Team News: Checkered Motorsports – United States Pro Kart Series GoPro Motorplex Report
The Carolina’s have been Checkered Motorsports home for the past couple of weeks. The team achieved positive results from the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series where they tallied up 4 wins, and a pole position at CarolinaMotorsportsPark. Expectations were set high for the first round of the United States Pro Kart Series set at Go Pro Motorplex in Mooresville, North Carolina. The Girard, Ohio based team came home with 6 top five finishes, a pole position, and eight top ten finishes.
John Paul Southern Jr. performed double duty competing in the Yamaha 100 Cadet and the Mini Rok 60 class. Southern Jr. started off the weekend on the right foot where he was the quickest in happy hour in Yamaha Cadet. In Saturday’s action, Southern Jr. and mechanic, Robert Bujdoso qualified the Mini Rok in tenth and sixth in Yamaha. Consistency put Southern Jr. in a respectable position for the main events. The opening laps of the Yamaha 100 cadet had Southern Jr. up front. After leading the most laps of the race the final laps would have the young driver to come across the line in second place. In Mini Rok Southern Jr. drove the Woltjer prepped engine to a solid fifth place finish. Sunday’s final in the Yamaha 100 Cadet was no different as Southern Jr. maneuvered his way up front where he took the lead on the halfway point. Unfortunately, the young pilot came home short crossing the line the fourth.
Nico Montileone survived his first national event. The young 9 year old made progress throughout the weekend. He ended his weekend with solid results aboard his PCR finishing in sixth and seventh.
The Semi-Pro class had a stout 5 kart PCR field consisting of Ryan Norberg, Nolan Ruocco, Nick Luedeke, Sasha Brun Wi-Baux, and Evan Fritts. Norberg competing in his first Tag event looked like a veteran throughout the weekend as he finished second on Saturday while posting fast lap of the race. An aggressive protective line going into turn one sent Norberg out of contention for a victory in Sunday’s main event as contact forced him to retire early. Luedeke was quick throughout the weekend where he was on top of the time sheets in Happy Hour. Unfortunately, he had could only secure a seventh place finish in Saturday and a tenth on Sunday’s main event. Evan Fritts did not have luck on his side where his primary engine let go during Friday practice. Fritts secured his best finish on Saturday’s action where the 15 year old ran competitive times and came finished 11th. Sasha Brun Wi-Baux had solid results, and wrapped her weekend with a 12th and a 15th place finish.
AJ Myers in Leopard Pro secured the pole position on Saturday posting a 48.179 second lap. Myers finished both heat races in the second spot where placing him in second on the starting grid for the 25 lap main event. Unfortunately, Myers was struck with an engine issue in the opening laps which forced him to settle for a disappointing 11th place finish. K. Smith who has been out of a kart for nearly 5 months displayed speed in the PCR Mxk8 chassis. Sundays action had the Smith qualify in the 12th spot with just .280 tenths off pole. The first heat race Smith moved forward to tenth; however, in the second heat race while running in the top ten Smith would come in contact with a Top Kart and taking out teammate AJ Myers in the process. Smith retired early and did not proceed to run the main event due to damages. Andrew Bujdoso qualified in 18th on Saturday, but with race craft finished his heat races in ninth and sixth on Sunday‘s action. Starting in the fourth spot for the main event, Bujdoso made costly mistakes which shifted him backwards to settle for a 15th place finish. Austin Jordan marked the team’s best finish out of the 38 kart field in Leopard Pro finished ninth on Sunday.
Francios Brun Wi-Baux entered in Tag Masters was quick all weekend in the Parilla 125 Challenge class. The Florida pilot topped the weekend of with a third and fourth place finish.
Yamaha 100 Junior were 3 PCR karts entered. Female Pilot Savannah Fitzgerald impressed the team with her performance. While running in the top ten throughout the weekend she recorded a pair of DNF’s for the weekend. Evan Fritts who was a top five kart during practice was struck with bad luck. He would also walk away with two DNF’s for the weekend. Nick Luedeke who qualified in the sixth spot for Saturday record a ninth place finish in the main event.
Weston Moon coming back from the National Guard made his first national debut since 2012. After making great strides throughout the weekend he could not get out of harm’s way tallying two DNF’s for the weekend.
“I could not thank our drivers for such a successful weekend. It is their support and trust in our product that keeps this team moving forward. Although we may not have come home with a victory, we displayed speed on all categories and opened some eyes. I‘d like to thank Woltjer Racing Engines and Zero Error Racing for their unparallel level of service and support on our racing team,” said team owner Csaba Bujdoso.
Checkered Motorsports are competing in the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series, USPKS, GearUp F-Series, SKUSA, in addition to the Pitt Race Karting Series. Transportation, arrive and drive opportunities, and tech support is available. For questions and dealer inquires contact Csaba Bujdoso: