EKN Trackside: 2023 United States Pro Kart Series – Ohio Grand Prix – Friday Report
Norberg, Myers, and Keeble among top qualifiers at MCC of Cincinnati Kart Plex
The first day of action at the 2023 United States Pro Kart Series Ohio Grand Prix went into the books on Friday with four rounds of official practice and the qualifying sessions. The eight categories took to the Motorsports Country Club of Cincinnati Kart Plex amid a very humid day. The heat index rose to 110 degrees with temps into the low 90s by the time qualifying began. Even a 30-second sprinkle took place but still the air remained thick as the grids were set for the Saturday heat races.
Ryan Norberg (RPG / Kosmic) was able to secure his first top qualifier honor of the USPKS season in Franklin Motorsports X30 Pro. The two-time defending champion cleared the 22-driver field by over three laps with a 56.559-lap to lead the field to the green flag in all three heat races on Saturday. Speedsportz winner Joe Turney (CDR / Kart Republic) clocked in second with fellow Brit Harley Keeble (Piquet / Sodi Kart) posting the third best lap of the session. Alessandro de Tullio (IM / Kart Republic) and Blake Nash (Nash / EOS) complete the fast-five.
Also landing the top qualifier position for the first time on the year in USPKS competition was AJ Myers (Magik Kart USA) in SRP Engines Pro Shifter. It was three tenths as the difference between Myers’ 53.620 lap and that put in by Marijn Kremers (PSL / Birel ART) – who will start all three heats from the outside of the front row. Alan Isambard (Piquet / Sodi Kart) – making his first USPKS start of the season – was third on the time sheet ahead of Tahlon Yockel (Magik Kart USA) and Gavin Bayliff (TKG / Kart Republic).
Harley Keeble (Piquet / Sodi Kart) continues his momentum from July into August, posting the fast time in qualifying for the Mike Doty Racing KA100 Senior. A time of 59.272 put him two tenths quicker than any of the other 41 drivers in the field. Finnegan Bayliff (TKG / Kart Republic) was second in the order with privateer driver Eli Warren (Redspeed) finishing the session in third. Mick Gabriel (AEM / Kosmic) and James Overbeck (MDR / Tony Kart) made up the rest of the top-five.
The run to four straight victories in the Rolison Performance Group X30 Junior for Ernesto Rivera (RPG / Kosmic) is beginning on the right path. Rivera was able to clear the 14-driver field by over four tenths of a second, laying down a 57.686 lap to claim his second top qualifier honor of the season. The rest of the field battled for the second quickest lap, with Nathan Dupuis (SCR / Redspeed) setting that mark over Steven Miller (Nash / EOS). Keelan Harvick (RPG / Kosmic) – in his USPKS debut for 2023 – was fourth while last weekend’s MCC club winner Sarah Bradley (SCR / Redspeed) was fifth.
Steven Miller celebrated his move to Nash Motorsportz by posting fast time in the BBS Racing Engines KA100 Junior qualifying session. Miller (EOS) put in a time of 59.772 to edge out Sebastian Garzon (Orsolon / Tony Kart) by 15 hundredths. Nathan Dupuis (SCR / Redspeed) was third while Payton Westcott (Nash / EOS) and Oliver Wheldon (JC / LN Racing Kart) rounded out the fast five.
A fourth different driver claimed the top qualifier honor on the season in the Speed Concepts Racing KA100 Masters class. Mario Barrios (RPG / Kosmic) put in his quickest lap of 1:00.447 as the checkered flag waved, edging out MCC regular Andy Kutscher (Redspeed) by 48 thousandths. Jamie Sieracki of Franklin Motorsports is making his class debut at USPKS. He put his Merlin machine third in the order ahead of championship leader Mike Rolison (RPG / Kosmic) with Niki Coello (FMS / Gillard) in fifth.
Cameron Marsha has entered that battle that has been going on all season in the DNJ International Services Mini Swift class. The Nitro Kart driver cleared the 32-driver field by over two tenths with a lap time of 1:03.084. Travis Pettit (TKG / Kart Republic) and championship leader Lucas Palacio (TKG / Kart Republic) were second and third with Team Benik drivers Marco Romero and Royce Vega completing the fast five.
The Team Ferris Racing Micro Swift welcomed its fourth different top qualifier on the season as well. Colton Schniegenberg (GWR / Energy) put in a time of 1:03.733 to lead the 36-driver field in the session. Enzo DiGennaro (Parolin USA) was second quickest with three-time winner Parker Ives (RPM / Nitro Kart) third. Zayne Burgess (Piquet / Sodi Kart) was the fourth kart to dip into the 1:03 lap times while Aston Wyatt (Speedsportz / Birel ART) was just off in fifth.
Three rounds of heat races is on the schedule for Saturday, with full coverage all day on EKN Social Media accounts for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for news, updates, photos, videos and more, including the top-10 results after each session. Listen to the racing action by heading to the EKN Live page or tune in on the EKN Radio Network.