2023 Northern California Sprint Kart Series – Round 1 Preview

This weekend marks the opening event for the IKF NorCal Sprint Kart Series (NCSKS), with round one of the five event championship taking place April 22-23 at Prairie City in Rancho Cordova, CA. This new series launches as the premier regional championship in the Northern California area, but also sees visits as far south as Buttonwillow in Round #2, and even crosses just over the Oregon border to Medford for Round #3. Round #4 will be back towards the south in Santa Maria, while the series finale will take place on a temporary course in Corning, CA just in time to prepare for the big races in Vegas at year’s end.

And speaking of Vegas, the prize package for the class champions is all to play for, with SKUSA Supernationals 26 tickets up for grabs in each of the 2-Stroke categories, while the champions of the 4-Stroke classes each taking home a cool $1000 for their efforts.

Eight classes will be on offer at the NCSKS with the Briggs 206 package covering Cadets through Legends, the IAME KA in Junior and Senior categories, plus an open Shifter class all taking on the twists and turns of the Prairie City Kart Track for their first challenge of 2023. Taking to the Grand Prix layout this weekend, the 13 turn ½ mile old-school course features several passing zones, challenging chicanes, and even its own famous corkscrew section. Hosting some of the largest club races in the region, Prairie City boasts a strong following of regular karters, with the on track product providing some great wheel to wheel action.

The weekend will kick off with Official Practice on Friday from Noon until 6pm, with another single practice session, and qualifying continuing on Saturday morning. Racing kicks off after the lunch break with a pair of heat races, and the event wraps up on Sunday with a morning warm up, Pre-Final and Final – a 22 lap contest to decide the opening round. And watching over the action as Race Director for the series is none other than long-time karter and veteran of the sport, Terry Ives. He, along with the talented crew assembled by Series owner Donald Durbin Jr, look forward to hosting everyone this weekend in a fun, family friendly atmosphere.

As it is a new series, it is anyone’s guess who may be the favorite to not only win this weekend in each class, but walk away the champion at season’s end. That said, there are a few names that should be right at the sharp end when action commences this weekend.

In Jr 1 206 presented by Speedsense Motorsports, Luka Rommeck enters as a driver to beat, coming off a third in the class club championship at Prairie City last year, and currently sits second in the standings as well. Joining them as a local front runner is Carson McLeod, currently third in the club standings and fresh off a P2 last weekend.

Jr 2 206 presented by Cole Nelson Racing/Invader has Derek Dimandja hoping to carry the torch into the weekend, as the 2022 runner up in the class at Prairie City Kart track has had a near flawless start to his club campaign with a pair of wins already.

Senior 206 presented by GFC looks to be the largest of the classes on the weekend, and already has some recognized winners on the entry list, perhaps led by Chase Hand. Hand is a regular front runner whenever he is at the track, and will be doing double duty this weekend, also running in KA Senior. It will be no walk in the park however, as the top local drivers are all in attendance, with the top 4 from last year’s club championship are all ready to do battle, including champ Travis Mitchell, Colby Romero, Kade Godbehere, and Jonathan Endrizzi just to name a few…

Masters 206 presented by Unleashed Power for drivers 30+ in age sees Tyler Hall coming into the weekend as the reigning club champion in the category, while the Legends 206 category presented by Step Up Karting enters as the larger of the two classes for the “elder statesmen”. It is a solid field for the drivers 50+ in the Legends class, with nearly all of the protagonists from the local club series in attendance this weekend, including current point leader Paul Booher.

The 2-Stroke side of things has KA Junior presented by Mega Power Racing Engines may shine a spotlight on Cypress Andruss coming into the weekend, currently sitting 2nd in the local standings, but they’’ll have plenty of fight on their hands as the entries keep coming in – including winner at the finale last year Alex Rantala.

In KA Senior presented by Leading Edge Motorsports will be a fun one to watch, the aforementioned Chase Hand included in a group that also sees club series point leader Flavio Aquini and regular front runner Stephen Eistert on the entry list just to name a couple. And in the 125cc Shifter category presented by Driving Ambition it is another strong group with reigning club champion Seth Huntley heading a field that also includes current club point leader Connor Vancleve, and another double duty driver in Colby Romero…

Online registration sees entries continue to come in, with several strong entries in each class getting their names on the list early, and even more expected to sign up on site – a common occurrence at Prairie City. For full event information and to get signed up for Round #1 of the IKF NorCal Sprint Kart Series, head over to www.norcalsks.com!

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