“Solid results at Rock Island Grand Prix and WKA Manufacturer’s Cup”
Article By: Race Tech Development
September 28, 2010 – Team FMS driver Shawn Sharkey had an outstanding month of September as he competed in the annual Labor Day Rock Island Grand Prix as well as the final round of the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer’s Cup program. Looking to cap off the summer portion of the season on a high note, Sharkey scored four podium results as well as secured a top three finish in three of four classes in the overall point’s standings.
Making his senior debut at the Rock Island Grand Prix in the Quad Cities, Sharkey competed in two of the most challenging classes on the difficult street circuit, and would look to start off the month with some solid finishes and gain momentum for the last half of the season. In the Tag Senior class, Sharkey would have to retire early in Saturday's qualifying session due to a broken chain on the first timed lap which would force him to start the event from the tail of the field. Coming from the 28th position, the Merlin Racing Chassis driver put on a veteran-like drive making his way up to the sixth spot and setting the second fastest lap of the event.
In the Championship Karting International (CKI) sponsored Leopard class, Sharkey would have better luck in Saturday's qualifying session, posting a time good enough for the fifth position. When the green flag flew for the main event, the P1 Engines powered driver struggled to get up to speed and was shuffled to the outside, falling back to eighth by the exit of the first corner. From there, Sharkey started working his way back to the front. Making some great moves in the twenty lap final, the New Jersey area resident moved up to third place and scored the last step on the podium and his first podium result at the Rock Island Grand Prix.
“This was a great weekend for me. I hope this shows that I have what it takes to run up front as a senior,” stated Shawn after the event. "I need to thank my tuner Wesley Boswell, Merlin Racing Chassis, Franklin Motorsports, SCS Racing, P1 Engines and Grand Products for their continued support."
It was back to the junior ranks a few weeks later as Sharkey would compete at his home circuit of New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP). Rounding out the Manufacturer’s Cup series on a high note was important for Sharkey and his crew and they did just that by running at the front of the field all weekend long.
Saturday’s action would see the talented up and coming driver compete in both the Komet Piston Port (KPP) Junior Heavy and Yamaha Junior Lite divisions. After a solid qualifying effort in both classes, Sharkey would run into trouble in the heat races as a first corner incident in KPP Heavy would see him spiral down the running order. After battling hard from the tail of the field, Sharkey moved forward to claim a fifteenth place finish and an inside row eight starting spot for the main event. When the green flag flew for the final, Sharkey wasted little time as he quickly got up to speed and moved into the top ten. Chasing the lead group, the Merlin driver caught and passed several more drivers to cross the stripe in the third position.
The Yamaha Junior Lite prefinal would not go well for Sharkey as a broken connecting rod bearing would force him to retire from the event. After a quick engine change, Sharkey would start the main event at the tail of the field (30th) and come home tenth after another stellar drive. With the top ten result, Sharkey salvaged a fourth place result in the overall series title while his podium finish in KPP Junior Heavy secured a third place finish in that class as well.
With the classes swapping for Sunday’s on track action, Sharkey would do battle in KPP Junior Lite and Yamaha Junior Heavy. Looking to carry over the momentum and success from Saturday, Sharkey was quickly up to speed as he qualified a solid fourth in the KPP Junior Lite class. Looking to move forward in the wheel-to-wheel action, Sharkey claimed a third place finish in the prefinal and held station in the main event to score his second podium result of the weekend. Three must have been the New Jersey resident’s number this weekend as with the result, he locked up another third place championship result.
The Yamaha classes have been a trying division for Sharkey all season as less than desirable qualifying efforts has hampered some results. New Jersey was a little different for the young driver as a seventh place run in qualifying would see Sharkey start from inside the fourth row. Moving forward throughout the day was the plan and a fourth place result in the prefinal followed by a third place finish in the main event locked up Sharkey’s third podium result of the weekend and another third place in the point’s championship.
Sharkey and his tuner Wes Boswell will enjoy very little time off as the duo will be back on track testing for this year Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals. Looking to gain some valuable testing information, Sharkey will test at Englishtown in his TaG Senior package in preparation for the largest event in North American karting.
Shawn would like to thank his current supporters: Franklin Motorsports, Merlin Chassis, Team FMS, SCS Racing, P1 Engines, Grand Products, Oncology Services International, On Track Promotions and his tuners Wesley Boswell and Lynn Haddock.
For sponsorship opportunities, photos, results and more information on Shawn Sharkey and SCS Racing, please visit www.ShawnSharkey.com
Press release prepared by: Race Tech Development
Photo courtesy of: Sean Buur – Go Racing Magazine