Article by: Superkarts! USA
With the opening round of their new Pro Tour just five weeks away, Superkarts! USA officials have put the finishing touches on the prize package that they have assembled for the series. With a prize payout total worth more than $80,000, the cash segment of the program features both event purse money for all three races and a year-end championship prize fund for the top drivers in S1 and TaG Senior. SKUSA is also offering supported entry into this year’s SuperNationals for the mid-season point leaders in TaG Junior and TaG Master, and paid entry into the entire 2011 Pro Tour for all nine class champions. SKUSA will also bring back the popular national number plates, and will offer up a very lucrative prize in the shape of guaranteed SuperNationals main event starting positions for the top-five in points heading into the biggest race of the year. The new TaG Cadet class is also in the prize mix with new Mini Rok engines being offered up to weekend event winners, leading up to a fully supported trip to the Rok International Finale for the category champion. The chase for these exciting offerings will begin at the SpringNationals at Infineon Raceway in mid-April, and as such, SKUSA is also pleased to release the host hotel information, which will no doubt be the epicenter of off-track action during the opener.
The Pro classes on SKUSA’s new national tour – S1 and TaG Senior – will run for a weekend total of $3,500 in prize money at all three events. Each class will be awarded $1750 to the top three drivers in the overall cumulative point standings for the weekend. SKUSA President Tom Kutscher will present $1000, in cash, to the overall point winner in each class during the Sunday afternoon podium presentations. Second and third will receive $500 and $250, respectively. A championship point fund will be accumulated from race-to-race, and cash awards will be distributed to the top-three in the point standings for both S1 and TaG Senior. A driver’s accumulated points from all five Pro Tour events will determine the final standings. The champion will receive $5000, while second and third will be awarded $2000 and $1000, respectively.
All of SKUSA’s nine national champions will be supported in 2011 with special sponsorship for the next Pro Tour season. This year’s title winners will be provided with complimentary non-transferrable entries for the 2011 Pro Tour, including the SuperNationals. To commemorate and honor their champions, SKUSA will be bringing back the prestigious ‘National Number Plate’ program as well, providing special number plates to the top-three drivers in the final championship points in all nine classes.
As always, SKUSA will actively work to assemble product from series sponsors to distribute to racers following podium presentations as per ProKart Challenge standards. A list of the prizes that will be available for those attending the podium presentations will include Mothers Polish products, MG Tires and VP Fuel, as well as products from any interested future providers.
SKUSA will be including a very lucrative benefit to the top drivers in Pro Tour points heading into the SuperNationals. In any of the classes that will be opened to 80 entries for this year’s SuperNats, such as TaG Senior, the top-five drivers in Pro Tour points after the SummerNationals will be rewarded with guaranteed starting positions in the main event on SuperSunday. Should they not make the main following the heat races or the Last Chance Qualifier, they will start at the tail of the grid from 41st to 45th in the order of where they sit in the Pro Tour points. The SuperNats will also be the focus of a special program for TaG Junior and TaG Master drivers. For this year’s Pro Tour, the point leader in both classes following the first two double-race weekends (SpringNationals and SummerNationals) will receive a full support package at the SuperNats, including entry fee, two sets of race tires, fuel and oil. These drivers will need to have turned at least one lap in both the SpringNationals and SummerNationals to be eligible for the support package.
Special awards for the new season are focused on low-budget privateers and SKUSA’s new category: TaG Cadet. In the new ‘Privateer Support Program’, Superkarts! USA will be developing a special support offering for privateers that travel to compete on the Pro Tour. At the SpringNationals in Sonoma, SKUSA will hand-select a driver to receive a support package for the SummerNationals in Shawano that will include a complimentary entry fee and pit spot, as well as a gas company gift card to offset travel costs. This package is worth more than $700. Thanks to a new partnership with Vortex, SKUSA and the engine manufacturer will award the overall TaG Cadet winner of each of the first two weekends a brand new Mini Rok 60 engine for their efforts. The class champion will be given a partially supported trip to the 2011 ROK Cup International Final. This support 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.
With this attractive prize program now outlined, the SKUSA operations team can begin final approach on Infineon, prepped to launch the most ambitious program since Tom and Patti Kutscher took over the reigns of the company in 2005. SKUSA will be basing its SpringNationals operations at the Embassy Suites in San Rafael, CA, the event’s host hotel. Information can be accessed via www.sanrafael.embassysuites.com , and more details will be posted on the SKUSA website shortly. Race registration/check-in will be offered at the hotel throughout the day and evening on Thursday, April 15th, and the ‘SpringNationals Welcome Party’ will take place in the hotel’s bar area during and following the ‘Manager’s Reception’, complete with an interactive edition of eKartingNews.com’s Trackside Live show featuring interviews with assorted Pro Tour competitors. SKUSA will also present its popular ‘AfterParty’ on Sunday evening at the hotel, so that the racing community can celebrate an exciting weekend of competition.
“Our planning for the first-ever SpringNationals is moving very quickly and my whole staff is pumped for this race; we’re really going to blow it out,” offers Tom Kutscher, SKUSA President. “The Infineon venue is one of the most beautiful in the country and the track is stellar, and we will be running it backwards, which we believe is the best way to enjoy the layout. Our new affiliation with the Embassy Suites is going to allow us to bring so much more to the event on the whole, and I’m looking forward to the Welcome Party on Thursday night so that we can show our racers how thrilled we are that they have come to race with us!
“From our initial conversations with our membership and our valued race shop partners, I expect that we’re going to be seeing 20+ entries in a majority of the Pro Tour classes,” Kutscher continued. “The Stock Moto classes are particularly exciting, and we’re counting on a strong line-up of TaG drivers as well. Our new TaG Cadet class has already exploded, as all 10 of the complimentary motors are already spoken for, and based on the response, I think we could see over 20 entries at the first race. That’s awesome!”
The SKUSA Pro Tour begins on the April 16-18 weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. The events will all 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 event or class sponsorship opportunities are asked to contact the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.