Paddock Insider: 2023 United States Pro Kart Series – Ohio Grand Prix

(Photo: Studio 52)

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 2023 United States Pro Kart Series at the Indiana Grand Prix held at the New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Indiana. 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 the MCC of Cincinnati Kart Plex

MCC of Cincinnati Kart Plex is truly a ‘country club’ (Photo: Studio 52)

This weekend marks the first visit to the Motorsports Country Club of Cincinnati Kart Plex for both EKN and the USPKS. Built in 2003, the facility was primarily a motorsports ‘country club’ where racing enthusiasts came out and made laps. Over the last few years, under the Bayliff family and their partners, they have turned it now into a motorsports racing facility as well. Trinity Karting Group calls the MCC home, featuring a full kart shop and dyno room, in addition to the members shop that holds roughly 100 karts inside, available for them to come and make laps.

Their clubhouse has the pro shop and the amazing locker room that makes you feel like you are at the Augusta National, ready to tee off at the Masters. Their corporate side of the track activity features CRG rental karts, sitting under a covered area waiting for eager racers. Over the last two years, including the track expansion to 0.95 miles, they developed a large paddock area that has been able to house over 230 entries along with the passenger vehicles. The RV row was established for this week, lining up over 20 along the final corner and main straightaway.

The racetrack is not your standard new design. It’s tight and feels narrow but doesn’t look it from the fence line. It has that ‘Ocala Grand Prix’ feel with the fencing, and the condensed area of the racetrack. There is elevation in the north section of the track, but flat aside from that. Drivers are banging the curbs through the esses section, and the g-load is high through the new section of the track. The circuit was resurfaced last year; however, drivers are complaining about there being a number of bumps. EKN will work to grab an onboard during the weekend or post-event to show the feel of MCC. This is going to be a driver’s track, and with the warm weather, is going to challenge the racers all weekend.

They have more plans to make the facility even better, and to welcome even more racers for future events. I think it’s safe to say that this is a bucket list track to come and see for yourself.

Silly Season Continues

Brandon Lemke will sub for Braden Eves in the X30 Pro class (Photo: EKN)

During the middle of the season, drivers tend to look at other options for the short term, or even the long term. Among the first came just a day before practice began as Steven Miller moved from Chad Dokken Racing / Kart Republic to Nash Motorsportz / EOS. Miller tested here last weekend with CDR, and then made the switch prior to the start of Round Four of the championship. He’s racing in both X30 Junior and KA100 Junior.

The other move is Ohio driver Emerson Reed jumping to Ryan Perry Motorsport / Tony Kart He began the season with Team FMS / Merlin before joining Hotz Driver Development and moving to OTK brand. Now at his home track, Reed is racing alongside championship contender Josh Campbell in the KA100 Senior category for RPM.

A move today was made in the X30 Senior class as Brandon Lemke has been called up to sub for Braden Eves in the X30 Pro category. Eves has been struggling with neck issues and will only now race in the KA100 Senior class, where he is in the championship. Lemke will pilot the MPG Motorsports / Kart Republic in X30 while still racing his own ride in the KA100 Senior class. Ironic, it was last year that Lemke and Race Liberante had run ins at Orlando for USPKS. Now, Liberante is under MPG for which Lemke will be driving for in X30. It has been since 2020 that Lemke made a start in X30 Pro at the USPKS.

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