Superkarts! USA Expands National Program to Cadet Level
Article by: Superkarts! USA
Hot on the heels of the confirmation of the 2010 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour schedule, the organization is now focusing its attention on the opening round of the series – the inaugural ‘SpringNationals’ – which will kick things off on the April 16-18 weekend at the Jim Russell International Karting Center in Sonoma, CA. The newest piece of the puzzle has now been confirmed as SKUSA officials are excited to announce the expansion of their class structure, with the positioning of a new TaG Mini ROK class for drivers between the ages of 9-12. This class will be run as part of the Pro Tour this season, thanks to a support program that has been put together by SKUSA and Vortex, the engine’s manufacturer. This effort will be backed by a fleet of complimentary engines for the first two rounds of the series, motor packages offered for overall weekend race winners and a supported trip to the ROK World Cup for the Pro Tour champion.
The new announcement of the TaG Mini ROK program is big for SKUSA and comes following an extensive research effort by the organization’s technical team, which saw the crew test several different powerplants over a period of several months. In an effort to open the door to all karters, SKUSA went on a search for the correct racing package for the Cadet-aged drivers, eventually deciding on the 60cc Mini ROK – which will be debuted on the national level in 2010 with its inclusion in the Pro Tour and the SuperNationals. It will also be available as a local option with SKUSA’s regional programs, should the support warrant a class on the schedule. In 2011, the TaG Mini ROK will be introduced as an official Superkarts! USA category, both nationally and regionally. This engine has been in production for seven years and has a very tight spec, aggressively limiting the work that can be done. The specs will also be locked in for at least three years. Full information on the motor can be found here:
SKUSA has put together a program with Vortex to get the engine into the hands of interested drivers, with 10 units available for complimentary usage during the first two rounds of the Pro Tour (SpringNationals in Sonoma, CA and SummerNationals in Shawano, WI). The engine retails for $2300 USD, and SKUSA will be mandating a $3000 claim rule to keep the costs in check. In addition, the overall winner of each of the first two weekends will be awarded a brand new engine for their efforts.
Lastly, and possibly most exciting, is the confirmation that the Pro Tour champion in the TaG Mini ROK class will be given a supported trip to the 2011 ROK Cup International Final. This package includes the event entry fee, a complete and new (OTK) chassis with engine to use for the race, tires for the race, one set of practice tires, fuel and hotel stay for the driver (four nights). This driver will be representing SKUSA on the world stage.
“This new program finally allows us to provide a platform for the youngest drivers in the sport, allowing them to become part of the SKUSA family from the get-go,” Kutscher explained. “In the past, we’ve had racers’ parents tell us that they wanted to come race with us after hearing good things from one of our drivers, but they had to wait until their kids were 12 years old because of our limited class structure. We believe that the Mini ROK program is perfect for us, as it’s a super package, reliable and inexpensive to race. This was certainly one of our primary concerns when selecting a new platform for the youngest SKUSA members. I’m also thrilled that we’ll be able to work more closely with Vortex and the importers, which will head up the rollout of this new program.”
“We are very happy and excited that SKUSA will use our engine for the young drivers in their prestigious race events. This is a nice addition to our Mini ROK program globally,” said Mr. Corona, president of Vortex factory.
This injection of additional manufacturer support is important to SKUSA, providing a playing field in the Junior ranks for Vortex to develop a working relationship with the organization, just as IAME has with the Leopard-only TaG Junior class. SKUSA remains focused on keeping the TaG Senior and TaG Master classes open to multiple engine manufacturers, ensuring the ability to support a wider spectrum of manufacturers and area racing shops.
The SKUSA Pro Tour begins on the April 16-18 weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. The Spring and Summer events will each feature a three-day format with practice on Friday and complete race days on Saturday and Sunday with qualifying, heat races and a main. Any companies interested in the event or class sponsorship opportunities are asked to contact the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.