Janowski Named Director of Competition for Superkarts! USA Pro Tour
Organization adds veteran racer and industry member to oversee championship series
Joe Janowski has been named as the Superkarts! USA Director of Competition (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
A new era is underway at Superkarts! USA as the company begins the eighth season of their industry-leading SKUSA Pro Tour. Launched in 2010, the championship series has seen significant development and growth since the first laps were turned in Sonoma, California to kick-off the inaugural season. The positive storylines are abundant. Record numbers have continued over the past few seasons, and the introduction of the Evinco tire program has been well received. SKUSA continues to enjoy the solid ladder system in Stock Honda competition, and the excellent relationship with IAME has cemented the future of the SKUSA Pro Tour and the organization. The introduction of the WinterNationals – which are set for March 3-5 at the NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, Louisiana – will begin a new structure for the SKUSA Pro Tour, and it will also mark the debut of a new Director of Competition position and the introduction of a video marshalling system for 2017.
SKUSA is very pleased to announce that Joe Janowski has been named as the Director of Competition for the 2017 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour. The Janowski family were key players in the Superkarts! USA program from the very beginning, as the late Don Janowski was part of the organization’s formation. Janowski started a regional program in the Midwest, and soon after took over the organization full-time. Don was inducted into the new SKUSA Hall of Fame in November as part of the first class of inductees. Don’s son Joe was among the early SKUSA racers and later became the CEO in 2004, a role that he held for three years. Janowski is now the owner of National Karting Alliance and competed at last year’s SuperNationals.
“Obviously, I have a long and deep affiliation with SKUSA,” stated Janowski. “During the years that I was heavily involved with SKUSA, the process of managing an event was always really interesting to me. I mentioned to Tom (Kutscher) at some point about my desire to get back into event management in some way, and this just evolved from that. The reality is that SKUSA is a well-greased machine, with talent at almost every position of race management. I’m not coming into this situation having to recreate the wheel. Rather, I’ll be working to make sure everyone is operating in concert, looking for areas to improve, integrating new technology, and in general working to continue the high caliber tradition of SKUSA events.”
“My relationship with Joe and the Janowski family goes back to my days as a driver and team owner,” SKUSA CEO Tom Kutscher added. “It was a conversation I had with Joe that led to me taking ownership of Superkarts! USA. It will be a pleasure to have him as part of the organization again, and bring some fresh thoughts and ideas to keep moving the SKUSA Pro Tour into the future. Of course, we would not have been here without the hard work and dedication of Terry Bybee. It has been a difficult process finding someone to take over his position, as he is not one you can replace. I wish Terry the best in his future endeavors.”
In addition to Janowski leading the on-track staff, Superkarts! USA is making an aggressive move to improve racecraft by introducing a video marshalling system. Much like what you find in Race Control at an IndyCar or Formula One event, this state-of-the-art technology utilizes cameras in key corners of the track and will provide video marshal personnel with the ability to review racing incidents and provide information to give real-time replays to assist in on-track rulings and penalties. RGMMC is the world’s foremost authority on video marshal systems, and a representative will be in NOLA to provide an unbiased training platform for SKUSA personnel.
Behind the monitors as the video marshal will be Nick Weil. A long-time racer and SKUSA tech official, Weil has previous experience with the system – which will help streamline the process. Weil joins a solid staff that includes assistant race directors Gina French, Pat Murphy, and David Coates. All three come from different regions of the country, with years of experience keeping their eyes on the action. Mark Elo remains as the track steward, keeping in constant communication with the corner workers and track workers. Former SKUSA regional director Terry Riggins returns in the ‘penalty box’, working as the point-person for penalties and protests.
Kutscher adds, “Adding the new video element to the officiating process has demanded the need to restructure our officials’ positions. Joe’s position will be much more than just making calls on the track, as he will instead rely on his assistants while working with the video marshal, timing and scoring, and post-tech officials. Our goal is to be more accurate on infractions so that we can develop a formula that will reward quality driving, mutual respect and improved racecraft.”
Registration for the Superkarts! USA WinterNationals remains open until midnight on Saturday, February 25. Competitors can access the registration page, utilizing the new SKUSA partner MotorsportReg.com website directly by going to motorsportreg.com/orgs/skusa. The new system is designed to help streamline the SKUSA membership and race entry management into a motorsports-specific platform, and all recent SKUSA racers already have an account set up. All other information regarding the WinterNationals at the NOLA Motorsports Park – including the weekend schedule – can be found at the SKUSA WinterNationals Event Page.
For more information on anything related to Superkarts! USA, please visit the website – www.superkartsusa.com and be sure to follow the Superkarts! USA Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts – or call the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.