eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings – Stock Moto – April 1, 2013
Season begins with drivers chasing Leesmann and Wimsett
Today is the first release of the 2013 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings, beginning with the Stock Moto category. It’s been a great start for the 2013 season as 28 new drivers joined the standings after just five events were added. A number of new drivers have jumped on the Stock Moto parade in the California ProKart Challenge, the Florida Karting Championship Series hosting a number of big names making their first shifterkart start, and the Lone Star Grand Prix made its debut on the EKN Driver Rankings.
The year however will be spent chasing down the top two in the standings – Fritz Leesmann and Joey Wimsett. Leesmann (CRG) secured his second S1 Pro Stock Moto title in Las Vegas last November, and got the 2013 season off to a similar start by securing the Rotax Challenge of the Americas title for a second straight trip to the Rotax Grand Finals in the DD2 category. He’s spent more time in the seat this winter then last year, which could be bad news for the Stock Moto drivers. Wimsett (CRG) contested his first full year in a shifterkart in 2012, going toe-to-toe with Leesmann for much of the season – equaling the win total at two apiece and only 59 points out of the top spot in the EKN Driver Rankings. Wimsett spent the winter working as driver coach/mechanic once again, and is now preparing for his first race of the year in the driver’s seat – the SKUSA SpringNationals.
Nicky Freytag (FA Kart) finished out the season third in the EKN Driver Rankings, placing as the highest S2 Semi-Pro graduate from 2012. The former #1 ranked driver performed well enough to end the SKUSA Pro Tour in fourth behind Leesmann, Wimsett and defending champ Daniel Bray. He is not racing this season however, as he plans to focus on school this year. Kyle Hathcox and Jake French ended the 2012 season rounding out the top-five. Hathcox (CRG) will enter his sophomore season in the S1 division, looking to improve on a challenging rookie season. French kicked off the season in style, winning two of the shifterkart races at the Lone Star Grand Prix, while making his debut aboard the DR Racing Kart under the DRT Racing/Pole Position Karting team.
Tyler Bennett (Tony Kart) starts the year out in the sixth position, and will be one of the contenders in the SKUSA Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge. Daniel Langon (CRG) will not be in Tucson for the opening rounds of the Pro Tour, but plans on finishing out the season while also contesting the Red Line Oil Karting Championship in NorCal. The 2012 California ProKart Challenge champion Jimmy McNeil (CRG) made the jump back to the S1 division from S4 look simple at the regional level, however his struggles at the Pro Tour hampered his Driver Rankings score. Look this year for a change in that.
The top S2 driver from 2012 – Sabré Cook – is ready to make the move up to S1 in 2013. The CRG-USA driver has been busy with her freshman year in college, but is primed to showcase her talents against the best on the SKUSA Pro Tour. Rounding out the top-10 is ‘Wild Thing’ Josh Lane (DR). The Illinois-native had a busy winter, becoming a dad and moved back on the east coast during the winter break.
One driver to watch this year, who is our ‘On the Move’ this month’s is the 2012 S2 SuperNationals winner Billy Musgrave. The Tony Kart driver is jumping into S1 and has already showed the speed to compete against the top dogs.
Stock Moto Driver Rankings Top-10
Stock Moto #1 – Fritz Leesmann
Elk Grove, California
For roughly the past five season, Fritz Leesmann has been the shifterkart bar for North American karting. Behind Gary Carlton, Leesmann was among the best in the ICC division. Now into the Stock Moto era, he has two SKUSA Pro Tour championships in three seasons, not to mention the DD2 titles he’s won in the winter months. Carrying the #1 SKUSA plate once again, Fritz appears to be more focused on success then he was when April 2011 rolled around. The number of challengers however appear to be growing, and after the April 13-14 weekend, we will know if Leesmann will be in position to contend for a third championship.
SKUSA SpringNationals ’12 #1 – S1,9.5,2,1094
SKUSA SpringNationals ’12 #2 – S1,9.5,1,1105
SKUSA SummerNationals ’12 #1 – S1,9.5,2,1107
SKUSA SummerNationals ’12 #2 – S1,9.5,1,1118
SKUSA California PKC ’12 #6 – S1,8.5,1,980
SKUSA SuperNationals 2012 – S1,10,2,1158
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1.5
Average Points: 1093.7
Total Points: 6562
Stock Moto ‘On the Move’ – Billy Musgrave
Among the many challengers this year will be So-Cal driver Billy Musgrave. The 2012 S2 Semi-Pro SuperNationals winner is making the jump to the S1 division for 2013, with the eye on the big prize. The season has been strong already for Musgrave, as the Tony Kart driver has two wins in two starts at the California ProKart Challenge – with wins over McNeil, Lane and even Leesmann. Looking at his average in just the four events he has contested in the past 12 months, he will most likely end up inside the top-10 and possibly into the top-five depending on his results at the SpringNationals.
SKUSA SpringNationals ’12 #2 – S2,9,1,1012
SKUSA SuperNationals 2012 – S2,9.5,1,1147
SKUSA California PKC ’13 – S1 #1,8.5,1,962
SKUSA California PKC ’13 – S1 #2,8.5,1,965
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1
Average Points: 1021.5
Total Points: 4086
EKN Driver Rankings Calculation Process
The EKN Driver Rankings are calculated using a driver’s best finishes in major North American races. Assembled using events from the previous 12 months from the current date, we use a driver’s best seven finishes in TaG and six in Stock Moto to determine their overall current point total. With each new release, results posted from more than one year ago are discarded. To deliver our ranking list, we tabulate the results of all the national programs and selected regional programs. We have included the results for the major one-off events such as the SKUSA SuperNationals, the US Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals, the Rock Island Grand Prix and the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix.
Each race is initially weighted based on the prestige and history of the event or series with a score of ten (10) being the highest attainable base ranking. For 2013, the SKUSA SuperNationals and US Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals receive a score of 10 in their initial weighting in the TaG category while the SuperNationals is the lone event in the Stock Moto division. The SKUSA Pro Tour series events draw a base ranking of nine (9), while the WKA Manufacturers Cup, Florida Winter Tour, Rotax Challenge of the Americas, IKF 2-Cycle Sprint Grand Nationals, Rotax Pan American Challenge, United States Pro Kart Series and other regional program races were given a base ranking of either eight (8) or nine (9).
The EKN staff reserves the right to adjust the rankings of each event throughout the year. A minimum entry total for any events considered for the Driver Rankings program is five (5). If an event does not have at least five (5) drivers starting the race, those results will not be tabulated toward the Driver Rankings.
Added to these initial rankings are two variables that help confirm the true importance of an event to the ranking process – field size and field strength. A percentage of one weighting point is added for the size of the field, while the number of existing top 50 drivers entered offers another full point or fraction of a point. The sum of these numbers becomes the overall ranking for any race. Following a race, drivers receive points based on their finishing positions with 100 points earned for a win. Each subsequent position drops by one point with 99 points given to the second place driver and so on throughout the field. These points are then multiplied by the overall ranking to produce a driver’s final point total from each event. Using a driver’s best seven races in TaG, six for Stock Moto, we calculate each driver’s overall score and subsequent ranking.
Stock Moto – as of April 1, 2013
23.,24,1,Mariana Ramirez Savage,8,5483
56.,58,2,Fernando Casillas Jr.,4,3586
64.,65,1,Eric Van Der Steur,4,3254
68.,69,1,Vicki Brian Hager,4,3132
72.,76,4,Joshua de Losier,3,2542
142.,129,-13,Luis Martinez Jr.,1,823
165.,144,-21,Steven Savino II,1,779