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April 27, 2014

Derani Leads Team Pelfrey Challenge with Fourth in Race Two in Alabama

Photos © Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography.

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (April 27, 2014) – The third and fourth rounds of an extremely competitive Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at Barber Motorsports Park proved especially challenging for Team Pelfrey’s trio of drivers, although Brazilian Pipo Derani dug deep to produce a fine drive to fourth place in Race Two to maintain his title challenge.

Teammates Dalton Kellett and Brandon Newey were embroiled in battles throughout both 20-lap races, and both were pleased with their progress.

After struggling to match a competitive pace during the test day on Thursday, all three drivers made steady improvements as the weekend unfolded.

Race One on Saturday morning, held in radiant sunshine, saw Derani make of his trademark fast starts, vaulting from seventh on the grid to fourth as Kellett and Newey maintained their starting positions of ninth and 13th. Derani lost one place to Neil Alberico following a full-course caution, then was passed also by Shelby Blackstock before holding onto sixth at the finish. Kellett moved up to eighth in the early going, only to lose a couple of positions before the finish, while Newey ran well until a late-race spin dropped him to 16th.

Weather conditions were completely different for Sunday morning’s race – much cooler and with a heavy overcast. Derani once again charged hard from the start, making up three positions on the opening lap and then maintaining the pressure on Blackstock throughout all 20 laps. His feat was emulated by Newey, who scorched from 16th to11th inside the first two laps, just ahead of teammate Kellett. Unfortunately, fluctuating fuel pressure hindered Newey’s progress from around half-distance and he did well to lose only one position – to Kellett.

Photos © Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography.

Derani currently stands fourth in the championship table, only 14 points behind the second-placed driver. Kellett lies eighth and Newey 17th.

Team Pelfrey will return to action for Rounds 5 and 6 when the entire Mazda Road to Indy development ladder once again runs in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series at the newly reconfigured Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9/10.


Dalton Kellett (#80 Team Pelfrey/K-Line Insulators USA, Inc./Gap Guard) - Race 1, started 13th, finished ninth; Race 2, started 12th, finished 11th: “In terms of the weekend in general, we definitely learned a lot, setup-wise on the car. We didn’t exactly start out where we wanted to but we made a few setup changes and looking at the data with the engineers and working with the driver coaches – and also changing some things with my driving – we were able to get the car closer to where it needed to be and improve our lap times. In terms of the results we’re obviously not entirely satisfied but our overall race pace wasn’t bad. For myself I just need to be a little more aggressive at the start so I can at least move up spots and stay with the pack.”

Pipo Derani (#81 Team Pelfrey/Alan Lewis Consulting/Gap Guard) - Race 1, started seventh, finished sixth; Race 2, started seventh, finished fourth: “It was a difficult weekend because the car wasn’t fast when we rolled out of the truck, but we made a lot of progress and scored some good points, so from that perspective it was good. The second race was much better because we were right there with (Shelby) Blackstock. It’s a difficult track to make passes and he made one mistake and we almost got him but it wasn’t quite enough. We need to continue to work hard and raise our game so we can try to qualify in the top three at the next race. If I am able to start farther up the grid and have a good first lap like I’m doing now, I’ll be able to fight for the lead. That’s certainly what we’ll be trying to do.”

Brandon Newey (#82 Team Pelfrey/Mygale Race Cars/Gap Guard) - Race 1, started 13th, finished 16th; Race 2, started 16th, finished 12th: “We started out off the pace but we’ve been improving the car every session and by the final race we were pretty close and had really good race pace. Unfortunately, we had a fuel pickup issue right before halfway, so I wasn’t able to maintain my position or move up in the race, but overall it was a good learning weekend and just a really fun experience overall.”

