|June 22, 2009 News
|eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month - Sage Karam - May 2009
| Sage Karam swept the HPV Junior category at the WKA South Bend event, adding two podium finishes in the Yamaha Junior divisions to that|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.
A driver that many have seen on the national scene for a number of years - despite the fact that he is only 14-years old - is champion Sage Karam. The Nazareth, Pennsylvania native is entering his 10th season in karting after getting his early start at the age of four in a kid kart. Karam has shined in recent years in the Cadet category across the country but it was his performance in South Bend last month that earned him the honor of EKN May Driver of the Month.
Karam began the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series MRP Speed School Nationals with a victory in the HPV Jr. Heavy division on Saturday. Running second in qualifying and the Prefinal, Karam put down some quick laps on his cold Bridgestone tires after grabbing a great start at the drop of the green to take his first WKA victory of the season by just under two seconds. Later in the day, Karam had worked himself from a 10th in the Yamaha Jr. Lite qualifying to battle within the top-five, eventually earning the fifth spot on the podium.
On Sunday, Karam continued to run up front in the HPV category, this time in the Lite category. A win in the Prefinal after starting second set up a flag to flag run in the feature for his second victory of the weekend. The best drive of the weekend however came in the Yamaha Jr. Heavy class where Karam had to come from the Last Chance Qualifier after his transponder did not record a lap in qualifying. After winning the LCQ, Karam started 30th in the 12-lap Prefinal. With smart and calculated moves, Karam advanced up to 14th. In the feature, Karam put 10 more karts behind him to earn his fourth podium of the weekend.
Between 2004 and 2007, Karam racked up two national Cadet championships in the Stars of Karting series including multiple wins. During that time, he earned five WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series championships - earning the Triple Crown honor in 2007. Last season, Karam moved up to the Junior ranks and began the tough learning curve of making the jump. On the year he earned a number of top-10 finishes a visiting the podium a few times.
2008 also marked his car career as he began running Skip Barber Regional events, earning victories at Road America and Mont Tremblant Circuit. It lead to him earning a spot at the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out where he would be awarded the top honor of competing in the Skip Barber National. Recently at the third event of the 2009 season, Karam recorded his best results of the season with an eight in the first race and a podium run to second in the other final.
| Sage Karam - EKN Driver of the Month - May 2009|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
May 2009 EKN Driver of the Month - Sage Karam
Date of Birth: 3/5/95
Hometown: Nazareth, PA
Parents: Jody and Karen
Siblings: Sydnee (12)
Height/Weight: 5’3” 110 lbs.
Education: Entering 8th grade at Nazareth Area Middle School
Job: Student and compete in wrestling, swimming and football
Engine/Engine Builder: Switch/Kevin Nelson
Sponsors: Managed by Mr. Michael Fux, Oso*Fresh, Orwig, MRP(Garry, Chris and Tim Lobaugh), Bell, Alpinestars, BFGoodrich, Mazda, Artrotundo, Flying Colors, and Walters Website. Doug Fleming worked hard at keeping me going in the cadet days
Series You Compete In: World Karting Association, Rotax Max Challenge USA and the Skip Barber National. Recently, we’ve been traveling to South Bend often to compete in their Rotax club series. There’s a bunch of karters in that series that are really tough and bring out the best in me. I really enjoy racing with them. These guys aren’t the national champions that we read about, but they are just as good as those guys. I hope to compete in the Florida Winter Tour too. I enjoy being able to still compete in karts and cars.
Years Karting: 10
How did you get started in karting? Dad bought me a kart for my 4th birthday
What has been the high point in your racing career? It’s a tie between winning the Triple Crown in World Karting Association and Stars of Karting in the same year or being the youngest winner (13) of the Skip Barber Karting Shootout Scholarship.
What are your goals in racing? Professional open-wheel racer and to win the 100th Indy 500 in seven years
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Very aggressive but enjoy working my racecraft. Always respectful to my competitors and the officials.
Funniest moment at the race track? Last year, I got “jacked up” at the scales by a competitor after an on-track incident. So, the next session, I sorta “helped him through” one of the turns. But, we both went off. The kid got out of his kart and chased me on foot while I hurried my kart back on the track and down the straight! It’s good he didn’t catch me…..
Favorite Track: MRP of South Bend and Lowe’s Charlotte Karting Center.
Favorite form of professional motorsports: IRL and F1
Favorite karting driver: The racer who shows up with their stuff piled in the back of a pickup truck – the way we used to and sometimes still do!
Favorite professional driver: Michael Andretti of course
Favorite website: eKartingNews.com and eFormulaCarNews.com
Favorite movie: Gran Torino
Favorite actor/actress: Will Ferrell
Favorite music/group: Blink 182
Favorite vacation/activity spot: We gave up on family vacations when we started competing at National events. My parents try to make racing weekends fun, kinda like mini vacations, but it always turns into business!
Favorite food: Mexican
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? Play Call of Duty with my racing friends, workout and RC cars.
What are your goals outside of karting? Be the youngest American to land a professional driving contract with an IRL or F1 team
What type of street car do you drive? My dad’s 2009 Corvette or his F-150 – late at night around Nazareth…just kidding, maybe. I guess being sponsored by Mazda, I should include the RX8. At the Shootout, I had to drive an RX8 through the skid-pad test. It was the first time I ever drove a streetcar. It’s a great car. The F-150 is special because we spent a lot of time in it driving all over the country to races. People probably don’t realize it, but before I had sponsorship, we’d spend many nights sleeping in that truck on our way to races to save money. We went through two engines and three transmissions so far. My parent’s say we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies pulling into race tracks with karts and tools hanging out the back of it.
What type of street car would you like to drive? My manager has an amazing collection of Ferrari’s, Lambo’s etc. I’d take anything he has but between his Veyron, FXX or Enzo, it would be a tough choice.
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? Dishonest people or cheaters
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Obviously, a unification of the organizations of some type. What happened with the Stars series really upset me. We had some great memories with that series.
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? I made many friends through karting from fellow competitors to corner workers and officials. If it weren’t for karting, I would have never been able to have the early success in racing cars that I’ve had so far. Racing has taught me many lessons. I’ve learned racing is a tough sport. I’ve learned to be a tougher person because of it. Every weekend, every race, is another test. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. I’ve learned sometimes that I’m never really as good as I think I am, and that I’m never really as bad as I think I am either. Lastly, racing has taught me that being a champion is not a part-time thing, it’s an everyday thing.
May Driver of the Month - Honorable Mention:
- Ryan Stewart: WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series South Bend - 3 wins, 4 podiums
- Kyle Shriver: IKF Region 7 Willow Springs - 3 wins
- Mason Marotta: Championship Karting International New Castle - IAME Senior win
- Shawn Sharkey: Championship Karting International New Castle - IAME Junior win