Article by: Superkarts! USA
Now that the new season of Superkarts! USA racing is officially underway – thanks to the successful completion of the opening round of the ProKart Challenge South series last weekend – it is with much excitement that the organization releases its plans for the 2011 SKUSA Pro Tour. The official schedule for the second edition of the program was announced in mid-November of last year, but specific components of the series have now been confirmed, such as an increased prize fund, the expansion of the SKUSA ‘Circle of Champions’ support package, and the opening of the online registration for the SpringNationals at www.superkartsusa.com . Additional event details, including a tentative event schedule, additional host hotel info and pit spot reservation instructions, will continue to be updated on the company website as those details are finalized.
To confirm the schedule, the SKUSA Pro Tour will kick off with the second annual SKUSA SpringNationals on the April 29-May 1 weekend at the incredible Musselman Honda Circuit (formerly P1 Kart Circuit) in Tucson, Arizona. The second stop on the schedule will be the SummerNationals on July 15-17 at Grand Junction Motor Speedway in Grand Junction, Colorado. The finale will once again be part of the consistently growing and ever-improving SuperNationals at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on November 16-20. Last year, almost 500 drivers participated in the race, and this number is expected to grow even larger in 2011 as a result of the increased support of SKUSA’s core classes.
“I am thrilled with the schedule that we’ve put together this year, as I think it pairs incredible tracks with balanced travel distances for a majority of our racers,” offered Tom Kutscher, Superkarts! USA President. “The obvious goal of the series is to bring together all of the best drivers from our regional series on more than just one occasion a year, and I see these venues as being the best way possible for 2011. The level of competition is going to be offside for the SpringNationals, and I know we’re all pumped. We’re going to make this a mini-SuperNationals!”
SKUSA has confirmed that the class structure for the Pro Tour will remain the same as it did last year, albeit with one caveat. Kutscher put the future of the G1 Master ICC class in the hands of the drivers in mid-December by requiring pre-entry commitments for the Pro Tour by January 31. Although SKUSA did not receive the desired number of G1 commitments, they will give the class one more shot at the Pro Tour by requiring a minimum pre-entry of 12 drivers by April 1.
In addition to G1, the Pro Tour program will once again present four levels of SKUSA Stock Moto competition, while the ultra-successful addition of the TaG Cadet class (MiniRok) last year will again mean a quartet of Touch-and-Go classes. This internal ladder program of development will prove to be exciting to follow this year, as several drivers are moving up the ranks both due to age and skill level development. The following is the tentative class structure for the 2011 SKUSA Pro Tour:
S1 - Expert Stock Moto – 15 years of age and older – 385 lbs
S2 - Amateur Stock Moto – 15 years of age and older – 395 lbs
S4 - Masters Stock Moto – 30 years of age and older – 405 lbs
S5 - Junior Stock Moto – 12-15 years of age – 340 lbs
G1 - Master ICC/Built Moto – 30 years of age and older – 405 lbs
TaG Cadet - 9-12 years of age – 242 lbs
TaG Junior - 12-15 years of age – 320 lbs
TaG Senior - 15 years of age and older
TaG Masters - 30 years of age and older
Note: For TaG Senior and Master, see website for allowed engines and corresponding weights
Online entry for the SpringNationals in Tucson is now open, and racers are urged to enter as quickly as possible to avoid the chance of missing out on the action. This year’s SKUSA Pro Tour is shaping up to be an incredible program, as more and more participation is being confirmed every week. SKUSA is planning to cap – and should come close to maxing out – the entries at 40 drivers in most classes, especially S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto, S4 Master Stock Moto, TaG Senior and TaG Cadet. All in all, over 200 drivers are expected to be in attendance to ring in the new season of Pro Tour action.
SKUSA will once again be leading the way in the industry with the most substantial prize money for a traveling sprint karting series in North America. Targeted at the program’s two Pro classes – S1 and TaG Senior – SKUSA will dole out a total of almost $30,000 in event prize money and points fund distribution in 2011, and they will also be presenting over $20,000 in racer support for the 2012 Pro Tour through the expansion of the ‘Circle of Champions’ program.
Champions in the S1 and TaG Senior ‘Pro’ categories will have a chance at a cash prize each Pro Tour event and the championship point fund once again
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
In an effort to honor its best drivers and provide them with incentive to remain in the sport, SKUSA has further strengthened the ‘Circle of Champions’ package that it debuted last year. This season, they will be awarding the 2011 Pro Tour point champions in all classes with special sponsorship for the 2012 racing season. This year’s title winners will be provided with complimentary entries, race tires, fuel and oil for the 2012 Pro Tour, including the SuperNationals. This package is worth approximately $2800 to each champion, while the entire package adds over $20,000 to the overall prize fund, bringing the total to more than $50,000. These sponsored SKUSA ‘Circle of Champions’ drivers will be required to wear the national #1 plate and a custom helmet visor strip in 2012 to commemorate their accomplishments.
The individual event purse for S1 and TaG Senior at the SpringNationals and SummerNationals will be $1750 per weekend for each class, with the overall winner taking home the first place check for $1000. At the SuperNationals, SKUSA has turned up the heat, as both S1 and TaG Senior will be running for a vastly increased purse of $5000 – with each winner stepping to the top rung of the podium with a check for $2000. More importantly, the payback will extend to the top-five in each class. Last, but most certainly not least, SKUSA will also present a points fund of $6000 per class, with the champion receiving a $3000 check on SuperSunday.
All in all, it is expected that the Pro Tour champions in the S1 and TaG Senior classes will each haven taken home well over $6000 in cash and 2012 race sponsorship for their accomplishments. The beauty of this new program is that for the first time, all nine of SKUSA’s national classes will be running for a championship prize of significant cash value.
As was the case in 2010, the value of success at the SpringNationals and SummerNationals is not limited to the event prize money, the point fund and SKUSA’s ground-breaking ‘Circle of Champions’ support program. SKUSA will be continuing its offer of a lucrative benefit to the top drivers in Pro Tour points heading into the SuperNationals. In any of the classes that will be open to 80 entries for this year’s SuperNats (such as the expected large fields in S2, S4, TaG Senior, TaG Junior and TaG Cadet), the top three 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 43rd in the order of where they sit in the Pro Tour points. When you consider the sheer amount of work and dedication that goes into battling for a spot on the SuperNationals main event grids, it is hard to put a price on this tremendous opportunity. SKUSA always wishes to thank its drivers for their support of the program, and this is a very exciting and beneficial way to show it.
Just as was the case in 2010 with SKUSA’s inaugural TaG Cadet Pro Tour champion Colton Herta, for 2011, the TaG Cadet class champion will be awarded a partially supported trip to the 2012 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, race fuel and a hotel stay for the driver (four nights). Airfare is not included. This driver will be representing SKUSA on the world stage and will be provided with a SKUSA race suit to wear at the event.
To cap off what will certainly be an incredible event, SKUSA has put together a fantastic program with the beautiful JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa to be the host hotel of the SpringNationals. The resort is a gorgeous and scenic destination nestled in the Tucson mountains. SKUSA has negotiated an amazing rate of $99/night for this event (normally $250+). To make sure that you add this component to your SpringNationals experience, call 800-266-9432 and use group code SKUSA PRO TOUR or go to resweb.passkey.com/go/superkarts to reserve now. There are only a limited number of rooms available at this rate, so they WILL sell out! Additional details will be posted shortly at www.superkartsusa.com.
Be sure to keep an eye on the SKUSA website for continuous updates on each Pro Tour and regional event as they develop: www.superkartsusa.com.