2022 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings presented by Skip Barber Racing School – Shifterkart – Final
Kremers ends successful season to claim Shifterkart Driver of the Year honor
The end to the 2022 eKartingNews.com Shifterkart Driver Rankings presented by Skip Barber Racing School program is here with the final events on the calendar completed. Just over 200 drivers took part in 70 main events across the United States that counted toward the 2022 ranking program. Following the major events in Las Vegas, and the last regional races to be conducted, EKN is proud to announce PSL Karting’s Marijn Kremers as the 2022 Shifterkart Driver of the Year.
The 2019 FIA Karting World KZ Champion competed for the full season in the USA under the PSL Karting / Birel ART tent. His entry into the Pro Shifter category at the SKUSA Pro Tour was last minute and began with two perfect performances to sweep the WinterNationals. Those two wins and a third at the SummerNationals helped him to claim the SKUSA Pro Tour championship. He began the month of November with a controversial victory at ROK Vegas to become the fourth different winner in the last five years. The final piece of the puzzle was a sixth-place result at SKUSA SuperNationals 25, advancing him into the top position of the final EKN Driver Rankings standings for 2022.
AJ Myers (Magik Kart USA) held the top position in the EKN Driver Rankings since the end of the 2020 season when he took control. Myers finished both 2020 and 2021 as the Driver of the Year, including two SKUSA Pro Tour crowns. The 2022 season was not one featuring Myers on the top step of the podium as often, with two SKUSA Pro Tour triumphs, however, he managed to finish runner-up three times to place him second in the series championship. The SuperNationals was supposed to be redemption after setting fast time in qualifying only to have a mechanical take him out of the opening heat in 2021. It was the final heat at SuperNationals 25 that hurt his chances, making hard contact with the wall to place him mid-pack for the Final, eventually retiring early.
Third in the EKN Driver Rankings and third in the SKUSA Pro Tour standings for 2022 is veteran Jake French (PSL Karting / Birel ART). The 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour champion announced this would be his final full season prior to the SuperNationals after a stellar career from the Cadet ranks all the way to SKUSA glory at the headline division. French was absent from the top step of the podium throughout the season, however, put a stamp on his send-off event at SuperNats 25 by placing fifth, finishing as the top USA driver in the Pro Shifter field.
The remainder of the top-five changed for the final edition of the 2022 EKN Driver Rankings, putting Hunter Pickett (PSL Karting / Birel ART) in fourth and Jacob Gulick (GFC Karting) into fifth. Pickett, the 2022 Challenge of the Americas champion, managed two podium results on the SKUSA Pro Tour as well, finishing the title chase in sixth. His fourth place at the ROK Vegas event gained him more points after losing a top-10 finish at the SuperNationals from last year, recording a DNF at SuperNats 25. Still, the NorCal native is better by one position from last year’s finishing spot. Gulick was able to repeat a top-10 at the ROK Vegas event for a second straight year and like Pickett, ended the month with him on the sidelines early for SuperNationals 25. Gulick was seventh in last year’s final standings, improving him two spots over the last 12 months of competition.
Just missing out on the top-five to close out the season is Pro Shifter ‘rookie’ Hannah Greenemeier (MSquared / LN Racing Kart). The 2021 SKUSA Pro Tour X30 Senior champion has been grooming her six-speed talents in Challenge of the Americas competition the last few seasons, however, made her first start at the SpringNationals. Over the last four rounds, she earned a pair of fifth-place and sixth-place finishes. To cap off the season, Greenemeier ended up 10th on SuperSunday in her first Pro Shifter start at the SKUSA SuperNationals. On the flip side, Kyle Wick (GFC Karting / Trackmagic) did not end the year on a high note. The two-time Challenge of the Americas winner was fourth heading into the final EKN Driver Rankings schedule and recorded DNF finishes in both Las Vegas events.
Holding onto the eighth position is four-time SKUSA SuperNationals winner Billy Musgrave (Factory Karts). The Californian continues to develop the American-made chassis and IAME KZ powerplant, but bounced back to the IAME SSE 175 for the SuperNationals where he unfortunately recorded a DNF. He was also a DNF at the ROK Vegas event, and thus unable to improve his score. He stayed above Canadian Davide Greco (PSL Karting / Birel ART), who charged up into the top-10 at ninth to end the 2022 season. Greco was able to put together a sixth-place result at ROK Vegas, finishing as the top Canadian. That finish added 131 points to his total to land him in the top-10. Holding out in the final spot is veteran Ron White (RWR / CRG). The 2002 SKUSA SuperNationals winner returned in the Pro Shifter category 20 years after that victory, driving to an impressive 13th place finish on SuperSunday in his only KZ start of the season.
The only driver to fall out of the top-10 to close out the 2022 season was Daniel Formal (Rolison Performance Group / Kosmic). The Costa Rican was unable to defend his ROK Vegas victory from 2021 as he was car racing in Portugal. He was among those in contention at the SuperNationals with a heat race win and starting fifth. His run to a fourth victory at the SuperNats ended on the opening lap of the main event, thus unable to replace those two finishes from a year ago.
Shifterkart #1 – Marijn Kremers
For only the second time in the history of the EKN Driver Rankings, an international driver has finished as Driver of the Year in the Shifterkart standings. The 2019 FIA World KZ Champion was able to earn several ‘firsts’ during the 2022 season. His first SKUSA Pro Tour victory – earning three on the year – his first SKUSA Pro Tour Championship and ROK Vegas triumph to help elevate himself to the top of the EKN Driver Rankings. Kremers is set for a return to the USA in 2023 and with PSL Karting / Birel ART for another attack in shifterkart and TaG competition. Kremers is the only driver in the program history to finish top-3 in both standings, placing third in TaG for 2022.
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #1||9.5||1||1043|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #2||9.5||1||1043|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #4||9.5||3||1042|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #5||9.5||1||1053|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #6||9.5||2||1042|
|ROK Vegas 2022||9.5||1||1098|
|SKUSA SuperNats 24||10||6||1096|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.14
Average Points: 1059.6
Total Points: 7417
Shifterkart #2 – AJ Myers
While it may seem like a failure by not finishing in the #1 spot for a third straight year, the 2022 season was successful for Myers. He was able to record two victories on the SKUSA Pro Tour, place runner-up three times to claim the second spot in the championship chase. A possible victory slipped away at the ROK Vegas event and contact in the final heat race during SuperNationals 25 cost him a preferred starting position for the Final. The DNF in the main event cost him even more points toward the Driver Rankings, however, he still would have needed to beat Kremers on track – a fifth-place finish or better – to leap ahead of Kremers in the final standings. Myers did however finish the year with a better average finish over his top-seven scores of the 2022 season.
|Florida Winter Tour ’22 #3||9||3||978|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #1||9.5||2||1032|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #2||9.5||2||1032|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #4||9.5||1||1063|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #5||9.5||2||1042|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #6||9.5||1||1053|
|ROK Vegas 2022||9.5||2||1087|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1.86
Average Points: 1041
Total Points: 7287
Shifterkart #3 – Jake French
The 2022 season was the swan song for veteran shifterkart driver Jake French as he is set to take a step back from competition. French was among those who started in the S5 Junior Stock Moto program and worked his way up the SKUSA ladder system into S2 and then S1. His 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour championship was the highlight, along with a string of top-six finishes at the SuperNationals dating back to 2016 in the S1, KZ and Pro Shifter divisions. It was a bookend finish at this year’s SuperNats with a top-five performance, ending up as the top USA driver in the field. His string of top-five finishes on the year helped hold the third position to end his run in the EKN Driver Rankings for 2022.
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #2||9.5||5||1001|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #3||9.5||2||1053|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #4||9.5||4||1031|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #5||9.5||4||1021|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2022 #6||9.5||5||1011|
|ROK Vegas 2022||9.5||5||1054|
|SKUSA SuperNats 25||10||5||1108|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 4.29
Average Points: 1039.9
Total Points: 7279
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 other special races.
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 2022, 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.
2022 EKN Shifterkart Driver Rankings presented by Skip Barber Racing School – Final Standings
|90.||91||1||Ryan Aden Jr.||3||2475|
|141.||-||-||Cristian Domenico Bertuca||1||1073|
|182.||188||6||Safet Hatic III||1||809|
|198.||203||5||Isaac Trezza Alamond||1||763|