March 4, 2013
Kellett & Team Pabst – poised for victory. Driven to win.
The promise continues as Dalton Kellett re-signs with Pabst Racing Services
“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.” – Aldous Huxley
TORONTO, ON (February 10, 2013) – Work. Work. Work. Dalton Kellett is no stranger to the concept, dividing his time between his absolute passion for car racing with his academic endeavors to be the best, a bilingual engineering student at Queen’s University. After his first season with Pabst Racing Services, his racing craft has developed at a rate commensurate with his uncanny ability to qualify near the top of the charts throughout his young racing career. The move to Pabst set high standards for performance for Kellett, providing him with fresh challenges beyond his formula Ford experience to mastering Pabst’s Mazda-powered Van Diemen USF2000 car. Unaccustomed to so much in this USF2000 category, Kellett had an uphill battle to attempt to accomplish so much in such a short time. With a learning curve that included the areo-affected handling of the new car, unknown tracks, an elevated breed of competitor and working with a professional team of the Pabst calibre, Kellett’s work was cut out for him – all the while turning in solid “A”s in his challenging engineering program. His re-signing with the Pabst team for a second year is a solid vote of confidence in his skills, keeping the young driver über-motivated while pushing him forward to use what he’s learned towards even better results.
Augie Pabst III, owner of Pabst Racing Services, has this to say:
“Having Dalton return with us for a second season allows him to take advantage of everything he learned last year. The chemistry with the team is already established so he can just focus on getting to the front…(he’s) a very smart young man. His engineering background gives him a better understanding of the car from a technical standpoint than most of his competitors.”
Kellett is, understandably, pumped:
"Coming out of last year, I want to see improvements in my results. It’s important for me that I get some podium results this year and run consistently in at the front of the field. In order to achieve these goals, as always, it will come through hard work and determination. It’s a challenge I live for."
He has learned a lot and looks forward to applying this experience to the real opportunities lying before him. Team Pabst provides him the opportunity to rub shoulders with two new teammates (Quebec’s Jesse Lazare and Ohio’s Jason Wolfe) and he stands to benefit from exceptional driver coaches in Tonis Kasemets and Tommy Byrne.
Augie Pabst shines a bright light on the coming year:
“We're looking forward to this coming season with great expectations for Dalton. The biggest challenge will be to avoid on track incidents while trying to stay aggressive enough to run at the front. This balance is always a difficult task. I’m sure Dalton will work very hard to maintain that balance.”
If it’s hard work that’s required, there’s no better racer than Kellett to step up to what’s asked of him. His downright excitement about the year that lies ahead is difficult to contain and, concerning his re-signing with the Pabst team, he puts his gratitude and determination to succeed into words:
“I’m happy to be returning to the Pabst Racing Services line up for the 2013 season. Last year was important for me to develop comfort with the new car, the tracks and racing in the U.S. This year, everyone at Pabst Racing and I will be focused on being at the front of the pack and staying there."
A busy life. A good grasp of the real world. A skilled driver and an accomplished student, you’ll want to keep your eye on Dalton Kellett as this next chapter of his racing career brings him closer to his goals. It’s only a matter of time.
Look for Dalton Kellett in this year’s Honda Indy Toronto in July, providing him with the opportunity to race on home turf.
Dalton Kellett would like to thank Pabst Racing Services and K-Line Insulators USA for their belief and their support.
August 30, 2012
Toronto Driver Proud To Be Nominated for 2012 Team Canada Bid To Take On The World
It is every driver's personal goal to win. Yet only the very best drivers invest the 100 per cent necessary to learning the science behind the victory and the skills required to succeed over the long run. Dalton Kellett, of Stouffville, has proven that he has what it takes and it's taken a lifetime of intense, personal dedication to get to this point.
To be given an opportunity to race for your country is another thing altogether and the swell of pride associated with the chance to compete on the world stage for Canada is the stuff dreams are made of.
Dalton Kellett is bristling with pride to be one of ten young drivers nominated in the Team Canada Scholarships − Team Canada's bid to win the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch Circuit in Kent, England this fall. These drivers are selected not just because they compete throughout North America during the 2012 season. They are selected because they are good. Team Canada's key concern is to "send our best" with the hopes of not just placing in this prestigious, world-class race – but to finish in the winners' circle.
One driver from this talented group will be selected to represent Team Canada on October 27th and 28th at Brands Hatch, where each racer will be facing one of the largest, most competitive fields in the world.
Brian Graham, Team Canada Sponsorship co-founder, confirms, "With young Canadian drivers competing across North America in some of the toughest series around, we definitely have a talented pool of drivers to choose from." Adds Gerry Merz, fellow co-founder, "The group of talented young drivers to choose from this year is making our entire team believe that a place on the podium is a very real possibility."
Each of these nominated candidates will be back on-track in their respective series over the Labour Day Weekend, providing an added opportunity for the selection committee to narrow their search towards their final choice.
