SuperNats XXII

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SuperNats XXII

Supernationals

SuperNationals XI - 2007
Following four days of practice, qualifying and heat races at this year’s MG Tires Superkarts! USA SuperNationals presented By Mazda; the arrival of SuperSunday would throw the green flag on a packed day of heated competition and on track survival. The quality of the racing was mixed, with a few thrilling battles and a couple of dominating performances that turned our attentions to deep in the field at the temporary circuit outside Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.


In the end, Italy’s Marco Ardigo would overcome the finest 125cc field ever assembled in North America to win the headline SuperPro race, benefiting from the retirement of Jonathan Thonon before pulling away from American Gary Carlton to score the $10,000 win. In the TaG Senior class, which featured 80 drivers gunning for a position in the 40-kart grid, Joel Miller would come through to take the prestigious victory, fending off the challenges of John Zartarian to stand atop of the podium. SuperPro Taking to the track at 2:30 pm following a full driver introduction, the 34 SuperPro drivers circulated the 15-turn temporary circuit at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas with the eyes of everyone on the property affixed on their actions.

Every piece of fence line as manned and every grandstand seat were filled. As they field assembled on the backstraight awaiting the green light, the excitement grew to a fever. At the green light, Ardigo outgunned Carlton (CRG) to put his Tony Kart to the lead, although there was some wild action on the grid. Unable to get his engine into gear, Rick Dreezen (CRG) was left stranded on the grid and while many drivers were able to avoid him, Dreezen would eventually get nailed by Matthias Gellepe (Energy) and Alessandro Piccini (Maranello). Kyle Wiegand (Top Kart) was involved as well, but he would restart and pull straight into the pit lane. Just three turns later, Alessandro Manetti (Intrepid) would get hard into the back of Italian Motors pilot David Jurca (Italkart), taking both of them out of the race. Up front, Ardigo led with Jordy Vorrath (Intrepid) right on his tail, the Canadian having got a great launch off the line from P3.


Vorrath would push hard, joined eventually in his chase by KZ1 World Champion Jonathan Thonon (CRG). Coming from eighth after a heat race DNF, Thonon looked to be on the move. Vorrath was not, however, making contact with the outside barrier coming onto the backstraight after trying a move on Ardigo. The contact broke his left rear, leading to a flat tire that would eventually put him out. The battle would eventually see Thonon in the lead over Ardigo and Carlton, and subsequent contact between the latter two would damage Carlton’s steering shaft, injuring his chassis enough to keep him from attacking. Bad luck would hit Thonon as well, as a shift arm failure left him out of the race, handing the lead and the win to Ardigo. Carlton pushed hard through the race and was able to take second, pursued aggressively in the late going by a charging Jeremy Iglesias (Intrepid) and former World Champion Davide Fore (Maranello). The podium was completed by American Ron White (GP), who attacked from 23rd position on the grid, working his way through to take an impressive fifth thanks to the Thonon retirement. All said the battle between Europe and North America was a good one, with the World Champ coming out on top. Carlton, Vorrath, Speed and White all showed the speed necessary to run with the world’s best on their own turf, giving promise that next year’s edition could be even tighter.

TaG Senior
This year’s TaG Senior event was likely the finest ‘clutch kart’ field that we’ve seen in a long time.

With 80 drivers entering the race, all gunning after just 40 positions on the SuperSunday grid, the tension was high in each and every session of the weekend. The race went green with an all-Tony Kart front row, putting Joel Miller on the inside and John Zartarian on the outside. It quickly became a two-horse race as Miller and Zartarian hooked up and simply drove away from the field to fight it out amongst them. Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice (Tony Kart) ran a solo third for much of the race, that is, until he was chased down and caught by Chris Carmody (CRG). The duo would eventually be joined by Joey Licata, Jr. (Biesse) and Victor Cabrera (Kosmic), as they were both on the move, powering into the second group. Cabrera would be the quickest of the bunch, taking third ahead of Licata, the highest finishing Parilla Leopard drivers, as the top four were all running Rok TTs.


Rice ended up coming to the podium in fifth, but he would lose the position in tech, coming in just a hair too wide with his rear track. This advanced Conor Daly (Top Kart) up to fifth, as he was sixth on the track ahead of Brendan Langlois (First Kart). As the winner of the TaG Senior class, Miller will join the SKUSA contingent heading down to Brazil for the Granja 500, courtesy of MGTires. This year’s driver line-up will be strong, and we’ll have coverage of the event on EKN.

G1
The early laps for the Formula G1 final lived up to what we saw in the heats: Darren Elliott (CRG) vs. Bonnier Moulton (PTK). The duo swept off the line with Elliott in the lead, but never by much. Through the first half of the race, Moulton was never more than 0.3 seconds behind the former SKI Driver of the Year, as a race-long battle seemed imminent.

The two set a torrid pace as race officials began black-flagging lapped traffic just six laps into the 25-lap Final. They were never challenged for the lead, but the run for third was exciting with Craig Duerson (Italkart), Kelly Baker (Italkart) and Doug Cox (Birel) all in the hunt. On lap 18, Moulton’s attack would end as he clipped a barrier in the chicane, sending him around and stalling the engine. Elliott rocketed away as Moulton re-started, resuming his race in fifth. Setting his fastest lap on lap 20, it looked like Moulton might have been able to make a run back to second, but his day ended off track in the final corner. Unchallenged, Elliott cruised to his second straight G1 victory with Duerson celebrating his birthday in second.

Baker was third ahead of Cox, while Nick Firestone (Tony Kart) rounded out the top five after coming through the field.

S1
It took three attempts to get the S1 Final underway as the drivers at the back of the field were slow to set into their assigned spots on the grid. On the second attempt, pole sitter Iago Rego (Energy) stalled his motor while again waiting for the grid, cooking his clutch in the process. He was able to re-fire and once the green light flashed, Rego took the lead would hook up with Connor DePhillippi (CRG) to pull away from the field. Early in the race, however, Rego would find himself on the sidelines after an engine failure at the end of the backshute. This would give the lead to DePhillippi. Just a few laps later, the red flag would fly for an incident involving Michael DiMeo (CRG), who was pinched in the barriers on the backstraight while trying to get by another competitor. DiMeo was taken to the local hospital and was released, returning to the track later in the day. When they got the restart, DePhillippi and Ryan Grant (GP) cruised to the front to begin the fight for the win. Near the end of the race, Grant dropped out after contact with the barriers that broke his left rear wheel; leaving DePhillippi to cruise to his record fourth SuperNationals win. Bud Grossenbacher (Energy) was solid in second, while Tyler Dueck (Intrepid) recovered from his dismal qualifying effort to finish an impressive third. PG Racing’s Derek Crockett (WildKart) and Slava Prikhodko (GP) rounded out the top five.



S3
Just before the Formula S3 drivers rolled onto the circuit at Sam Boyd Stadium, they were informed that MG Tires had sweetened the pot for the winner, providing a trip to Brazil to drive in the Granja 500. Off the line, Leading Edge Motorsports’ Bryan Eady (Intrepid) took the early lead, having been so strong in the heat races.

Slotting into eighth in the early going was Tom Dyer (GP), who also was fast but had some bad luck in the first heat, carding a DNF. In the early going, Eady led comfortably but Dyer was working his way through the field, signaling that he had what it took to take a run at the win reaching the rear bumper of Eady just past the halfway point, Dyer moved to the inside in the first corner to take the lead. Eady held firm through the remainder of the race and never let Dyer’s GP get more than a half-second ahead. With two to go, Eady dove to the inside going into turn three and retook the lead with a strong move. Dyer was not done, however. Allowing Eady to protect the inside into turn one after getting the white flag, Dyer put together two great corners to carry a lot of speed out of turn two, passing Eady in the same corner that he had been passed the lap before. Eady looked like he might make a run in the turn six, but a slight error in turn four ended his chances. Dyer drove to the win with Eady less than a second behind.

Bobby Legate (CRG) was solidly in third while Jose Zanella (FA Kart) and Derek Crockett (Wild Kart) earned their podium spots. With his win, Dyer will join Joel Miller at the Granja 500 race in Brazil; helping to pad what is looking to be a very strong line up.

