Superkarts! USA SuperNationals XIX presented by Evinco – Saturday Report
Formal and Lennox stay perfect in S1 and KZ2, Sera retains pole position in TaG Senior
David Sera retains the pole position for the TaG Senior main event (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Dubbed ‘Situation Saturday’, it was an all-in move for drivers Saturday as the final heat races took place for the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals XIX outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. The third round of motos for the nine categories took place, setting up the grids for the five Last Chance Qualifier races for those with more than 44 drivers in the field, which produced the final pieces for the lineup on SuperSunday.
PSL Karting TaG Junior
Top qualifier Anthony Gangi Jr. (Tony Kart) led the Avs.B to the green light with the majority of the field getting through the opening corners. Gangi assumed the lead with Dante Yu (Tony Kart) and Arthur Leist (Tony Kart) making up the top-three. Gangi was able to break away on the opening circuits, with Zach Holden (Tony Kart) into second by the end of lap three with Leist coming through for third. Leist moved into the second spot on lap seven, and quickly cut into the gap by Gangi. A failed attempt for the lead gave Holden the opportunity to regain the second spot with three laps remaining. The trio began racing for the lead, not settling in for the positions they held. Holden came out the winner over Leist with Gangi in third. Charles Milesi (Tony Kart) worked up to fourth ahead of Yu.
It was another relative clean start until turn six when championship leader Brandon Lemke (Merlin) was driven over. He continued but suffered hard damage to his Franklin Motorsports entry. Gianluca Petecof (Italkart) jumped out to the lead from the pole position with Dennis Hauger (CRG) up to second ahead of Alex Bertagnoli (Merlin). Christian Lundgaard (Enegry) demoted Bertagnoli another spot, while Hauger took over the lead. It was only briefly as Lundgaard knifed his way into the lead on lap four. Championship contender David Malukas (CompKart) was making his way up to the top five when he was dropped out due to contact on lap seven. Out front, Lundgaard and Petecof broke away with Vinicius Ponce (Kosmic) trailing and gaining. More racing put Petecof at the point, out in front by seven tenths with Lundgaard dropping back to the other top-five drivers. Petecof took the win ahead of Hauger with Ponce, Bertganoli and Diego Ramos (Italkart) completing the top-five.
The front row of the main event will feature two-time heat winner Petecof with Holden starting from the outside. Bertagnoli and Gangi make up row two with Leist and Ethan Barrett (Kosmic). The points shake out to Lemke leading now by just 65 points over Malukas, starting 21st and 18th respectively. Holden and Gangi have moved in closer to the top two, now just 141 and 155 points out of the lead. With SuperSunday and the Vegas luck so far for the top two, anything can happen.
Honda Racing/HPD S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto
Two-time heat race winner Jorge Pescador (Praga) got the holeshot over top qualifier Brandon Frank (Praga). Pescador pulled away in the opening circuits with Frank under pressure from Dario Capitano (Italcorse) and Luke Shanahan (Tony Kart). Capitano and Shanahan were around by lap four with Robert Bujdoso (PCR) the next challenger behind him. They field run unchanged with Pescador going three for three to earn the pole position for SuperSunday. Capitano and Shanahan completed the top-three as Frank held off Bujdoso for the fourth position.
Thomas Neubauer (BirelART) grabbed the holeshot for the final heat race in S2, leading Austin Wilkins (Sodi Kart) and Kyle Smith (PCR) on the opening circuit. THe top fiver were nose to tail, including Marco Eakins (Formula K) and Hunter Pickett (Aluminos), working with 1998 SuperNats winner Memo Gidley. In just two laps, Smith went from third to first, working by Wilkins and then Neubauer. At the same time, Pickett was spun around, ending his run for a top-five result. Neubauer continued to fall back, with Wilkins into the second position on lap eight. Smith continued a solid pace, pulling away to over a one-second advantage. Wilkins cut into it in the final laps, but Smith took the victory. Neubauer held off Eakins for third with Salvador de Alba (GP) around Robert Heck Jr. (CRG) in the final laps for fifth.
Wilkins joins three-heat winner Pescador on the front row, notching three top-two finishes. Capitano and Smith fill out row two with Frank and Robert Bujdoso in row three. Lopez cut Williams’ advantage in the championship chase to just 67 points entering SuperSunday. Williams starts 11th with Lopez two rows ahead in 7th. Frank still has an outside chance, back by 166 markers needing some help and most likely a victory.
SKUSA S5 Junior Stock Moto
Top qualifier Hunter Kelly (Praga) got the holeshot to begin the final heat race for the category after missing out on the previous two launches. Two-time heat winner Evan White (Kosmic) slotted into second until provisional Fikse Wheels Pro Tour champion Callum Smith (Praga) took over the position on lap five. Kelly led all 12 laps for his first heat win with Smith into second. Lawson Nagel (Sodi Kart) moved up to third on the final lap, dropping White to fourth with Emiliano Salazar (GP) in fifth. Smith was able to claim the first Fikse Wheels Pro Tour provisional championship heading into SuperSunday thanks to the points earned in the final heat race.