ABOUT TEAM PELFREY: Dale Pelfrey’s race team, based in Palmetto, Fla., is built upon the same principles he used 35 years ago when establishing his business career – hire the best, acquire the best and expect the best in order to achieve the most. After fielding cars in the IndyCar Series from 1998 until 2000, Team Pelfrey was reformed in 2011, winning on its Pro Mazda debut and going on to earn the Team Championship as well as second and third in the drivers’ title-chase with Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries. Team Pelfrey went one better in 2012, guiding Jack Hawksworth to the Drivers’ Championship and earning a second successive Team Championship.

For more information, please contact Nigel Tuckey at 727-504-1414 or nvtuckey@team-pelfrey.com.

March 31, 2014

Derani and Team Pelfrey Take Third in St. Petersburg Season Opener

Photos © Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography.

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (March 31, 2014) – There were plenty of positives for Team Pelfrey when the new Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season began with a pair of races as part of the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The highlights were posted by up-andcoming Brazilian Pipo Derani, who took a solid fourth on Saturday and added a podium finish on Sunday morning to secure third place in the early season point standings. The results for teammates Dalton Kellett and Brandon Newey weren’t as strong but both drivers still emerged from the weekend full of optimism for the long season ahead.

The trio found themselves languishing on the edge of the top 10 during the opening practice sessions on Friday, but steady improvements throughout the weekend led to the distinctive yellow Team Pelfrey cars showing much more competitive form.

The start of Saturday’s Race 1 was delayed several hours by a severe storm and finally saw the green flag at a little before 7:00 p.m., by which time the track was dry and the sun was shining. Derani made up two places within the first two laps and remained in touch with the leaders virtually throughout before settling for fourth place. Kellett made a lightning getaway to vault from 13th to sixth before slipping back to ninth at the finish. Newey also moved up, from 12th to eighth, until an incident on the final lap dropped him to 16th.

Race 2, held in brilliant sunshine on Sunday morning, brought another fine effort from Derani, who made up two positions at the standing start, then out-braked Saturday’s third-place finisher, Scott Hargrove, to assume the final podium position. Newey and Kellett once again didn’t have much luck, with Newey damaging his car’s suspension when he clipped one of the unforgiving walls, but at least both drivers made it to the finish line.

Team Pelfrey will return to action for Rounds 3 and 4 when the entire Mazda Road to Indy ladder system once again runs in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama on April 26/27.


Dalton Kellett (#80 Team Pelfrey/K-Line Insulators USA, Inc./Gap Guard) - Race 1, started 13th, finished ninth; Race 2, started 15th, finished 11th: “Generally, I would say it was a good weekend. The final results weren’t as I would want to be but in terms of the direction we found with the car and with my driving, and working the engineers and the driver coaches here at Team Pelfrey, I think we know what I need to do in terms of my driving to get me up closer to the front, so that’s definitely a positive step. Also, the fans here in St. Petersburg are great and it’s awesome to be a part of the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

Pipo Derani (#81 Team Pelfrey/Alan Lewis Consulting/Gap Guard) - Race 1, started sixth, finished fourth; Race 2, started sixth, finished third: “It was a new track for me, a new experience, and it’s very good to see that every time we go out we make the car better. It was a bit tricky getting used to the different setup we came here with this weekend, but I think we managed to overcome our problems and we’re getting better bit by bit, so I’m happy with what the team achieved this weekend. Overall, standing third after all the problems we’re had leading up to here is not bad at all. We’re not there yet but we’re going to get there. The championship is long and I need to thank my sponsors and my team for this great opportunity to be here.”

Brandon Newey (#82 Team Pelfrey/Mygale Race Cars/Gap Guard) - Race 1, started 12th, finished 16th; Race 2, started 12th, finished 18th: “It’s been a really great weekend working with the Team Pelfrey guys. We had a really good car all weekend, just getting better and better each session, and in today’s race we had a really good start. Unfortunately, we had to start 12th with how the red flag worked in qualifying for us – it was sort of bad timing – but we were up to around eighth after the second lap and then I was pressuring another guy and unfortunately tagged the inside wall in Turn Nine and just bent the right-front suspension, so we had to come into the pits to change it. Overall, I think the car was really, really good and the Pelfrey guys are doing an awesome job.”

