EKN Exclusive: Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 23 – Preview Series – X30 Junior

Category to welcome 12th different winner on SuperSunday

eKartingNews.com, the Official Media Partner of Superkarts! USA, is proud to present our Preview Series for the SKUSA SuperNationals 23. Leading up to the on-track action of the 23rd edition of the marquee SKUSA event, EKN will preview each of the 12 categories in the 10 race groups that will compete on the temporary circuit located just outside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino from November 20-24.

Complete coverage of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 23 can be found at the EKN EVENT PAGE. EKN Live will provide play-by-play and live timing from qualifying through to the final checkered flag on SuperSunday at ekartingnews.com/live

For more preview coverage, be sure to check the EKN Radio Network for the airing of two shows that will be broadcast leading up to the SKUSA SuperNationals 23. These two shows will provide EKN’s Rob Howden and David Cole with the opportunity for a more in-depth look at each of the entry lists and top-five predictions for all 12 classes.

2019 SKUSA Pro Tour champion Freddie Slater set to make his first start at SuperNats in X30 Junior (Photo: EKN)

The 2008 SuperNationals brought the event back to the RIO for the first time since 2003. It also welcomed the return of multiple Junior classes to the event, after S5 Junior Stock Honda was the only Junior category offered in 2007.  In fact, in 2006, the SuperNats’ class line-up was adult classes only, offering no options for drivers under the age of 15. The introduction of TaG Junior attracted 48 drivers and since then, the category has been among the largest classes at the SuperNationals. The event has also been part of the racing resume for some very famous drivers, including current Formula One pilots George Russell (2011) and Lance Stroll (2012). 2015 Junior world karting champion Logan Sargeant – the only American to win that title – won at the SuperNationals in this category in 2014 and raced this season in the FIA Formula 3 Championship. In fact, all 11 of the previous winners have moved on to race in cars, including last year’s victor Jeremy Fairbairn. This opens the door for a new name to be etched in the record books as the X30 Junior winner.

With 75 drivers on the entry list heading into the event, the number of contenders is nearly endless. To begin, we start by reviewing those who stood out during the 2019 SKUSA Pro Tour program. The three set to be honored at the year-end ceremony before action begins at the SuperNationals are Freddie Slater, Branyon Tiner, and Josh Pierson. Slater, an 11-year-old, is a two-time top-10 finisher at the SuperNationals in the Mini Swift category heading into 2019. Slater (Supertune / Tony Kart) jumped into the Junior ranks at the start of the year, and quickly became a contender with a P4 in Round One at the WinterNationals. The Brit stamped his run at the title with a sweep of the main events at the SpringNationals, and then recorded a third straight podium at the SummerNationals to clinch the championship one round early. The IAME Mini Euro Series champ makes his first Junior start at the SuperNationals this year.

Branyon Tiner is among the five SKUSA Pro Tour winners in the field (Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

Rolison Performance Group / Kosmic teammates Tiner and Pierson finished second and third in the standings. Tiner won Round Two at the WinterNationals but was only able to get back on the podium one other time, ending the year with a third-place result. Pierson was on the podium twice as well, once at the WinterNats and another at the SpringNats. The Oregon driver also won both KA100 and X30 titles at the California ProKart Challenge in 2019. Each driver will hope to improve on their finishes from last year in Vegas, where Tiner placed 28th while Pierson finished 14th.

Only two of the X30 Junior podium finishers from last year will be competing in the class at the 2019 edition. Luca Mars and Connor Zilisch were fourth and fifth on SuperSunday one year ago. Mars (SCR / Tony Kart) went on to win the Florida Winter Tour, represent the USA at the FIA Academy Trophy, finish 12th at Rok Cup Superfinal, and was provisional runner-up at the Rotax Grand Finals until dropping after a pushback bumper penalty. Add in placing second at ROK the RIO on November 2, and Mars has enjoyed a strong season. Zilisch (LAK / Tony Kart) has had a similar schedule in 2019. The North Carolina driver raced at the FIA World Karting Championships, placed fifth at the Rok Cup Superfinal, was wrecked out of the Rotax Grand Finals, and finished one spot behind Mars at ROK the RIO. ‘Flipper’ also won the SKUSA Pro Tour KA100 Junior title this year while placing seventh in the X30 Junior title chase.

Luca Mars is the top finisher from last year’s SuperNats in the field (Photo: EKN)

There are KA100 podium finishers from last year in this field as well, including 2018 winner James Wharton (Parolin) and fifth-place finisher Bryson Morris (RPG / Kosmic), who won his first SKUSA Pro Tour race at the SummerNationals in X30 Junior. Wharton has been competing in Europe this season, and unfortunately recorded a DNF at the FIA Karting World Championship following a top-10 finish in the European Championship, and will be racing double duty in Vegas.

A total of 15 drivers are racing both KA100 and X30 Junior on the week, including Pierson, Zilisch, and Wharton. Among the top of the double duty drivers is Brent Crews (KSNA / FA Kart). The 2018 Mini Swift SuperNationals winner earned two championships in the USPKS program for 2019 to highlight his rookie Junior season. His best result in SKUSA Pro Tour was runner-up in the series finale. He is among a solid Junior rookie class at the SuperNationals that also includes two-time SKUSA Pro Tour Mini Swift champion Carson Morgan (Tony Kart), 2018 Mini Swift SuperNats podium finisher Jace Park (SCR / Tony Kart) and 2016 Micro Swift SuperNats winner Vinicius Tessaro (NF / Kosmic).

Texan John Burke shined during the summer months, ending the SKUSA Pro Tour with a victory (Photo: EKN)

A total of five drivers won on the SKUSA Pro Tour in 2019 with Slater, Morris and Tiner included. Dale Curran and John Burke round out the five different winners in the field at the SuperNationals. Curran won the opening round at the WinterNationals and went on to finish fourth in the SKUSA Pro Tour standings, and the Canadian is joining the CRG Nordam squad in Vegas. Burke (Supertune / Tony Kart) was among the rising stars during the summer months, winning at New Castle. The Texan is one of four returning drivers who finished in the top-10, placing seventh a year ago. Canadian Jason Lueng (RPG / Kosmic) finished fifth in the SKUSA Pro Tour standings for 2019 and is coming off a third-place finish at the Rotax Grand Finals.

Nearly half of the winners over the last 11 SuperNationals in the category have come from outside North America. Another strong international field of drivers, representing 15 countries, are among those in the entry list. Robert de Haan (Nash / Energy) has been a focal point throughout the last 12 months in international racing. The 2018 Rotax Junior champion from the Netherlands finished P3 in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy program and finished seventh at the Junior world karting championships. Andrea Kimi Antonelli (KSNA / Kart Republic) is one of the new drivers from the Rosberg Racing Academy that helped guide Lorenzo Travisanutto to two world championships. The Italian is also part of the Mercedes Junior Team. Brazilian Guilherme Figueiredo (HR / Tony Kart) had recent success here in the USA, placing top-five at ROK the RIO.

By the Numbers:

3 – Former SuperNationals winners (two drivers in Mini, one in Micro)

11 – Different number of drivers to win X30 Junior at SuperNationals

14 – Drivers graduating from Mini Swift at last year’s SuperNationals

15 – Countries represented in entry list

15 – Drivers racing both KA100 Junior and X30 Junior

24 – Returning X30 Junior competitors from SuperNationals 22

Provisional X30 Junior Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Country
717 Ian Aguilera Fusion Motorsport Exprit MX
735 Pedro Aizza NF Piquet Sports CRG BR
706 Andrea Kimi Antonelli KartSport North America Kart Republic IT
773 Justin Arseneau Speed Concepts Racing Tony Kart CA
743 Joey Atanasio D-max Motorsports Tony Kart Windermere FL US
749 Noah Baker Supertune USA Tony Kart Pinehurst TX US
768 Nicolas Baptiste Team Montoya Tony Kart CO
720 Cristian Domenico Bertuca PSL Karting Birel ART IT
767 Paul Bocuse Speed Concepts Racing Tony kart Orlando FL US
744 John Burke Iron Rock Motorsports Tony Kart Carrollton TX US
708 Chloe Chambers Mike Doty Racing Kosmic Monroe NY US
769 Pedro Clerot Rolison Performace Group Kosmic Coral Springs FL BR
737 Diego Contecha Orsolon Racing Tony Kart CO
711 Brent Crews KartSport North America FA Kart Denver NC US
779 Dale Curran CRG Nordam CRG CA
724 Jamie Day Tony Kart GB
746 Robert de Haan Nash Motorsportz Energy NL
702 Andres Perez De Lara RPL Ricciardo MX
729 Jacob Douglas Aluminos Aluminos NZ
718 Guilherme Figueiredo HR Motorsports Tony Kart BR
722 Jeremy Fletcher Zanella Racing Tony Kart St. Cloud FL US
723 Artie Flores Fittipaldi Racing Team Tony Kart Spring TX MX
774 Aidan Fox Mike Doty Racing Exprit Redding CT US
758 Jorge Garciarce Team Montoya Tony Kart MX
799 Jose Garfias RPL Ricciardo MX
778 Gabriel Gomez CRG
770 Coby Govoni CompKart AU
734 Sebastian Guerra PSL Karting Birel ART Miami FL US
755 Rodrigo Gutierrez NF Piquet Sports Tony Kart BO
786 Leonardo Hassan Medstep Racing Tony Kart Miami FL US
742 Santiago Hernandez AM Racing Team Exprit MX
727 Jose Carlos Hernandez Cabeza AM Racing Team Exprit MX
716 Jack Jeffers Orsolon Racing Tony Kart San Antonio TX US
761 Luke Lange Speed Concepts Racing Tony Kart Dallas TX US
709 Noel Leon CRG Nordam CRG Celina TX MX
798 Jason Leung Rolison Performace Group Kosmic CA
707 Mateo Llarena RPL Ricciardo GT
714 Frederik Lund VRS / AM Engine Tony Kart Miami FL US
747 Luca Mars Speed Concepts Racing Tony Kart Sewickley PA US
738 Tyler McIntyre Andersen Racing Team Birel ART Palmetto FL US
780 George Megennis Orsolon Racing Tony Kart Cortlandt Manor NY US
712 Paolo Milan Tony Kart MX
704 Ignacio Montenegro Nash Motorsportz Tony Kart AR
763 Cole Morgan Team Felon Tony Kart Anahaim CA US
787 Carson Morgan Team Felon Tony Kart Anaheim CA US
739 Bryson Morris Rolison Performace Group Kosmic Mount Juliet TN US
745 Frankie Mossman Formula Works CompKart La Verne CA US
741 Blake Nash Nash Motorsportz FA Kart Riverside CA US
757 Aiden Neate Fusion Motorsport Exprit GB
701 Maria Nienkotter Orsolon Racing Tony Kart BR
721 Maximilian Opalski FA Kart Conifer CO US
710 Eduardo Palu de Araujo NF Piquet Sports CRG BR
719 Marcello Paniccia Team Benik Kosmic CA
756 Jace Park Speed Concepts Racing Tony Kart Overland Park KS US
N3 Josh Pierson Rolison Performace Group Kosmic Wilsonville OR US
791 Connor Pritiko Prime Power Team Birel ART London Ont CA
797 Emiliano Rodriguez Orsolon Racing Tony Kart MX
700 Tagosam Salazar RPL Ricciardo MX
731 Dion Santhosh Gowda REM Kosmic IN
703 Cole Schroeder Ruthless Karting Exprit Bozeman MT US
782 Hallie Schroeder Ruthless Karting Exprit Bozeman MT US
776 Ryan Shehan Crosslink Competition Exprit Cedar Park TX US
777 Kyffin Simpson Speed Concepts Racing Tony Kart Middletown NY BB
740 Kyriakos Sioukas Alex Keyes Racing Fullerton Sacramento CA US
N1 Freddie Slater Supertune USA Tony Kart GB
771 Lucas Staico Orsolon Racing Tony Kart BR
705 Alex Stanfield Crosslink Competition Exprit Argyle TX US
725 Dawson Svoboda Crosslink Competition Tony Kart Prosper TX US
788 Nicholas Terlecki Franklin Motor Sports Merlin Elgin IL US
730 Vinicius Tessaro NF Piquet Sports Kosmic BR
N2 Branyon Tiner Rolison Performace Group Tony Kart Angleton TX US
759 Logan Toke PKS Kart Supplies Ricciardo San Luis Obispo CA US
713 James Wharton Parolin AU
772 Connor Zilisch Team Felon Tony Kart Matthews NC US
753 Ericko Zuniga Team Montoya Tony Kart MX

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