Dalton Kellett tackles the next chapter on his personal Road To Indy with the Grand Prix of Baltimore – a 12-turn, 2-mile circuit through the streets of Baltimore under the IZOD IndyCar Series banner that takes place on September 1-2, to be televised on NBC Sports.
Dalton Kellett will be driving the #5 car for Pabst Racing Services and his key sponsor, K-Line Insulators USA.
Learn more about the Team Canada Scholarship at: http://www.teamcanadaracing.org
August 30, 2012
Road America Race Report
After running a successful race at Mid-Ohio sports car course, Canadian racecar driver Dalton Kellett lost no time in thinking ahead to his next race at Road America. This weekend marked the first − and only − triple-header of the season, opening the door to plenty of opportunities to get in some quality racing.
Kellett's plan for this race was to carry his momentum forward from Mid-Ohio's 7th place finish and to improve on these results.
"I was really excited going into the 5th round of the USF2000 National Championship, powered by Mazda. I was quite pleased with my results at Mid-Ohio and was really looking forward to these Road America races," Kellett added.
Trouble returned as he tried to find his pace in practice. Again, Kellett knew he'd have to step things up to secure a good spot in qualifying. On the day of qualifying, the racers were met with rain for their morning practice. The track had begun to dry, but not completely, as qualifying time arrived. Venturing out on slick tires and a damp track only underlined the extra challenges Kellett would face in his quest. As the session produced many red flags, there were only a few timed laps in which to get a flyer. However, Kellett managed to pull off his fastest time of the weekend on the last lap of the session. This netted him a 13th position in qualifying.
"I had hoped to put in a stronger performance for qualifying. Yet the experience showed me that I would have to make better use of limited track time, trying to set faster laps earlier in each session," Kellett realized. "This way, I won't be as affected by the time lost during red flags in qualifying sessions." A start on the inside row proved beneficial to Kellett as Race 1 came around. He was able to gain position off the start and, by the end of the race, advanced to 10th position.
"Race 1 wasn't a bad race, although I would've preferred to have finished higher within the top 10", he added, noting, "The team and I will be going over data and video towards improving our car for the afternoon's race."
As Race 2 materialized, the young Canadian started in the 12th spot. After a couple of laps he had moved inside the top ten, taking the 9th position. During a fierce battle for position, Kellett's car and a competitor's touched tires. This sent them both spinning off the track. By the time Kellett regained control of his car and got back on track, Kellett was in last place. He fought hard and battled it back to the 16th position, minimizing damage to his point standings.
By the time Race 3 had begun, Kellett had no question about what was to be done. The onus was on him to finish in good standing to negate what had happened in Race 2. Starting in the 14th position, he was again able to advance his position, putting him just outside of the top ten. Midway through the race, however, Kellett made a critical error. On the exit of Road America's turn 6, he spun out, coming into contact with another car – ending his race.
Kellett's personal hopes for Road America were dashed – but never his spirits. Although he had hoped to better his results from Mid-Ohio, Dalton Kellett left Road America that much more hands-on experience in dealing with the frustrations of real world racing. You just can't call how a race is going to go and, with so many factors affecting each outcome, he realized all he could do was notch it up to learning – that and concentrating on improving across the board. Not a bad conclusion for any with sights set on making some serious noise on the USF2000's Road to Indy.
"Although our weekend wasn't the greatest, I am very thankful to the crew at Pabst Racing Services. We were working all week on putting forward a competitive car for the races and I think we succeeded. I made some errors that cost us some good results but I'm all the more inspired to put the K-Line Insulators USA Van Diemen near the front of the field at Baltimore in a couple of weeks. Each step forward can take a few steps backward – but I'll get there," Kellett promised.
Dalton Kellett would like to thank Pabst Racing Services and K-Line Insulators USA for their support.
August 30, 2012
Mid-Ohio Race Report
After a month's downtime since his last USF2000 National Championship race in Indianapolis, Kellett was ready to get back behind the wheel to compete in Mid-Ohio. "The break between Indy and Mid-Ohio truly was a very long time to go without racing. We had a series test in Road America but, aside from that, I stayed sharp by doing plenty of lapping in my shifter kart, up in Canada," said Kellett.
There were fresh challenges to consider at Lexington's Mid-Ohio sports car course. "Having only tested at Mid-Ohio, I was looking forward to racing on the track. I expected that its limited passing zones would make for some interesting racing," noted Kellett. "After a disappointing DNF at Lucas Oil Raceway, I was hoping for a better show in Ohio."
The weekend started off slowly with Kellett placing just inside the top 15 in a 30-car field in testing. The young contender understood he'd have to find some pace to secure a good finish. He worked hard with the crew at Pabst Racing Services to get himself and the car in top form for qualifying and his pace improved through practice. In qualifying, he brought in a hard charge, landing him a respectable 8th place. "I was happy to start within the top ten of the field as I knew that this would be a good foundation for a successful finish," added Kellett.
In Kellett's words, "Race 1 was quite the roller coaster ride. I started 7th on the inside after a driver was issued a penalty in qualifying and I was able to battle my way up to 5th place after a few laps. Just as I was approaching a lapped car, a full course yellow came out. I knew this would prove problematic − the rules did not allow me to pass the slower car under full-course yellow conditions. On the restart, I was caught behind the slower car and consequently lost 6 or 7 positions. This was indescribably frustrating! However, I put my head down and fought my way back to 10th spot by race's end." Conceded Kellett, "Despite the incident with the lapped car, both the team and I were pleased with the pace we had which had us looking forward to Race 2."
Race 1 was a dry run − from green to checkered flag, the promise of rain never materialized. Everyone was fully prepared for a wet race in Race 2. Despite the race line having since dried from the morning's rain, the whole field was on rain tires. As things turned out, the race proved chaotic – with so many cautions that the teams could only finish 5 or 6 laps of green-flag racing. Kellett made good use of his limited race time, advancing to 9th place before the first caution and moving up to 7th place by the second caution flag, which ended on the second-last lap. Kellett pushed hard but didn't make the pass for the 6th position. Kellett and his team remained please with the 7th place finish, however – his best finish to date in the series.
Dalton Kellett would like to thank Pabst Racing Services and K-Line Insulators USA for their support.
June 25, 2012
Coming Full Circle With Oval Racing
Stouffville, Ontario – When Dalton Kellett first set his sights on the Izod IndyCar Series, the thought of running an open wheel car at speeds greater than 230 mph, wheel-to-wheel, on some of the world's most famous tracks was more than appealing. It became something he had to do. As Kellett's open wheel career became a reality, he became hyper-focused on learning the best road and street course in North America. But he still had one burning question: what would it be like driving an oval? "When I signed with Pabst Racing Services, I was ecstatic to know I would be competing in the Mazda Road to Indy, but the thought of running an open wheel car on the ovals kept me wondering what new challenges were ahead of me. I was eagerly anticipating my first oval test day", the young driver noted.
This was it, the night before the Indy was here.
"I was very excited to get back to Lucas Oil Raceway. We had two oval test days, which definitely boosted my confidence – and I couldn't wait to get back on track."
When qualifying came around, Kellett knew his car was fast and with his confidence in overdrive, his goal was set for the top ten. "I knew we had a good car but I wasn't driving it to its ability. It was all or nothing in qualifying, so I just went for it", admitted Kellett. As he exited turn 2 on his opening qualifying lap, he was 0.250s up on his personal best but, as he ended turn 3, the car's back end stepped out slightly and kissed the wall – not causing any damage beyond slowing down this critical first lap. Kellett kept his foot in it, managing to qualify 17th despite this brush up. "I went into turn 1 with more speed than I had ever carried before and the car held – so I thought I could go a bit deeper into turn 3. Turns out it was just a little too fast and I ended up touching the wall. I was disappointed, but when I got back to the pit, the team was very happy with my performance – and the fact that I managed to save the car from damage."
As the race took the green flag, it didn't take long for trouble to materialize on lap 2. "As I entered turn 1, I saw a couple of cars in the wall and everyone started to slow. I went low to avoid the accident but a car from the high side lost control and spun down the track into me. The car hit my rear tire and sent me into the accident. I was really disappointed because I knew we had a fast car and I had a good chance of a great finish. It was very frustrating to have the race end so early", stated Kellett.
Even though Kellett's weekend was cut short, he left LORP with a ton of oval experience. "I was very happy with our progress over the weekend. With my first oval race complete, I am beginning to enjoy this kind of racing. I definitely gained new respect for oval drivers – it takes much more concentration and patience to drive an oval and, moving forward, I'm really looking forward to developing these abilities. Also, I'd like to thank Pabst Racing Services for providing a great car and K-Line Insulators USA for their continued support.
April 16, 2012
One Hard Charge Deserves Another…
St. Petersburg, Fla – After a somewhat gruelling but successful 1st & 2nd round at Sebring International Raceway, Kellett was looking forward to starting off this weekend with a clean slate. This may have been his first street race in a car, but you wouldn't know it from watching from the sidelines. Kellett likes nothing more than fresh challenges and he knew he could give it his best. With some street course experience from karting under his belt, this wasn't an entirely new experience – but racing a car on the streets of St. Petersburg was going to be a new twist.