ABOUT TEAM PELFREY: Dale Pelfrey’s race team, based in Palmetto, Fla., is built upon the same principles he used 35 years ago when establishing his business career – hire the best, acquire the best and expect the best in order to achieve the most. After fielding cars in the IndyCar Series from 1998 until 2000, Team Pelfrey was reformed in 2011, winning on its Pro Mazda debut and going on to earn the Team Championship as well as second and third in the drivers’ title-chase with Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries. Team Pelfrey went one better in 2012, guiding Jack Hawksworth to the Drivers’ Championship and earning a second successive Team Championship.

For more information, please contact Nigel Tuckey at 727-504-1414 or nvtuckey@team-pelfrey.com.

February 27, 2014

Derani Claims Another Podium for Team Pelfrey in Cooper Tires Winterfest

Photos © Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography.

LEEDS, ALA. (February 27, 2014) – Team Pelfrey encountered plenty of positives as the Cooper Tires Winterfest for Pro Mazda concluded with a pair of races over the past two days at the challenging Barber Motorsports Park.

Pipo Derani added another podium finish on Tuesday to the one he earned at NOLA Motorsports Park last Saturday, and completed the four-race mini-series fifth in the standings, just a point shy of one of the pre-season favorites, Shelby Blackstock. Dalton Kellett wound up ninth after adding two more top-10 finishes, while Team Pelfrey newcomer Brandon Newey also impressed in claiming a pair of top-10 finishes on his Pro Mazda debut.

Round 3 on Tuesday saw Derani make yet another fine start, vaulting from sixth on the grid to third which he maintained until the end. Newey drove well to rise from 12th on the 16-car grid to ninth, while Kellett jumped from 10th to eighth in the early stages before slipping to 10th at the finish.

Derani repeated his opening lap heroics in Wednesday’s final round, and continued in third until being assessed a drive-through penalty following an incident with Blackstock with just four laps remaining. The resulting pit stop relegated him to 11th. Newey continued to pick up speed en route to eighth as Kellett struggled in the late stages and had to be content with another 10th-place result.

The team will now regroup and continue preparations for the first two races of the “regular season” Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires which will take place on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 29/30, just a few miles from Team Pelfrey’s new headquarters in Palmetto.


Pipo Derani (#81 Team Pelfrey/Alan Lewis Consulting) – Race 1: started sixth, finished third; Race 2: started sixth, finished 11th: “The Winterfest in general has been a bit crazy for us because we’ve been trying different things with the car and the car has not been responding the way we want. So it’s been a bit frustrating. I didn’t have the best car, that’s for sure, but the good news is we’ve had a couple of podium finishes and I made the maximum spots I could on the first lap of each race. In the final race I was taking my line and (Blackstock) was the one who chose the outside on a high-speed corner and he was the one who made the mistake of going off; I didn’t push him out.”

Brandon Newey (#20 Team Pelfrey) – Race 1: started 12th, finished ninth; Race 2: started 10th, finished eighth: “It was good to learn the car and the track for the regular season race coming up here (on April 26/27). The whole week steadily I was getting faster and faster and learning a lot with the car, and my times were competitive with my teammates so I’m happy with that. I think we have a good direction to go moving forward with the team and I’m really just looking forward to learning more about the car and working with Team Pelfrey.”

Dalton Kellett (#80 Pelfrey Performance/K-Line Insulators USA, Inc.) – Race 1: started 10th, finished 10th; Race 2: started 12th, finished 10th: “Overall, Winterfest has been a learning experience. That’s what it’s for. Essentially it’s an extended test period with some races, and I’m trying not to take too much stock in the actual results. Obviously, it would have been nice to end up a little bit higher on the score sheet but I think we’ve learned quite a bit, so that’s definitely positive. Either way, I’m definitely looking forward to doing some more testing and then getting on to the actual season.”

