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  • July 29, 2009
  • Lorenzo MandarinoThe Pserra Racing team traveled to beautiful Trois Rivieres, Quebec for the annual Monaco de Trois Rivieres to help promote the Birel brand outside of Ontario. Although only a trio of drivers entered the race under the Pserra banner, the team performed at their usual best and returned home with another victory courtesy of Lorenzo Mandarino. Every member of the team was very impressed with the 1.5km street circuit that kept the driver's on their heels while navigating through the streets of the 375-year-old city.

    Saturdays on track action was hot as Mandarino and Michael Vincec lead the way in Rotax senior out of the box. Pserra power helped the two top the time sheets in every practice session on track with continuous power down the long 1100 foot straightaway's. Wesley Schindel joined the team contesting in the Honda Senior class to be part of this unique event. After three practice sessions and minimal chassis adjustments, the team prepared for qualifying.

    Schindel jumped out front early in the session, but battled in a small group for clean air and couldn’t post a flying lap until lap six. Entering the final corner before the start-finish line, he upset his kart clipping a manhole cover and slapped the trackside plastic barrier losing his shot at a front-row position and having to settle for fifth in the 22-kart field.

    Wesley SchindelSimilar situations were found in the Rotax Senior qualifying session, as a clear lap was very tough to develop on the long streets of Trois Rivieres. Vincec jumped to the top of the charts early posting his flyer on lap four with a time of 51.992 seconds and an average speed of 103.862 km/h. Pulling off a lap later, he watched as the remainder of the group challenged his time. Mandarino battled within a group of five karts and finally posted his quick time of the session on lap seven just narrowly missing pole but placing the only two Birel chassis in the 22-kart field on the front row.

    All teams and drivers returned to the track Sunday morning to a rainy track and completely different conditions from Saturdays clear sunny skies. After one warm-up session, it appeared the track may dry up but as Honda Senior fired up their engines for their pre-final, the rain came pouring down and never let up. The positive luck for the team turned in the pre-final as Schindel was forced to retire before his race even started with an engine failure. Then Vincec was forced to spin to avoid the heavy hail bails on the pace lap in Rotax Senior and with nowhere to go, Mandarino ended up on top on Vincec. Both drivers were able to continue but started the race more than a half a track behind. A red flag halfway into the heat benefitted the two, but they could only climb back to eighth and ninth respectively.

    After a weather delay and track repair delay, the team lined up for their final's. With the wild weather conditions, slippery track surface and time constraints, sections of the track were designated as no-passing zones and single file starts were introduced for the finals, making overtaking very difficult. Schindel's bad luck continued as after working his way through the field and posting times as quick as the leaders, he was forced into a barrier and retired the race needing help out of his kart. Mandarino and Vincec got off away cleanly on the start and began their pursuit of the leaders. Mandarino immediately paced faster than the field and was up to second by lap four. Although the leader stormed away early and looked out of reach, the 2005 SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro Champion lapped nearly two seconds a lap quicker and caught the leader on lap seven and cleanly slotted into the lead on lap eight. Putting his Birel in cruise control for the remaining four laps, Mandarino earned his fourth straight win of the year crossing the line over four seconds ahead. Not to go unnoticed, Vincec battled his way up to third by lap nine and came up only a few laps short of catching second place but joined his teammate on the podium. The two drivers were also the only two to lap under 59 seconds.

    Lorenzo Mandarino"This is the best go-kart race I have ever been to in Canada," Mandarino claimed after receiving his trophy, and added, "I will be back next year in Shifter."

    "Pserra Racing is looking to develop a dealer network and traveling to Quebec was very important for us," quotes team owner Peter Serravalle. "All three of our Birel’s were up top on the timesheets in practice showing how quick these karts are out of the box with basic setup. I feel that Quebec is a very important market for Canada and I would love to see a dealer there in the near future for both chassis and engine building."

    Back in Ontario, Pserra Racing power showed it has the pace to be up front at the Canadian National Championships. Newly acquired pilot Garret Grist bolted on a Pserra Racing powered engine and drove to victory in Rotax Junior during the final Rotax Max qualifying race at Goodwood Kartways before the Canadian Nationals. "I am very impressed with the engine package that I received from Pserra Racing," stated Garret Grist after cruising to victory on Saturday.

    Next up for the team is the Ontario Grand National Championships at Shannonville Motorsports Park. A full field of drivers is expected to battle for Grand National Bears under the Pserra banner. Mandarino also looks to add to his Brian Stewart Racing Karting Championship Rotax Senior point lead. Following Shannonville, the team returns to Goodwood Kartways for the Canada National Karting Championships. The team looks forward to competing at both these events and is destined to bring home some serious hardware.