|November 11, 2012 News
|EKN Exclusive: MG Tires SKUSA SuperNationals XVI - Preview Program - KZ2
eKartingNews.com, the official online media partner of Superkarts! USA, is proud to present the SKUSA SuperNationals XVI Preview Program. Over the coming days leading up to the November 14-18 event, EKN will preview each of the nine categories that will compete for a share of the prize package worth roughly $100,000, and the completion of the 2012 SKUSA Pro Tour.
For complete coverage of the SKUSA SuperNationals XVI presented by MG Tires, visit the Official EKN Event Page
Youíll see his image throughout the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino this week, as the defending champion has the privilege of being featured on the official event poster. Frenchman Anthony Abbasse conquered the SuperNats last year after roughly five years on being in serious contention. The factory Sodi Kart driver has the odds against him, however, as there has been only one driver to repeat as winner in the headline shifterkart category in event history. That driver is former Formula One and current NASCAR driver Scott Speed (2000 & 2001). Speed is joined in the record books by Italian Marco Ardigo as the only other driver to win the feature race on two occasions. The Tony Kart factory driver and former world champion stood on the podium at the final event at Sam Boyd Stadium in 2007, and took home the $10k check in 2010. Heís stood on the podium the last three years, the only driver to do so.
| Anthony Abbasse|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Ardigoís counterpart under the Tony Kart tent - Rick Dreezen - has nearly matched that record. Runner-up in 2010, Dreezen ran third last year for his second straight podium finish. The third headline driver from Europe is 2009 winner Bas Lammers. A flat tire took him out of contention last year, but he is hoping his third trip to Las Vegas will bring better results, possibly a first victory for the Praga chassis at the SuperNationals. Other international drivers to watch for include Kosmic driver Armand Convers (France), Brit Ben Hanley (ART GP), and 2011 S1 winner Italian Mirko Torsellini who has move over to Tony Kart this season.
Seven Americans will compete in this yearís KZ2 category, including two former winners. Gary Carlton returns to the seat after a year hiatus from competitive karting. Teaming up with the Energy Corse/Buddy Rice Karting team, heíll pilot an Energy for the first time, and will be the only driver utilizing the BMB engine. The other is 2002 victor Ron White (CRG). White was the first driver to win at the Rio SuperNationals and returns once again, 10 years later. While heís shown speed in the past four events, his best finish of eighth came while duking it out with world champion Michael Schumacher. Other notable drivers carrying the ĎRed, White, and Blueí include Fritz Leesmann and Nick Neri. Leesmann (CRG) will be doing double duty, running for the S1 victory and SKUSA Pro Tour title as well. The NorCal driver has produced average results in the KZ class, despite coming one lap from scoring the top finish by an American in 2010 in a heavily-stacked international field. Neri scored a victory in his SuperNationals debut last year and will now jump from S2 to compete in the KZ2 category. Spending time in Italy with the factory Tony Kart team, Neri has some experience against similar competition.
| Marco Ardigo and Rick Dreezen|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Four drivers will be representing Canada - highlighted by Philip Orcic and Michael Vincec. Orcic (Zanardi) won the TaG Senior main event last year, and will make his SuperNats debut in the KZ2 category after placing fifth at the CIK-FIA World Cup event. Vincec (Vemme) stood on the podium back in 2008, but has yet to recapture the same results since that performance.
The class will welcome some new and young faces to the field this season, as over half the drivers will make their debut in the category at the SuperNats. Among them is young Dutch driver Max Verstappen (CRG). The son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, Max is making a name for himself in the sport of karting. A KF3 champion in 2010 and 2011, heís shown his talent in the Senior ranks this past season in both KF2 and KZ2. He is one of two 15-year old drivers in the field, as Alessio Piccini is the other. The Italian driver drove fifth in the S5 category in his SuperNats debut, and is making the big jump to the KZ2 category, where he drove for the Tony Kart factory team this year. He will also be one-half of history this year, as he will compete alongside his father, veteran Alessandro Piccini, to become the first father/son pairing to compete against each other in the KZ2 category.
| Bas Lammers|
This yearís KZ2 race is going to be an incredible battle between past champions. The Vegas layout is a different animal and the dangers of barrier racing means that anything can happen. Lammers was the man to beat last year and I think heíll come back with a vengeance this time around and heíll be back on the top of the podium. Heíll be chased hard by the Ardigo / Dreezen Tony kart duo. Abbasse has the elusive win under his belt, so a top-five should come easy, but Iím not sure heíll have what it takes to score victory again. My long-shot pick is Canadian Phillip Orcic. He topped the TaG Senior class last year and has a season of KZ2 international competition under his belt. Itís time for him to set up with the big boys, and this coming weekend would be the perfect stage.
