|March 16, 2006 News
|EKN Trackside: Stars Race of the Americas Preview – ICC
| David Jurca moves to the Tony Kart Green for 2006|
After roughly 150 days of waiting in anticipation, the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL will begin its 2006 schedule tomorrow at the MINI Cooper Race of the Americas, held at the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex in Norman, Okla. With nearly 300 drivers signed up for the event, each will be looking to start their bid for a national championship in the right direction, with a win at one of the biggest events of the year. In its first year, the East vs. West opening round brought together some of the best karters in North America and in Europe, including World Champion Davide Fore. This year’s event will be no different.
The headline class for this weekend and every weekend on the Stars of Karting national schedule is the Intercontinental C (ICC) division. The last two years have been dominated by Alex Speed, brother of new Formula 1 driver Scott Speed. Speed and his father Mike combined to be a lethal combination in the ICC division over the two-year period, winning almost every event possible. In 2005, the Californian won the Race of the Americas and five other finals to go along with a third place at the Stars National Finals in Austin to claim his second ICC national championship. With Speed taking the 2006 season off to concentrate on college, the crown is up for grabs with many looking to claim it.
Much like the other Stars divisions, the ICC class saw many of its top drivers switching teams for the 2006 season. Included in this shuffle were three of the absolute top drivers heading into the ’06 schedule, David Jurca (Tony Kart/Vortex), Lorenzo Mandarino (GP/Barks TM), and Kyle Wiegand (TopKart/SwedeTech Maxter).
After claiming the Stars National Finals victory in Austin, Jurca finished out the racing year with the Italian Motors team before announcing his switch to Tony Kart USA. The deal was rather surprising considering his close connection to the IM family in British Columbia, Canada but as Jurca stated in an interview with EKN, he felt it was the best thing for him to do career-wise. Besides running the full Stars schedule, Jurca will also have the chance to compete in the European Championship and the World Cup in Super ICC. The combination of Jurca and Tony Kart will be something to watch all year long and they are one of the favorites to take home the ICC national title.
| Lorenzo Mandarino after winning the SuperNats|
Riding off the momentum gained at the SKUSA SuperNationals, Lorenzo Mandarino is out to prove the win was no fluke. After a difficult 2005 Stars season, the Canadian went to Vegas with nothing to lose and hit the jackpot, winning an emotional SuperPro final. During the winter, Mandarino filled in a void at the GP/KLS tent left by the departure of Wiegand and he will compete in both the ICC and ICA divisions. The Eastern schedule will see him aboard a GP/High-Rev Vortex to compete for the ICA title while he runs his George Barks TM ICC package on the Western series. Mandarino will also campaign the European Championship and the World Cup in Super ICC as well, in addition to the Italian Open Masters program.
The opening at KLS Racing was the result of Wiegand joining the OVRP.com / Team Topkart operation. The two-time RIGP King of the Streets winner made the move to the TopKart team over the winter after running a GP for the last few years. Wiegand had an impressive run in 2005, taking the ICC Eastern Division title with three victories. The Indiana native was leading one of the Prefinals at last year’s Race of the Americas event before a loose fuel cap sent him to the pits and the Repecharge. After starting the Final from 33rd, Wiegand had an impressive run to finish sixth, recording the fastest lap of the race. This year, Wiegand will look to be upfront and away from trouble as he sorts out his first weekend on the new package.
Three drivers who are representing the same colors in ’06 as they did the previous year include Gary Carlton (Trackmagic/SwedeTech Maxter), Wesley Boswell (Birel/SRA TM), and Jan Velez-Walter (CRG/SRA TM).
