|November 17, 2009 News
|EKN Exclusive: SKUSA SuperNationals XIII - SuperPro Preview
From the day that the final checkered flag waved and the competitors packed up under their gear in the paddock one year ago, the 13th annual Superkarts! USA SuperNationals has been in everyone’s mind. Set for November 18-22, over 400 drivers will head into battle at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for what is expected to be the biggest and brightest karting event in the sport’s history. Drivers from all over North America and around the world will compete in an effort to score one of the nine class victories, all focused on placing their name into the SKUSA history books. eKartingNews.com has slated the days leading up to the event for an in-depth look at the entry list and the major players in each of the categories. We have seen the TaG Junior, S5, G1, TaG Masters, S4, KF2, S3 and TaG Senior. Today we preview the headline SuperPro category.
To discuss the SKUSA SuperNationals XIII, visit the Official Discussion Thread in the EKN Forums.
For the EKN Event Page with all the previews, click here
| Former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher will compete in the SuperPro category at this year's SKUSA SuperNationals|
The culmination of the EKN SKUSA SuperNationals XIII Class Previews will look at what can be most certainly considered to be the most exciting and talented SuperPro field in the 13-year history of the event. Forty-two drivers from around the world will assemble in Las Vegas this week in search of the $10,000 payday for the victory on SuperSunday.
The astonishing feature of the SuperPro category will be witnessing the racecraft of seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher. The former Ferrari F1 legend, considered by many as the best driver of all time, will compete aboard a factory Tony Kart Racing Team entry. A karting star back in the 1980s in Germany and across Europe, Schumacher continues to kart when his schedule allows. Certainly those along the fence line this week will be witness to North American karting history. Two other F1 drivers will be joining Schumacher on-track as former Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. and current Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi are slated to compete. Piquet spent last week testing with the Champion Racing/Intrepid USA squad at their Oklahoma Motorsports Complex as the Brazilian ran near record laps despite a very ‘green’ track. Buemi will also be aboard an Intrepid machine, having recorded a number of big victories and championships from 1998-2002 in karting.
| Defending race winner Jonathan Thonon will battle once again for another 10k in cash payday|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Breaking down the chassis manufacturers represented, CRG leads the way in terms of numbers with 16 drivers on the entry list. Topping the field is defending race winner Jonathan Thonon. The Belgium calls the SuperNationals his favorite event to race at after having competed here during the last two years. Thonon nearly had the ’07 event in his hands until the shifter linkage broke, costing him a $10,000 payday. Overcoming troubles in the heat races last year, Thonon put in a stellar performance to claim the title. Earning his third straight KZ2 World Cup crown this season, Thonon is certain to be a favorite to repeat in Vegas.
Also on the familiar black machines will be current and former world champions. One month ago in Asia, Frenchmen Arnaud Kozlinski brought home the World Karting Championship to CRG for the first time since 2003. A broken collarbone during the heat races in his first trip to the SuperNats last year cost him a chance at the title. Back again for redemption, Kozlinski will be battling for the win this time around. Four-time world champion Davide Fore will also return to Vegas having contested the ’07 event at Sam Boyd Stadium - then on a Maranello.
Certainly leading the way for the red, white and blue will be three-time national champion Gary Carlton. The PCH Motorsports driver won the coveted SuperNats title in ’06 in his first year aboard a CRG. The Californian will be searching for his unprecedented fifth straight podium finish and a second SuperNats win.
| 2007 winner Marco Ardigo had a possible win taken away last year because of contact and will return this year for redemption|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Aside from Schumacher, the Tony Kart brand will have another world champion in the mix - Marco Ardigo. The 2007 SuperNationals winner was poised to defend his crown last year until contact near the midway point of the race put him into the barriers and out of the event. The two-time world karting champion will certainly be among the contenders when SuperSunday rolls around. Also watch for factory TK driver Gary Catt. The Brit has a stellar CV throughout his years of karting and is capable of running with the best.
The only European to podium in each of the last two years is Intrepid factory driver Jeremy Iglesias. A third in ’07 and fourth last year have Iglesias as a driver to watch for throughout the event. The Frenchman ran second at the KZ1 World Cup event to Thonon with Dutchman Bas Lammers and Norman Nato - also of France - running third and fourth. Both Lammers (’09 European Champion) and Nato will be making their second visit to the SuperNationals alongside Iglesias.
The surprise of last year’s event was the performance put in by Anthony Abbasse. The SodiKart factory driver qualified second to Thonon and sat on the pole for the main event in his first visit to the SuperNationals. Contact between he and Ardigo cost him a chance at the victory however. With another strong season in France, Abbasse will not be able to sneak in this time around as many mechanics will have a watch on his progression through the event. Alongside Abbasse will be Frenchmen Pierre Ragues, a LeMans Series driver in Europe with a stellar karting background.
| American Gary Carlton will look to contend for his second SuperNats victory and a record fifth straight SuperPro podium|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
The Energy Corse team is bringing four drivers from Europe to be under the Energy Corse America banner, led by ‘08 KZ2 European Champion Tony Lavanant. The Frenchman was fourth in qualifying last year but retired early in the main event. Team Aluminos will have three international drivers aboard GP Karts including 2008 S1 runner-up Daniel Bray. The Kiwi driver has been stateside for many months competing in California and will be ready to take on those in the SuperPro this week. Rounding out the international field is Brazilian Danilo Dirani, as the former Atlantic Championship driver will be aboard a Kart Mini.
Looking back at the North American contingent, 2008 EKN Driver of the Year Michael Vincec will return to the national karting stage after a year of Skip Barber National and regional Canadian racing. Vincec will be under the Pserra Racing tent - a Canadian Birel outfit. Another driver to watch will be Jose Zanella. The Florida driver walked away with the S1 title last year and matched times to be competitive with the SuperPro division.