ABOUT TEAM PELFREY: Dale Pelfrey’s race team, based in the St. Petersburg, Fla., area, is built upon the same principles he used 35 years ago when establishing his business career – hire the best, acquire the best and expect the best in order to achieve the most. After fielding cars in the IndyCar Series from 1998 until 2000, Team Pelfrey was reformed in 2011, winning on its Pro Mazda debut and going on to earn the Team Championship as well as second and third in the drivers’ title-chase with Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries. Team Pelfrey went one better in 2012, guiding Jack Hawksworth to the Drivers’ Championship and earning a second successive Team Championship.

For more information, please contact Nigel Tuckey at 727-504-1414 or nvtuckey@team-pelfrey.com.

February 23, 2014

Derani, Kellett Show Promise for Team Pelfrey During Cooper Tires Winterfest

NEW ORLEANS, LA. (February 23, 2014) – Team Pelfrey’s 2014 season began this weekend with the first two of four races that will comprise the Cooper Tires Winterfest for Pro Mazda at NOLA Motorsports Park. New recruits Pipo Derani and Dalton Kellett both performed well after overcoming some mechanical gremlins on Friday, with Derani confirming his promise during a fine run to third place the following afternoon.

Both drivers encountered difficulties during the lone qualifying session on Friday morning, restricting them to ninth (Kellett) and 13th (Derani) on the starting grid. Derani, indeed, was unable even to complete a lap.

An intense effort by the Team Pelfrey crew brought dramatic improvement beginning with the first race on Friday afternoon. Kellett, from Stouffville, Ont., Canada, jumped into sixth at the start and maintained his position throughout the 18-lap race. Derani, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was obliged to start the race in the team’s backup car, despite which he made excellent progress to finish hot on the heels of his teammate.

That promise was continued into Race 2 on Saturday afternoon. Derani, back aboard his regular car, made a sensational start to vault from sixth to second, where he remained until losing a position on the final lap. Kellett also displayed good pace, finishing eighth and posting a best lap just 0.6 second adrift of race winner Garett Grist.

"The weekend started off rough and ended well,” said Team Pelfrey Team Manager Nigel Tuckey. “We had some issues and rebounded strongly. The guys had a long night on Friday to switch cars and then put a new engine in, and Saturday was great. We got to run the cars without any problems in the morning practice and made some progress through the day, culminating in a good podium finish. All in all, a good start to the season.”

Derani currently lies fifth in the points and Kellett seventh. The four-race mini-series – a first for Pro Mazda – will conclude on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 25/26, with another pair of races at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.


Pipo Derani (#81 Team Pelfrey/Alan Lewis Consulting) – Race 1: started 13th, finished seventh; Race 2: started sixth, finished third: “I think we made a very good improvement because we hardly did any running in testing and qualifying, so I went into the first race with a car that was not mine and without the right setup. It was hard starting from last and not knowing the track and getting up to speed in the first race, but I think we made good progress. From where we were, two sessions behind everybody else, I think we did a good job in Race 2. It was a bit of a pity where I lost a place on the last lap. I braked on the dirty part of the track and my rear (brakes) just locked, but this happens and we learn from it. I’ll make sure I won’t make the same mistake again!”

Dalton Kellett (#80 Pelfrey Performance/K-Line Insulators USA, Inc.) – Race 1: started ninth, finished sixth; Race 2: started seventh, finished eighth: “I was definitely pretty happy with the first race. It wasn’t a bad showing considering that qualifying didn’t go as planned. I was a little bit unlucky in the second race, when I was held up by another car at the start and lost a position. I just need to work on getting up to pace a little bit quicker and we should be in good shape for the next races at Barber.”

