EKN Trackside: Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 25 – Saturday Report
Giltaire and Hiltbrand secure pole positions for SuperSunday main events in Las Vegas
A final heat race win puts top qualifier Evan Giltaire on the front row for the X30 Senior main event (Photo: EKN)
The key day of Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 25 has now set the stage for only 10 main events remaining in this year’s race. Situation Saturday was indeed that, with the third and final heat race contested for the 10 classes, along with four Last Chance Qualifiers to decide the last remaining positions on the grid. A steady wind made for a cooler, yet sunny morning before the winds went away as the sun continued to shine on the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Eventually, the sun faded behind the famous Las Vegas resort and the final competitive laps were held under the lights. The last few remaining spots were decided and now the grids are set for SuperSunday.
The opening race of the day was the KA100 Junior AvsB heat race, providing a great measuring stick for what was to come. After a wild 10 laps, Helio Meza (IRM / Tony Kart) drove up from seventh to take the win ahead of SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jesus Vasquez Jr. (Nash / EOS) and Ernesto Rivera (RPG / Kosmic). Top qualifier Steven Miller (CDR / Alonso Kart) ended up back in fifth. Enzo Vidmontiene (MottazSport / Kart Republic) won the CvsD heat race, climbing up from fifth on the grid. Two-time heat race winner Caleb Gafrarar (RPG / Kosmic) followed through for second with Cameron Brinkman (MDR / LN Racing Kart) in third. Gafrarar will lead the field to the green flag with Meza on the outside of the front row. Vidmontiene and Rivera are in row two with Miller and Vasquez completing row three.
Latvia driver Tomass Stolcermanis (Nash / Energy) drove to his second heat race win in the KA100 Senior AvsB moto. Stolcermanis was able to better Oliver Hodgson (CompKart) and top qualifier Alex Stanfield (GWR / Tony Kart). Chase Hand (RPG / Kosmic) won his second heat race of the event in CvsD. Hand ran to the checkered flag first ahead of Alexander Kardashian (MDR / EOS) and Blake Nash (Nash / EOS). Stolcermanis earned the pole position for the main event on SuperSunday with fellow Senior rookie Hand on the outside. Stanfield and Miles fill up row two with Hodgson and Kardashian in row three.
Renato Jader David (Orsolon / Tony Kart) completed his sweep thus far in the KA100 Master class, earning fast time in qualifying and winning all three heat races. RJD led all 10 laps of Heat 3 on Saturday, holding off Bobby Kelley (MMK / Redspeed) at the line. Martin Stone (REM / LN Racing Kart) drove to third ahead of Laurentiu Mardan (TecnoKart) with Miguel Mier (RPG / Kosmic) in fifth. It will be RJD leading the field to the green flag with Kelley on the outside of the front row. Mardan and Stone make up row two with Billy Musgrave (Factory Karts) and Roman Padans (Franklin / Merlin) in the third row.
SKUSA Pro Tour champion Rocco Simone (Parolin USA) completed the sweep of the heat races in Micro Swift. The second-place qualifier won Heat 3 to finish the heat races perfect, driving away to a near two-second advantage. Alexander Procuna (Parolin) ended up second ahead of top qualifier Antonio Pizzonia Neto (Orsolon / Parolin). Cameron Marsha (Nitro Kart) and Troy Ferguson (Benik) completed the top-five. Simone will be joined by Procuna on the front row for the main event with Pizzonia and Jackson Gibson (RPG / Kosmic) behind in row two. Ferguson and Royce Vega (Benik) will line up in row three.
The Mini Swift category opened up the afternoon groups on Saturday with only their third heat race. Top qualifier Michael McGaughy (RPM / Parolin) was among a large lead group fight for the top spot. On lap six, McGaughy retired as Alessandro Truchot (Parolin USA) assumed the top spot, as he drove away to the win. Turner Brown (SCR / CRG) held the second spot while Gianmattero Rousseau (Trinity / Alonso Kart) moved up six spots to third. Isaac Malcuit (Nitro Kart) finished fourth, his worst result of the three motos, to claim the pole position for the main event. Tyler Roberts (IRM / Parolin) will start alongside him on the front row. Rousseau and Brown in row two and Truchot and Tristan Murphy (Parolin USA) in row three. McGaughy ended up 42nd in the result sheet, putting him 12th for the grid on SuperSunday.
