penalties were given.”
Morales lined up third in the pre-final Sunday and was knocked off the track at the start. He went back to 34th and climbed to 15th to reach the final. Morales was pushed off the track and finished at the rear of the field.
“Nicolas had a run of bad luck,” Giebler said.
Felipe Gildin drove for PGR in Rotax Junior. The Brazilian won the last chance qualifier on Saturday, but struggled with mechanical problems all weekend.
“Felipe had his fair share of difficulties with engine issues early in the weekend and did not finish hardly any of the races without an incident of some kind,” Giebler said.
It was the first event of the year for Phil Giebler Racing.
“We had a mix of good runs and some misfortune all week long,” Giebler said.
PGR will compete in the second round of the Rotax Max Challenge at Homestead, Fla., on Feb. 15-19.