EKN Exclusive: Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 26 – Preview Series – Pro Shifter

$10,000 payday on the line come SuperSunday for best shifterkart pilots in the world

eKartingNews.com is proud to present our Preview Series for the SKUSA SuperNationals 26. Leading up to the on-track action of the 2023 edition of the marquee SKUSA event, EKN will preview each of the nine categories that will compete on the temporary circuit located outside the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas from November 8-12.

Trackside coverage is set to begin on Tuesday, November 7 as the EKN crew sets up our SuperNationals 26 home, roaming the LVMS grounds with Paddock Insider and social media content. Coverage continues into Wednesday as karts hit the track for the first time. EKN Live begins on Thursday, November 9 as qualifying is conducted for both the morning classes and the afternoon divisions. Listen LIVE to the heat races throughout Friday, November 10 and into Situation Saturday, November 11, including the five Last Chance Qualifiers held on the day. That sets everything up for SuperSunday, with the main events for SuperNationals 26 audio streamed live on eKartingNews.com/live and eKartingNews.com/radio.

Complete coverage of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 26 can be found at the EKN EVENT PAGE.

Pro Shifter

Pedro Hiltbrand attempting to add his name to the list of repeat winners at the SuperNationals (Photo: EKN)

Barron, Elliott, Gidley and Speed. They are the four fathers of shifterkart racing here in the United States and the first names etched in history for the headline category at the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals. For a 26th time, shifterkart racing will light up Las Vegas and one lucky driver will be able to push all in with a $10,000 payday for victory on SuperSunday.

A total of four drivers knows the feeling of winning the headline shifterkart category at the SKUSA SuperNationals – including defending race winner Pedro Hiltbrand (PSL Karting / Birel ART). The Spainard made his Pro Shifter debut at the SuperNationals a memorable one, winning the anniversary event a year ago outside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Last year he came in 11th at the FIA Karting KZ World Championship. This time, a DNF in Germany against the best in the world.

Daniel Formal seeking to reach a record-matching fourth SuperNationals victory (Photo: EKN)

The previous year it was Italian Matteo Vigano earning the victory at SuperNationals 24 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Vigano returns with PSL Karting / Birel ART for a third straight year. He was among the contenders a year ago, including posting fast lap of the race on SuperSunday but had his race cut short. Matteo is coming off finishing fourth at the FIA Karting KZ World Championship and sixth in the European Championship.

In 2019, there were two headline shifterkart categories with the KZ and Pro Shifter divisions running outside the Rio. It was the first KZ triumph for Costa Rican Daniel Formal (Rolison Performance Group / Kosmic), bringing his SuperNationals total to three after back-to-back S1 Pro victories in 2015 and 2016. He is among four drivers to go back-to-back in the headline shifterkart divisions at the SuperNationals. Formal finished third in his defense at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2021 but recorded a tough DNF last year.

Billy Musgrave can put himself at the top of the all-time win list with a fifth SuperNationals triumph (Photo: EKN)

That same year Formal grabbed a third, history was made with Billy Musgrave earning his fourth SuperNationals triumph. Musgrave (Factory Karts) was able to complete a third straight by winning Pro Shifter that year, adding to his first triumph back in 2012 against the S2 Semi-Pro field. It has been a tough two-event span at the SuperNationals since with two DNF results. Musgrave does have the momentum of winning earlier this year at the WinterNationals and finishing fourth in the SKUSA Pro Tour standings.

The 2023 championship chase in the Pro Shifter category was a historic one. The title was decided on the final laps, and the final corners after six rounds of racing from Orlando, Utah and New Castle. In New Castle, Dutch driver Marijn Kremers (PSL Karting / Birel ART) was able to gain enough points to earn a second straight SKUSA Pro Tour championship, edging out USA driver Kyle Wick by a single point. Jacob Gulick was third, off by six points with Musgrave off the championship podium by one single point – making it one of the closest championship battle in the 14-year history of the SKUSA Pro Tour.

Two-time SKUSA Pro Tour defending champion Marijn Kremers still looking for that first SuperNats win (Photo: EKN)

Kremers – the 2019 FIA Karting KZ World Champion – is still seeking that elusive SuperNationals victory. This will be his sixth start, with three runner-up finishes to his credit along with two six-place results including last year one spot off the podium. Wick (GFC Karting) is also making a sixth start at the SuperNationals in the headline categories. His best result came in 2018, placing on the podium in fifth for both Pro Shifter and KZ. Since then, he’s finished inside the top-10 once. Momentum however is on his side, picking up two victories in two starts at the USPKS program and coming off his first victory at the ROK Vegas event. For Gulick (GFC Karting), this will be his third start in the Pro Shifter division at the SuperNationals. He seeks an improvement from two straight DNF results but will be entering this time as a two-time Pro Tour race winner.

