Paddock Insider: 2022 United States Pro Kart Series – Orlando
EKN’s Paddock Insider is part of our Trackside coverage, bringing you notes, updates and breaking news as it happens. The article will feature notes from trackside at the 2022 United States Pro Kart Series Southern Grand Prix from the Orlando Kart Center in Orlando, Florida. This is insider info will not be seen anywhere else. Please feel free to comment and discuss our coverage and today’s action in the EKN Global Members Discussion area below.
Welcome to Orlando!
This is a weekend of firsts for not only those in the paddock here at the Orlando Kart Center, but us here at EKN. The Southern Grand Prix in Orlando is the series first visit to the facility, along with the first visit for EKN since it was developed in 2009. It is the fourth time USPKS has opened up the season in Florida, with three previous times at the now extinct Ocala Grand Prix. While many of the Florida drivers have been to OKC, a majority of the record setting 324 entries have not.
The facility feels like a steel cage match, surrounded by containers which provide a second story viewing section around half the race course. There will be no problems for viewing by the spectators this weekend. Thankfully, all the trailers and haulers fit into the paddock with the first USPKS event breaking the 300-entry mark, as that was a question coming in. Nearby parking lots are being used for camping and car parking as well. It also helps with the container garage space with locals and some visiting teams utilizing them instead of EZ ups outside their trailer.
Overall, the mood in the paddock is positive. A new circuit for the series, the start to the 10th year of the program, and record turnout in nearly all seven IAME categories. It’s time to begin the 2022 United States Pro Kart Series.
Odenthal Racing Products On Site
One of the newest products to hit the market continues with a high demand. The Odenthal Racing Products EZGP camera mount is among the hot items in the karting market today. ORP is on site this weekend, delivering new mounts to their dealers on hand, along with working to sign up new dealers to be part of their network. They are also working directly with drivers, including Jeremy Fletcher and Rolison Performance Group driver Ryan Norberg. Aside from the new camera mount, a majority of the paddock utilize their engine mounts, which work for many of the 2-cycle engine platforms, including IAME. Learn more about the many products they offer at OdenthalRacing.com.
Two Champions Set to Defend USPKS Titles
Two of the seven champions from the 2021 USPKS season are back to defend their crowns, and have the honor of carrying the #1 plate. Ryan Norberg (RPG / Kosmic) scored his first title in the X30 Pro division at the series finale at Race City USA while Scott Kopp (FMS / Exprit) repeated as the champion in X30 Masters. New champions will be crowned in the five other categories at New Castle in September for the series finale. Drivers have either graduated to the next class or like Connor Zilisch in KA100 Senior, moved up to cars. For Norberg to defend the crown, he starts at a track he calls home with the Orlando Kart Center. He must battle the largest X30 Pro category in series history with 58 drivers competing. Kopp on the other hand knows his top challengers with eight drivers from the top-9 in last year’s standings returning to help fill the 21-driver field.