Carrying the Trackmagic name alone all last year, Gary Carlton was one of the most consistent drivers of 2005. Running in the top five all year long, the Californian finished fourth in the Western Division with one win at CARTBC, Missing the Race of the Americas certainly affected his final position in the points tally. Carlton also ran second to Mandarino at SKUSA SuperNats as well. MRP-Birel AMERICA’s Wesley Boswell is also one of the favorites to win the ICC title this year. Finishing third last season, he struggled early after a strong performance in Norman but came on strong at the end of the year. Also expected to be strong, Jan Velez-Walter had a strong Florida Winter Tour, taking four ICC victories for the PSLKarting.com team. The Puerto Rican driver will be at the front of the field throughout the 2006 season.
| Team OVRP.com's Kyle Wiegand is looking for a mistake free 2006 season in hopes of the national title|
Two drivers returning to Stars and the ICC division are Phil Giebler (Intrepid/Champion TM) and Bobby Wilson (First Kart/SRA TM). To concentrate more on his open wheel career and his G-Phactory kart shop, Giebler, the reigning ICA national champion, will see very limited seat time in a kart on the Stars of Karting circuit. This weekend he will be running in ICC as new Champion Racing ICC pilot Jordy Vorrath is still questionable following a pre-season wrist injury. Returning to run the full Stars schedule again is former ICC national champion Bobby Wilson. Wilson, who has been running in the Cooper Tire Zetec and Indy Pro Series over the last two years, announced at the Sodi Kart Expo International show that he has signed on with the new Ocala Gran Prix team. With limited testing due to the lateness of this announcement, it will be interesting to see what Wilson has for the current establishment.
Other drivers to watch this weekend include Team OVRP.com’s Matt Jaskol (TopKart/DDR TM), Ryan Yop with Tony Kart USA – who will follow Jurca overseas to run the European Champion and World Cup, BTK Motorsport’s Stuart Marsell (Arrow/SwedeTech TM), and another new combination – Tad Funakoshi (Italkart/IM TM) at Italian Motors.
Some of the rookies making the jump from the Junior ranks to the top level include 80 Junior national champion Zach Schiff (First Kart/SRA TM), Team OVRP.com’s Billy Goshen (TopKart/DDR TM) and Levi Roberts (TopKart/SwedeTech Pavesi). Also making their freshman debut in ICC, David Carmendy in a new GT Kart with EFM TM power, James Bayliss (Intrepid/Champion TM) and Cameron Motorsports’ Kyle Marcelli, Maxime Pelletier, and Michael Vincec – all aboard CRG/SwedeTech packages.
EKN will be bringing you full Trackside Live coverage throughout the weekend. Visit the Event Page for full results and reports along with the Official Discussion Thread for continuous quick updates from each day.
ICC - Unofficial Entry List - as of March 14
|2||Kyle Wiegand||Team OVRP.com||TopKart||SwedeTech Maxter|
|3||Wesley Boswell||MRP-Birel AMERICA||Birel||SRA TM|
|5||Jan Velez-Walter||PSLKarting.com||CRG||SRA TM|
|7||Tad Funakoshi||Italian Motors||Italkart||Italian Motors TM|
|9||Alan Rudolph||RBI Racing||RBI||SRA TM|
|10||David Jurca||Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart||Vortex|
|100||Garrett Boone||MRP-Birel AMERICA||Birel||SRA TM|
|101||Maxime Pelletier||Cameron Motorsports||CRG||SwedeTech TM|
|102||Joshua Lyon||MRP-Birel AMERICA||Birel||TM|
|104||Chris Shultz||Shultz Motorsports||GP||Pavesi|
|105||Michael Vincec||Cameron Motorsports||CRG||SwedeTech TM|
|106||Richard Boake||3-S Go-Karts||Birel||TM|
|107||Nicholas Halen||MS Karts||MS Kart||TM|
|108||Ryan Kinnear||Champion Racing||Intrepid||SRA TM K9B|
|109||Matt Pritiko||FirstKart.com||First Kart||TM|
|110||Keith Spicer||DL Racing||Tony Kart||Vortex|
|111||Thomas Cadieux||PSL Karting||CRG||Maxter|
|112||BJ Anderson||NA||Arrow||SwedeTech Pavesi|
|113||James Bayliss||Champion Racing||Intrepid||Champion TM|
|114||Shane Terrel||Champion Racing||Intrepid||Champion TM|
|115||Scott Campbell||GT Karts||GT Kart||EFM/Mandrino TM|
|116||Alexander (Zan) Rose||XRRacing||Birel||SwedeTech Pavesi|
|117||Sean Noonan||Team OVRP.com||TopKart||Maxter|
|118||Nick Johnson||Champion Racing||Intrepid||Assault TM|
|119||Ryan Yop||Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart||Vortex|
|121||Curtis Fox||3-S Go-Karts||Birel||TM|
|122||David Carmendy||GT Karts||GT Kart||EFM/Mandrino TM|
|123||Zachary Schiff||FirstKart.com||First Kart||SwedeTech TM|
|124||Scot Montoya||NA||Mac Minarelli||TM|
|125||Brian Schafer||Champion Racing||Intrepid||TM|
|126||Taylor Broekemeier||RBI Racing||RBI||TM|
|127||Jonathan Vitolo||MRP-Birel AMERICA||Birel||SRA TM|
|128||Rene Silva||3-S Go-Karts||Birel||TM|
|129||A.J. Whisler||RBI Racing||RBI||DDR TM|
|130||Jon Allen||J3 Competition||Kosmic||Vortex|
|132||Lorenzo Mandarino||KLS Racing||GP||Barks TM|
|132||Tim Hollowell||TADD Motorsports||Birel||Rocket Racing TM|
|133||Collin Lynn||MRP-Birel AMERICA||Birel||TM|
|140||Stuart Marsell||BTK Motorsports||Arrow||SwedeTech TM|
|141||Levi Roberts||Team OVRP.com||TopKart||SwedeTech Pavesi|
|142||Kyle Wehking||MRP-Birel AMERICA||Birel||NA|
|143||Devon Nichols||PG Racing||Intrepid||Champion TM|
|144||Stuart Robinson||DeHaan Racing||SodiKart||TM|
|145||Nick Maddison||FirstKart.com||First Kart||SRA TM|
|150||Gianmarco Raimondo||Cameron Motorsports||CRG||SwedeTech TM|
|151||Gary Carlton||Trackmagic||Trackmagic||SwedeTech Maxter|
|152||Scott Miller||Motorama Kart Parts||Birel||Pavesi|
|155||Matt Jaskol||Team OVRP.com||TopKart||DDR TM|
|157||Jeff Oleen||J3 Competition||Kosmic||Vortex|
|161||Fritz Leesman||KLS Racing||GP||NA|
|166||Jonathan Koorsen||NA||PCR||C-G Racing Pavesi|
|170||Chance Terrel||Champion Racing||Intrepid||Champion TM|
|170||Daniel Morad||FirstKart.com||First Kart||TM|
|171||Joe White||SSC Northeast||CRG||Maxter|
|172||Roberto Navarro||Rever Corsa||Birel||TM|
|180||Garrett Maxfield||MRP-Birel AMERICA||Birel||SwedeTech TM|
|181||Troy Hottmann||Franklin Motorsports||Merlin||Pavesi|
|182||Billy Goshen||Team OVRP.com||TopKart||DDR TM|
|183||Bobby Wilson||Ocala Gran Prix||First Kart||SRA TM|
|184||Chris Friel||Ocala Gran Prix||First Kart||SRA TM|
|186||Marc Elliott||RBI Racing||RBI||TM|
|188||Kyle Marcelli||Cameron Motorsports||CRG||SwedeTech TM|
|191||Cody Hadley||Champion Racing||Intrepid||Champion TM|
|199||Chris Kuenning||MRP-Birel AMERICA||Birel||NA|
|John Zartarian||Kart Racing Technologies||KRT||NA|
|Markie McKenzie||McKenzie Motorsports||Arrow||TM|
|Philip Giebler||Champion Racing||Intrepid||Champion TM|
|Scott Barnes||PG Racing||Intrepid||NA|
|Jordy Vorrath||Champion Racing||Intrepid||Champion TM|