Also winning two times on the SKUSA Pro Tour this year was former series champion AJ Myers (Magik Kart USA). The three-time SKUSA champ swept the SummerNationals after missing the two rounds in Utah, finishing the standings in fifth. Myers notched the inaugural championship at USPKS, and traveled to the FIA Karting KZ World Championship this year. He showed speed at the end but contact took him out of the race early. Myers is another driver to not have a SuperNationals victory on his CV, placing fifth in his first KZ start back in 2014 to be the top USA driver in the field. Three podium results in the headline shifterkart class since including two runner-up results is his record thus far. He seeks redemption after a DNF last year. His protégé under the Magik Kart USA banner is Tahlon Yockel. The Stars Championship Series title winner finished third in USPKS standings, beating Myers at the last round of the season.

USPKS champion AJ Myers could be the best bet for USA drivers in the field (Photo: EKN)

Hiltbrand and Kremers are not the only world champions in the field. 2023 FIA Karting KZ World Champion Paolo Ippolito (International Motorsport / Kart Republic) is making his SuperNationals debut. The Italian finished fifth in the European Championship as well in 2023. Davide Fore (Italian Motors USA / Italkart) is no stranger to the SuperNationals, making his debut back in 2007 with a fourth-place result. The four-time single-speed world champion and now two-time gearbox world title winner after earning the crown at the KZ2 Masters World Cup will come into the SuperNationals for his eighth start in the headline category. The Italian is also contesting the Master Shifter division as well.

In addition to Hiltbrand returning, so does two other podium finishers from last year’s SuperNationals. Runner-up last year was Estonian Markus Kajak in his first SuperNationals start. He ran Tony Kart last year, and was 17th at the FIA Karting KZ2 World Cup aboard Birel ART. In Vegas, he’s joining the Italian Motors USA / Italkart camp. For two straight years, Italian Riccardo Longhi (PSL Karting / Birel ART) has finished fourth on SuperSunday in Pro Shifter. He enters this year with a 14th at the world championship. David Trefilov (Maranello Kart) finished just off the podium in seventh last year, returning for his second SuperNationals after making his SKUSA Pro Tour debut at the SummerNationals. He landed on the podium both days with second and third-place results.

2023 FIA Karting KZ World Champion Paolo Ippolito is making his SuperNationals debut (Photo: EKN)

Nearly 60% of the 71-driver field are from outside the United States with very notable names. Niels Troger (Maranello Kart) comes in as the FIA Karting KZ2 World Cup winner for 2023, with the German among the many making his first SuperNationals start. Romanian driver Daniel Vasile (Italian Motors / Italkart) finished third behind Troger in Germany, making his first SuperNationals start. Italian Danilo Albanese (International Motorsport / Kart Republic) enters his first SuperNationals coming off a European Championship in KZ.

Karol Pasiewicz (International Motorsport / Kart Republic) has been among the international drivers competing in the USA all season, however, he will make his debut at the SuperNationals. Emilien Denner (Sodi Kart USA) is among the top drivers in Europe as well, placing 10th in the European championship. Add in David Liwinski (Italian Motors USA / Italkart) who finished 11th a year ago.

One note regarding the large field is the number of female drivers set to compete in the headline shifterkart division. A total of four will compete for a spot on the SuperSunday grid and a chance at the podium, including Hannah Greenemeier (MSquared Racing / LN Racing Kart) ready to make her second start. The former SKUSA Pro Tour champion in X30 Senior finished 10th a year ago in her class debut at the SuperNationals. Colorado driver Macy Williams (CB Motorsports / Gillard) is making her second straight start as well, while Riley Pegram (Trinity Karting Group / Magik Kart) and Mexican driver Ivanna Richards (HRI Mexico / Ricciardo Kart) are set for their debuts in the category.