White two wins was enough to put him on the pole position for the main event. Smith ripped off three runner-up results in the heat to start from the outside of the front row. Kelly drops to the inside of row two, with Nagel alongside. Ryan P. Lewis (Mad-Croc) and Andrew Engberson (Intrepid) start from the third row.
Rolison Performance Group TaG Master
Top qualifier Kip Foster (Arrow) led the field to the green light with only a few drivers making contact with all able but one or two continuing. Foster established a solid lead with Frederic Johais (Tony Kart) giving chase in the early laps, with the two out front of Erik Jackson (Tony Kart). Championship contenders Nick Tucker (Tony Kart) and Chris Giumarra (PCR) continued to find themselves outside the top-10. Giumarra retired near the halfway mark, putting him further down the order for SuperSunday grid. Tucker was fighting to break the top-10, running 12th with four laps remaining. Contact with Ethan Wilson (FA Kart) dropped him down after almost reaching 10th, ending up 12th at the checkered flag and leading by the same 60 points he entered with over Giumarra. At the checkered flag, Foster held off Johais to keep a perfect score for the weekend thus far. Diego Pelosi (Tony Kart) drove to third over Jim Russell Jr. (Parolin) with Eduardo Dieter (Italkart) in the fifth position.
Foster and Johais are to lead the field to the green flag on SuperSunday, trailed by Russell and Dieter, with Pelosi and Juan Manuel Basco in the third row. The gap is still 60 points between Nick Tucker and Chris Giumarra in the Fikse Wheels Pro Tour championship standings. Tucker starts 21st with Giumarra back in 36th.
iKart S1 Pro Stock Moto
Danny Formal (DR Kart) grabbed the holeshot once again, leading the field into the opening corner. Defending Fikse Wheels Pro Tour champion Jordon Lennox (BirelART) was spun around at the apex, dropping him all the way to 31st. Davide Fore (CRG) slotted into second with point leader Rick Dreezen (Ricciardo) third over American Gary Carlton (Formula K) and Kiwi Matt Hamilton (Aluminos). The championship chase looked to be decided with the way the contenders were running, as Dreezen needed to score just enough points to be over 210 points ahead of Billy Musgrave (Praga), who was fighting hard just inside the top-10. The only change at the front was Carlton into the third spot, as Formal continued his perfect score to enter SuperSunday as the top contender. Dreezen clinched the provisional championship with his second place finish. Carlton, Fore and Hamilton completed the top-five. Fore however was removed from the results after leaving tech early, thus moving the field up one position.
Formal and Dreezen make up the front row for the main event, with Carlton and Habulin in the second. A wreck in the KZ2 category may leave Carlton out for SuperSunday, thus leaving Jake French (Sodi Kart) with a clear path should that grid spot be left open.
Texas ProKart Challenge S4 Master Stock Moto
Top qualifier Mike Beeny (Tony Kart) grabbed the holeshot to begin the opening heat race for the third round of S4 motos. Defending Fikse Wheels Pro Tour champion Gian Cavaciutti (GP) moved into the second spot with a host of drivers behind them early on. Former race winner Chris Jennings (DR Kart) was on a charge, up to third before the halfway point pushing championship contender Jimmy McNeil (CRG) and Mike Mantel (CRG) back a position. The order remain unchanged with Beeny getting another win.
Mirko Mizzoni (Italcorse) was slow off the grid when the lights went off, allowing Rob Logan and Darren Elliott to slot into the 1-2 positions. Thankfully Mizzoni was able to continue and no one hit him. Logan and Elliott made contact into the second corner, both fighting for the same real estate. They continued on with the field bunching up behind them. As the field sorted itself out, the top five pulled away with three-time SuperNationals winner Bonnier Moulton (Tony Kart) trailing the two CRG drivers with Jordon Musser (BirelART) and Mizzoni at the tail of the lead group. Mizzoni continued charging forward after the rough start, moving past Musser and then Moulton by lap nine. He then set his sights on Elliott by producing fast laps of the race going into the final lap. A move into turn six promoted the Italcorse driver to the second spot, stealing five points from Elliott’s championship bid as Logan won the race. Moulton held off Musser for the fourth position.
The front rows of the S4 main event are a who’s who of Master competition. Beeny and Logan are 1-2 with Mizzoni and McNeil in row two. Cavaciuti and Mantel make up row three. Just five points separate the two championship contender, with McNeil now on top over Elliott going into SuperSunday, making every position that much more important.
Benik Kart TaG Cadet
Jonny Edgar (Benik) and top qualifier Mattia Michelotto (Energy) were able to come out of the opening corners to run 1-2, away from the rest of the field with Joseph Daniele (Benik) leading a long train of drivers in the third position. The top two went back and forth, as did the drivers fighting for third with Tomas Mejia (Tony Kart) up into the position and Daniele falling to fifth behind Ryan Schartau (Tony Kart). Daniele continued to fall, allowing Arias Deukmedjian (Kosmic) to finish fifth as Michelotto edged out Edgar for the win.
Polesitter for the final heat race Lachlan DeFrancesco (Benik) was involved in an opening corner wreck, dropping him well down the order. This gave Sam Mayer (Merlin) the opportunity to lead the way with Nicholas d’Orlando (Tony Kart) with Jacob Hudson (Formula K) right there in third. At the halfway point, d’Orlando drafted past Mayer to lead for the first time, while Hudson found himself busy with Enrico De Lucca (Italkart), Jak Crawford (Energy) and Victor Majgaard (Benik) on his bumper. Mayer was able to fight back, stealing the win at the checkered flag over d’Orlando until officials penalized the Merlin driver for blocking, thus promoting d’Orlando to the victory. De Lucca moved up to second with Crawford and Majgaard past Hudson as well before crossing the finish line.
d’Orlando and Edgar are set to pace the field to the green flag for the main event. Mayer and Schartau start from row two while Mejia and Calvo sit one row back. The championship is still anyone’s for the taking. DeFrancesco remains the leader while Schartau, Welage, Calvo, and Crawford are within 87 points with Edgar and Willis still hoping for an outside chance.
IAME USA KZ2
A wild start at the opening corner say one kart nearly go over, including Gary Carlton (Formula K), John Norris (Mach 1) and defending winner Paolo De Conto (CRG). Up front, top qualifier Jordon Lennox put his BirelART to the front with Patrik Hajek (Formula K) in second. Phillip Orcic (Mach 1), Lorenzo Camplese (Parolin) and Rick Dreezen (Ricciardo) at the front. Lennox pulled out to a one-second advantage by lap five as the fight for second heated up. Eventually Orcic came away with the position with Kiwi driver Daniel Bray (GP) up into the third position handily. Lennox took his third heat win with Orcic and Bray making up the top-three. Matteo Vigano (Top Kart) advanced up to fourth with Luca Tilloca (GP) following to fifth.
It will be British and Canadian drivers on the front row for the KZ2 main event with Lennox and Orcic. Kiwi and Italy with Bray and Camplese, while Czech and Italy represented in row three for Patrik Hajek (Formula K) and Vigano.
Top Kart USA TaG Senior
The opening heat race for round three saw three false starts before SKUSA officials stopped the field to have a talk. They finally had the green light go on, with top qualifier David Sera (Deadly Kart) out to a big lead on cold tires ahead of CIK-FIA KFJ world champion Logan Sargeant (Tony Kart). Outside row one starter Stepanova Nekeel (Tony Kart) dropped to third, with Oliver Askew (BirelART) and Brenden Baker (Tony Kart) making up the early top-five. Sargeant attempted a move up by Sera, but went too deep into turn one on lap three and unable to demote the Aussie driver. This gave Nekeel room to close in, making it three drivers for the lead. The fight for P4 heated up with a number of drivers in line. Sargeant was able to get the lead with a turn six move on lap four. The top three stayed static until the final lap with Sera right on the bumper of the 14-year-old world title winner. The KartSport North America driver stuck it inside at turn 10, taking over the lead until Sargeant fought back at the final corner. The two made contact and Nekeel got a great run out of the corner, beating Sera to the checkered flag for the win. Sargeant crossed in third with Baker and Askew completing the top-five.
Roger Ralston Jr. (Arrow) started the final heat race from the pole position, getting his best start of the weekend and led the opening circuits. French driver Kevin Breysse (EVO Kart) and Marco Maestranzi (Top Kart) joined him at the front. An incident on lap four in the esses caused a full course caution to come out with the track completely blocked. Once the track was cleared and the barriers back in place, the race resumed with six laps remaining. Maestranzi took over the lead just before the yellow, maintaining the top spot when racing resumed. Breysse joined him at the front with a battle for third heating up, including Alexander Kardashian (Top Kart) and NASCAR rising star Dalton Sargeant (Tony Kart). Just before the white flag waved, Breysse took over the point in turn 12, which allowed Sargeant to close up and make it a three driver fight to the checkered. Nothing changed with Breysse getting the victory over Maestranzi and Sargeant. Christian Brooks (Tony Kart) recorded another top-five finish, pushing Kardashian to fifth.
The battle will continue with the old blood and the new blood, as Sera keeps the pole position while Sargeant moves to the front row for the main event. Nekeel and Maestranzi make up row two with Brooks and Stewart in row three. Pagano is now the point leader, jumping to the top and will go from P7 on the grid. Just six points back is Askew, starting 20th. Craig is third, back by 24 points ninth on the SuperSunday grid, while Jarsocrak is now trailing by 61 points, starting 21st. Senior rookie Brooks is fifth, 111 out of the title lead.