Checkered Motorsports – USPKS GoPro Motorplex Report
The 2014 season of the United States Pro Kart Series (USPKS) was a notable year for the Checkered Motorsports squad, and the start of the 2015 season looks no different. A mix of wet and dry conditions summarized the opening round of the United States Pro Kart Series held at Go Pro Motorplex. The PCR chassis continues to show its quick pace in the wet and dry conditions, with its ability to adapt to all types of track situations. The PCR chassis brought home some hardware after claiming a pole position, and six top five finishes.
Checkered Motorsport made their presence in the Leopard Pro class fielding a total of six pilots consisting of AJ Myers, Andrew Bujdoso, Sasha Brun-Wibaux, Ryan Norberg, Phillippe Denes, and Austin Jordan. Saturday’s action consisted of a cold, wet track throughout the day. The team dominated the wet conditions in qualifying with Andrew Bujdoso taking pole position over teammate Phillippe Denes. Myers rounded out the top three with Norberg taking the fifth spot. After being 11th quick in morning warm up, Brun-Wibaux missed a clean flying lap and placed her PCR Mxk8 in 21st in qualifying. A dominate performance to say the least in the first heat race with AJ Myers, Andrew Bujdoso, Phillippe Denes, and Ryan Norberg rounding out the top four spots respectively. Brun-Wibaux gained six positions moving her up in 15th. Jordan’s luck would not turn around and where he finished 33rd. The second heat race looked no different where the black and yellows colors filled the front of the grid. Myers would take the lead over teammate Bujdoso early on, but could not hold the lead and crossed the line in second. Bujdoso and Denes followed to finish third and fourth respectively in the eight lap heat. Norberg was shuffled back in the opening laps and maintained a 10th place finish while Brun-Wibaux moved forward to 16th. The 20 lap main event had the PCR making up the front row once again with Myers on pole against teammate Bujdoso. Myers took the lead and led the first half of the race. Shortly, Myers had company from a pair of drivers loosing those positions and finished third. Bujdoso and newcomer Denes rounded out the top five respectively. Jordan made some headway in the main event finishing 26th and Brun-Wibaux suffered brake issues forcing her to retire. Unfortunately, Ryan Norberg got collected in a turn one incident and drove his way back to 19th.
Sunday’s action looked no different for the Leopard Pro PCR squad with California native, Phillippe Denes, securing his second outside pole position. Teammate Ryan Norberg powered his BBS powered Leopard in fifth and Sasha Brun-Wibaux in seventh. A damp track in the first qualifying group gave AJ Myers and Austin Jordan a disadvantage placing Myers in 16th once both groups were combined. Andrew Bujdoso put a stellar drive in the first heat race moving from 11th to fourth, but a penalty would place him to sixth. The second heat race Norberg and Bujdoso utilized each other to their advantage with the veteran finishing second and rookie Norberg in third. BBS engines continued to show its power in the 20 lap main event with Norberg taking the lead on lap 3. Shortly, Bujdoso worked his way up to the second spot until contact forced him to retire with a DNF. Norberg led 12 of the 20 laps, but a crucial mistake cost the rookie driver a win. Norberg’s defensive line with two laps to go would backfire losing three positions to claim fourth. Myers starting in the 11th spot could not get luck to go his way in the starts. After being shuffled back to 16th he diced through the field to a finish in fifth. Brun-Wibaux a rookie driver in the senior category showed her ability to work through the field, but contact forced her to retire early on lap five while running in 14th. Jordan’s luck turned around in Sunday’s main event gaining over 10 positions to finish a solid 12th.
Checkered Motorsports fielded Zack Hancock and veteran Nick Luedeke in Leopard Junior. Josh Holland suffered a rib injury prohibiting the pilot to compete throughout the weekend. The wet conditions saw Luedeke’s best finishes coming in the heat races giving him a pair of 13th place finishes. The main Luedeke would get shuffled back to finish in 15th while Hancock suffered with a DNF. Sunday’s action consisting of warmer weather and a dry track worked to Luedeke and Hancock’s advantage. Luedeke rallied his best finish just cracking the top ten finishing in eighth. Hancock had his best run in the first heat race placing in 17th, but the 20 lap main event had the Florida driver retire early on lap nine giving him a DNF.
PCR pilot Ian Hornish competed in the competitive Yamaha Cadet field. The young Ohio driver rebounded from Saturday’s efforts to claim his first top five finish in the national rankings. Hornish ran as high as third, but the final lap and last corner Hornish lost the third spot and finished fifth.
“We started off the USPKS season on the right note,” explained team owner Csaba Bujdoso. “The teamwork displayed both on and off track shows the true colors of our drivers and team. I could not ask for a better group of drivers to represent us for the 2015 USPKS season. Our gratitude goes to BBS engines to making our program that much more successful.”
Checkered Motorsports will be supporting the United States Pro Kart Series, GearUp F-Series, SKUSA, in addition to Pittsburgh International Race Complex. Transportation, arrive and drive opportunities, driver coaching and tech support is available. For questions and dealer inquires contact Csaba Bujdoso: