|TORC 2013: Kleiman continues solid season with a fourth place finish|
Mark Kleiman, the former Sportsman Off-Road Racing Champion, continues to draw the attention of not only his fellow PRO-Light competitor, but much of the off-road racing community he battles up front with some of the biggest names in the sport. The string of solid performances continued at Red Bud MX as PRO-Light truck challenged both days for a spot on the podium.
This was the third year that the TORC series came to Red Bud, and this year a few changes were made to open areas for passing as well as an overall faster track. It still had the steep inclines and downhills, as well as its twisty sections that wound its way through the mature grove of trees that filled the valley.
The Friday evening qualifying session saw Kleiman run a lap that was sixth fastest among the thirteen truck field. After TORC applied the inversion for the starting grid, the #42 Ponsse Kenda Tire PRO-Light would be starting from the pole position.
The following afternoon the PRO-Light field took center stage for the sixteen lap Round 11 action as SPEED would broadcasting the race the following afternoon. When the green flag was waved, Kleiman did all he could to say in podium contention. The about two thirds of the way through the race, one side of the hood came loose, it didn't block Kleiman's vision, but it did grab additional air, sending the nose of the truck higher into the air than expected every time the Kenda Tire equipped PRO-Light drove off the big jumps that were spread around the track. Overall the performance of the truck was very good as Kleiman finished a very respectable sixth place.
Overnight the team worked on some adjustments for therear shocks, worked on the carburetor, and tried a different groove on the Kenda Tires as the track developed more blue (slick) groove than expected.
Saturday's sixth place finish once again put the Ponsse PRO-Light on the front row for Sunday's race. When the green flag was waved, Kleiman shot into the lead a position he held for the first four laps. Regardless, the #42 Ford kept pace with the big budget teams and when the checkered flag was waved Mark Kleiman finished in fourth place.
"This truck has been around a long time and we can run with the best guys in the class," noted Mark Kleiman. "I pushed it as hard as I could and even biked it a couple of times, but that never bothers me. All I know is I just kept driving the truck as fast as possible. Our motor is down on horsepower, but on tracks like Red Bud and Chicagoland we can run with just about everybody. The truck ran just perfect."
Next Race: August 31 - September 1 - Crandon Off-Road World Championships in Crandon, Wisconsin.
2013/08/14 | 19:03 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/REUSCHE