Sunshine State Karting Challenge: Andersen RacePark Preview
The 5th and 6th Rounds of the 2019 Sunshine State Karting Challenge take racers to the Andersen RacePark in Palmetto, Florida. The facility located roughly 15 minutes south of St. Petersburg is among the most challenge courses in the state of Florida, ready to host the start of the second half of the SSKC championship chase.
IAME Micro Swift
Enzo Vidmontiene (Benik / America Parts Motorsports) was the driver to beat in Homestead, but he has never visited Andersen RacePark. Kai Johnson (Energy / AKT), on the other hand, had a breakout weekend here in 2018, scoring a podium in his Micro Swift debut. Johnson and Vidmontiene are joined by championship contender Oliver Wheldon (Kosmic / JC Karting) and national-frontrunner Carson Weinberg (Nitro), along with rookies Alessandro Truchot (Exprit / Pole Position Motorsports) and Asher Ochstein (Benik).
|4||Oliver||Wheldon||Kosmic||JC Karting||St. Petersburg, FL||USA|
|7||Kai||Johnson||Energy||AKT Racing Team||Gulfport, FL||USA|
|20||Alessandro||Truchot||Exprit||Pole Position Motorsports||Miami Beach, FL||FRA|
|84||Carson||Weinberg||Nitro||Nitro Kart||Carrollton, GA||USA|
|95||Enzo||Vidmontiene||Benik||America Parts Motorsports||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||USA|
We very well could see some more drivers enter the Shifter category, but with National #1 plateholder AJ Myers (CRG / CRG Nordam) entered, the competition is already top-notch. He’s joined by Andersen Racing Team driver Michael McCarthy (BirelART / Andersen), OGP Team driver Zachary Hollingshead (TB Kart / TB Kart USA), and TB Kart USA patriarch Farshad Bagheri (TB Kart / TB Kart USA).
|1||AJ||Myers||CRG||CRG Nordam||Palm Harbor, FL||USA|
|70||Michael||McCarthy||BirelART||Andersen Racing Team||Clearwater, FL||USA|
|456||Zachary||Hollingshead||TB Kart||TB Kart USA||Lake City, FL||USA|
|505||Farshad||Bagheri||TB Kart||TB Kart USA||St.Petersburg, FL||USA|
IAME KA100 Junior
Kyffin Simpson (Tony Kart / Speed Concepts Racing) remains undefeated in KA100 Junior competition. Back to challenge the Caribbean driver are Homestead local drivers EJ Tamayo (Praga / DucTard) and Beckham Jacir (Kosmic / Team ORION). Both have the upper-hand on Simpson coming into Andersen, as they competed in the track’s inaugural SSKC event back in 2018.
|22||EJ||Tamayo||Praga||DucTard Racing / JP Star||Miami, FL||USA|
|127||Beckham||Jacir||Kosmic||Team ORION||Miami, FL||USA|
|877||Kyffin||Simpson||Tony Kart||Speed Concepts Racing||Bridgetown||BAR|
Colin Warren (VLR / TSRacing) maintained his dominance in spectacular fashion in Homestead, going head-to-head with Dylan Amundsen (MGM) all weekend. Elmer Edmonson (MGM) was extremely close to battling with the pair, and he returns this weekend with double-duty action in both Briggs Senior and Briggs Heavy. Meanwhile, home track advantage falls in favor of local series champion Jed Perkins (Margay). We very well could see double-digit entries for the third race in a row in Briggs Senior, as the class continues to grow inside SSKC.
|7||Elmer||Edmonson||MGM||MGM||Lehigh Acres, FL||USA|
|15||Jed||Perkins||Margay||Perkins||St. Petersburg, FL||USA|
|27||Watt||Icely||Comet Eagle||St. Petersburg, FL||USA|
|29||Miguel||Ruiz||TB Kart||JaM Racing||Orange Park, GA||PUR|
|187||Jose||Malbran||TB Kart||SLA Kart Racing||Miami, FL||USA|
|211||Colin||Warren||VLR||TS Racing||Naples, FL||USA|
|755||Ruben||Caceres||TB Kart||Daytona Beach, FL||USA|
The Briggs Heavy division has been very strong all season. Jorge Ruiz (TB Kart / JaM Racing), James Perkins (Margay), Neil Breitenbach (MGM), and Gabe Kuret (Tony Kart / JaM Racing) all have scored podiums this season, and we’ll keep an eye on each of them as they look to solidify championship hopes. Briggs Senior driver Elmer Edmonson (MGM) has also joined the class for the weekend, and he will be the perfect gauge as to how competitive these Briggs Heavy drivers are compared to their Senior counterparts.