After two practice sessions, Kellett found himself competing in the Top Ten out of 34 registered cars. During qualifying, Kellett got out to a slow start thanks to two early red flags. When the green dropped with 10 minutes left in the session, Kellett found himself in 24th position on the grid – far from reflective of the Pabst Racing Services, K-Line Insulators #5 car's true speed. So, with the help of his spotters, they focused on finding Dalton some clean space on the track to establish a better qualifying lap. With four laps left, Kellett jumped the charts to the 11th spot. Still pushing hard, he had another flier underway until, coming to the end of the back straight, a slower car moved wide to let him pass – and then promptly cut him off, ending his fast lap, keeping him in the 11th spot for Saturday's race. "When I heard I was in 24th after more than half the session, I knew I had to put something together to get up the charts or else we'd have a lot of work to do in the race. Thanks to the team, we found some clean space on the track and I was able to put some quick laps together to bring us closer to the Top Ten," stated Kellett, after his qualifying session.
For the start of Round 3 of the USF2000 Championship, Kellett found himself in a prime starting position to break into the Top Ten towards securing a good finish to move up the point standings. The green flag was waved and the race to turn 1 began. On the exit of turn 1, Dalton found himself in good position to make it through without damage but, as he turned in to the middle of turn 2, a car drove over the inside curbing and the two cars collided. Kellett's rear suspension broke, sending him into a spin and into the wall – ending his race early. " Knowing the history of corner 1 incidents at St, Petersburg, my goal was to make it through the first corner safely. I succeeded in doing so, however, I felt a hit mid-corner, in turn 2, and was immediately put into a spin. As a result, I made contact with the wall and was unable to complete the race." Added Kellett, "This was very disappointing because I was confident with my pace and was looking forward to gaining ground from my starting position."
Due to the mishap in race 1, Kellett had to start in 33rd place out of the 34-car field. Even though Kellett had to start from so far back he remained optimistic. "There are a lot of cars in front of me but I'm confident in our speed and I know what I have to do to move up and gain positions After being taken out of yesterday's race, I will simply be focused on driving twice as well today." At the drop of the green flag, Kellett didn't take long to move up the ranks. "When the green flag waved I just put my head down and started picking off the cars in front of me. I knew that, as I got higher up the field, I would be racing against faster drivers. In the event of a full course yellow, I knew I could pick up spots on the restart and continue moving up the field," said Kellett. At mid-race, an incident in turn 3 brought out the yellow. At this point, Kellett found himself in the 21st spot, which meant he had already gained 12 positions. When the track went green again, there were only 3 laps left in the race. Kellett continued on a tear, moving up to the 14th spot by the time the checkered flag called the end of the race.
This was a fantastic drive from Kellett – and his team was elated. With Kellett's amazing performance in the race, he was awarded the Tilton Hard Charger award through the series – an honour reserved for the driver making the most passes throughout the race. "I was very happy to receive the Tilton Hard Charger award. My goal for the race was to make up as many spots as possible, without losing time on passes and to stay clean. This demonstrates that this goal was accomplished. Now that I am fully comfortable in the car, I find it easier to race hard and drive at a good pace. The next challenge will be to take on oval racing, as I have not competed in any oval races, as of yet. I am looking forward to learning a new style of driving and racing. I want to thank K-Line Insulators USA Inc. for their support and Pabst Racing Services for giving me a fast car and helping me adapt to the St. Petersburg street course. They made it possible for me to have the pace to move up the field," said Kellett.
March 28, 2012
A Telling First Rung in the Indycar Ladder
The Indycar Ladder – One Gruelling Rung at a Time
Sebring, Florida – Dalton Kellett came into the weekend with an open mind, knowing that he was going into the 2012 USF2000 season as a rookie and somewhat under-the-radar as a rest driver. That was exactly the position he wanted to be in as it provided him the element of surprise should his K-line sponsored Pabst Racing Service #5 car happen to pass more seasoned veterans of the series.
Sebring brought a field of 36 registered cars – the largest field the USF2000 series has ever seen. With 22 cars competing in the Championship series, Kellett knew it wasn't going to be easy to stand out from such a strong field, yet he was determined to prove that his rookie status was only a tag that came with his first year in the USF200 Series. Practice started the weekend off strong with constant showing speeds, keeping him well within the top ten but, at qualifying, Kellett hit his first bump in the road.
As qualifying started, Kellett went out with the field but backed off so he could find some clean space on the track and put a lap together without being held up by the slower National series cars. Within the first lap, the red flag brought the field back to the pits, leaving Kellett unable to put a full lap together. When the green flag finally dropped, Kellett found himself in 26th position on the charts. He knew he had to get a lap together quickly or else he'd have a lot of work to do in the race. Just as Kellett found some clean space for his flier lap, the red flag came out again, cutting his fast lap short, placing him lower in the top twenty – not where he needed to be. The track was cleaned up and, as the session got underway, Kellett knew he had but two laps to put a fast lap together or else risk starting mid-pack – a dangerous place to start, given the multiple incidents seen in both practices and qualifying. As Kellett started his last lap, he saw the light of a clean track and started to hit his marks. Putting a lap together that was quick enough to place him in the top ten and out of harm's reach was key. However, going into the final corner of the 17 turn of the historical Sebring circuit, Kellett was held up by a slower car. This hampered his final lap but managed to earn him a 14th place lap. This was satisfactory – but less than expected and not indicative of the Pabst Racing Service #5 car's true speed and potential.
