Jan Heylen Wins Kart Fight in Orlando, Announces 2012 plans
Under the bright lights of Orlando, Florida and in front of a standing room only crowd, Racers Edge Motorsports driver Jan Heylen claimed victory in the 2011 edition of the Red Bull Kart Fight as part of the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. Driving a Rotax powered CRG kart as part of the CRG USA team, Heylen successfully defended his win in the previous running of this annual event.
Drivers in the All-Star race included Ryan Briscoe, Alex Tagliani, AJ Allmendinger, EJ Viso, Jay Howard, Townsend Bell and Martin Plowman. Qualifying fourth, Heylen secured a second row starting position for the Pre-final with Viso taking pole followed by Howard and Allmendinger. At the start of the Pre-Final, Howard got the jump on Viso going into Turn One, with Heylen following Howard into second place. Heylen glued himself to Howard’s rear bumper and waited until the last turn of the last lap to make the pass to claim victory by one-tenth of a second and, more importantly, garner the all-important pole position for the Final.
At the start of the Final, Howard got the jump on Heylen from his second starting position, settling into the lead with Heylen closely following. Heylen constantly looked for an opportunity to make a pass, getting alongside Howard on several occasions but not enough to make a clean move for the lead. Finally, with four laps remaining in the race, Heylen snuck past Howard. Once into the lead and with a relatively clear track in front of him, Heylen built a small cushion over Howard that he held to the checkered flag.
"What a great event!" exclaimed Heylen after the race. "Jay drove very well and made me work for everything I got. Special thanks go to CRG USA for their tremendous support and to Dave Davies for making the trip to Florida. Dave and I won this race together the last time we raced here at PRI. For sure I'll be back next year and try for a three-peat."
When asked about his plans for the upcoming 2012 season, Heylen said, "I will be driving a Racers Edge Motorsports Dodge Viper in the Rolex Grand American Series and a Dodge Challenger in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Doug Peterson will be my co-driver, and I know Doug will be an excellent team mate for what should be a very exciting and busy season. It will be great to be racing again in the States with iconic cars like the Viper and the Challenger."
The 2012 Rolex Grand American Series kicks off with the 50th running of the Daytona 24 Hours January 28-29, 2012.