|5||James||Perkins||Margay||Perkins Racing||St.Petersburg, FL||USA|
|7||Elmer||Edmonson||MGM||MGM||Lehigh Acres, FL||USA|
|12||Gabe||Kuret||Tony Kart||JaM Racing||Orlando, FL||USA|
|14||Roy||Avery||TB Kart||HRA Motorsports||Tarpon Springs, FL||USA|
|21||Manny||Sola||BirelART||RYSA Racing||Miami, FL||USA|
|27||TJ||Scott||VLR||West Palm Beach, FL||USA|
|52||Heath||Baker||Comet Eagle||Yulee, FL||USA|
|92||Jorge||Ruiz||TB Kart||JaM Racing||Savannah, GA||USA|
IAME Mini Swift
Jorge Ortiz (Tony Kart / SuperTune USA) and Max Garcia (Kart Republic / KartSport North America) are at the top of the leaderboards in IAME Mini Swift. Sebastian Wheldon (Kosmic / JC Karting) sits third in the championship, returning to a racetrack where he found decent success at in the Micro Swift division last year. They’re joined by the national-level talents of Nitro Kart driver Cameron Weinberg (Nitro) and Benik Kart driver Michael Costello (Benik), who did battle with the trio on opening weekend back in Ocala.
A number of new and young faces have joined the grid over the past six months, and we’ll keep tabs on each of them as they look for a weekend to put themselves “on the map”.
|100||Caleb||Duenas||Benik||Karting Experience||Miami, FL||USA|
|101||Beckham||Toupikov||Energy||AKT Racing Team||Kingston||JAM|
|110||Jorge||Ortiz||Tony Kart||SuperTune USA||Orlando, FL||USA|
|112||Christian||Quijano||Tony Kart||Zanella Racing||St. Cloud, FL||USA|
|121||Sebastian||Newberg||Kart Republic||St. Petersburg, FL||USA|
|129||Tom||Shoecraft||Energy||AKT Racing Team||Port Charlotte, FL||USA|
|137||Cameron||Weinberg||Nitro||Nitro Kart||Carrollton, GA||USA|
|140||Max||Garcia||Kart Republic||KartSport North America||Coconut Grove, FL||USA|
|198||Sebastian||Wheldon||Kosmic||JC Karting||St. Petersburg, FL||USA|
TaG Senior / TaG Master
Colin Warren (TB Kart) holds a commanding lead in the championship point standings coming into Rounds 5 and 6. However, Tampa-based driver Nick Andries (Fullerton) was strong in Ocala and has quite a few laps around the Andersen RacePark. Warren’s closest rival on the season, Brandon Simeone (Kart Republic), is also back in action. Along with some potential walk-up entries, Warren may see his most challenging weekend yet on the tour.
|7||Xavier||Carde||BirelART||Carde Motorsports||Tampa, FL||USA|
|8||Luigi||Lucciani||Kosmic||Team ORION||Miami, FL||USA|
|311||Colin||Warren||TB Kart USA||TB Kart USA||Naples, FL||USA|
|345||Brandon||Simeone||Kart Republic||Jupiter, FL||USA|
|380||Andrew||Burley||Tony Kart||Melbourne, FL||USA|
IAME X30 Junior
Jeremy Fletcher (Tony Kart / Zanella Racing) salvaged a solid weekend in Homestead, but he once again will face some stout competition in Tampa. Aaron Benoit (Comp Kart / URace) had an unprecedented showing down south, and he is looking to back up that podium run with a win in Andersen. Kyffin Simpson (Tony Kart / Speed Concepts Racing) also had a great run, coming away with a big-time victory on Sunday.
They’ll all be joined by recent reigning IAME International Final Champion Brent Crews (Kart Republic / KartSport NA), who Fletcher went wheel-to-wheel with just two weeks ago. At already 14 drivers strong and stacked to the brim with talent, the X30 Junior division will once again be the class to watch in Palmetto.
|82||Nathaniel||Cicero||Tony Kart||Pound Ridge, NY||USA|
|204||Bobby||Bears||Tony Kart||Oldsmar, FL||USA|
|207||Nikita||Johnson||FA Kart||AKT Racing Team||Gulfport, FL||USA|
|222||Jeremy||Fletcher||Tony Kart||Zanella Racing||St. Cloud, FL||USA|
|225||Aaron||Benoit||Comp Kart||URace||Jupiter, FL||USA|
|229||Kekai||Hauanio||TB Kart||Ocala Gran Prix||Riverview, FL||USA|
|305||Kevin||Raventos||Tony Kart||K-1 Racing||Miami, FL||USA|
|711||Brent||Crews||Kart Republic||KartSport North America||Denver, NC||USA|
|727||Hayden||Bradley||BirelART||Andersen Racing Team||Seminole, FL||USA|
|728||Michael||Mallardi||BirelART||Andersen Racing Team||St. Petersburg, FL||USA|
|738||Tyler||McIntyre||BirelART||Andersen Racing Team||Palmetto, FL||USA|
|777||Kyffin||Simpson||Tony Kart||Speed Concepts Racing||Bridgetown||BAR|
|795||Lucas||Rodriguez||Kart Republic||KartSport North America||Miami, FL||USA|
|800||Jimmie||Lockhart||Kart Republic||Karting Experience||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||USA|