Kellett was more than excited to get the race underway knowing his car's capabilities to be far greater than the 14th starting spot he was in. As the green flag dropped on Race #1 of the 2012 season, it didn't take long for trouble to happen. Entering turn one, cars tangled right in front Kellett, but he was able to squeak by, staying out of trouble. Once the field sorted itself out and was ready to take the green, Kellett found himself in the top ten. As the race was restarted, Dalton made a great start leaping into the 8th spot but, once again, carnage on the track brought the field to yet another standstill. As the laps counted away under yellow, Kellett knew time was of the essence – there wouldn't be many laps left to move up. As the green flag dropped for the finally time, Kellett got a good start staying on the tail of the lead cars. But as he entered turn 15, Kellett showed he was human, making an error moving him back to 10th. Kellett pushed hard to make up the difference ¬– the race had been shortened due to extended yellow flag laps. Kellett was able to catch the cars in front but, unable to make a move, he brought Pabst Racing Service #5 car home in 10th – a great showing for his inaugural race in the Indycar Ladder system.
As the starting grid was set for race #2, Kellett found himself in the 12th starting position. As the green flag fell, Kellett moved up to the 10th position but, as they entered turn 13, a car ahead of him made an error causing Kellett to brake hard in mid corner, which put his car into a spin. As he came to a stop, another car slammed into his side, fusing them together. When they were finally unhooked, Kellett was half a track behind and in the 32nd spot in the running order. Undaunted, Kellett put his head down and began his charge through the field, showing everyone his true speed. As the checkered flag brought the race to a finish, Kellett drove past more than half the field bringing his car home in a respectable 15th spot. This was an unbelievable drive revealing this 'rookie's' true talents – especially in light of his performance despite his on-track tangle. Both Kellett and Pabst Racing Services were very happy with his drive and are looking forward to the next round on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.
"I would like to thank K-Line Insulators USA Inc. for their constant support and Pabst Racing Service for giving me a competitive car for the weekend. I'm looking forward to my first street course race in St. Pete after we showed amazing speed this weekend", Kellett stated after the long race weekend at Sebring International Raceway.
March 14, 2012
Don't Try Telling This Young Racer That it Can't Be Done
Toronto, On – They say it's next to impossible to balance a post-secondary degree and the busy and very event-filled life of a race car driver. Well, Dalton Kellett, a 18 year-old Stouffville, Ontario native, proved the skeptics wrong at the 2012 USF2000 Winterfest. After competing in the complete Winterfest schedule, which took place at the world-famous Sebring International Raceway and Palm Beach International Raceway, Kellett's race continued – rushing all the way back home Sunday night to write his Queen's University Calculus mid-term exam the following day.
"My flight was originally supposed to leave West Palm at 9:45pm, which would've put me in Toronto around midnight. My flight was delayed until 1:30am which put me in Toronto at 4:30am. I caught the 7:00am train to Kingston, Ontario – where my school is located – and wrote my exam. I was extremely tired but I knew that this is what it's going to take for me to become a race car driver and it had to be done. I'll also end up having an Engineering degree in Physics in the bargain," Kellett explains.
If this doesn't show you the commitment and passion Kellett has for both school and the racing world maybe this will help. When he got his mark back for the exam, Kellett was very pleased to see his hard work had paid off, earning a perfect score on his exam. "I was so happy to see my mark of 100%. I hope this proves to my team, my teachers and my sponsors that school will not hold me back from becoming an educated and successful race car driver. I hope up-and-coming young drivers will look at what I'm doing and follow in my footsteps. It is possible to do what I'm doing – you just need to be committed and focus on your goals." Kellett is also bilingual in both of Canada's national languages – English and French.
Winterfest, too, earned Kellett top marks. He consistently showed good speeds throughout, finishing 11th in points overall and was constantly in the Top Ten. This performance at Winterfest together with some good quality test days, finds Kellett finding more and more time for the track as he grows more comfortable in his new office: the Pabst Racing Services USF2000 Championship car for the 2012 season.
"I really feel I've made a lot of progress over the past few months. Pabst racing and I are getting along very well and complement each other in a great way. We all work hard on progressing forward when we're at the track and I feel really confident that the more time we spend together, the faster we'll get to 'the pointy end' of the field," Kellett stated.
With the 2012 season just around the corner – kicking off at Sebring International Raceway on March 18th (a support race for the 12 hours of the Sebring ALMS race), Kellett is very excited to see the start of the season. "I've had a good amount of track time at Sebring, so I'm looking forward to getting back to the historic track. I think we have a great chance to start the season off on a high note. We showed great speed on the last race at Sebring and, with the test days I've just had, I feel very comfortable with the high speed demands of Sebring."