ABOUT TEAM PELFREY: Dale Pelfrey’s race team, based in the St. Petersburg, Fla., area, is built upon the same principles he used 35 years ago when establishing his business career – hire the best, acquire the best and expect the best in order to achieve the most. After fielding cars in the IndyCar Series from 1998 until 2000, Team Pelfrey was reformed in 2011, winning on its Pro Mazda debut and going on to earn the Team Championship as well as second and third in the drivers’ title-chase with Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries. Team Pelfrey went one better in 2012, guiding Jack Hawksworth to the Drivers’ Championship and earning a second successive Team Championship.

For more information, please contact Nigel Tuckey at 727-504-1414 or nvtuckey@team-pelfrey.com.

September 4, 2013

Kellett Clocks Impressive Times Despite Final Outcome in First Firestone Indy Lights Challenge.

“You can tell that you’re in trouble when you feel the air on the back of your neck instead of in your face.” – Buddy Baker

Location/Event: Grand Prix of Baltimore, Firestone Indy Lights, Round 10, September 1 - www.grandprixofbaltimore.com/home

Baltimore, MARYLAND (September 4, 2013) Courage isn’t something you have. It’s something you do. And Indy-intender, Dalton Kellett, entered his first Firestone Indy Lights race this past weekend in Baltimore. It’s been quite a season and Kellett is the only racer to have competed in every step of the Mazda Road to Indy in one season, having raced USF2000 full-time, plus Pro Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights. This was not the first time Kellett has raced in Baltimore with Pabst Racing. It won’t be his last.

Practice rounds can be every bit as important as the actual race and Friday’s first practice found Kellett. With changes to the course – as compared with last year – and the Indy Lights cars offering significantly higher speeds and, with their stiffer suspension, a bumpier ride. Long story short, Kellett’s first session clocked him at 3 seconds off the fastest time. Session #2 moved him up by a second with a 6th place finish as both car and track felt more natural the second time around, together with some set-up adjustments.

Qualifying found Kellett moving between the 6th and 7th position for most of the session, replacing his tires in the last 10 minutes of the session in the hopes of increasing his speed. With two laps to go, Kellett nicked the inside wall entering turn three, forcing his car into a spin and into the path of another car, resulting in a red flag – costing him his fastest time as he was moved down into 8th place. His time, however, was within 1.5 seconds of the fastest times, lap-to-lap, prior to losing his fastest time – results that buoyed Team Pabst.

With this 8th position start, Kellett was primed to tackle Baltimore’s challenging street course with its walls – as proven – leaving absolutely no margin for error. With a promising start, moving past one car and gaining position for another, Kellett’s second lap proved disastrous – moving wide and into the tire barrier on the exit of turn 4.

In Kellett’s words, “I went too deep into Turn 4 and got loose on entry – putting me wide at the apex and into the tire barrier on the exit of the corner.”

The damage to the car caused by this impact ended his race yet spirits remained high based on an overall strong performance and impressive lap times throughout – beyond his years. Given that this was Kellett’s first time in the powerful Firestone Indy Lights car – with its significantly enhanced horsepower and increased downforce – the Baltimore results were still seen as being impressive for Team Pabst.

“I was able to show that I’ve got the potential to be a strong contender in Firestone Indy Lights and, with more time in the car, I expect to be back competing at the front”, Kellett promised.

It also demonstrated how Kellett reacts to a fresh challenge and new opportunities, turning in a performance to be proud of despite the relative unfamiliarity with the course, the car and competitors more seasoned than his 20 years.

“I feel good about my results, despite the final outcome. It was my first time out in this car and I think I’ve managed to prove myself to be someone to watch for in the rear view mirrors of more experienced Indy Lights racers.”

With an attitude like this and these lap times, you’ve got to keep your eyes on Kellett as he continues to carve out a name for himself as he makes his way along the Road to Indy.

Dalton Kellett would like to thank Pabst Racing Services and K-Line Insulators USA for their belief and their support.

For more information on Dalton Kellett, follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett or at www.DaltonKellett.com.

