There can be no arguing the fact that the current economic recession has had a major effect on the sport of karting. It has no doubt curtailed the influx of new drivers to our racing community, but it is also re-focusing the existing base of competitors, causing many of them to reconsider their options. In many cases, local clubs are seeing an increase in participation due to the fact that racers are electing to run closer to home, lessening the cost of travel. The traveling national series and large special events, such as this weekend’s Rock Island Grand Prix, have been the hardest hit. However, a shining light in the sport remains the upcoming Superkarts! USA SuperNationals, which is set for the November 18-22 weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. Last year’s return to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, coupled with the focused class structure and 13-year history, has given some indication that the race has become ‘recession proof’. In the end, the key may just be that people are saving up for that one special event to end the year. eKartingNews.com is keeping in close communication with SKUSA to provide a steady stream of updates.
Regardless of the reasoning behind the SuperNats’ continuing success, EKN’s most recent update inquiry has confirmed that the SuperNats will again be a rocking venue come November – all the way from the opening practice session on Wednesday to the trademark ‘After Party’ on Sunday. As has always been the case with the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals, organization head Tom Kutscher let us know during a recent phone conversation that the primary Stock Moto classes and the popular TaG categories are seeing fast entry arrivals, as expected. The S3 class has already hit its entry maximum of 40 drivers, and will be joined by S4 shortly as it has just a couple of open positions left (following a few cancellations). With a target of 80 drivers, TaG Senior is almost maxed out with 66 as of press time, while TaG Junior hit the red line long ago. The recent growth of this class has been a positive sign, and Kutscher will continue to support it, now agreeing to extend the entry maximum to 80. A large waiting list of over 20 drivers has already been converted into official entries, and interested TaG Junior racers can now get on-board through SKUSA’s online registration.
With a large purse reserved for the headline SuperPro class, SKUSA has received its first confirmation that top KZ1 pilots in the US will once again be challenging Europe’s best. The CRG factory team is now placing their official entries, as defending race winner Jonathan Thonon will make the trek to Las Vegas, joined by teammates Arnaud Kozlinski and David Fore. The KZ1 World Cup will be run this weekend in Sarno, Italy, and once it is put in the rear view mirror, it is expected that many additional International entries will arrive. Verbal confirmation has already come from the Tony Kart camp that Marco Ardigo will be back, setting up another US battle between the ’07 winner and Thonon.
Competitors and spectators are again urged to reserve their rooms at the Rio for the spectacular event rate of $79/night before they are all sold out. Details and a link to reserve online or thru their toll-free phone number are available at www.skusasupernats.com