This is it…the week that karting has waited for, the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals XIII. Following months of build-up and amazing announcements, the November 18-22 event is upon us as over 400 drivers have gathered at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to battle in nine different divisions around the temporary circuit looking over the Strip.
Hundreds of spectators, not the kind that come with family, but tons of karting and motorsports enthusiasts are expected to be in attendance for this year’s event. One of the key factors for the growth in spectators is the welcoming of seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher. Many F1 fans are flocking to Vegas for a glimpse at the renowned racing legend take to the track in the headline SuperPro category (preview here). Along with current Formula One stars Sebastian Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jr., the star-studded factor certainly is at its highest ever in the 13 year history of the event.
Not since the early days of the SuperNationals back at the X-Plex, south of the Strip, has the event seen such large fields. After nearly 100 drivers contested the TaG Senior category one year ago, SKUSA limited to just 80 able to attempt to make the 40-kart main event field this time around (preview here). The S3 category will attempt to match what many consider to be the best shifter kart race ever that took place outside the Rio last year. Looking at this year’s entry list, there are a number of drivers that will be battling it out. New to the SuperNationals is the KF2 division. Slowly gaining notoriety in the United States, a number of European will travel to Vegas to battle out the best from the country. The S4, G1, and TaG Masters fields reached the maximum of 40 entries with a number of talented drivers looking to contend for the victory this year. The TaG Junior division opened up to more than 40 in its second year at the SuperNationals with a number of young guns looking to enter the history books. The S5 category completes the class line-up with roughly 20 drivers building on the growing program.
The track is not the same as last year - which was previously thought to be. The layout is similar to the 2002 circuit with a few tweaks. The schedule for this year’s SuperNationals is a different format from years previous. Four categories will run in the first half of the day while the final five classes make up the afternoon portion of the schedule. Wednesday kicks off two days of practice for drivers to become accustom to the 6/10-mile circuit. Four rounds for all the divisions except the SuperPro category which will sit out the first day of action. On Thursday, each group will receive four more rounds - all seven minutes in length - with the SuperPro group running a SuperSession of 10-minutes at the end of the day. Following warm-ups, qualifying will take place with the first round of heat races (12 laps each) following to fill up Friday’s schedule. Saturday will be the completion of the two final heat rounds. The Last Chance Qualifiers for TaG Senior, TaG Junior and S3 will run after warm-ups, setting the stage for the nine main events to begin around 10:40am.
eKartingNews.com will be providing the exclusive Trackside Live program for those unable to attend this year’s event. The EKN LIVE page will show SKUSA Live Timing throughout the event with SuperNationals announcer and EKN Editor-in-Chief Rob Howden giving play-by-play beginning with Qualifying on Friday. Updates will be produced each day on the Official Event Discussion in the forums, including the popular top-10 following each on track session. If you missed anything, you can view the EKN Event Page with reports, links, and results available.