2020 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings – Shifterkart – Final
Myers finishes season in top spot for second time in career
The 2020 season has finally concluded for the sport of karting here in the United States. The last clubs and regional events have hosted their final rounds after a busy and rescheduled calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly all the events on the EKN Driver Rankings schedule were conducted or rescheduled, as the sport persevered through 2020 and continues to move forward heading into the 2021 season. The fight for the #1 spot in the Shifterkart Driver Rankings went down to the wire, decided by the final major event of the season, with AJ Myers finishing as the Driver of the Year.
The ROK Cup USA ROK the RIO event was the last major race on the 2020 calendar with the cancellation of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals. The early November event became the last chance for the ‘top guns’ of the Shifterkart Driver Rankings to earn points toward finishing at the top of the standings. Myers (Magik) – the 2020 SKUSA Pro Tour Pro Shifter champion – entered the event third in Driver Rankings, trailing by 42 points. His week in Vegas started behind, qualifying 15th. He fought his way forward through the progressive heats, improving each time out until winning Heat #4. That set him up for a fourth place start in the main event. Myers would go on to finish runner-up behind IndyCar driver Oliver Askew (GFC / Trackmagic). The ‘first in class’ result of those in the Driver Rankings hunt helped to move him at the top of the standings to close out as the best shifterkart driver in North America for 2020.
Dropping out of the top spot down to second is PSL Karting / Birel ART driver Jake French. Taking over the #1 position in February, French held onto the top position in the standings through the summer, including the SKUSA Pro Tour. A runner-up finish at the 2019 edition of the SuperNationals was still on his 12-month record, and the Texan was just short of matching that point total at the ROK the RIO. It was too many positions behind Myers in Vegas to maintain the top position in the standings, falling to the second spot to close out the season.
The same scenario played out for Danny Formal, entering the final months in the #2 position. The ANSA Motorsports driver returned to the Formula K chassis with support from Leading Edge Motorsports for the ROK the RIO event in November after running with the Charles Leclerc brand for much of 2020. An issue in qualifying for the defending ROK the RIO winner put him behind early and was unable to clay his way forward to battle in the main event on Sunday. In the end, Formal closes out the 2020 season in the third position for the standings.
Holding the fourth position is Andrew Bujdoso (Magik), who did not compete at ROK the RIO. Bujdoso finished the season third in the SKUSA Pro Tour standings with one win and two runner-up results. The Ohio driver won at the Florida Winter Tour finale earlier in the season, finishing third in the championship behind Myers and Formal. He also added a ROK Fest East victory at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for 2020.
The driver making the biggest move in the top-10 is Hunter Pickett (GFC). The season began with two victories at Challenge of the Americas, which helped him to earn the series championship in the four-round shortened program. Pickett went on to win once at the California ROK Championship to finish second in the points chase and take second at the ROK Fest West event in Sonoma. It was the performance at ROK the RIO that moved him up to the fifth spot in the final Shifterkart Driver Rankings. He finished third in all four heat races before driving to third in the main event to close out 2020 on the podium.
The advancement of Pickett dropped Kyle Wick and Rory van der Steur each a position to sixth and seventh. Wick (RPG / Kosmic) went winless in 2020 with only one podium result at the SKUSA Pro Tour. The Pacific Northwest driver closed out the year with a seventh at ROK the RIO. On the flip side, van der Steur won his first SKUSA Pro Tour main event in Pro Shifter, landing on the podium four times to earn the SKUSA #2 plate. He gives Magik brand three drivers in the top-seven of the final EKN Driver Rankings.
Cole Shade (GFC) holds strong to end the year in the eight position. Shade began 2020 as the vice-champion to Pickett at Challenge of the Americas with three podium finishes in four rounds. He then went on to score the California ROK Championship title, winning twice. Shade was scheduled to compete aboard the famed Trackmagic brand at ROK the RIO before a rib injury put him on the sideline.
Two podiums at the start of the year helped to put Kol Bailey in the top-10 for 2020. Bailey earned three top-five finishes at Challenge of the Americas to begin the season before placing third in the California ROK Championship chase. Bailey ran with GFC all season until moving to DR Kart for ROK the RIO, where he placed 13th in his debut. He closes out the 2020 season ninth in the EKN Driver Rankings.
Completing the top-10 for the 2020 season is Race Liberante (Race Factory). The 2019 Pro Shifter 2 SKUSA Pro Tour champion was among the top shifterkart drivers all season. The highlight for his year was runner-up in both the IAME SSE 175 and Senior Shifter divisions at USAC Karting Battle at the Brickyard while also winning the Stars Championship Series title.
By The Numbers:
6 – Number of different drivers to finish #1 in EKN Shifterkart (Stock Moto) Driver Rankings in last seven years (Jordon Lennox-2014, Billy Musgrave-2015, Danny Formal-2016, Jake French-2017, AJ Myers-2018, Mathias Ramirez-2019)
8 – Chassis brands represented in 2020 by drivers in top-10
26 – Drivers with 7 or more races counted toward Driver Rankings
57 – Position of last year’s #1 Mathias Ramirez
70 – Point difference between first and second
547 – Point difference between first and tenth
Shifterkart #1 – AJ Myers
For the second time in three years, AJ Myers ends the season in the #1 position for the EKN Shifterkart Driver Rankings. It was 2018 that Myers ended as the top Stock Moto driver of the season and has returned to the familiar position in what was a unique season in 2020. Myers was ‘Magik-al’ in his first season aboard the Magik chassis, earning both the Florida Winter Tour and Superkarts! USA Pro Tour championships. A runner-up at the ROK the RIO in Las Vegas was a “first in-class” behind IndyCar driver Oliver Askew, scoring the most points by anyone in the Driver Rankings. That helped to increase his points by 100. His average improved by 15 points while keeping his average finishing position under 2. All that makes AJ Myers the Driver of the Year in Shifterkart.
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #1||9||1||1026|
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #2||9||4||999|
|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|
|ROK the RIO 2020||9.5||2||1093|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1.71
Average Points: 1018.4
Total Points: 7129
Shifterkart #2 – Jake French
It was a fight to see who would end up with their second time as the #1 driver in the EKN Driver Rankings. Jake French came up just short. The PSL Karting / Full Gas Motorsports / Birel ART driver was among the best all season long, dating back to the 2019 SKUSA SuperNationals. Losing that runner-up finish and 1057 points, the ROK the RIO was the only shot to replace it. French overcame some issues in the opening heat, clawing his way forward with the progressive format to start the main event 12th, finishing sixth. The result lost him eight points from the drop of the SuperNats 23 and falling short of the point total Myers put up over the last 12 months. No titles, but victories and strong podium performances cap off 2020 for French.
|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|
|ROK the RIO 2020||9.5||6||1049|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.71
Average Points: 1008.4
Total Points: 7059
Shifterkart #3 – Danny Formal
San Jose, Costa Rica
Danny Formal also had a chance at become a two-time #1 for the EKN Driver Rankings, ending the 2016 season on top of Stock Moto. Formal was among those in the top-three all season, placing runner-up to Myers at the Florida Winter Tour. He then finished on the podium in three of the six rounds, placing fourth in the standings and missing the #3 SKUSA plate by just nine points. Formal entered the final major event of 2020 – ROK the RIO – as the defending champion. Issues early on in Las Vegas set Formal back early and was unable to land on the podium for a third straight year. This hurt his Driver Rankings total, putting him third for 2020.
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #1||9||4||995|
|Florida Winter Tour 2020 #2||9||6||979|
|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: 3.43
Average Points: 1005.7
Total Points: 6923
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 Shifterkart Driver Rankings – 2020 Final Standings
|7.||6||-1||Rory van der Steur||11||6840|
|45.||41||-4||Antonio de Lis||5||4110|
|136.||128||-8||Arturo Pacifico Griffini||1||784|
|151.||160||9||Antonio Pizzonia Jr.||1||749|
|152.||161||9||Austin Ray Chalman||1||742|