EKN Trackside: Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 20 – Saturday Report
Jarsocrak, French and Abbasse land pole position for SuperSunday
There is no doubt, Situation Saturday is always and intense day from the morning warm-up to the last Last Chance Qualifier. For many, it was a battle just to get into the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 20 main events and others, a crushing defeat to load up everything in the trailer one day early. The Las Vegas Convention Center welcomed warmer temperatures than what everyone experienced on Wednesday through Friday, providing perfect conditions for the third round of heat races and the LCQ events for the 10 categories. For complete coverage visit the EKN Event Page.
Morning Heat 3
It was a matchup of the top two qualifiers to begin the final round of heat races for the X30 Junior field. Unfortunately for Oliver Clarke, it ended in the first corner as he went straight off after the lights went out, ending his race early. Top qualifier Arthur Leist (Kosmic) took advantage to lead the early laps until Alex Bertagnoli (Merlin) took over. Tyler Gonzalez (Tony Kart) was on the charge from eighth, working by both to lead after six laps. CompKart drivers Nicholas d’Orlando and Dante Yu joined the fight, making the lead group a five driver fight with four laps to go. Gonzalez drove to the win as d’Orlando knifed his way up into second on the last lap. Leist settled for third ahead of Bertagnoli and Yu.
Diego Ramos (Italkart) started on the pole position for the CvsD heat race, and was able to breakaway in the opening laps, establishing a two-second advantage in just four laps. The fight was for second with Trey Brown (FA Kart) climbing up to second from seventh in that amount of time. Once there, Brown began to pull away with Franco Colapinto (OTK) following into third with Joseph Daniele (Tony Kart) fourth and Dick Yu (CompKart) climbing to fifth. Colapinto came on late and was able to challenge Brown for the second spot in the closing laps. Colapinto secured the second spot in the last corner, with Daniele slipping by Brown for third and Yu trailing in fifth. Leist will lead the Junior field to the green flag on SuperSunday, looking to become the first two-time winner in the category, joined by Ramos on the front row.
It was AJ Myers aboard the TB Kart grabbing the holeshot for the final S1 Pro Stock Honda heat race, however, polesitter Danny Formal (DR Kart) established himself as the leader before the opening lap was over. Formal pulled out to a gap as two-time heat race winner Jake French (Sodi Kart) demoted Myers to third. French then focused on hitting his marks and closing in on Formal. The Texan kept the pressure up, just unable to force anything to come up short at the line next to Formal. Myers held on to third with Kyle Kirkwood (Birel ART) charging up to fourth ahead of Daniel Bray (GP). French and Formal will fill out the front row with Myers and Kirkwood slotted in behind.
Reece Gold established himself as the driver to beat in the Mini Swift AvsB heat race. From third, Gold (Benik) drove to the lead and pulled away, just as we have seen throughout the season. Top qualifier Santiago Trisini (Benik) closed up in the last few laps, coming up just short at the line. Connor Ferris (Top Kart) climbed eight spots to advance up to third ahead of Rafael Camara (Benik) and Alfio Spina (CRG) – who posted fast lap of the race.
Polesitter Zane Maloney (Formula K) led the early going of the CvsD heat race until a group of drivers were able to swallow him up. Among them was Jak Crawford (Energy) as the Texan took over the lead with Benik drivers Felipe Bartz and Carson Morgan establishing the pressure. On the final lap, Bartz secured the lead and the win. Thomas Nepveau (Birel ART) was able to capitalize on the fighting and moved up to second, bringing Luca Mars (Energy) with him to drop Crawford to fourth and Morgan to fifth. Nepveau was penalized for contact, placed behind Tyler Maxson and classified 13th, moving Joseph Taylor to (Benik) to P5. A perfect score by Gold in the heat races put him on the pole position for SuperSunday. Camara will line up beside him on the front row with Energy drivers Mars and Crawford behind in row two.
The top three starters in the X30 Master AvsB heat race retained their positions through the opening corners of the 11-lap race. Top qualifier Renato David (Tony Kart) was pressured by two-time defending winner Kip Foster (Arrow) with Diego Pelosi (Tony Kart) running third. Lap six, Foster got a great run down the long straight, drafting past David for the lead. Their exchanged brought Pelosi into the mix, waiting in the wings. With two laps remaining, the leaders shuffled around with Pelosi jumping from third to first. Foster fought back on the final lap, coming up short at the line with Pelosi taking the win. David finished third with Jim Russell Jr. (Parolin) held off Juan Basco (Birel ART).
It was an international meeting at the front of the X30 Master CvsD with Brazil and Australia represented by Eduardo Dieter (Italkart), Leonardo Nienkotter (CompKart) and Kris Walton (CompKart). Walton started on the pole position but was pushed back by Dieter on the opening circuit. After the halfway point, Walton was able to reclaim the top position and established a gap with the two Brazilians fighting for P2. Walton took the win with Dieter holding off the three-time winner Nienkotter. Nick Tucker (Fullerton) fought off Renato Russo all race long for the fourth position after starting 10th. Officials however awarded Tucker with a two-position penalty for blocking, putting Christian Vomir (OTK) into P5. Phil Giebler (Ricciardo) fell outside the top-20 after contact on the opening lap, and drove his way up to ninth, looking to avoid the LCQ. Walton’s three wins put him on the pole position with Peslosi set to go from outside row one. Top qualifier David and Dieter fill up row two.
Three drivers battled for the win in the final Micro Swift heat race. After a fast start, Frankie Iadevaia (Nitro Kart) got sideways, sending the field scattering with a number into the barriers. All but one – Elliot Cox – continued. Vinicius Tessaro (Benik) started second and led the majority of the race to earn his second heat race win of the event, earning the pole position for the main event. Top qualifier Freddie Slater ran second with Brandon Carr making it a Benik 1-2-3. Pro Tour point leader Kai Sorensen (Praga) drove to fourth with Frankie Mossman (Benik) placing fifth.
Afternoon Heat 3
The S4 Master Stock Honda division finished its third and final heat race with a clean start with GP teammates Gian Cavaciuti and Antonio Perez retaining the top two positions with three-time winner Bonnier Moulton (Tony Kart) jumping up to third. Rob Logan (CRG) joined them to create a four driver lead group by the halfway point. Cavaciuti came away with the win, edging out Perez with Moulton there in third. Prior to the white flag, an issue for Logan dropped him back to sixth, moving Jordon Musser (Intrepid) and Alan Michel (GP) into the top-five. Consistency gives Moulton the pole position for SuperSunday with Logan placed outside row one. Michael Patrizi (Ricciardo) and Perez fill up row two with Cavaciuti starting seventh due to his DNF in Heat 1.
Danny Keirle (Fullerton) was able to get the lead at the opening lap of the X30 Senior AvsB heat race. Marco Maestranzi (Top Kart) slipped down to third and was getting overtaken by Braden Eves (Kosmic) when the two made contact. This put Austin Garrison (CompKart) and Jake Craig (Exprit) into the challenger roles against Keirle – who established a 1.3-second lead by the halfway point. The driver on the charge however was Ricciardo factory driver Marijn Kremers. Posting fast laps of the race, he caught up to second and third – working past Garrison and then Craig to move into second place with three laps remaining. The gap was too much with the Fullerton driver taking the win by over one-second ahead of Kremers, Craig and Garrison with Ryan Norberg (Tony Kart) up to fifth.
It was a rough first few laps with two flips in the first three laps of the X30 Senior CvsD. One driver spun sideways at the opening corner and then in the esses. Thankfully, everyone was able to walk away. After the red flag, Brandon Jarsocrak (Praga) had the right setup to get away early and score the big win. The fight for second went down to the wire with Christian Brooks (Tony Kart) fighting off Kyle Kirkwood (Birel ART) for the spot. Zach Claman DeMelo (Intrepid) was second but was shuffled back, fighting back to fourth with Stepanova Nekeel (Tony Kart) in fifth.
A number of drivers found themselves outside looking in for the LCQ. It was a wild event that saw fighting for position ahead of the bubble position. Those unable to transfer into SuperSunday include Andrick Zeen, TJ Koyen, Mike McAndrews and EKN Driver Rankings #1 driver Brandon Lemke, who was unable to recover from a poor qualifying effort. Jarsocrak will go from P1 with Kremers alongside. DeMelo and Craig start from row two while Nekeel and Garrison fill row three.
Austin Wilkins was solid all SuperNationals last year in S2 Semi-Pro Stock Honda. The Sodi Kart driver is doing the same this year, jumping out to the lead in the third and final heat race. It was not a long stint at the front as Hunter Pickett (Aluminos) and Mathias Ramirez (Birel ART) both worked past for position. Just after they did, a red flag was brought out for a hard wreck on the long straight with James Blair (Aluminos). Five laps remained and a single file restart saw top qualifier Rory van der Steur (FA Kart) jump up to second. He was quickly shuffled back to fourth by Ramirez and Wilkins. Pickett and Ramirez pulled away and fought each other hard in the final two laps. Their dicing allowed Nathan Adds (Sodi Kart) to close in. Ramirez reached the line first with Adds slipping past Pickett for the second spot. That would end up giving Adds the victory with Ramirez receiving a two-position penalty for blocking. Rory was promoted to second as Pickett was removed from the results for unsportsman-like conduct in the scale line. Collin Daley (DR Kart) was classified fourth with Wilkins placing fifth. Ramirez was still able to retain the pole position for SuperSunday with Wilkins starting from outside row one. van der Steur and Daley fill out row two.
Robert Marks secured his second heat race in the S4 Super Master category to earn the pole position for the main event. Marks (CRG) led all 12 laps, earning fast lap of the race in the process to win by 1.794 seconds. Top qualifier Kevin Woods (CRG) retained the second position, but came in underweight. That promoted Nick Firestone (DR Kart) to second, bringing John Crow (Praga) with him to third. Rod Clinard (CRG) finished fourth with Patrick O’Neill (CRG) in fifth.
KZ completed the final heat races of the SuperNationals 20, with two-time winner Anthony Abbasse locking up the pole position with the heat race win. The Sodi Kart factory driver moved to the lead by lap two, and remained there for the rest of the 12-lap race. World champion Paolo de Conto (CRG) continued to climb his way from a poor 10th place qualifying effort, driving up to second and earning fast lap honors. The Italian will start on the outside of the front row. American Gary Carlton (Formula K) continued moving forward as well, placing third to drop top qualifier Danny Formal (DR Kart) down to fourth and Lorenzo Camplese (Parolin) fifth.