EKN Trackside: 2021 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SpringNationals – Sunday Report
Greenemeier becomes first female driver to win in series history
Hannah Greenemeier became the first female winner on the SKUSA Pro Tour with victory in X30 Senior (Photo: EKN)
The 2021 edition of the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SpringNationals came to close on Sunday at the Utah Motorsports Campus. It was a weekend of battling tough weather conditions and fierce fields in Grantsville, Utah with the threat of rain added into the mix on Sunday. A brief sprinkle is all that presented itself, as the winds continued throughout the day. As you would expect on the final day of action, the racing amped up with drivers taking a few extra chances in certain moments, with the results not equating to success. Nine drivers did come away with triumph at the end of the main events, including four more first-time winners on the day – including Colorado driver Hannah Greenemeier who became the first female driver to win at the SKUSA Pro Tour in its 12-year history.
The Rolison Performance Group X30 Senior class saw a lot of drama unfold from start to finish. Saturday winner Ryan Norberg was able to edge out RPG / Kosmic teammate Hannah Greenemeier for the pole position by a mere 32 thousandths of a second. At the start of the Prefinal, Norberg was shuffled back with Greenemeier and Trey Brown (RPM / Tony Kart) able to get away. It took five laps to catch back up to the top-two and when there, Norberg made a slight mistake, making contact with Brown as Greenemeier slipped past at turn one. Norberg and Brown went off at the exit, out of the race. That allowed Greenemeier to cruise to the Prefinal win. Norberg, starting at the back, was involved in contact on the opening circuit of the main event and recorded a rare DNF on the day. Up front, Greenemeier and Cole Morgan (RPM / Tony Kart) were shuffling for the top position nearly every lap. This allowed for a seven driver lead group for much of the race. On lap 17, Hannah was able to secure the top spot with RPG / Kosmic teammate Branyon Tiner coming through in second. Morgan came under pressure for the third position with Thomas Nepveu (PSL / Birel ART) on the attack. Nepveu worked past Morgan at turn 10, and at turn 11, Morgan drove over the back of Nepveu, pushing both off the course and out of the race. Following the contact, some extra-curricular activities commenced resulting in a DQ for both drivers. Up front, Greenemeier was able to put in solid final laps with Tiner on her bumper to the checkered flag for the victory. Round Two winner Connor Zilisch (Nitro / Redspeed) crossed the line third ahead of Jake Drew (RPM / Tony Kart), but both suffered penalties. Zilisch a three-second for pushback bumper and Drew a disqualification for pushback bumper manipulation post-race. That promoted Nathaniel Cicero to third, making it an all Rolison Performance Group / Kosmic podium. Zilisch was classified fourth, bouncing back from qualifying 12th. Rounding out the top-five was Oliver Calvo (LEM / Exprit), up three positions to fifth.
AJ Myers (Magik Kart USA) made it four-for-four on the year in the PSL Karting Pro Shifter division. It was not a perfect day as once again, Jacob Gulick (GFC) was able to put down fast time in qualifying with a 55.111-lap. Myers was second, and grabbed the holeshot in the Prefinal. From there, he led all 12 laps of the Prefinal and then the 20 laps of the Final to a 10-second advantage. Gulick went from fourth to second in the Final, but was penalized for contact, dropping him to fifth in the order. That promoted Jake French (PSL / Birel ART) to another runner-up finish with Vincenzo Sarracino (LEM / Formula K) earning the third step on the podium, his first visit at the SKUSA Pro Tour. He won a great battle ahead of Devon Smith-Harden (HMG / Race Factory), bouncing back from a broken water line on Saturday.
It was an exciting day in the Leading Edge Motorsports KA100 Senior class with the 48 drivers putting on a show. Nolan Allison (RPG / Kosmic) was able to secure the fast time in qualifying, but a four-driver fight for the win in the Prefinal went to Blake Nash (Nash / EOS). Allison finished third behind Macy Williams (CB / EOS) with Cole Morgan (RPM / Tony Kart) in fourth. Morgan was shuffled back and out of the lead group early with Josiah Tracy (IRM / Tony Kart) trailing the top three. Nash led the opening half of the race until they began fighting for the top spot. Williams and Allison each took at turn until Allison secured the spot on lap 15. From there, Allison was able to led the final circuits to the checkered flag for his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory. Nash beat out Williams for second with Tracy earning fast time of the race in fourth. Jace Park (TKG / Kart Republic) was able to get away from the rest of the field to finish fifth.
Three-time SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jordon Musser (PSL / Birel ART) added another victory to his resume with a solid drive in the Final of the Master Shifter division. Vincent Cossard (SRR / CRG) was able to challenge Musser in the Prefinal, getting the holeshot and led the first half until Musser worked past. Once by, Musser went on to win while Cossard retired early. At the start of the Final, defending champion Skitchy Barnes (HMG / CompKart) grabbed the holeshot with Cossard jumping from P8 to second through the opening corners. The field was bogged down on the opening lap by a Pro Shifter backmarker, and bunched up the field into turn 16. Contact was made with Cossard getting into the back of Barnes, spinning him around in front of the Master field. This allowed Musser to slip past and grab the lead. From there, he drove off to an eight-second victory. Cossard drove back to second after the contact with Barnes, who was flagged off for a damaged sidepod. A penalty for the contact with Barnes dropped Cossard to third, moving Ben Schermerhorn (PSL / Birel ART) to second. Anthony Stiffler (HMG / CompKart) was fourth with Robert Fiege (HMG / Exprit) completing the top-five.
