|eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings - December 19, 2008
EKN is happy to release the final 2008 edition of the eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings for the Intercontinental C (ICC) and Touch and Go (TaG) divisions. With the season wrapped up and 2009 just on the horizon, the past year saw a number of exciting races throughout the country and great point chases for championships. Completing the 2008 season was the recent SKUSA SuperNationals XII, the biggest in its 12 year history, which provided a number of thrilling laps outside the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Looking at the final rankings for the 2008 season, we have two NEW drivers at the top of the EKN Driver Rankings. The 2008 Stars of Karting ICC National Champion Michael Vincec jumped from third to first in the ICC rankings with his podium finish at the SuperNats. On the flip side, Kyle Wiegand drops Stars of Karting TaG National Champion Victor Cabrera Jr. down to second to become the new number one in the EKN TaG Driver Rankings.
ICC Driver Rankings Top-10
For the full ICC Driver Rankings, Click HERE
| NEW ICC number one Michael Vincec|
(Photo: Autosports Media)
ICC Rankings Report
With the number of travel miles Michael Vincec put in over the 2008 season, it was probably one of the longest 12 months of his life, however it will be one that will be remembered forever. The Canadian campaigned the full Stars of Karting program while competing in Europe as well, earning some awesome frequent flyer miles. Vincec also earned the tons of knowledge and respect as he was consistently fast no matter what continent he was on. The big victory at the Race of the Americas triggered his drive toward the national championship and a string of podium finishes would earn him the Eastern and Western division titles as well as the national crown. To complete the historic season, the Cameron Motorsports/CRG pilot drove his way to the podium at the SKUSA SuperNationals and the top of the EKN Driver Rankings.
In his first full season of karting since 2005, Alex Speed reminded everyone why he is a three-time national champion. With podium finishes at the Stars of Karting Race of the Americas and National Finals added to a victory at the Rock Island Grand Prix King of the Streets with three different chassis manufacturers, there is no doubting the abilities of the Californian. Though he was demoted back to second in the rankings, his first full season and the challenges the Tony Kart USA pilot faced the 2008 season was a major milestone.
The 2008 season was not as successful as many thought it would be for Gary Carlton. Though he led the Stars of Karting program in victories (9) it was the double DNF at the Race of the Americas at New Castle that cost him a chance at a third-straight national title and the number one spot in the Driver Rankings. Looking to compete again with the factory CRG team in Europe and back with PCH Motorsports in 2009, Carlton will still be the driver with the bull’s-eye on his back.
Not unlike Vincec or Carlton, David Jurca was also doing double duty throughout the 2008 season. When not at the kart track, Jurca was running in the VW Jetta TDI Cup across the country. The Federal Way, WA driver battled for the championship up until the final lap of the season to come up short, however, his results on the kart track continue to be successful. The Race of the Americas victory in his first weekend back with Italian Motors in ’08 helped propel his season and put him fourth in the year-end Driver Rankings.
Completing the top-five is the always fast Canadian Jordy Vorrath. The early season string of runner-up finishes put him in contention for the national championship until a DNF at the Race of the Americas hurt his chances. Though the Champion Racing/Intrepid driver continued to have challenges to end the season, his runner-up finish at the SKUSA SuperNationals to two-time world champion Jonathan Thonon helped heal those wounds.
Sixth in the rankings is Florida Winter Tour Pro Shifter champion Fritz Leesmann. The PSL Karting/Kohilo Racing supported driver ran into some bad luck during the middle portion of the season, however, he is still considered to be a contender no matter where he races. Seventh is another NorCal driver, Clayton Snow. The Syar Motorsport pilot stepped up his game this year and has certainly earned himself a spot in as one of the top ten ICC pilots in the country.
The top rookie in the EKN ICC Driver Rankings this season is Cody Jolly. Transferring from ICA to ICC during the off-season, he quickly adapted to the six-speed shifter. Even moving from Cameron Motorsports to Champion Racing, he still was able to run with the big-boys. Back into the karting spotlight is former #1 driver Ron White. Returning to compete in the Stars of Karting program, the GP Kart driver slowly gained that demeanor behind the wheel that we all love and enjoy watching, putting him among the best in shifter kart racing. Completing the top-ten is another rookie, Jacob Neal. Like Jolly, the PCH Motorsports/CRG driver went from ICA to ICC and found much success learning from Carlton and mechanic DJ Silva.
NEW ICC #1 - Michael Vincec
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
|Stars Race of the Americas 2008 #1||10||1||1171|
|Stars Race of the Americas 2008 #2||10||3||1148|
|Stars of Karting ’08 - East #5 - Shawano||9||2||1045|
|Stars of Karting ’08 - East #6 - Shawano||9||2||1045|
|Stars National Finals 2008 #1||10||3||1107|
|Stars National Finals 2008 #2||10||3||1107|
|SKUSA SuperNationals 2008||10||5||1087|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.71
Average Points: 1101.4
Total Points: 7710
TaG Driver Rankings Top-10
|2.||1||-1||Victor Cabrera Jr.||15||7549|
For the full TaG Driver Rankings, Click HERE
| NEW TaG number one Kyle Wiegand|
TaG Rankings Report
The surprise of the year comes in the final release of the rankings as Kyle Wiegand crept up and up toward the top to claim the number one spot to end the 2008 season. Scoring strong finishes at big events throughout the year helped the former number one ICC Driver Rankings pilot become the first to accomplish the task in TaG. Looking at his best seven results on the year, standing on the podium six times, including twice at the Race of the Americas and the National Finals certainly helped contribute to his top point total.
