2017 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA – TaG – Final
Eves and Craig join Norberg on season-ending podium for standings
The 2017 season was filled with excitement, drama, controversy and amazing races. As the year went on, we at eKartingNews.com believed the chase for the top spot of the TaG Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA would go down to the wire. And of course it did. The major events of the season helped to shape those drivers’ score in the standings, all coming down to the SKUSA SuperNationals 21 to provide one final boost, or stall a driver’s progression. The chase ended in the favor of Ryan Norberg, earning the Driver of the Year title for the TaG division as he ended the eKartingNews.com TaG Driver Rankings powered by Bell Racing USA #1.
Norberg (PSL / Birel ART), the now two-time SKUSA Pro Tour champion, has earned the respect of the karting paddock with his performance over the past two seasons. A season long battle to defend his crown, topped with a podium finish at the SuperNationals cemented his position at the top of the EKN Driver Rankings. Behind him is another driver looking to make a name for himself. Braden Eves (Zero Error / Vemme) showed speed over the last two years as well, earning one victory in 2016 only to double that in 2017 on the SKUSA Pro Tour. That, along with a top-10 in Vegas jumped him up to the second spot. The two moving up dropped former #1 Jake Craig down to third. Craig (RPM / Tony Kart) lost his SuperNationals victory from a year ago in his total and was unable to replace it with a similar score. In all, each of the three drivers had a stellar 2017.
Brandon Jarsocrak did not finish the EKN Driver Rankings in third, which is where he pretty much was for much of 2017. The SKUSA #3 in the championship ended the Pro Tour with his first series victory, however, the SuperNationals was a difficult week in Vegas. The KartSport North America / Praga driver did earn his second career USPKS championship, and will return in 2018 as a contender nationally once again. Rounding out the top-five is Canadian Samuel Lupien (RPG / Kosmic). The 17-year-old from Quebec is a two-time Canadian Karting Nationals champion. 2017 was his first full season on the SKUSA Pro Tour, putting in a number of top-10 finishes and ended the year with a sixth at the SuperNationals to boost is final score.
Ending the season as the top rookie of 2017 is Alex Bertagnoli. The Franklin Motorsports / Merlin driver who scored the SKUSA Pro Tour Junior championship last year is the only Senior rookie within the top-10 of the 2017 EKN Driver Rankings. Bertagnoli finished vice-champion to Jarsocrak in the USPKS standings, winning the KA100 title in the process. Finishing seventh in the standings is the other half of the Lupien team, Cedrik Lupien. The older brother to Samuel recorded his seventh race of 2017 with the SuperNationals, jumping up 34 positions. The third and fourth place finishes at the SpringNationals and two top-10 results in NOLA for the Rolison Performance Group / Kosmic driver helped him to finish the SKUSA Pro Tour sixth in the standings, one spot ahead of his brother Samuel.
2017 Challenge of the Americas vice-champion Kellen Ritter finished the season eighth in the EKN Driver Rankings. Ritter is the third Rolison Performance Group / Kosmic driver and Canadian inside the top-10. Kellen scored the Can-Am Karting Challenge title, along with earning a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals. His best weekend on the SKUSA Pro Tour was the SummerNationals, placing inside the top-seven both days. He lost the Challenge title to Christian Brooks (Nash / FA Kart) for a second straight year. The Californian scored a second series championship before putting his focus into the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites program. Prior to that, he recorded two runner-up finishes at the SKUSA WinterNationals before returning for the SuperNationals in Las Vegas.
Rounding out the top-10 is Nicky Hays (PGR / Ricciardo). The now two-time California ProKart Challenge was never able to translate his regional success on the national stage after two years in the Senior division, however, remains one of the top young drivers in the sport. On the outside looking in is Dante Yu (CompKart), who was eighth going into the SuperNationals. The Senior rookie received a standing ovation at the Supernationals after flipping, tossing his kart back on the wheels, and continuing to race on SuperSunday. With a victory at the SKUSA Winter Series, watch for Yu to battle for the top spot in 2018.
NEW TaG #1 – Ryan Norberg
Wins matter…championships define your career. The last two seasons have been memorable for Florida driver Ryan Norberg. 2016 was phenomenal with Norberg winning three of five main events on the SKUSA Pro Tour as a privateer. Joining PSL Karting / Birel ART for 2017, the target was on him from the beginning. The addition of the WinterNationals made his title defense even tougher. Norberg finished all six races inside the top-10, including a victory in Sonoma to claim the SKUSA Pro Tour championship for a second year. The icing on the cake was the podium finish at the SKUSA SuperNationals 21 in only his second start at the event to clinch the #1 spot for the 2017 EKN Driver Rankings and ‘Driver of the Year’ honors.
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #1,9.5,4,1101
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #2,9.5,5,1090
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #1,9.5,1,1144
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #2,9.5,7,1076
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #1,9.5,2,1179
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #2,9.5,9,1096
SKUSA SuperNationals 2017,10,5,1147
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 4.71
Average Points: 1119
Total Points: 7833
TaG #2 – Braden Eves
The 2017 season was another step in the progression of Braden Eves. The Zero-Error Racing / Kosmic driver continued his winning ways at the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series program and doubled his wins from a year ago at the SKUSA Pro Tour. Eves victory in Sonoma was one of the most dramatic in series history, while the Ohio driver came away with another last lap triumph at the SummerNationals to earn a second victory in 2018 SKUSA Pro Tour. While 2017 went without a title, it was a successful year for Eves. Moving forward, Braden is committed to a full season in the F4 United States Championship having earned one win and six podium finishes in a limited 2017 program.
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #1,9.5,10,1033
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #2,9.5,6,1078
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #1,9.5,12,1019
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #2,9.5,1,1144
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #2,9.5,1,1191
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #2,9.5,2,1179
SKUSA SuperNationals 2017,10,9,1099
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 5.86
Average Points: 1106.1
Total Points: 7743
TaG #3 – Jake Craig
Mission Viejo, California
In 2014, Jake Craig finished the season as the #1 driver. Entering the SuperNationals in the same position, the RPM / Tony Kart driver had a chance to become the first driver to finish the season in the #1 spot of the EKN Driver Rankings for a second time in the program’s history. It was not meant to be, with Craig unable to capture the magic that was his first SuperNationals victory last year, thus losing a number of points without replacing it with a similar score in his DNF performance this November in Las Vegas. Craig, who came up four points short of earning a second SKUSA Pro Tour in 2017, remains one of the top karters in the country, looking to make that next step in his motorsports progression.
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #1,9.5,1,1135
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #2,9.5,4,1101
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #2,9.5,2,1133
United States Pro Kart Series ’17 #5,9,3,1008
United States Pro Kart Series ’17 #6,9,3,1008
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #1,9.5,5,1143
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #2,9.5,3,1167
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 3.00
Average Points: 1099.3
Total Points: 7695
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 previous 12 months from the current date, we use a driver’s best seven finishes in TaG and Stock Honda to determine their overall current point total. With each new release, results posted from more than one year ago are discarded. To deliver our ranking list, we tabulate the results of all the national programs and selected regional programs. We have included the results for the major one-off events such as the SKUSA SuperNationals, the US Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals, the Rock Island Grand Prix, and the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix.
Each race is initially weighted based on the prestige and history of the event or series with a score of ten (10) being the highest attainable base ranking. For 2017, the SKUSA SuperNationals will receive a score of 10 in its initial weighting in the TaG and Stock Honda categories. A base ranking of 9.5 is set for the US Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals and the SKUSA Pro Tour, while a base ranking of 9 goes to the United States Pro Kart Series, Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge and Rok Cup, Challenge of the Americas, Rock Island Grand Prix and California ProKart Challenge. Other national and regional program races were given a base ranking of either 8.5 or 8.0.
The EKN staff reserves the right to adjust the rankings of each event throughout the year. A minimum entry total for any event to be considered for the Driver Rankings program is five (5). If an event does not have at least five (5) drivers starting the race, those results will not be tabulated toward the Driver Rankings.
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 full point or 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, we calculate each driver’s overall score and subsequent ranking.
2017 eKartingNews.com TaG Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA – Final Standings
49.,51,2,David Kalb Jr.,9,6195
65.,67,2,Ryan C. Lewis,7,5853
88.,90,2,Greg Osborne Jr.,6,4815
186.,206,20,Jesus Rios Jr.,2,1703
200.,201,1,Nico de Brujin,2,1657
215.,214,-1,Galo Barros III,2,1591
246.,-,-,Joey Van Splunteren,1,1063
255.,-,-,Santiago Nicolas Chiarello,1,956
270.,276,6,Nick de Graaf,1,875
275.,282,7,Santiago Garcia Fagalde,1,858
283.,291,8,Franco Gonzalez Manta,1,832
305.,314,9,Jordan Brown Nutley,1,799
318.,329,11,Ernie Francis Jr.,1,778
331.,347,16,Gregorio Josue Perez Perez,1,730