Keep an eye on the K-line Insulators USA Inc.-sponsored Pabst Racing services car #5 this year in the USF2000 Championship. You can stay in touch at www.daltonkellett.com or follow Dalton Kellett on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett.
December 23, 2011
Year in Review
After completing the 2010 season with a 2nd place finish in the Canada Senior Championship and 2nd place at the Canadian Nationals, Dalton was more than eager to get the 2011 season underway. Dalton competed in the Florida Winter Tour and, for the first time, the Western Canadian Championship of Karting in the Rotax Senior and DD2 categories. Dalton also made his transition to cars in the 2011 season, working with the BGR Team Grote racing team in Ontario Formula Ford (OFFC).
The 2011 Florida Winter Tour brought representatives from over 30 different countries, but it didn't take Dalton long to stand out, proving his ability to be competitive – despite the added pressure – holding his own against some of the best drivers from around the world. The series traveled to three different Florida tracks: Orlando Kart Centre, Palm Beach Motorsports Park and Ocala Gran Prix. Dalton showed great progress at each event, maximizing his exposure by qualifying near the top of the charts in many of the events. He successfully topped off his Winter season by winning the final round in the DD2 category in Ocala, Florida.
Dalton next ventured to the west coast of Canada to compete for a spot at the Worlds. Excited to travel across Canada to compete against the Best of the West. WCC traveled to West Coast Karting in Chilliwack, BC, Saskatoon Kart Racers in Saskatoon, SK and Calgary Kart Racing Club in Calgary AB. Dalton took everything he learned with him, his eye focused on the goal of taking the Championship. Dalton finished 2nd, in points in the Rotax Max Senior category, with three podiums, and 2nd in the Rotax DD2 category, with two wins and three podiums. Following the success of his 2011 season, eKartingnew.ca's officially ranked Dalton 8th in Canada in the Rotax Senior category.
Dalton also made his transition to cars in the 2011 season, working with BGR Team Grote racing. Eager to be racing 'open wheel', he'd only had the opportunity to lap in one once before. The Championship loomed as an impossible challenge due to his late entry, but his sights remained set on trying to place in the top three. Throughout the season Dalton made tremendous progress. His commitment paid off as Dalton began to demonstrate to the others drivers that he would be a force to be reckoned with. Dalton finished off the year with seven out of ten podiums, topping it off by breaking the race track record at the final of OFFC. He also secured the 3rd position in the Championship.
Along with balancing a busy race schedule, together with an active social life, Dalton graduated from the Toronto French School – a bilingual International Baccalaureate school –earning the Ontario Scholar designation together with earning the Edward A. Tory award for academic excellence. Dalton was accepted into Queen's University where he will study Engineering when he's not volunteering some of his time to the school's Formula SAE car.
October 23, 2011
An Impressive First Season With A Third Place Finish Overall in the OFFC Caps A Year to Remember
This was it – the final round of the 2011 Formula Ford Championship season and Dalton Kellett was still pumped from his consistent progress at Mosport – and a better driver for the experience of having dropped his guard and paid the price with his disappointing DNF finish.
Ever-confident, Kellett could keep his car in the 1:28's and elevate his times even further. He had shaken the lead racers and was ready to break into the 1:27s and beyond, hoping for a win – no longer content with 3rd place. True to form, Kellett's speeds were the third fastest in Friday's practices. Working closely with his team, BGR Team Grote refined the car. This fine tuning would pay off at day's end. Kellett turned in the fastest lap of the last session with a 1:28:27 – a clear 2/10s ahead of Garret Grist. With Saturday's Qualifying races, Kellett moved further up the charts with a 1:27:53 – 2/10s ahead of teammate Trent Hindman. Kellett attempted to improve his time but, over the course of the session, he could only match it. Pit stops for Kellett and Hindman, aimed at making changes prior to taking a final stab at the pole lap, resulted in Hindman leaving the pit sooner, ultimately pulling a lap a half tenth faster than Kellett. Kellett increased his pole time by a tenth and a half but, entering turn four, his later departure found him caught up with a slower pack of cars, preventing him from bettering his time. He was able to hang on to the 2nd spot, however – his best qualifying round of the season.
Saturday's green flag saw Kellett and teammate Trent Hindman gap 3rd place driver Garret Grist as Kellett and Hindman gave the crowd a show – matching laps for the entire race. As the two battled for position, approaching lap traffic choked their progress with three laps to go. Kellett made a move on Hindman as his teammate dropped to overtake the lap car, but backed out of it in turn nine. A good choice, as it turned out, as Kellett was running 2nd with a 12.3 second gap on 3rd. Kellett was separated from Hindman by a small, stubborn gap for the balance of the race. Kellett's 2nd place proved another positive accomplishment and he was happy with his strategy. "I think I could have had a run at Trent if the lap traffic hadn't gotten in the way. But lap traffic is part of racing and that's the way things go. I just hope that next time it happens, it's in my favour", Kellett joked, adding, "I would like to congratulate Trent on the win and on locking up the championship. I'm happy for him and looking forward to having a free-for-all tomorrow."
