After Friday’s official timed sessions, De La O looked like the driver to beat as he topped the official time sheets with a time of 58.668, more then three tenths of a second ahead of his closest rival. Though practice does not count towards the championship, De La O showed that his time was no fluke as he took the Junior Intercontinental A (JICA) Gatorz Pole Position on Saturday morning with a solid 58.799 lap as he was the only driver under the 59 second barrier.
With the heat race format, Phil De La O would start all three of his heat races on the inside of the front row pacing the field to the green flag. Heat one and two went exactly as planned as De La O got a jump on the field and led after the opening trio of corners. Setting a blistering pace, the Arizona pilot began to pull away from the stacked JICA filed to claim both heat race victories in Saturday’s action.
“Ending Saturday leading the points towards the pole position is a great feeling,” explained Phil De La O after the day’s events. “Tomorrow is the big day with the final heat race and then both finals. I am looking forward to the challenge of trying to make it a perfect weekend.”
Sunday morning’s third and final heat race did not go as planned for De La O as he found himself in the gravel before even making it to the first corner. Luckily a jump start by the outside pole sitter caused a complete re-start and De La O was able to regain his position at the front of the grid. The second start attempt was perfect and De La O took the lead on the opening lap. Looking to make it three for three in the heat races, Phil was overtaken by a fellow competitor but was able to garner a second place result and the pole position for both main events.
As the opening ceremonies came to a close and the tension mounted, De La O was at ease in his machine. The talented junior pilot was anticipating the start of the event and when the green flag fell, he was determined to stand atop the podium. De La O drove a mistake free race with fast consistent race laps to pull away from the field of independent and factory supported drivers. De La O took his first career Stars of Karting victory by 1.648 seconds while turning the fastest race lap.
Looking to repeat his success in final two, De La O got another great start and led the majority of the race. As the race neared its end, De La O was overtaken by a fellow competitor but managed to secure the second step of the podium and a share of the Snap-on Stars Karting presented by IndyCar Series Western division points lead.
Phil would like to thank his current sponsors and supporters for a successful 2008 season to date: Advanced Karting, High-Rev Engines, Northwest Floor and Wall as well as his family.
For sponsorship opportunities and more information on Phil de La O and De La O Racing, please contact Phil De La O Sr. at 602.697.1255 or via e-mail at Phil@Northwestfloorandwall.com
Published with permision of EKN-Rob Howden