This year marks the reunion for a few drivers; Phil Giebler to OTK as his new E Karting Company will be working with the FA Kart product with the former ICA national champion piloting a shifter in the SuperPro division. Former national champion and Atlantic Championship race winner Alan Sciuto returns to the event in which he lost in the final corners in 2004, this time aboard a CRG machine. Also back with CRG is 2002 winner Ron White. The Californian is always capable of fast laps and on the familiar CRG could be a factor for a podium spot. And you can’t think of SuperNationals without thinking of Matt Jaskol. The Vegas native won back in 1998 in the Junior shifter class (K2) and like White, is a threat anytime he suits up.
Forty-two drivers are scheduled to take to the track on Thursday for their first sessions on the new SuperNats circuit outside the Rio and, by the end of the day, the contenders and pretenders will be identified to battle for the coveted SuperPro Oakley Lead Foot Award for the top qualifier. From there, three heat races will sort out the field for the main event lineup with 30 laps to decide the 2009 SKUSA SuperNationals XIII victor on SuperSunday.
Provisional SuperPro Entry List - as of November 12
|1||Jonathan Thonon||Desenzano||Belgium||CRG Racing Team||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|2||Michael Schumacher||Prevalle||Germany||Tony Kart Racing Team||Tony Kart||ICC-Vortex|
|4||David Fore'||Desenzano||Italy||CRG Racing Team||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|5||Matt Jaskol||Las Vegas, NV||USA||Checkered Flag Racing||Vemme||ICC-TM|
|5r||Michael Vincec||Stouffville, ON||Canada||PSerra Racing||Birel||ICC-TM|
|7||Arnaud Kozlinski||Desenzano||France||CRG Racing Team||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|10||Pierre Ragues||Coueron||France||Team SodiKart / G-Phactory||SodiKart||ICC-TM|
|14||Matt Lee||Syosset, NY||USA||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|20||Sebastien Buemi||Salizzole||Switzerland||Intrepid Kart Technology / Champion Racing||Intrepid||ICC-TM|
|21||Tony Lavanant||Miami, FL||France||Energy Corse America||Energy||ICC-TM|
|22||Cyndie Allemann||Miami, FL||Switzerland||Playthings Racing / Homestead Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|23||Marcel Jeleniowski||Miami, FL||Germany||Energy Corse America||Energy||ICC-TM|
|24||Michael Bo Andersen||Taastrup||Denmark||Aluminos||GP||ICC-TM|
|24d||Kody Adcock||Grand Junction, CO||USA||PSL Karting / Critical Zone Racing||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|25||Seppo Mönkkönen||Miami, FL||Finland||Energy Corse America||Energy||ICC-TM|
|26||Phil Giebler||Huntington Beach, CA||USA||E Karting Company||FA Kart||ICC-Vortex|
|27||Michele Di Martino||Miami, FL||Italy||Energy Corse America||Energy||ICC-TM|
|28||Danilo Dirani||Sao Paulo||Brazil||Team Kart Mini||Kart Mini||ICC-Maxter|
|32||Alan Sciuto||Orange, CA||USA||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|33||Matthew Mair||Miami, FL||USA||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|33z||Brad Weiss||Enumclaw, WA||USA||Intrepid||ICC-TM|
|40||Jeremy Iglesias||Salizzole||France||Intrepid Kart Technology / Champion Racing||Intrepid||ICC-TM|
|400||Myles Marolt||Castle Rock, CO||USA||Rocky Mountain Kartworks||GP||ICC-Maxter|
|44||Anthony Abbasse||Coueron||France||Team SodiKart / G-Phactory||SodiKart||ICC-TM|
|44c||PP Mastro||Bakersfield, CA||USA||High-Rev Engineering||CRG||ICC-TM|
|48||Gary Catt||Prevalle||United Kingdom||Tony Kart Racing Team||Tony Kart||ICC-Vortex|
|51||Marco Ardigo||Prevalle||Italy||Tony Kart Racing Team||Tony Kart||ICC-Vortex|
|55||Ben Schermerhorn||Highlands Ranch, CO||USA||PSL Karting / Critical Zone Racing||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|60||Bas Lammers||Salizzole||Netherlands||Intrepid Kart Technology / Champion Racing||Intrepid||ICC-TM|
|62y||Daniel Bray||Howick, Auckland||New Zealand||Aluminos||GP||ICC-Maxter|
|Z66||Zac Meyer||Toronto, ON||Canada||GP||ICC-TM|
|70||Norman Nato||Salizzole||France||Intrepid Kart Technology / Champion Racing||Intrepid||ICC-TM|
|71y||Ron White||San Jose, CA||USA||SSC East||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|80||Nelson Piguet Jr.||Heidelberg||Germany||Intrepid Kart Technology / Champion Racing||Intrepid||ICC-TM|
|87||Jose Zanella||Doral, FL||USA||Tony Kart Florida||Tony Kart||ICC-Vortex|
|87f||Brandon Frank||Smiths Parish||Bermuda||Leading Edge Motorsports||Intrepid||ICC-Maxter|
|90||Etienne Lasalle||Trois-Rivieres, QC||Canada||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|102||Joao Jardim||Danville, CA||Brazil||Aluminos||GP||ICC-Maxter|
|117||Dominic LeGrand||Trois-Rivieres, QC||Canada||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|131||Alex Manglass||Nanuet, NY||USA||SSC East||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|151||Gary Carlton||Riverside, CA||USA||PCH Motorsports||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|161y||Fritz Leesmann||Elk Grove, CA||USA||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|