Karters Travel to World Karting Association’s Annual Daytona KartWeek
Daytona International Speedway site of three major events between Christmas and New Year’s
For over four decades now, karters provide themselves with a gift that only comes once a year…the Daytona KartWeek. The World Karting Association once again hosts three different events in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve at the world renown Daytona International Speedway. A combination of 2-Cycle Sprint, Road Racing and Dirt Oval action comes together for three days of racing on three different courses on the Daytona Beach, Florida compound. Many of the competitors have landed in ‘World Center of Racing’, while others are en route after celebrating the holidays with their families before loading up for the trip south.
The longest running event during the Daytona KartWeek is the Road Race program. In 1974, the World Karting Association held the first ever Road Race Championships at the Daytona International Speedway. Each year, drivers from across the continent, and event the world have traveled to sunny Florida for the chance to take on the high banks at DIS, aside from two years when the event was not held (2006 was not held for organizational reasons and 2010 due to the repaving of the 2.5-mile tri-oval). A full day of practice is scheduled for December 28 from 9am to 5pm as racers prepare for two days of competition. Seven race groups are set for Monday, December 29 with many of the same categories running for a second time in one of the six race groups for Tuesday, December 30. Ranging from the very popular 4-Cycle sprint categories, 2-Cycle sprint, 2-Cycle laydown, TaG, shifter karts, and the Unlimited groups. The quickest categories are the laydown 125cc shifterkarts and 250 Superkarts – which reach lap times in the 2:00-range.
Inside of the Daytona International Speedway, with the road racers zooming around the high banks, will be the Margay Sprint Championships. This year marks a new era for the WKA 2-cycle based program, as the series moves to a new format for 2015. The first day of competition features qualifying and two heat races. The second hosts the Prefinal and Final races, to decide the event winner in the 12 categories contested for the season. A total of four categories are labeled as ‘Pro’ for 2015, which will hand out cash prizes throughout the year. The Leopard Senior and X30 Senior for the ‘adult’ divisions, IAME Junior, and the new TaG Sportsman – which features the Vortex Mini Rok 60cc engine. Rounding out the Senior divisions is Yamaha Senior Pipe and the new WKA Stock Moto class, bringing shifterkarts back to the Manufacturers Cup Series for the first time since 2007. Yamaha Junior gives the 12 to 15-year-old a second category to compete in on the weekend. The ‘Cadet’ age range is split up into a total of five categories. Komet Sportsman and Yamaha Sportsman are for ages 8 thru 12-years old while the Comer Rookie and Yamaha Rookie are reserved for drivers 7 to 10-years old. Kid Kart completes the 12-class line for the 2015 WKA Manufacturers Cup Series presented by Mazda/Bridgestone.
Rounding out the Daytona KartWeek experience is the WKA/AKRA Simpson Performance Products Dirt World Championships. This year, WKA and the American Kart Racing Association (AKRA) are teaming up with Unilli Tires to put together over $75,000 in payouts for the two-day event. Day one (Sunday, December 28) will offer 19 categories, focused primarily on the Animal engine, with day two (Monday, December 29) around the Clone powerplant with 17 classes. Tuesday, December 30 will be saved for a rain date. The headline event will run Monday with the Bobby Waltrip Memorial Pro Clone race. ‘Disco’ Donnie Nall has won the race for the last two consecutive years. In total, eight categories will race for a portion of the event purse.
eKartingNews.com is set to bring you updates as it happens throughout the WKA Daytona KartWeek event. The Manufacturers Cup Series will be the focus of the updates, along with daily reports, with information/results from the Road Race and Dirt events to also come through the Official Discussion Thread, Facebook, and Twitter.