S4
Jeff Littrell (Tony Kart) continued his domination of the S4 category, driving away from the field to score a 14-second win over the 33-car field. Early favorite Mark Drennan (CRG) looked strong early, but his day ended after a mechanical issue. Doug Hayashi (Tony Kart) had second place locked for a majority of the race but Fernando Diaz (Sodikart) was advancing aggressively, eventually breaking into third to begin his chase for second. Dias stalked Hayashi before getting close enough to make a move on the final lap of the race, slipping through to complete his run to second. Hayashi held on for a strong third while Paul Russell (CRG) and Matt Alcorn (Swiss Hutless) rounded out the podium.

Rotax Senior
The Rotax Senior category at this year’s SuperNationals was truly a showplace for Canadian Pier-Luc Ouellette (Arrow). The SRA Karting pilot was the class of the field in all five official sessions, putting the car on the pole for all three-heat races ahead of a trio of dominating wins. In the main event, Ouellette laid down some great cold tire laps early to pull away as the rest of the field fought to get into formation. By the time they were ready to fight, Ouellette was long gone. At the checkered flag, Ouellette would win by over five seconds to secure an instant invitation to the 2008 Rotax Max Grand Finals. Behind Ouellette, Clayton Snow was the best of the rest in his Syar Motorsports Energy. Snow finished another eight seconds ahead of the fight for third, which came down to a battle between Christophe Boisclair (Arrow), Tom Bobrovskis (Energy) and Eric Gerrits (First Kart). They would finish in that order, with Boisclair having come from very deep in the field to score an impressive podium finish.

TaG Masters
The TaG Masters final proved to be one of the better races of the day as four drivers stayed closed through much of the 25-lap race. Off the line, Daryle Redlin (First Kart) held the lead but the front quartet remained within one second of each other to begin the battle. The race was between Redlin, Ty Matta (Top Kart), Larry Fraser (GP) and Jerry Henderson (MMK). Each of the four led at various points of the race but the decisive move came after lap 20 when Henderson passed Matta and was able to pull a gap to take the win by just over a second from Matta. Fraser had started the heats from dead last after being DQ’d in qualifying and it was truly an impressive recovery for him to lead a few laps, eventually finishing third. Early leader Redlin was fourth in the final tally while Eric Jackson (Arrow) rounded out the podium in fifth.

Rotax Masters
The sun was beginning to set when the Rotax Masters took the track immediately after the SuperPro main event. As expected, a three-kart battle between Paul Bonilla (Birel), John Crow (Birel) and Erik Jackson (Arrow) ensued, although Bonilla was able to pull away slightly through the midway laps of the event. Crow would get a little help at this point, when Jackson’s chassis began coming in, the third place driver turning the race’s fastest laps as he closed back onto Crow’s rear bumper. Now working together, they were able to reel in Bonilla and a hardfought scrap developed over the final few laps. Bonilla was still able to hold off his challengers, nipping a charging Crow at the line by just 0.065 seconds. Jackson was right there in third, while Dave Harwin (Energy) and John Borroel (GT) completed the podium.

S5 Jr.
The new S5 Jr. restricted Stock Moto class capped off this year’s SKUSA SuperNationals with a run that ended just as the sun was setting. The race belonged to Brendan Phinny (Top Kart) as he pulled away cleanly from the line and was never challenged, running to a 7.511-second triumph over Race Liberante (CRG). Taylor Miinch (Top Kart) and Auston Newmark (Birel) got into trouble in the chicane on lap two, causing Miinch to retire as Newmark continued on to take 10th in the final tally. Back up front, Gustavo Menezes (Tony Kart) was the quickest driver on the track during the final laps, rapidly closing in on Liberante by more than 0.5 seconds per lap. Menezes would come up just short, but he put in a great run and took a welldeserved third place finish. The podium was completed by Matthew Mair (Tony Kart) and Dylan Kwasniewski (Tony Kart), as the two pilots battled each other and the track to the very finish.



Words from Go Racing Magazine.