EKN Trackside: 2022 Superkarts! USA Winter Series – AMR1 – Saturday Report
Morgan earns first Senior victory as Italian Villa named winner in X30
It was an interesting start to the 2022 Superkarts! USA Winter Series program with the opening round of racing contested on Saturday at the AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex presented by MG Tires. Rain came into the Homestead, Florida area from the east, soaking the entire paddock and race course. Flooding took place around the circuit and in the paddock. Once the track was cleared, warm-up took place and then racing schedule commenced, all while only cutting a couple laps for each category on the day to finish before the sun fell below the horizon. All eight race groups with nine divisions named the first winners of the season, including many first time victors.
The headline X30 Senior division – sponsored by Group A Apparel – featured an exciting day of action for the 43 drivers competing. Brazilian Matheus Morgatto (AM / Exprit) marked his return to Florida with a fast lap in qualifying, posting a 48.052-second lap. He would be shuffled down to third in the Prefinal as Alessandro de Tullio (Parolin USA) took the win from fourth. He along with Italian Edoardo Ludovico Villa (SCR / TB Kart) charging from eighth to join the Florida driver at the front of the field. Villa grabbed the lead on lap three, and held it there until about three laps to go when de Tullio returned the favor. The pass was enough to establish a solid advantage, running to the checkered flag unchallenged for the provisional victory. Unfortunately, de Tullio would not make it out of tech as we was removed from the results with a disqualification. That promoted Villa to the top step of the podium and Morgatto to third. SKUSA Pro Tour defending champion Hannah Greenemeier (RPG / Kosmic) powered forward, improving 10 spots to complete the podium in third. Tyler Mcintyre (Mottaz / Birel ART) was fourth with Senior rookie Jeremy Fletcher (GWR / Tony Kart) earning hard charger up to fifth. Fletcher had a chain break in the Prefinal, and improved 34 spots in the 20-lap Final.
Things were setting up for a wild last lap battle in the AM Engines sponsored KA100 Senior main event with the front group of the 32-driver field heating up. Top qualifier and Prefinal winner Nick Terlecki (FMS / Merlin) led early until he was shuffled down the order. Among those helping were the Morgan brothers Cole (RPM / Tony Kart) and Carson (RPM / Tony Kart) along with fellow Senior rookie Jeremy Fletcher (GWR / Tony Kart). On lap 18, contact between Fletcher and Cole into the turn 5 hairpin took them out of the race, along with collecting Peyton Phillips (Core / Redspeed) and Connor Ferris (TFR / Kart Republic) who were in the lead group battle. This allowed Carson Morgan to jump into the lead and break away for his first Senior victory. Terlecki was able to hold off Senior rookie Aden Rudolph (PSL / Birel ART) for third. Tyler Wettengel (SCR / Kart Republic) improved 10 spots to finish fourth with Aiden Levy (Harvick / Tony Kart) placing fifth.
View this post on Instagram
Pro Shifter sponsored by PSL Karting was nearly swept on the day by three-time series champion and four-time SKUSA SuperNationals winner Billy Musgrave (Factory Kart). Only 79 thousandths kept him from earning fast time in qualifying, with the honor going to Alan Isambard (IM / Tony Kart). Musgrave then led all 10 laps of the Prefinal and all 20 laps in the Final for the victory. It was a close one at the end with lap traffic slowing Musgrave at the white flag, allowing Slavik Putiatin (PSL / CL) to close up. Musgrave held off the last lap pressure, with Putiatin earning runner-up in his series debut. Isambard was a close third as Gian Taurino (Magik Kart USA) and Annie Rhule (Magik Kart USA) completed the top-five. Master Shifter was one of attrition with top qualifier and Prefinal winner Scott ‘Skitchy’ Barnes (HMG / TB Kart) coasting to a stop after seven laps with an engine failure. That promoted Ken Schilling (HMG / Aluminos) to the top of the podium ahead of Johnston Erwin (HMG / CompKart) as Barnes was classified third.