Sunday's race brought similar results. Kellett qualified in 2nd in a rain-soaked Qualifier with Trent on Pole and Michael Adams starting 3rd. The track dried out for the final but a massive headwind proved a big factor in the race. The green flag saw Kellett and Hindman pull from the pack but Kellett asserted himself aggressively, going into full attack mode throughout the first three laps. Kellett tried for the outside of turn eight but was unable to complete the pass. Again, on the back straight he got on Hindman's inside but, as his teammate took to the outside of turn eight, maintaining his position by the inside of nine. As the two battled back and forth, they broke the lap race record – Hindman with a 1:27:28 and Kellett with a 1:27:34. Garret Grist's record set the week before was 1:27.6, which was revealing. For Kellett's camp, an outstanding achievement in light of the fact that the team had missed the first four rounds of 2011 Championship season. With half the amount of time driving the Formula Fords as either Hindman or Grist, clinching a 3rd place finish in the championship, underlined this young contender's potential as a racer of note. "I did all I could to stay with Trent but we both showed amazing pass and he (Trent) came out on top this time. I'm very happy with third in the Championship – I didn't expect to do this well, taking each weekend as a new learning curve, driving to the best of my ability," exclaimed Kellett.
As always, Kellett's appreciation for his team was acknowledged as his key to his success: thanking BGR Team Grote for an amazing season; his mechanic, Adam Pitts and Engineer, Cyril Ma for their ability to keep him running in top form; and thanks for great sponsor support by the K-Line Group of Companies throughout the season.
October 23, 2011
Kellett Sheds His Rookie Skin In Favour of a Sturdy Placing At Historic Mosport
Having finally ditched his 'rookie' status, performing admirably at his first two race weekends at historic Mosport, Kellett looked to be in a good position for his third OFFC session at a track that now felt familiar. He'd already performed admirably, surviving poor racing conditions and an overheating problem, finishing with the track's best drivers while improving his lap times by a second with each outing. With podium visits in four out of six races, Kellett was fast proving to be a contender.
On this occasion, Kellett had a goal in his sights – to get into the low 1:28's, propelling him to within a half second of the lap record.
With Friday's practice, Kellett shadowed the lead racers, keeping within the same second yet it wasn't long before he was breaking into the low 1:28's. Pushing on, by end-of-day, Kellett's times were consistently in the 1:28's but he was bent on going further. In Saturday's Qualifiers, Kellett broke 1:28:24 – a personal best which placed him in the top three of the lineup – yet he felt confident to push this even further, raising his sights to 1:28:00 by the end of the weekend. A fast time but, for this avid competitor, a goal safely within his reach.
With the drop of the flag on Saturday, Kellett charged up from his 3rd position to ride Trent Hindman's bumper, Hindman, 2nd place driver and points leader, held fast as the first three cars broke away from the pack with quick, consistent times and precision driving. With three laps to go, Kellett missed a shift heading into 5a, locking his rear wheels, which put him into a spin, making contact with the outside tire wall, rendering him unable to finish the race. So close he could taste it, but he beat his goal and broke into the 1:27:9's for a satisfying round that proved that this was one fierce competitor in-the-making and, given the short time he's spent with his car, his true potential was becoming obvious. Lead drivers were forced to take notice and heads were turning. This was Kellett's first DNF (Did Not Finish) but he made his point clearly: this competitor was here to win and would be taking no prisoners. After the race, Kellett noted, "I was pushing really hard to stay with Trent and Garret (last name). I just made a little mistake and that was it, I was in the wall. It was a shame because BGR Team Grote gave me a really fast car and I was looking forward to battling for the win on the final laps." Needless to say, he was looking forward to Sunday's racing.
With Sunday's green flag, the same three racers broke from the pack early and battled for position, trading fast laps back and forth for the first half of the race until the pack split them up. Kellett challenged 2nd place Garret Grist for the entire race but ended up with a 3rd place finish. Still, the gauntlet had been thrown and the circuit's top drivers were now looking as much behind them as they were looking ahead – and Kellett's game would be as much psychological as it was traditional racing.
Dalton Kellett would like to thank his sponsor, the K-Line group of companies, BGR Team Grote, his mechanic, Adam Pitts and engineer, Cyril Ma. The support they provide throughout the weekend and has proven essential to his progress.
October 22, 2011
Despite the rain and wet conditions, the sun is shining down on this racer's career
Weekend #3 of car racing returned Kellett to the ever-challenging Mosport Raceway where, during Friday's practices, he quickly dropped his times to where they'd been the previous weekend – making him feel more comfortable, if not 'right at home', which gave him an edge in Saturday's Qualifiers.
Kellett's K-line Van Diemen earned the second row in 3rd spot and, with the drop of the flag, he maintained 3rd with Trent Hindman and points leader Garret Grist ahead of him, hanging on to this position over a fast, consistent race. Sunday proved another day of inclement weather and the rain contributed to Kellett's bad start which dropped him back to 5th position. However, as the race continued and the track started to dry, Kellett caught up with the two-car pack of 3rd and 4th as the last lap loomed. A move for 4th on the last corner launched Kellett within tenths of a second behind 3rd place driver, Scott Anderson. "I was a little timid at the beginning of the race with the rain coming down, but as the race went on I started to feel more and more comfortable" Kellett would admit he's got lots to learn but, at the same time, his consistent performance and track smarts keep him moving forward at an impressive rate. This 3rd career weekend of racing found him breaking his best time at Mosport while moving him into 4th place in the Ontario Formula Ford drivers' Championship.
Kellett thanks the K-Line Group of Companies, BGR Team Grote, ace Mechanic, Adam pits, together with Engineer, Cyril Ma for all they do and for their sincere commitment to the team.
October 22, 2011
Tackling Mosport – A Rite of Passage Upping the Ante From Novice to Seasoned Racer
To a novice driver, the mighty name of the Mosport circuit brings with it a certain degree of intimidation, if not trepidation. It's a time-honoured proving ground and a supreme test of skill. Dalton Kellett kept this to himself, outwardly keen to get the weekend underway. Still getting to know his car, he had the unfamiliarity of the world-renowned track to get under his belt yet each lap brought with it better and better times. By day's end, Kellett was within 1.5 seconds of the lead drivers – an accomplishment in itself on such a demanding track. Pumped with confidence going into the Qualifying Rounds on Saturday but ended up with in 6th position. Kellett's strategy kept him in 6th, on the bumper of Mike Bamford, charged the 5th position on the second lap to challenge the 4th place car of Caitlin Johnson. Despite achieving great speeds throughout the race – posting times within a second of the lead drivers – Kellett was unable to place beyond 5th. This provided Kellett with a 4th place in his class (3rd place driver, Michael Adams, runs in the FFB category) and, given another top five finish in the FFA category, Kellett was beyond pumped for Sunday's program.
The following day brought with it the challenging weather conditions that can make or break a race at Mosport. The Qualifying round saw Kellett reach 2nd place which, by the end of the run, dropped to 4th. Hardly discouraging, it demonstrated Kellett's ability to run with the lead drivers. His first rain race, the green flag fell as the skies began to open. Once again, Kellett's substantial kart experience was telling in the challenging conditions, which were clearly creating difficulty for many of the other drivers. As the downpour progressed threatening the safety of the drivers, the race was officially called. Kellett placed 3rd and Mosport was now a feather in his cap, enhancing his confidence.
"It was great to finally drive Mosport after all the intimidating stories I have heard about it", noted Kellett. "I was nervous at first but, as the weekend went on, I got more and more comfortable and started to push harder. I was really happy with my progress this weekend and am looking forward to coming back here in two weeks."
Kellett was quick to thank BGR and Team Grote for all their support and his ace Mechanic, Adam Pitts, for his contribution to developing a great car. In addition, thanks were outgoing to his Engineer, Cyril Ma, for all his work in helping him learn such a complicated track in such record time.
October 21, 2011
Rookie Racer Shows Definite Signs of Talent in Inaugural Weekend of OFFC Races
Despite a late start in the field of racing, Dalton Kellett is an experienced kart racer for his 18 years but his debut car race is a test of another kind entirely. With a steep learning curve, everything is different – from the feel of the car and how it handles a track to the very relationship the driver has with his vehicle. Friday's tests went well as Kellett's speeds increased with each session, demonstrating his progress with his car. Obstacles presented themselves in the form of an overheating problem which dogged the car all weekend yet Kellett managed to qualify in 4th on both Saturday and Sunday. Kellett made the bold move to 3rd from the starting position, despite the handicap of having to shortshift to combat the overheating but his pace slowed, dropping him to 4th on the Saturday race. At the same time, he held off Michael Adams in the last three laps, forcing him to the 5th position in this impressive debut.
Sunday's race brought in his second 4th place position but not before battling it out for 3rd place with veteran Steve Tzountouris. Kellett's karting skills proved invaluable in bringing this rookie driver to the podium for his first-ever weekend of car racing.
"With this being my first race, I took the weekend to get used to the car and learn how to work with mechanical grip. It's pretty interesting how much grip you can have without any aero on the car. I can't wait for the next round at Mosport – I have heard so much about the track, I'm looking forward to driving it," noted Kellett.
Dalton Kellett was quick to thank BGR Team Grote and his mechanic Ken Robins for a great first car-racing weekend.