August 17, 2013

Kellett Tackles Firestone Indy Lights – Another Rung on the Ladder on his Road To Indy.

“What’s behind you doesn’t matter.” – Enzo Ferrari

Location/Event: Grand Prix of Baltimore, Firestone Indy Lights, Round 10, September 1 - www.grandprixofbaltimore.com/home

Baltimore, MARYLAND (August 15, 2013) A lot of good drivers dream of Indy, but few of them make the cuts to actually get there. It’s a disciplined ladder that must be climbed – one rung at a time – and Canadian racer, Dalton Kellett, is one of only a handful of challengers who have competed in every step of the Mazda Road to Indy in one full-time season.

“I’m extremely excited about this race. Earlier this season, I was given the chance to race Pro Mazda with Team Pelfrey at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, so being able to compete in Firestone Indy Lights with Pabst Racing will offer another instance for me to learn and develop my skills in a different car.”

This is a different kind of race for Kellett and for Pabst Racing, bringing with it fresh challenges and new opportunities – racing a more powerful Dallara Indy Lights car with more horsepower, larger tires and brakes – handling differently than the USF2000 cars he’s most accustomed to given its lighter, carbon fibre, monocoque chassis and 6-speed sequential (as opposed to 4-speed, H-pattern) gearbox.

“These cars boast an approximate 280HP increase in power, as well as increased downforce and better handling capabilities. These changes will be challenging both physically and mentally. Fortunately, I’ve been working with Pitfit training and their ePitfit program, to keep my physical fitness in race-ready form.”

This is not Kellett’s first time in Baltimore – he was there last year, racing with Pabst in the USF2000 car but this is a street course – his first in an Indy Lights car – and he’s fully aware of the demands this will place on his existing skills. At the same time, the Firestone Indy Lights series will expose him to another facet of professional racing. With this event, Kellett will learn more about the series, the car, the track and his fellow competitors.

“I expect that this race will be a good learning experience for the team and myself. Once we have completed the event, we’ll be able evaluate what we have learned. From that point, it will be up to me to weigh my options for the 2014 season.”

Kellett is determined to succeed in this first Firestone Indy Lights race. At the same time, his level of maturity shines through in how he approaches each new opportunity.

“How I approach this weekend will be similar to how I would any event – which will be to give my best performance in every session and to give accurate feedback to the team so we can develop the set-up to extract as much of the car’s potential as possible. After this event at Baltimore, my goal is to be comfortable with the Indy Lights car and come away having gained as much experience as possible.”

Keep your eye on this website for race results. Dalton Kellett continues to prove he’s a competitive force to be reckoned with. This has certainly been his track record and racing fans will be eager to see how his skills translate to this latest challenge. Who knows where this next rung will lead him?

The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports on September 1st at 1:00 pm.

Dalton Kellett would like to thank Pabst Racing Services and K-Line Insulators USA for their belief and their support.

For more information on Dalton Kellett, follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett or at www.DaltonKellett.com.

August 8, 2013

Kellett Endures Multiple Wild Rides In A Chaotic Triple Race Series in Mid-Ohio

“While full rotation about the yaw axis is not uncommon it is also not desired.”
– Carrol Smith

Location/Event: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Cooper Tires USF2000 National Championship, Rounds 8, 9, 10, Lexington, Ohio - www.usf2000.com/Series.aspx