View this post on Instagram
Three different drivers took the top spot throughout the day in the X30 Master class sponsored by Rolison Performance Group. Defending SKUSA Pro Tour champion Mario Barrios (RPG / Kosmic) set fast time in qualifying before Luis Schiavo (SVK / Kosmic) took the win in the Prefinal. He set the pace early in the Final until Michel Garrido (Alessandros / Tony Kart) worked by on lap eight. That was the winning move of the race, with Garrido earning his first series victory. Danillo Ramalho (REM / Kosmic) set fast time of the race, improving five spots up to second with Barrios completing the podium in third. Schiavo slipped back to fourth with Diego Rodriguez (Alessandros / Tony Kart) in fifth.
Victory went down to the wire in the SpeedLab Racing Engines sponsored X30 Junior division. Following the dry and wet day on Friday for the final session for practice, the qualifying groups were shuffled with fast drivers in both. Michael Costello (Team Benik / Kosmic) came out of the ‘slower’ group to earn the pole position, edging out Max Garcia (Trinity / WPK) by 11 thousandths. Garcia dominated the Prefinal, but was joined at the front of the field in the Final by Sebastian Wheldon (JC / Kosmic). Wheldon kept himself on the bumper of Garcia, that was until Ayden Ingratta (SCR / Redspeed) joined them. Ingratta put himself into the second spot by the white flag, and slipped past for the lead. As they came to the final corner, Garcia locked onto the rear bumper of Ingratta. As they made the exit, they both pushed wide into the grass/mud. This allowed Wheldon to drive past both to the checkered flag for his first victory in the category. Garcia ended up crossing the line in second with Ingratta third. Ingratta however would be removed from the results for action after the checkered flag along with a five-second penalty to Garcia for the contact with Ingratta. That promoted 2021 SKUSA Winter Series Mini champion Mathias Orjuela (Parolin USA), in his Junior debut at the series, to the second spot with Garcia third. Steven Miller (CDR / Redspeed) drove up five spots to fourth with Caleb Gafrarar (RPG / Kosmic) placing fifth.
View this post on Instagram
A victory for Caleb Gafrarar (RPG / Kosmic) in his KA100 Junior, sponsored by Team Benik, debut at the SKUSA Winter Series. Gafrarar set fast time in the qualifying session but was beat out for the Prefinal win by SKUSA #3 plate holder Austin Jurs (FMS / Redspeed). In the Final, Jurs led the opening five laps of the 20-lap run before Gafrarar took back the point. From there, the 2021 FIA Academy Trophy USA representative pulled away to 2.8-second advantage for his first victory in the category. Jurs settled for second with Valentino Garbarino (RPM / Tony Kart) in third. Steven Miller (CDR / Tony Kart) improved 17 spots to fourth with fast lap of the race while Max Taylor (MDR / Kosmic) completed the top-five.
View this post on Instagram
A victory this weekend was the furthest thing from Oliver Wheldon’s mind when he suffered a fracture in his right wrist last weekend at a club race here at AMR Motorplex. Wheldon however has toughed it out to compete in the opening weekend of the SKUSA Winter Series in the Mini Swift class sponsored by DNJ Intermodal Services. It was a sweep on the opening round with Wheldon setting fast time in qualifying, winning the Prefinal and leading 17 of the 18 laps to secure his first series victory in the category. Carson Weinberg (SCR / CRG) set fast time of the race, rolling to the runner-up spot. Luis Umana (Supertune / Tony Kart) won the battle for third ahead of Salvador Della Vecchia (SAR / Parolin) and Canadian Jensen Burnett (Parolin USA).
Micro Swift, sponsored by Trinity Karting Group, was dominated on the day by Alessandro Truchot (Parolin USA). Truchot went unchallenged on the day after setting fast time in qualifying. He led all 10 laps of the Prefinal and every circuit in the 18-lap Final for his first victory in the series, winning by over eight seconds. Ashton Woon (Nitro Kart) drove to second ahead of Benja Fernandez (VM / Kart Republic). Rocco Simone (Mottazsport / Birel AR) and Samuel Martinez (Piquet / Parolin) rounding out the top-five.
Sunday brings a whole new day, and another full round of racing for the competitors at the SKUSA Winter Series with Round Two scheduled to close out the opening weekend.