|eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings - 2006 Season End
| Gary Carlton ends his super 2006 season on top of the EKN ICC Driver Rankings|
(Photo: Super Kart Illustrated)
With the end of the 2006 year just two days away, the staff at EKN felt it would be good to close out the year with the latest EKN Driver Rankings. The December issue of Super Kart Illustrated will mark the end of an eight year run for the leading kart magazine and with it being a sister publication to EKN, some of the programs will now be brought online, including the Driver Rankings.
The SKUSA SuperNationals X was the final race of the 2006 EKN Driver Rankings schedule so it is no shock to find a new number a top the ICC standings, PCH Motorsports’ Gary Carlton. The reigning Stars of Karting National Champion and newly crowned SuperNats winner had an outstanding year in 2006. With five wins credited to his rankings score and an average finish of 1.86, Carlton has put together one of the most impressive scores in the last two years, edging Alex Speed’s total from last year by one point.
Interestingly, Italian Motors’ Tad Funakoshi was two points short of taking the top honor to end the season in what is probably the closest race ever in Driver Rankings history. Making the switch at the beginning of the season to IM, the Californian has proven he can be fast anywhere. With an average finish of 3.29, it was the big 10 point races where Funakoshi ran strong, earning top five finishes in three of four compared to Carlton scoring in just two of the four.
One driver who was fast all year was Intrepid’s Jordy Vorrath. With Champion Racing power and Leading Edge’s Greg Bell turning the wrenches, the combination was unbeatable during the early months of the season as he went on to win five of his first six races.
David Jurca, the Driver Rankings #1 ICC driver before the SuperNats, dropped to third after losing the Stars National Finals ’05 victory from his rankings total. Though he did not earn a victory all year, he ran consistently in the top five at the end of the year under the Tony Kart USA banner, ending his run with the team with a third at the Stars National Finals in Toronto and finishing sixth at the SuperNats in his return to the Italian Motors tent.
The EKN Driver Rankings ‘Rookie of the Year’ goes to BTK Motorsports Stuart Marsell. The only Arrow driver to follow the Stars schedule in his first full year ran up front all year long with the help of SpeedTech’s Shane Shipley. His best finish of the year was the third place finish at the Rock Island Grand Prix 'King of the Streets'.
| Joel Miller is the EKN ICA Driver Rankings number one pilot|
(Photo: Super Kart Illustrated)
On the ICA side of things, a few changes in the top five occurred since the October release with races from the end of the ’05 season dropping from the driver totals. The top spot remained the same though as the Stars of Karting ICA National Champion Joel Miller ended ’06 as the #1 EKN Driver Rankings ICA driver. After missing the final at the Race of the Americas in March, the Tony Kart USA pilot bounced back to take five wins on the year, including the Stars National Finals victory to clinch the national championship.
Coming on strong at the end of the year also was Prime Motorsports’ Chris Larson. With a big victory at Lowe’s and running second behind Miller at the Stars National Finals put the Floridian just eight points out of the top spot, the closest battle since the ICA Driver Rankings were introduced in 2004.
Holding the top spot mid-season but dropping to third to end '06 was PSL Karting’s Jake Rosenzweig. After a strong Florida Winter Tour, he hit the national schedule as a favorite for the national championship. Things looked good early on until bad luck hit him in the final round of the Eastern Division at Shawano and took him out of the chase.
The ICA ‘Rookie of the Year’ in the EKN Driver Rankings is Margay pilot Eric Morrow. After some impressive runs in the JICA division last year, Morrow moved up to the direct drive category and scored great results. Finishing in the top three consistantley, Morrow ended the season with a Rock Island Grand Prix ICA win and a third place at the Stars National Finals.
Jumping up to the top five to close out the 2006 season was DL Racing’s Joe Paterson. After a solid Florida Winter Tour, Paterson had an up and down Stars season but ended it on a strong note with a fifth place finish at the Stars National Finals.
With the Florida Winter Tour just around the corner, watch for the EKN Driver Rankings to be updated throughout the next three months before the bulk of the 2007 schedule kicks off in April.
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 last 12 months, we use a driver’s top seven finishes in ICC to determine their overall current point total. The top five as used for ICA due to the lower number of available events. With each new month, results from the previous year are discarded. To deliver this current ranking list, we tabulated the results of all the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup (East and West) and the Snap-on Stars of Karting national events run over the last 12 months. We have also included the results for the major one-off events such as the Rock Island Grand Prix, SKUSA King of the Streets, Black Rock Summer Shootout and the SKUSA SuperNationals.
Each race was initially weighted based on the prestige and history of the event or series with a score of 10 being the highest attainable base ranking. For 2006, the Stars of Karting Race of the Americas and the SKUSA SuperNationals 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 9 while the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup races were given a base ranking of 8.
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 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 for ICC and the best five for ICA, we calculate each driver’s overall score and subsequent ranking.
ICC Driver Rankings - as of December 29, 2006
ICA Driver Rankings - as of December 29, 2006
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