EKN Trackside: United States Pro Kart Series – Mooresville Preview Series – Yamaha
A look at the four Yamaha divisions set to battle at inaugural series event
This weekend marks the inaugural United States Pro Kart Series event, set for the Mooresville Motorplex in North Carolina. The new series is aimed at providing a new and fresh karting organization to promote the sport for the racers – in a four weekend program. Created by Route 66 Sprint Series director Mark Coats, a number of industry members have stepped behind this new program that will host over 100 drivers at the opening rounds, presented by GoPro.
The USPKS is fielding seven categories for 2013, based around the Yamaha KT-100 and IAME Parilla Leopard engines. The Yamaha holds four classes, from Rookie to Senior, with the Leopard divisions for Pro, Semi-Pro and Masters. The event format will feature two rounds of racing – one Saturday and one Sunday – consisting of qualifying, two heat races and a main event. The Mooresville weekend will see the heat races last 10 laps each with 20 laps scheduled for the mains. Bridgestone tires will be the spec tire of choice for the USPKS, with YLC compound used in all classes except for the Pro category, which is set to use the softer YLB tire.
The Mooresville Motorplex is a state-of-the-art karting facility that opened at the end of the 2012 season. The 7/10-mile course is based on the famous and historic Kartdromo Parma in Italy, recreated to match the specifications of modern world karting championship standards. The United States Pro Kart Series will be the first national event at the North Carolina facility.
eKartingNews.com will be onsite for the inaugural USPKS event weekend – providing the ‘EKN Trackside Live’ broadcast presented by DRT Racing athttp://www.ekartingnews.com/live . Live audio play-by-play action, live timing and forum discussion is available all on the one page, in addition to a mobile audio link for those on the go. Follow updates at the Official Discussion Thread, Facebook, Twitter and now on Instagram.
EKN is providing a two-day preview program leading up to the weekend’s action of the USPKS Mooresville event, highlighting each of the seven categories. Today reviews the Yamaha categories.
The field for the inaugural USPKS Yamaha 100 Senior division is a young one, with only three drivers old enough to vote and a combined for more years in the sport then the age of some of their competitors. Tony Jump and Billy Lewis are the veterans of the pre-entry list. Both Jump and Lewis have victories and championships on their resume, Jump showing strong at the recent Daytona KartWeek in his Margay chassis while Lewis is a New Castle Motorsports Park regular – driving the American made Eagle chassis for Comet Kart Sales.
Adam Crepin (Merlin) is another driver who has been seen on the national scene in the Yamaha categories, running double duty as he will contest the Pro division as well. Collin Griffin (Arrow) was a championship contender in last year’s Route 66 Sprint Series, and racing at the KartSport North America’s home track could be an advantage.
Among the young guns who will give the veterans a headache is Joel Jens (Tony Kart). The Wisconsin driver is a former Junior champion and has quickly adapted to the racing styles in the Senior divisions. Camden Speth (Arrow) Andrew Burton (Arrow), and Sam Cate (Tony Kart) round out a solid group coming from the New Castle facility, sure to be strong contenders in Mooresville. Anthony Granata is making his Senior debut at the USPKS event after contending for a Route 66 Junior championship last year. A handful of more drivers are expected to enter trackside, as the top level of the Yamaha categories will see some fierce racing for the win.
Senior Provisional Entry List
|1||Camden Speth||Comet Kart Sales||Arrow||Comet Racing Engines|
|7||Billy Lewis||Comet Kart Sales||Eagle||Comet Racing Engines|
|14||Kenlen Morse||Top Kart|
|19||Andrew Burton||Arrow||Comet Racing Engines|
|35||Joel Jens||Joel Jens Racing||Tony Kart|
|37||Adam Crepin||Laukaitis Racing||Merlin||Laukaitis Racing|
|49||Cameron Spek||Spek Kart Racing||Tony Kart|
|55||Collin Griffin||KartSport North America||Arrow||Adkins Speed Center|
|88||Sam Cate||Tony Kart||BBS Engines|
While the numbers are not as large as expected, the competition level is strong in the Yamaha Junior class for the USPKS debut weekend. The large majority have raced with each other for the past few years, both at the Cadet level and now into the Junior ranks. At the top of the list are two drivers already winners on the national scene in Junior competition – Mike McAndrews and Gresham Wagner. McAndrews (Birel) – a champion in last year’s WKA season – is coming off two victories in Kershaw a few weeks ago, so momentum is on his side. Wagner (Arrow) has podiums already on the season, looking for his first victories of the 2013 season.
Emerson Reed (Top Kart), Matt Solarczyk (Birel) and Olivia Horn (Tony Kart) continue to improve as they gain more experience in the Junior division categories. Two drivers to watch, making their Junior debuts on the weekend are David Malukas and Anthony Gangi Jr. Malukas (Birel) is a multi-time Cadet winner and champion, making the transition to the Junior ranks. Gangi (Tony Kart) had one of the best seasons in 2012, winning the US Rotax Grand Nationals and SKUSA SuperNationals victories in the same season. Their transition racing against the older kids will be something to watch as the weekend progresses.
Junior Provisional Entry List
|1||Mike McAndrews||MRP Motorsport||Birel|
|5||Gresham Wagner||KartSport North America||Arrow|
|7||Becker Reardon||JET Karting||Birel|
|7||Anthony Gangi, Jr.||GT7 Motorsports||Tony Kart|
|10||Emily Hurlbert||Franklin Motorsports||Merlin|
|12||Matt Solarczyk||High Velocity Racing/MRP||Birel|
|72||Oliva Horn||H3 Racing||Tony Kart|
|79||David Malukas||MRP Motorsport||Birel|
|81||Joseph Budzinski||Team Brock Motorsports||Birel|
|88||Emerson Reed||Top Kart USA||Top Kart|
The Cadet category in the USPKS Yamaha group is strong, welcoming over 20 drivers for the inaugural event with a number of young drivers looking to make a name for themselves. Sam Mayer (Merlin) is on a roll in his first season in the Cadet level. A Route 66 Series double champion in the Rookie category last year, Mayer scored his first national win last month in Kershaw. John Paul Southern (PCR) is among the more experienced drivers in the field with a few years in the category under his belt. Dillon Schwanbeck (Tony Kart) is among the young drivers making their national debut at the USPKS inaugural event, with more names to stand out as the weekend progresses.
Cadet Provisional Entry List
|1||Ian Nelson||Tony Kart|
|2||Maks Kowalski||RK Kart|
|5||Spike Kohlbecker||Margay Racing||Margay|
|7||Stephen Dial||Express Karts and Parts||Merlin|
|9||Lance Fenderson||Top Kart|
|14||Dylan Tavella||Tony Kart|
|18||Austin Schaff||Franklin Motorsports||Merlin|
|20||John Paul Southern, Jr.||Checkered Motorsports||PCR|
|22||Sam Mayer||Franklin Motorsports||Merlin|
|26||Samuel Paley||North Star Karting||PCR|
|27||Dillon Schwanbeck||Verde Speed Resources||Tony Kart|
|29||Blake Bauman||Bauman Motorsports||PCR|
The Rookie category was created in the Route 66 Sprint Series and over the last few years has reached the national level. The USPKS is taking it to the next level, along with the other categories in the series. The inaugural Rookie field currently has 17 drivers, ages 7 to 10 years old. A vast majority of the drivers have already raced this season in WKA series, with seven drivers competing this weekend who currently sit in the top-12 in the WKA standings. Brian Temper Jr. (CRG), Mark Fineis (Birel), Carter Cass (Merlin), Andrew Castelucci (Birel), Griffin Kunz (Praga), Nic Sheppard (PCR), and Parker Abed (PCR) are those drivers. This weekend’s battle will crown the first inaugural USPKS winners and set the stage for the series championship chase.
Rookie Provisional Entry List
|6||Mason Maine||Tony Kart|
|11||Parker Abed||Excel Racing||PCR|
|13||Brian Tremper, Jr.||CRG|
|18||Tylan Drake||Drake Racing||Margay|
|25||Kyle West||Franklin Motorsports||Merlin|
|76||James Lynch||Tony Kart|
|91||Elliott Budzinski||Team Brock Motorsports||Birel|