1. Bas Lammers
2. Marco Ardigo
3. Rick Dreezen
4. Philip Orcic
5. Anthony Abbasse
With $10,000 on the line, on a temporary circuit, with the best drivers from around the world in attendance, itís hard to focus on who will best play the five-day game of chess. Speed is a must, but finding the right set-up to deal with changing conditions will be key to taking the checkered flag on SuperSunday. Tony Kart has always been a contender in the KZ2 category, and this time itís Dreezen who will enjoy the glory. He helped push Ardigo to victory in 2010, and this year he will return as the favorite as they attempt to hold off Lammers - who would have had the victory last year if not for a flat tire. The young Verstappen is very talented, as he has shown over the last few years. This time, heís bringing his talents to Sin City and will stand on the podium in his debut. And you can never count out GFC. He will represent the USA well once again, giving it 110% in his return to action.
1. Rick Dreezen
2. Marco Ardigo
3. Bas Lammers
4. Max Verstappen
5. Gary Carlton
KZ2 Entry List
|44||Anthony Abbasse||Team Sodikart / G-Phactory||SodiKart||TM||CouŽron||Pays de la Loire||FRA|
|51||Marco Ardigo||Tony Kart Racing Team / Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||ITA|
|308y||John Baldasare||Ron White Racing||Zanardi||Maxter||Berkeley||CA||USA|
|171||Ryon Beachner||Tony Kart USA / 2Wild Karting||Tony Kart||Vortex||Lake Forest||CA||USA|
|50||Gary Carlton||Energy Corse SRL / Buddy Rice Karting||Energy||BMB||Marysville||CA||USA|
|34||Armand Convers||Tony Kart Racing Team / Tony Kart USA||Kosmic||Vortex||Orlando||FL||FRA|
|122||Martin Doubek||IPK North America||Praga||IAME||Uxbridge||ON||CZE|
|60||Rick Dreezen||Tony Kart Racing Team / Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||BEL|
|7j||Cody Elliott||ACR - PCR / Franklin Motorsports||PCR||Maxter||Lake Geneva||WI||USA|
|8||Andreas Fasberg||Pserra Racing||Tony Kart||Vortex||Markham||ON||DNK|
|13||Nico Fattore||GP Canada / Innisfil Indy Kartways||GP||TM||King City||ON||CAN|
|38||Gianni Gazzurelli||Tony Kart USA / Orlando Kart Center||FA Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||FRA|
|120||Patrik Hajek||IPK North America||Praga||IAME||Uxbridge||ON||CZE|
|21||Ben Hanley||ART Grand Prix America||ART GP||TM||Cremona||CR||GBR|
|97||Chris Hays||Energy Corse SRL / Buddy Rice Karting||Energy||TM||Parkwood||QLD||AUS|
|118||Wilson Hurtado||IPK North America||Praga||TM||Bogota||Cundinamarca||COL|
|78||Torsten Kostbade||Kartshop Ampfing||PCR||TM||Ampfing||Bavaria||DEU|
|119||Bas Lammers||IPK North America||Praga||IAME||Uxbridge||ON||NLD|
|161y||Fritz Leesmann||Diede Racing / PSL CRG||CRG||Maxter||Elk Grove||CA||USA|
|4||Carlos Lopes||CKR USA||CKR||DeBei||Roselle Park||NJ||PRT|
|77||Bruno Leon Mello||Tony Kart USA / Orlando Kart Center||Tony Kart||Vortex||Sao Paulo||SP||BRA|
|66||Zach Meyer||GP Canada / Innisfil Indy Kartways||GP||TM||Toronto||ON||CAN|
|151||Nick Neri||Tony Kart Racing Team / Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||USA|
|11||Phillip Orcic||Chiesa Corse||Zanardi||Maxter||Richmond||BC||CAN|
|27||Arthur Nogueira Ortolani||Tony Kart USA / Orlando Kart Center||Tony Kart||Vortex||Sao Paulo||SP||BRA|
|1||Jorrit Pex||PSL Karting||CRG||TM||Trois Rivieres||QC||NLD|
|28||Alessandro Piccini||Tony Kart Racing Team / Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||ITA|
|12||Alessio Piccini||Tony Kart Racing Team / Tony Kart USA||Kosmic||Vortex||Orlando||FL||ITA|
|17||Guilherme Thomazi Salas||Tony Kart USA / Orlando Kart Center||Tony Kart||Vortex||Sao Paulo||SP||BRA|
|19||Mirko Torsellini||Tony Kart Racing Team / Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||ITA|
|3||Max Verstappen||PSL Karting||CRG||TM||Trois Rivieres||QC||NLD|
|5r||Michael Vincec||Team Vemme / Checkered Flag Racing||Vemme||TM||Stouffville||ON||CAN|
|71||Ron White||CRG-USA||CRG||Maxter||San Jose||CA||USA|