2019 X30 Master champion Matt Johnson (Nash / EOS) returned this weekend for the first time since his championship season to the Pro Tour. Johnson secured fast time in qualifying for the Comet Kart Sales sponsored category and was challenged by current title contenders Jess Peterson (PGR / Ricciardo) and Mario Barrios (RPG / Kosmic) in the Prefinal. Johnson was able to get away for the race win after they fought for the second spot. In the Final, the three battled once again with Johnson leading the majority of the race. Barrios took over the lead on lap 15, and led for three laps until Johnson returned to the point. Johnson led the final few laps to secure his first victory of the season. Barrios ended up second, earning fast lap of the race with Peterson in third. Billy Cleavelin (RPG / Kosmic) was fourth with Glauber Granero (Orsolon / Tony Kart) winning the fight for fifth.
The Parolin USA X30 Junior class was among the most competitive fights all weekend long, and the one category that was threatened by rain, only to have a few sprinkles fall at the start of the Final that did not affect the race. Carson Morgan (RPM / Tony Kart) set fast time in qualifying, edging out Saturday winner Max Garcia (AKT / WPK) by two hundredths. Jeremy Fletcher (TF / Tony Kart) was able to secure the top spot on the last lap of the Prefinal, ahead of Morgan and Garcia. The lead group was six drivers in the Final with Morgan able to put himself at the point by lap eight. From there, it was bumper to bumper with each trying to measure up one another. Morgan however remained at the point and with about four laps to go, fighting for second allowed him to escape and run unchallenged to the checkered flag. Fletcher was able to cross the line in second, just ahead of Jack Jeffers (SCR / Redspeed). A pushback bumper penalty to Jeffers dropped him off the podium, down to ninth, moving Garcia to third with Paul Bocuse (Parolin USA) to fourth with Chase Hand (RPG / Kosmic) rebounding from early contact, driving up from 15th to fifth.
KA100 Junior also welcomed a first SKUSA Pro Tour winner in what saw a lot of events unfold in the opening laps of the Final. Prefinal winner Cole Morgan (RPM / Tony Kart) had a mechanical issue on the pace lap, and was unable to take the green flag. Add to lots of contact in the opening corner, including a number of the front runners shuffled up the field. After the opening circuit, Jeremy Fletcher (TF / Tony Kart), Parker DeLong (RPM / Tony Kart) and Helio Meza (IRM / Tony Kart) were at the front, exchanging the lead multiple times over the course of the first five laps. On lap six, Fletcher was leading with Meza on his bumper, literally, as Helio climbed the back of Jeremy’s kart on the exit of turn three. That sent both into the dirt and well back in the field. This opened the door for Austin Jurs (FMS / Redspeed), who started eighth and had just passed DeLong for third to take over the point. Once out front, Jurs put down consistent laps, his best lap on the penultimate circuit, driving away to a 1.4-second advantage at the checkered flag for his first series victory. The fight for second went down to the wire with top qualifier Jack Jeffers (SCR / Redspeed) climbing from ninth to the second spot. Graham Trammell (RPG / Kosmic) was able to earn his first podium in the category, holding back a charging Cooper O’Clair (J3 / CompKart) who was the hard charger, up 11 spots to fourth. DeLong completed the top-five.
Enzo Vidmontiene (Benik) has found the right mojo to be the driver to beat in the Team Benik Mini Swift category, laying down a dominant performance on Sunday in Utah. Vidmontiene was able to edge out Ben Maier (Nitro Kart) for the fast time in the qualifying session by a slim eight hundredths. From there, Vidmontiene went untouched by leading all 10 laps in the Prefinal and all 18 in the Final to a 3.7-second advantage. Saturday winner and 2020 Micro Swift champion Jack Iliffe (IRM / Tony Kart) held off Maier for the runner-up spot at the line by four hundredths of a second. His brother Oscar Iliffe (IRM / Tony Kart) was fourth, up two positions with Mini rookie Asher Oschstein (Benik) in fifth.
The DNJ Intermodal Services Micro Swift class was the first in the order all weekend, and prior to today, saw clean racing throughout the field. Unfortunately, there were some issues toward the middle to back of the field at the start in both the Prefinal and Final, leading up to the green flag. Up front, Saturday winner Tristan Murphy (Nitro Kart) struck first with quick lap in the timed session. The Prefinal however was a five driver battle with Murphy dropping to third at the line behind winner Phaethon Saradpon (AKT / Kart Republic) and Alessandro Truchot (Parolin USA). In the Final, Murphy locked up to the rear bumper of Saradpon as the two were able to get away from the rest of the field. They stayed nose to tail until two laps remaining when Murphy pulled the trigger. The two swapped the lead a few times until Saradpon secured the position and held on through the final corners. Murphy made one last attempt with a drag race to the line. At the checkered, Saradpon took his first series victory by six thousandths of a second ahead of Murphy. Augustus Toniolo (RPG / Kosmic) was along in third with Ashton Woon (Nitro Kart) up six spots to fourth with Sebastian Cortes (Benik) in fifth.
The 11th edition of the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SpringNationals is now in the books, making a little piece of karting history in the process at the Utah Motorsports Campus. A near three month gap is ahead for the program as the 11th running of the SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals will take place at the New Castle Motorsports Park on the August 13-15 weekend, expected to be the largest event of the 2021 SKUSA season.