French Ends Solid Season with Top Spot in EKN Stock Honda Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA
2017 SKUSA Pro Tour champion claims shifterkart Driver of the Year tribute
The eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings powered by Bell Racing USA is happy to announce the two drivers who have finished the 2017 as the #1 driver in their respective categories. The program is a ranking system derived from the pages of Shifter Kart Illustrated, and continues to match drivers against one another from selected national and regional events in North America. The EKN Driver Rankings is split into two categories – Stock Honda and TaG – with the leading website in karting recognizing the two drivers in each as the #1 driver for the season. In 2017, we welcomed in a partnership with Bell Racing USA, who will provide a new helmet for each ‘Driver of the Year’. This program will continue in 2018.
The Stock Honda program matches up the top shifterkart drivers in the Stock Honda divisions from coast-to-coast. This category has been part of the EKN Driver Rankings program since the 2009 season, one year prior to the addition of the TaG category. Throughout the 2017 season, and truly from the end of 2016, one driver has stood out among them all. Texas native Jake French has put together an impressive string of results to position himself as the top Stock Honda driver in the country today. The 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour champion has stood on the podium in every Superkarts! USA race since July 2016. A total of nine podium finishes, featuring three victories alone in 2017, highlighted by a runner-up at the SKUSA SuperNationals 21, helped to put French at the top of the rankings.
“It’s been a pleasure to watch Jake develop from the S5 Junior Stock Honda class through S2 and into S1,” commented Rob Howden, EKN Editor and Publisher. “He’s honed his skills over the years and his deep connection with this father and tuner Mark makes this not only a very special situation, but an extremely competitive one as well. Jake’s consistency is remarkable and his ability to stay out of the chaos around him is impressive.”
This is the first time that French has finished the season on top of the EKN Stock Honda Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA. French joins the list of drivers, which includes Danny Formal (2016), Jordan Lennox (2014) and Fritz Leesmann (2012, 2010), who have earned both the SKUSA Pro Tour title and the EKN Driver Rankings top honor in the same season.
“It is awesome to be part of the eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings,” stated Chris Wheeler of Bell Racing USA. “It was exciting watching the rankings develop over the 2017 season with anticipation of who would come out on top. Protecting drivers from karting to Indianapolis is something we are very proud of and adding a model ambassador in the sport of karting like Jake strengthens our program. I can’t wait to see how Jake grows within the Motorsports industry in 2018 as well as who can finish this year on top of the EKN Rankings.”
Aside from the honor of being recognized as the Driver of the Year in the Stock Honda division by eKartingNews.com, Bell Racing USA will award French with a new Bell helmet to utilize during the 2018 racing season.
“There have been so many great drivers that have held that spot and it’s an honor to be on that list,” added Jake French. “A big thank you to Bell Racing USA for their support of the program. I’d like to thank Dallas Karting Complex, Sodi and SwedeTech for an incredible 2017!”
French is scheduled to compete in 2018 with the Dallas Karting Complex / Sodikart race team once again, along with a progression into the open wheel ranks. In a previous announcement, Ryan Norberg earned the #1 position in the EKN TaG Driver Rankings. Full listings of the 2017 EKN Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA for TaG and Stock Honda will be published next week.