SuperNats Stats

3 – World Gearbox Champions (KZ and FC)

4 – Pro Shifter / KZ / S1 SuperNationals winners in the field

4 – Former SuperNationals winners in the field

17 – Different countries represented in the field

41 – Drivers from outside of the USA

Provisional Entry List – Pro Shifter

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Nation
248 Danilo Albanese International Motorsport Kart Republic IT
264 Gavin Bayliff Trinity Karting Group Kart Republic Batavia OH US
291 Cooper Becklin PSL Karting Birel ART West Linn OR US
281 Ethan Booher GFC Karting GFC El Dorado Hills CA US
221 Joep Breedveld PSL Karting Birel ART NL
290 Andrew Byrne Catalyst Driver Development Italkart CA
286 Axel Cabrera Checkered Motorsports Magik Kart Windermere FL US
232 Giorgio Emiliano Carrara International Motorsport Kart Republic IT
251 Joseph Charlton Energy GB
223 Josh Conquer Vermont Kart Company Maranello CA
206 Axel Dapp Sodi Kart USA Sodi Kart FR
265 Emilien Denner Sodi Kart USA Sodi Kart FR
216 Bryce Doney Sigra Race Development Kosmic Tigard OR US
227 Ricardo Escotto Orsolon Racing MX
231 Daniel Fellows PSL Karting Birel ART Erie CO US
292 Davide Fore' Italian Motors USA Italkart IT
237 Danny Formal Rolison Performance Group Kosmic Boca Raton FL CR
239 Eli Fox Factory Fury Motorsport GP Kart Anderson IN US
243 Anthony Freese West Coast Motorsports / PSL Birel ART Salinas CA US
270 Valentino Fritsch Italian Motors USA Italkart DE
296 Mario Gil Catalyst Driver Development Italkart CA
233 Nathan Gilbert The Karting Collective Sodi Kart CA
213 James Golding GFC Karting GFC AU
208 Hannah Greenemeier Msquared Racing LN Racing Kart Parker CO US
203 Jacob Gulick GFC Karting GFC Vancouver WA US
273 Micah Hendricks Croc Promotion Croc Promotions Glendale AZ US
262 Pedro Hiltbrand PSL Karting Birel ART ES
249 Seth Huntley Karting Collective Sodi Kart Rancho Cordova CA US
209 Paolo Ippolito International Motorsport Kart Republic IT
293 Markus Kajak Italian Motors USA Italkart EE
215 Gabriel Kawer PSL Karting Birel ART Ft. Lauderdale FL CR
258 Sebastian Kellogg Sigra Race Development Kosmic West Linn OR US
201 Marijn Kremers PSL Karting Birel ART NL
230 Joseph Launi GP Kart CA
269 David Liwinski Italian Motors USA Italkart PL
263 Riccardo Longhi PSL Karting Birel ART IT
246 Jean Luyet PSL Karting Birel ART CH
275 Samuel Luyet PSL Karting Birel ART CH
214 TJ Madonna GFC Karting GFC CA
242 Anthony Martella PSL Karting Kosmic CA
271 Carter McGregor Italian Motors USA Italkart CA
211 Billy Musgrave Factory Karts Factory Kart Riverside CA US
228 AJ Myers Magik Kart USA Magik Kart Statesville NC US
207 Filip Niemkiewicz PSL Karting Birel ART Breckenridge CO US
276 Karol Andrzej Pasiewicz International Motorsport Kart Republic PL
279 Federico Payero SLA Racing Birel ART AR
272 Riley Pegram Trinity Karting Group Magik Kart Hebron OH US
236 Hunter Pickett PSL Karting Birel ART Alamo CA US
261 Jared Ramnarayan PSL Karting / PRO Birel ART CA
219 Michael Riccio Magik Kart USA GP Kart CA
220 Ivanna Richards HRI Mexico Ricciardo Kart MX
277 Thomas Riddle Sigra Race Development Croc Promotions Happy Valley OR US
257 Charles Robin Karting Collective Sodi Kart CA
295 Remo Ruscitti Catalyst Driver Development Italkart CA
210 Vincenzo Sarracino Vermont Kart Company Maranello Naples FL US
218 Augusto Soto-Schirripa International Motorsport Kart Republic Doral FL US
266 Luis Speck Racelab TB Kart DE
241 Michael Stevens PSL Karting Birel ART Weeki Wachee FL US
288 Charlie Stines Factory Fury Motorsport GP Kart Franklin IN US
229 Keawn Tandon GFC Karting GFC Calabasas CA US
297 Nicolas Taylor Italian Motors USA Italkart CA
259 David Trefilov Maranello Kart Maranello DE
260 Niels Troger Maranello Kart Maranello DE
225 Jay Urwin PSL Karting Birel ART NZ
268 Massimo Valiante Italian Motors USA Italkart CA
294 Daniel Vasile Italian Motors USA Italkart RO
217 Matteo Vigano PSL Karting Birel ART IT
238 Justin White SRP/Maranello Kartworkz Maranello Hunlock Creek PA US
202 Kyle Wick GFC Karting GFC Auburn WA US
245 Macy Williams CB Motorsports Gillard Littleton CO US
224 Tahlon Yockel Magik Kart USA Magik Kart Mooresville NC US

EKN Global Members Discussion: