2020 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings – Shifterkart – August 28, 2020
French sets the bar as Formal and Myers keep fight close at the top
To say the 2020 karting season has been unique is an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic halted racing, and along with that, delayed the progress of the eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings. Racing resumed at the beginning of June and programs around the country adjusted their calendars to fit in all the racing that was originally scheduled. Fresh off the SKUSA Pro Tour Summer Festival, EKN has compiled the last three months of results to calculate the updated Shifterkart standings.
The same driver remains at the top of the EKN Shifterkart Driver Rankings – Jake French (PSL / Birel ART). French has been one of the top drivers since the middle of 2019 in his return to fulltime karting. The Texan is quick in both SKUSA and ROK competition, thus putting him at the top as we venture toward the end of the 2020 season. Jumping up to second is three-time SKUSA SuperNationals winner Daniel Formal (ANSA / CL). It could be Formal at the top of the standings had the KZ category in Vegas been part of the EKN Driver Rankings, where he won in 2019 to join the three-win club. Formal won the ROK Cup USA event, and came back to win the international KZ division on SuperSunday, which has not been part of the EKN Driver Rankings since 2009. Third in the standings is new two-time SKUSA champion AJ Myers (Magik). It was an impressive end of the Summer Festival for the Florida driver to claim his second title in three years. Today’s top-three have all shown their strong no matter the engine platform.
For a second straight year, Andrew Bujdoso (Magik) has put himself in the mix as top shifterkart driver in the USA. Victory to open up the SKUSA Pro Tour for a second straight year, Bujdoso retained the SKUSA #3 plate following the six rounds of racing through the double weekend event. Add in his first Florida Winter Tour victory and two runner-up results in New Castle could put him in the hunt for the #1 by the end of the year. Completing the top-five is last year’s Pro Shifter 2 champion Race Liberante (Race Factory). The California native had an amazing 2019, yet has seen some tough attempts to try and match it moving up to the Pro class. His wins at the Rock Island Grand Prix and SuperNationals, along with P4 at ROK the RIO remain on his total score. Liberante will need to garner some strong results at the end of the year at the big events to keep himself toward the top after a struggle at the SKUSA Pro Tour.
Dropping out of the top-five is 2019 SKUSA Pro Tour champion Kyle Wick (RPG / Tony Kart). Six rounds of racing in two weekends is a tough way to defend a championship, and Wick only stood on the podium once in the six rounds at New Castle. Up three positions to seventh is Rory van der Steur (Magik). The Maryland driver finished in every top-five position at the SKUSA Pro Tour after recording a DNF in the opening round. Rory will carry the SKUSA #2 plate for 2021 after the Magik trio swept the top-three in the SKUSA championship chase.
Down four spots to eighth is four-time SKUSA SuperNationals winner Billy Musgrave. 2020 is a new look for Musgrave, working with the new USA-made Factory Kart. Musgrave battled gremlins and engine issues, coming out of New Castle with a best finish of fourth three-times during the two weekends. With a runner-up at Rock Island GP and win at the SuperNationals, Musgrave will need to fill out some results in the final run of 2020 to keep himself in the top-10. In his first full season in Pro Shifter, Devon Smith-Harden has solidified a spot in the top-10. The HMG / CompKart driver started out the SummerFest with a third-place podium finish, but was unable to return throughout the final five rounds. Closing out the top-10 is California ROK Championship point leader Cole Shade (GFC). Shade was vice-champion in the shortened Challenge of the Americas program this winter and is coming off victory at CalSpeed to take the top spot in the summer series heading to the finale next month.
On the move includes 2020 SKUSA Pro Tour Pro Shifter 2 champion Vincente Salas (Factory Kart), just short of the top-10 in the P13 slot. Salas has been impressive this season, starting out with the SKUSA Winter Series title and came out of New Castle with two wins and three runner-up results. Also impressive is the debut of Josh Pierson (RPG / Kosmic) to the shifterkart ranks. Pierson, who was the SKUSA #3 plate holder in X30 Junior, moved to Pro Shifter 2 for the Summer Festival. The driver from Oregon racked up two wins and four total podium results to finish second behind Salas. If he adds a seventh race, he can put himself inside the top-20 for sure.
Upcoming EKN Shifterkart Driver Rankings Schedule
|8/30/20||Colorado Karting Tour #6||Open Shifter||IMI Motorsports||Dacono, CO||8|
|9/6/20||Rock Island Grand Prix||King of the Streets||RIGP Circuit||Rock Island, IL||9|
|9/13/20||California Rok Championship #4||Shifter Rok||Simraceway Performance Karting Center||Sonoma, CA||8.5|
|9/13/20||Colorado Karting Tour #7||Open Shifter||Grand Junction Motor Speedway||Grand Junction, CO||8|
|9/13/20||Los Angeles Karting Championship #8||Pro Shifter||CalSpeed Karting||Fontana, CA||8|
|9/13/20||Texas Sprint Racing Series #5||Shifter||Speedsportz Racing Park||New Caney, TX||8|
|9/20/20||Rok Fest West||Senior Rok||Simraceway Performance Karting Center||Sonoma, CA||8.5|
|9/27/20||California ProKart Challenge #6||Pro Shifter||TBD||8.5|
|9/27/20||California ProKart Challenge #6||Pro Shifter 2||TBD||8|
|9/27/20||Colorado Karting Tour #8||Open Shifter||Action Karting||Morrison, CO||8|
|9/27/20||F-Series Gearup Challenge #7||Formula Shifter||New Jersey Motorsports Park||Millville, NJ||8|
|9/27/20||F-Series Gearup Challenge #7||KZ2||New Jersey Motorsports Park||Millville, NJ||8|
Shifterkart #1 – Jake French
It is safe to say, Jake French has been the best shifterkart driver over the past 12 months. That’s exactly what the EKN Driver Rankings measures, and French has put in the results to hold the #1 position. All seven of his results are podiums, including runner-up at the SuperNationals. Two Challenge of the Americas wins could have been the run he needed to earn the series championship, had COVID-19 not forced the cancellation of the finale in March. It was mixed results in New Castle for French with three podium results in the opening four rounds. French finished fifth in the final SKUSA standings.
|SKUSA SuperNationals 2019 – Pro||10||2||1057|
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #2||9||5||989|
|Challenge of the Americas ’20 #3||9||1||1012|
|Challenge of the Americas ’20 #4||9||1||1012|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #1 – Pro||9.5||2||1002|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #2 – Pro||9.5||3||992|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #4 – Pro||9.5||1||1003|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.14
Average Points: 1009.6
Total Points: 7067
Shifterkart #2 – Danny Formal
San Jose, Costa Rica
While he now calls Costa Rica home, there is no doubt that Danny Formal is one of the most versatile drivers in North America over the last decade. A five-time US Rotax Grand Nationals champion, three-time SuperNationals winner, and 2016 SKUSA Pro Tour champion are just some of the accolades on Formal’s CV. His double win month in Vegas last November puts him in the talks as the top shifterkart driver in North America even today. Formal had the speed throughout the two weekends in New Castle for the SKUSA Pro Tour, just not the luck to stand on top of the podium. Can he repeat those victories in Vegas for 2020?
|ROK the RIO 2019||9.5||1||1096|
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #1||9||4||995|
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #3||9||2||999|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #2 – Pro||9.5||4||982|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #3 – Pro||9.5||3||992|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #4 – Pro||9.5||3||983|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #5 – Pro||9.5||2||993|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.71
Average Points: 1005.7
Total Points: 7040
Shifterkart #3 – AJ Myers
Myers made history at the SKUSA Pro Tour Summer Festival. Myers is only the second driver to become a two-time champion in the headline shifterkart division on the SKUSA Pro Tour. Fritz Leesmann won in 2010 and 2012. Myers won 2018 and now 2020, in similar fashion. It took two wins in the final two rounds to solidify himself as the champion just days ago. Myers did the same thing in 2018 at the same facility. Add in the Florida Winter Tour championship over both Formal and French, Myers has the advantage in the hardware department over the top-two.
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #1||9||1||1026|
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #2||9||4||999|
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #3||9||3||989|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #3 – Pro||9.5||1||1012|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #4 – Pro||9.5||2||993|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #5 – Pro||9.5||1||1003|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2020 #6 – Pro||9.5||1||1003|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1.86
Average Points: 1003.6
Total Points: 7025
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 the TaG and Shifterkart categories 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 also included the results for the major one-off events such as the SKUSA SuperNationals, 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 2020, the SKUSA SuperNationals will receive a score of 10 in its initial weighting in the TaG and Shifterkart categories. A base ranking of 9.5 is set for the SKUSA Pro Tour, while a base ranking of 9 goes to the SKUSA Winter Series, United States Pro Kart Series, Florida Winter Tour, Challenge of the Americas, ROK the RIO, Rotax Grand Nationals, 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.
eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings – Shifterkart – as of August 28, 2020
|7.||10||3||Rory van der Steur||13||6853|
|34.||60||26||Antonio de Lis||6||4945|
|133.||200||67||Arturo Pacifico Griffini||1||825|
|164.||257||93||Antonio Pizzonia Jr.||1||749|
|165.||208||43||Austin Ray Chalman||1||742|