Norberg Claims Top Spot in EKN TaG Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA
Florida racer becomes 11th competitor to earn Driver of the Year honor
2016 and 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour champion Ryan Norberg finishes 2017 EKN Driver Rankings as the #1 driver (Photo: EKN)
As we begin the 2018 calendar, EKN is happy to announce the first of two drivers who finished the 2017 season as the #1 driver, in their respective categories, in the eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings powered by Bell Racing USA. The program is a ranking system derived from the pages of Shifter Kart Illustrated, and continues to match drivers against one another from selected national and regional events in North America. The EKN Driver Rankings is split into two categories – Stock Honda and TaG – with the leading website in karting recognizing the two drivers in each as the #1 driver for the season. In 2017, we welcomed in a partnership Bell Racing USA, who will provide a new helmet for each ‘Driver of the Year’. This program will continue in 2018.
The TaG (Touch and Go) division is among the most competitive year after year, featuring much of the young talent who have reached the pinnacle of the karting ranks, striving to be the next motorsports star. Numbers continue to be high in the TaG division, with over 300 drivers recording results in those events that have qualified for the EKN Driver Rankings program. The fight for the top position in the standings was a two-driver battle to the end. For much of the season, former SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jake Craig held the top spot, using his trademark consistency to lead the way. In the end, however, Florida driver Ryan Norberg accumulated the most points over the past 12 months to become the 2017 Driver of the Year in the EKN TaG Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA.
“Ryan had a tremendous year, and we all know that defending the #1 plate is not easy,” stated eKartingNews.com Owner/Publisher Rob Howden. “The competition on the national level is truly incredible. Norberg battled hard all year, and it was both his speed and his consistency that earned him our #1 ranking for 2017. He never finished outside the top-10 in any of the SKUSA Pro Tour races, won at the SpringNationals, and then rose to the occasion at the SuperNationals to advance from ninth to fifth against some of the world’s best drivers. His performance in Vegas secured this position in the rankings, and he should be extremely proud of his efforts all year.”
Norberg added his name to the list of #1 drivers, becoming the 11th different racer to finish the year on top in as many years. There is no surprise to see the now two-time SKUSA Pro Tour champion at the top of the standings. Norberg was a surprise in 2016, coming away with three victories on the SKUSA Pro Tour en route to his first series championship. This year, the fight went down to the wire for the SKUSA title. Norberg secured the crown at the SummerNationals, earning six top-10 results on the year, including one victory and another podium result. What propelled Norberg to the top was his solid performance at the SKUSA SuperNationals, where he earned a fifth-place podium result in only his second start in Las Vegas.
“We are excited to be part of the eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings,” stated Chris Wheeler of Bell Racing USA. “Karting is the grassroots level of the motor racing, and it is where we can help educate young drivers and their families about the important safety aspects, along with begin building relationships with future motorsport stars. We are honored to add Ryan Norberg to our list of official Bell Athletes for the 2018 season.”
Aside from the honor of being recognized as the Driver of the Year in the TaG division by eKartingNews.com, Bell Racing USA will award Norberg with a new Bell RS7 Carbon helmet to utilize during the 2018 racing season.
“Earning the #1 spot on the EKN Driver Ranking is the icing on the cake to this season,” exclaimed Norberg. “Last year, I tied for the top spot, so it is nice to actually be #1 going into next year. Not only does this ranking show that my hard work paid off, but it also shows the hard work from PSL Karting and Birel ART. Throughout the year, we’ve had a target on our back, but that never stopped us from putting the Birel ART at the front of the field, every race. I cannot thank them enough for this amazing season. I also want to thank Bell Helmets for providing a helmet for this year’s #1 driver. This is a great way to end a season, and I can’t wait to show off my Bell helmet next season!”
Norberg is going to continue working and racing for PSL Karting and Birel ART in 2018, along with progressing into the open wheel ranks. A full list of the 2017 EKN TaG Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA will be published next week.