TORONTO, ON (August 6, 2013) Dalton Kellett faced a tough haul in the action-packed Mid-Ohio event as part of the Cooper Tires USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda. This fan-friendly, 13-turn course was also home to a rich array of events at the Honda Indy 200, including IZOD Indycar and the World Challenge Series, providing USF2000 drivers with valuable exposure to other racing communities together with a spectacular crowd of racing enthusiasts. The weekend consisted of a test day on Thursday – with two 45-minute sessions – in which Kellett placed in the top 10 of the 30-car field. This provided the drivers with a chance to test course conditions – which would change over the course of the weekend given the wide range of series events running on the same 2.258-mile track. This ability to adapt to changing track characteristics becomes a critical factor in each driver’s results. A test session followed with a qualifying round on Friday – in which Kellett ran between the 5th and 7th positions until red flag conditions and a compromised fuel load resulted in a fall to 9th place. At the same time, the accelerated degree of competition in the USF2000 Championship is best demonstrated in the realization that the difference between 5th and 11th positions is measured by 1/10th of a second. This was followed by two races on Saturday and one on Sunday, August 4th. Despite dry track conditions in the test sessions, conditions changed to wet, plaguing the first race with multiple full-course cautions, with many cars spinning out and off the track. This dictated steel nerves and a calm head to keep the car on the track for a race that saw only 4 laps of green flag racing. Kellett welcomes challenges and his mature racing style earned him 3 positions ¬– from 9th to 6th – which proved a season best performance. The second of two races was under sunny skies with only a single caution as Kellett began in 7th place. He kept it competitive, remaining with the front pack until leaving the track on corner 11, ultimately returning his spinning car back into the race. Damage to his car (grass-packed rad ducts) resulted in overheating and reduced power while the track conditions – impacted by rubber residue from two previous races – hurt his speed, finishing in the 11th position. Sunday’s race would prove to be catastrophic for much of the field. As soon as the race was started, an incident up front resulted in a spin-out, creating an 11-car accident. Kellett’s car suffered a collision with the car ahead, spinning totally around to face the car behind before moving off the track to prevent further damages. No one was seriously injured, fortunately. Which only goes to show that being ready for competition is only part of the sport. Things happen and the best drivers find a way to deal with adversity while still managing to get ahead. At other times, you can only learn from the experience and take it forward into the next race. Kellett and Pabst Racing Services were pleased with this performance but the results Kellett strives for managed to elude him this past weekend.

Dalton Kellett would like to thank Pabst Racing Services and K-Line Insulators USA for their belief and their support.

For more information on Dalton Kellett, follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett or at www.DaltonKellett.com.

July 18, 2013

Dalton Kellett Enjoys Best Weekend Of This Season In Front Of Hometown Crowd

“The winner ain’t the one with the fastest car. It’s the one who refuses to lose.”
– Dale Earnhardt

TORONTO, ON (July 12-14, 2013) – Most of us do our best work in seclusion – away from the pressures of friends and peers. Others look forward to the added thrill of doing our best in front of friends and family. Such was the case for Toronto’s Dalton Kellett – who headed home for his proper homecoming in the Analytic Systems USF2000 component of Toronto’s Honda Indy this past weekend.

A motorsports fans’ dream-come-true, Toronto lucked out hosting one of the three "two-for-one" race weekends in this year's Indycar calendar – resulting in a racing-packed weekend. From a day of free practices and qualifying laps prior to two races back-to- back, together with a variety of other races filling out the bill, Toronto was the place to experience the perfect racing weekend. For Kellett’s part, Friday allowed for two practices and qualifying, followed by a race day Saturday and another on Sunday. Things look promising as Kellett turned in the 2nd fastest racing time in the first practice, and an 8th fastest time in the second. However, in qualifying, Kellett qualified in 12th position after red flags and that 11-turn, 1.75 mile circuit track made it hard to break free to gain much ground. As Kellett said, “Qualifying did not go splendidly. I ended up twelfth because there were a few red flags making open track hard to find.”

In the first race, Kellett moved up to seventh place. “Because the Toronto race is a street course, the race was full of incidents and cautions – however, I managed to escape damage to the car and did battle for five positions”, noted Kellett. The second race proved to be a trying one (“by far one of the craziest and most hectic I have ever been involved in”, Kellett noted) as our hometown hero found it as difficult to avoid trouble as it was to make up position and pass the other drivers. “The second race only saw 5-7 laps of green flag racing – the rest of the time taken up under full course yellow, behind the safety car”, Kellett explained.

Kellett also pointed out how the Toronto course proved so demanding: “street courses are great because they present a technical challenge – there’s no room for error and the surface often lacks the grip, constantly changing its properties over the course of the weekend.” Toronto race fans can attest to the hot temperatures and high humidity which wreaked havoc on an already demanding course, forcing drivers to predict surface conditions and plan for them accordingly.

Bottom line, Kellett was pleased with his overall results. “In terms of numbers, this weekend has been my best for the current season – scoring two finishes inside the top ten was a real accomplishment. And, being a hometown race, it was a great feeling to race in front of my family and friends – plus doing 240 down the Lakeshore wasn’t too bad either.”

Dalton Kellett would like to thank Pabst Racing Services and K-Line Insulators USA for their belief and their support.

For more information on Dalton Kellett, follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett or at www.DaltonKellett.com.

June 3, 2013

Kellett Turns In An Impressive Run On The Night Before The 500.

“He conquers who endures.” – Persius

Location/Event: The Night Before The 500, Mazda USF2000 Championship, Round Three/Race 5, Clermont, Indiana

TORONTO, ON (May 30, 2013) This exciting event, held at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Indiana – minutes away from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway – is a high profile event in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered By Mazda Championship. The two-day event, staged to finish – literally – on the night before the Indy 500, proved a grueling series of tests for Kellett who, by race day, was in sixth place after the last practice run. Kellett moved up a notch in the qualifying position – to fifth place – after a pair of qualifying laps with the first fifteen cars. Adding in the balance of qualifying drivers and this position slipped to eleventh. Kellett was clearly disappointed.

“If my time had been better by ¼ of a tenth of a second for each of the two laps, I would have found myself in sixth place”, Kellett noted. Yet, ever the competitor, Kellett quickly made up for lost time, passing a number of cars in the final race to end up with an 8th place finish.

Keeping in mind this was an oval track, it carries with it multiple considerations and challenges for team, driver and car. “Passes can often take a number of laps to set up and complete, unlike road racing where they are often completed in one corner….this is far more difficult to do on an oval,” states Kellett. “There’s much more importance placed on working effectively with the team to develop the setup,” he adds.

The laps of an oval track are roughly 20 seconds long in duration, their repetitive nature adding a fresh element of mental challenge to an already physical task of gaining ground while staying on-course. This race marked Kellett’s second oval track contest, defeating the stigma of being involved in a multi-car pileup in last year’s event.

After a slow start to his second season with Pabst Racing Services, behind the wheel of Pabst’s Mazda-powered Van Diemen USF2000 car, Kellett seemed pleased with the final outcome of this race. “From a driving point-of-view, the race was excellent. I was able to race hard and clean, making successful passes while still racing wheel-to-wheel for many laps,” admitted Kellett.

It seems that Kellett had chosen the right night to turn things around in his favour.

Stay tuned to Dalton Kellett’s progress on his Road To Indy as he races for his hometown in the next scheduled race on July 13-14 – on the Streets Of Toronto.

Dalton Kellett would like to thank Pabst Racing Services and K-Line Insulators USA for their belief and their support.

For more information on Dalton Kellett, follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett or at www.DaltonKellett.com.

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.

For more information on Dalton Kellett, follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett or at www.DaltonKellett.com.

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

Stay in touch with Dalton at www.DaltonKellett.com or follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett.

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.

Stay in touch with Dalton at www.DaltonKellett.com or follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett.

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.

Stay in touch with Dalton at www.DaltonKellett.com or follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett.

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.

Stay in touch with Dalton at www.DaltonKellett.com or follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett.

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.

Stay in touch with Dalton at www.DaltonKellett.com or follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_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.

Stay in touch with Dalton at www.DaltonKellett.com or follow him on twitter at: @Dalton_Kellett.

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.