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VLK Xpress Wins 12 Hours of Victory Lane
Racing NewsVLK Xpress Wins 12 Hours of Victory Lane

VLK Xpress was the winning team in the fourth annual 12 Hours of Victory Lane endurance karting event held December 4 at Victory Lane Karting in Charlotte, NC. The VLK Xpress team, comprised of local racers Hans Soneson, Fred Ogrim and Michael Ibach, exploited their hometown expertise to grab a victory margin of five laps on the 14-turn indoor course. The defending 12 Hour champions, Endurance Karting, finished second in a spirited battle with the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix 3 team, who finished third by a margin of less than one second.

The 12 Hours is the second major indoor karting victory of the year for VLK Xpress, backing up their team title at the U.S. Indoor Championships in Phoenix. The team grabbed a clean sweep of the 12 Hours with Soneson qualifying on the NOS Energy Drink Pole Position and Ogrim recording the Finish Line Race Gear Fastest Lap of the Race.

After Soneson and John Luzzi of fingerprint inc. traded the lead in the first hour of the race, VLK Xpress gradually drew away and led for the final 11 hours of the race. Despite the lead, Soneson and his teammates were never able to relax.

“I’m never comfortable with a lead until the race is over, so from green to checkered, I’m always on edge,” explained Soneson. “Later in the race, we had a couple of moments in the pits changing karts for refueling, but we had a good margin by that time so the drama was short-lived.”

With another major win in the books, the team is looking forward to defending their titles in 2012.

“We want to defend our U.S. team title,” explained Ogrim. “Plus, we’re defending our title in the 24 Hours of America outdoor karting event hosted by Endurance Karting. Hopefully we can add the 24 Hours of Victory Lane championship to that list as well.”

With the victory solidly in hand for VLK Xpress, much of the attention in the final hours of the race fell to an epic battle between Dan Burke of Endurance Karting and Carl Bligan of the Pennsylvania-based Lehigh Valley team. In the final 90 minutes, the two were rarely more than a few seconds apart, with Burke crossing the finish line with Bligan on his rear bumper. Rock River Solutions, a team comprised of Charlotte and Atlanta-based racers finished fourth, followed by fingerprint inc. in fifth.

RACE RESULTS: 12 Hours of Victory Lane
presented by NOS Energy Drink and Finish Line Race Gear
Victory Lane Karting Charlotte, NC
December 4, 20011

Fin.) Team (Starting Pos.) Laps

1.) VLK Express (1) 1054 laps
Hans Soneson, Fred Ogrim, Michael Ibach

2.) Endurance Karting (9) -5 laps
Johan Schwartz, Dan Burke, Jordan Pembleton

3.) Lehigh Valley Grand Prix 3 (6) -5 laps
Lehigh Valley had nine drivers who competed on three teams: Kevin Bligan, Carl Bligan, Jason Frankenfield, Ryan Suchon, Kyle Lick, Jianni Koburi, Andrew Pettijohn, Pat Gillin, Michael Bednar

4.) Rock River Solutions (3) -6 laps
Ryan Curtin, Andrew Hopwood, Toby Dan

5.) fingerprint inc. (4) -9 laps
John Luzzi, Walt Sova, Evan York

6.) Xpress Lube (7) -17 laps
Jamil Nassar, Mohamed Nassar, Andrew Von Fange

7.) Lehigh Valley Grand Prix 1 (2) - 20 laps
See driver lineup above.

8.) ProStar 2 (5) -26 laps
Mike Birkle, Truman Godfrey, Conway, Johnson, Overstreet

9.) @InTheRed2001 (11) -26 laps
James Kirkham, Kevin York, John Connaughton, Jade Gurss

10.) Mid-Atlantic Grand Prix (8) -31 laps
M. Dean, M. Roop, P. Flanner

11.) Lehigh Valley Grand Prix 2 (12) -43 laps

12.) Wheel to Wheel Karting (13) -69 laps
Bill Judy, Joao Pessera, Ira Peters

13.) ProStar 1 (10) -70 laps
Mike Birkle, Truman Godfrey, Conway, Johnson, Overstreet

14.) Cloud of Dust (14) -139 laps
Jose Estay, John Patton, John Adams, Antonio Deese

NOS Energy Pole Position: Hans Soneson, VLK Xpress 42.175 seconds

Finish Line Race Gear Fastest Race Lap: Fred Ogrim, VLK Express 39.894 seconds
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