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Protour Race Report, Phoenix, AZ — By Paul Bonilla
Phoenix Spring Nationals

The Phoenix heat is something you are rarely able to avoid. A few weeks before the race no one would have imagined though that we would encounter 100+ degree's this early in the year for the Protour Spring Nationals. I personally had never experienced that much rubber on track and it certainly didn't make it any easy to find the setup on the kart.

Saturday got off to a rocky start with Ethan Wilson going end over end in the morning warm-up breaking his wrist. Fortunately he's on the mend and should be back in no time.

Phoenix Spring Nationals 2012

We qualified the Ribtect FTK P1 Arrow a strong 2nd albeit a full 4/10's behind a flying David Harwin. With the solid tuning advice of Kartsport's Eric Jones and FTK's Andy Seeseman under our tent we were able to gather it back up with wins in the heat races and the main event.

Sunday dawned with even more rubber and as such faster times being laid down in qualifying. Knowing we had a quick race setup we made few changes and qualified a solid 3rd overall. In the first heat our speed showed and we finished 1st barely edging out Randy Froom with a last lap pass. Unfortunately, being out of line on the start earned us a 2 grid spot penalty for the 2nd heat. Then as is always the case in Masters a little drama ensued. David Harwin was nowhere to be found as we were released from the pits. Ecstatic that his absence would move our row up and hand me the pole for the start I admittedly brought the field around a bit too quick for the start and was waived off (my bad Dave). Then all of a sudden Dave appeared and the next start was waived off as well while they pushed him to the back. Eventually we got the show started and sailed off to a second win nearly 5 seconds ahead of Froom.

Definitely a weekend to remember. Still, looking through the list of those drivers each and every one is equally talented. Many of us have been at this a long time and we know that more than half of the battle is won by the decisions we make in the pits long before the green flag drops. Get it wrong and it's a race of suffering. Get it right and you're a hero. Those extreme's can be downright evil sometimes.

Regardless of which way you go with the setup one thing is constant. If you're uncomfortable in the kart or worse, in pain, then you've just made things that much harder for yourself. 8 Years ago after countless cracked and separated ribs I bought my first Ribtect vest and seat and haven't looked back since.

Phoenix Spring Nationals Kart Racing

A big thanks to Ribtect, Full Throttle Karting, P1 racing engines and Kartsport!!

Other noteworthy Ribtect race/series victories:
Paul Bonilla 2012 Rotax Masters Challenge of the America's champion
Steve Dzurilla 2010 LAKC Rotax Masters champion
Robby Mott 2011 SuperNat's 3rd place, 2010 Florida Winter Tour winner

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