LAW PRESS RELEASES - 2012
NOVEMBER 29, 2012
BONDURANT VP LEADS U.S. TEAM TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Only one U.S. driver has won a karting world championship – former NASCAR driver Lake Speed, in 1978.
Alan Rudolph wants to change that. The Gilbert, Ariz., driver is leading the U.S. squad that is competing in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at Kartodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, from Nov. 28 to Dec.1.
Rudolph and four other DD2 racers are the veterans on the 19-driver U.S. team, which also includes competitors in junior and senior classes. They will collectively carry the Stars and Stripes in the talented field of 276 karting champions from 60 countries on six continents.
Team captain Rudolph earned his world championship invitation twice, winning both the 2012 U.S. Rotax Max Grand Nationals and the Rotax Max Challenges Florida Winter Tour. But he won't carry any technical advantage to Portugal, as all 60 drivers in his class will start in equal kart chassis with sealed 32.6-hp Rotax DD2 engines.
"In my opinion, it's the only true world championship event because you have to qualify by winning in your country. Then you go there and all the equipment is identical," he noted.
He has trained hard for the upcoming race, a task made easier by his day job – he is vice-president and general manager of the Bondurant SuperKart School at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix.
"I love karting because it’s one of the purest forms of racing. The wheel-to-wheel battles are second to none and the physical aspect is more demanding than anything I have ever driven," Rudolph said.
"I haven't found a workout routine that is the same as driving karts. You just have to drive it 'cause it's muscle memory. I'm working out every day and driving as much as I can. Every time I'm at the gym, it's constantly in my head – worlds, worlds, worlds. And when I drive, I'm driving like it's the last lap of the race."
Just as work helps with racing, Rudolph said racing makes him a better coach, "Because it's relevant. Things that may have worked 10 years ago don't necessarily work today. Cars have changed, driving styles maybe a little bit have changed."
One thing that hasn't changed is his winning style. He is a multiple U.S. champion, the only five-time SKUSA King of the Street champion and a WKA National and Grand National champion. He holds a number of records, including the 250cc SuperKarts lap record at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Since Bob Bondurant invited him to run the Bondurant SuperKart School in 1998, more than 10,000 students have benefitted from Rudolph's experience, and many have gone on to win national and regional championships.
So what would it mean to add a world championship to the tally?
"It would mean everything," Rudolph said. "I've done so much in karting over my career, I've won so many things over the years, different championships in different series. Winning this would be the last feather in my cap. It would be really important to the school and to me."
Bondurant Enterprises provides a full range of driving training, from grooming future race stars to helping families improve their driving skills to hosting unique corporate events. Bob Bondurant, an internationally recognized leader in advanced driving training, opened the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in 1968. The largest purpose-built driving school in the world, it features a 15-turn, 1.6-mile road course, an eight-acre asphalt pad for advanced training and more than 200 race-prepared vehicles, sedans and open-wheel cars. Situated on Firebird Raceway's 600 acres of excitement in Phoenix, Ariz., the facility has access to three additional race tracks, a watersports lake and three skid pads. Bondurant SuperKart School offers two karting tracks with state-of-the-art equipment and training. Bondurant Trackside is the premier leader in OEM events, showcasing manufacturer's vehicles.
– bondurant.com –