Former number one driver and the Stars of Karting TaG National Champion Victor Cabrera Jr. fell to second to close out the 2008 season. Looking at his results, a third place at last year’s SKUSA SuperNationals was replaced with his 12th in November, losing 78 points in the rankings while Wiegand gained an extra 97 markers to overpass Cabrera. Still, it does not take away from the dominating performances the J3 Competition pilot put in this past year.
Another driver who was fast all year was Champion Racing’s Joey Wimsett. A couple victories and challenging Cabrera for the title all season put Wimsett at the third spot in the rankings. Even if the two victories that were taken away at the Stars Utah event in April were counted, Wimsett would still be sitting third in the Driver Rankings and the Stars TaG standings, however, Wimsett did end the year on a high note by standing on the podium at the SKUSA SuperNationals, beating both Wiegand and Cabrera.
Stars of Karting TaG Western Division champion Chris Scribner ends the year fourth in the Driver Rankings. The Team Top Kart USA driver ended the year on a high note, winning at the Stars of Karting National Finals in a photo finish over Wiegand along with a tenth place run at the SuperNats.
His Team Top Kart USA teammate Chris Wehrheim remains in the fifth position. Wehrheim recorded two wins to start off the year and remained near the front of the field each outing. The Georgia pilot ended the season with an eighth place finish at the SKUSA SuperNationals.
Two drivers running their first full season in TaG - Scott Saunders and Neil Alberico - ended the year in sixth and seventh in the Driver Rankings. Saunders is an Aussie transplant working the Cameron Motorsports squad in Ontario, Canada - capturing his first big win at the Race of the Americas. Alberico, under the watchful eyes of the Kartel Motorsports program under the Team Top Kart USA banner, continued to improve each race, despite a podium in his first Stars weekend in Ocala that led to a victory at the National Finals. Both however had their SuperNats feature end on the opening lap, hurting their chances at moving up higher in the Driver Rankings.
Eighth on the Rankings chart is former number one driver Will Martindale. After suffering an injury in the second half of the 2007 season, the NorCal pilot has recovered nicely and is again a factor in the TaG category. Working with legendary mechanic Mike Speed, Martindale also ran aboard three different karts throughout the year, never missing a step. Jason Toft fell three spots to ninth in the rankings. The KLS Racing driver started the SKUSA SuperNationals main event on the front row but a brake issue dropped him down to a disappointing 17th finish. A side note, Toft earned a championship in the S3 category in the ProKart Challenge North program while also competing for the TaG title.
Rounding out the top-ten is driver and mechanic Caleb Loniewski. Mechanic by day with J3 Competition and Victor Cabrera Jr., driver on off weekends with DB Motorsports on the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series. Working the wrenches for Cabrera, the duo garnered much success on the year while Loniewski did nearly as well behind the wheel, coming up just short of the Man. Cup Series TaG title.
NEW TaG #1 - Kyle Wiegand
|Stars Race of the Americas 2008 #1||10||3||1132|
|Stars Race of the Americas 2008 #2||10||3||1132|
|Stars of Karting ’08 - East #6 - Shawano||9||3||1019|
|WKA Man. Cup Series ’08 - New Castle #1||9||1||1034|
|Stars National Finals 2008 #1||10||2||1148|
|Stars National Finals 2008 #2||10||2||1148|
|SKUSA SuperNationals 2008||10||7||1084|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 3
Average Points: 1099.6
Total Points: 7697
EKN Driver Rankings Calculation Process
The EKN Driver Rankings are calculated using a driver’s best finishes in major North American races. Assembled using events from the previous 12 months from the current date, we use a driver’s top seven finishes in ICC and TaG to determine their overall current point total. With each new release, results posted from more than one year ago are discarded. To deliver this current ranking list, we tabulated the results of all the Snap-on Stars of Karting national events, as well as other regional programs. We have also included the results for the major one-off events such as the Rock Island Grand Prix, SKUSA King of the Streets, the SKUSA SuperNationals, and the KartSport Grand Prix.
Each race was initially weighted based on the prestige and history of the event or series with a score of ten (10) being the highest attainable base ranking. For 2008, the Stars of Karting Race of the Americas and National Finals, the SKUSA SuperNationals and the Rock Island Grand Prix are the only events to receive a score of 10 in their initial weighting. The Stars of Karting national series events draw a base ranking of nine (9), while the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup, Florida Winter Tour, and other regional program races were given a base ranking of eight (8). The EKN staff reserves the right to adjust the rankings of each event throughout the year.
Added to these initial rankings are two variables that help confirm the true importance of an event to the ranking process – field size and field strength. A percentage of one weighting point is added for the size of the field, while the number of existing top 50 drivers entered offers another full point or fraction of a point. The sum of these numbers becomes the overall ranking for any race. Following a race, drivers receive points based on their finishing positions with 100 points earned for a win. Each subsequent position drops by one point with 99 points given to the second place driver and so on throughout the field. These points are then multiplied by the overall ranking to produce a driver’s final point total from each event. Using a driver’s best seven races, we calculate each driver’s overall score and subsequent ranking.