A second heat win on the event for four-time world karting champion Davide Fore (Italkart) was the only racing action for Master Shifter on the day. Fore grabbed the holeshot and drove away to a 0.8-second win over former Formula One driver Antonio Pizzonia Jr. (Orsolon / Birel ART). Brian Keck was third over fellow GFC teammate Alan Sciuto – both making their Master Shifter debut – while Scott Presti (VTM / TB Kart) was fifth. Heat 1 winner Scuito will start the main event from pole position with Pizzonia on the outside. Jonathan Vitolo (GFC / Trackmagic) and Skitchy Barnes (Magik Kart USA) will go from row two while Presti and Victor Jimenez (RPG / Tony Kart) launch from row three. Fore and Keck’s DNF put them back to 11th and 12th on the grid while five-time SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jordon Musser (PSL / Birel ART) is up to 18th after a flat tire in qualifying.
X30 Senior top qualifier Evan Giltaire (Trinity / Kart Republic) was able to get away at the start of the AvsD heat race to claim the race win by nearly four seconds. Oliver Hodgson (CompKart) was second with Latvia driver Tomass Stolcermanis (Nash / Energy) in third. Jack Jeffers (SCR / Redspeed) escaped the wild start in CvsD to lead all 10 laps of the final heat race on the day. He won by 1.6 seconds over former world karting champion Pedro Hiltbrand (PSL / Birel ART) and former SuperNationals winner Connor Zilisch (REM / Tony Kart). Giltaire maintained the pole position through the heat races and will start on the front row with British driver Hodgson alongside the Frenchman. Stolcermanis and Jeffers make up row two with Louie Westover (Nash / EOS) and defending race winner Ryan Norberg (RPG / Kosmic) in row three.
Caleb Gafrarar (RPG / Kosmic) has the perfect run going in the X30 Junior category. With fast time in qualifying and two heat wins, Gafrarar won Heat 3 on Saturday to start from the pole position on SuperSunday. The SKUSA Pro Tour champion won the third heat by nearly three seconds ahead of Max Garcia (MPG / Kart Republic) and Jesus Vasquez Jr. (Nash / EOS) – up 12 spots to third. Teddy Musella (RPG / Kosmic) and Cooper Shipman (IRM / Tony Kart) completed the top-five. Gafrarar will be joined by Garcia on the front row with Vasquez and Cameron Brinkman (MDR / LN Racing Kart) in row two. Behind them Leonardo Escorpioni (Zanella / Tony Kart) and Shipman start from row three.
For the first time in the three heat races for X30 Master, two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Will Power (RPG / Kosmic) was able to score a race win. Power jumped out to the lead and led all 10 laps of Heat 3 for the only session on the day for the class. He drove away by nearly four seconds over top qualifier Renato Jader David (Orsolon / Tony Kart) with Chris Wehrheim (Nash / Energy) in third. Jace Lindstrom (Benik / Kosmic) was fourth with Heat 2 winner Martin Pierce (Trinity / Kart Republic) in fifth. RJD maintained the top spot and will lead the field to the green flag from the pole position with four-time SuperNationals winner Kip Foster (PSL / Birel ART) on the outside thanks to his Heat 1 victory. Power and Pierce fill out row two with Wehrheim and Lindstrom starting from row three.
The third and final round of heat races for the massive Pro Shifter field set the final pieces for the starting grid on SuperSunday. Three-time runner-up and 2019 world champion Marijn Kremers (PSL / Birel ART) was able to work past top qualifier Pedro Hiltbrand (PSL / Birel ART) late in the AvsB heat race. Canadian Remo Ruscitti (Italkart) was right there in third. Markus Kajak (RPM / Tony Kart) was able to take a holeshot win in the CvsD heat race, leading all 10 laps ahead of Fabian Federer (Magik Kart USA) and last year’s winner Matteo Vigano (PSL / Charles Leclerc). Hiltbrand maintained the top spot and will launch from the P1 position for the main event with Kajak alongside. Kremers and Ruscitti fill up row two while three-time SuperNationals winner Danny Formal (RPG / Kosmic) and former SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jake French (PSL / Birel ART) start from row three.
The pieces are set, the grids are formed, and now it is time for SuperSunday to complete the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 25.