The “SuperSunday” marked the conclusion of the 22nd edition of the SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas. After an intense week full of fascinating on-track action, the pinnacle event of the 2018 Superkarts USA calendar has crowned his winners at the end of ten hectic Finals on the parking lot of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
After getting through some difficult times in the Qualifying Heats with a fifth place as a best personal result, Leonardo Lorandi (Parolin) made the BabyRace colors shine above Las Vegas where he clinched victory from 6th on the grid at the end of the 25-lap final in the KZ class. The Italian driver beat for 0.257 seconds the pole-sitter and number one favourite Marijn Kremers (Birel ART) with Germany’s Maximilian Paul (DR Kart) stepping on the final podium for a mere 0.070-second margin over the Swede Noah Milell (Tony Kart). A newcomer in this year’s class, Kyle Wick (CRG) completed the top 5 as the first non-European driver at the top while former F1 driver Rubens Barrichello (Tony Kart) showed some flashes of brilliance by recovering from 17th on the grid to the seventh overall position. On the 39 names set to take part in the Final, 38 made it to the grid (without the n°46 Yanai Marciano). Seven drivers were forced to retire and eight others faced post-race disqualification for diverse reasons, including triple-event winner Paolo De Conto, penalized by the stewards for having worked on his chassis during the red flag interruption of the race because of an incident, which concluded on a sad note what had already been a difficult event for the CRG representative.
X30 Senior Final
The Canadian Ben Cooper has been able to emerge on the very edge of an eventful final that saw the top-contenders banging wheel-to-wheel for most of the 25 laps before drama hit in the very last round. Lorenzo Travisanutto (KR Motorsport), who was starting alongside pole-sitter Cedrik Lupien, lost the lead a couple of corners away from the chequered flag after some contact sent him back to the sixth position. Cooper recovered the win for 0.061 seconds in front of a happy Zane Maloney, the Barbadian having had to fight his way through from 10th on the grid. Canada’s Cedrik Lupien came home in the third position ahead of a deserving Matheus Morgatto. For his first race in the Senior category, the Brazilian drove his Exprit chassis from 21st on the grid to an impressive top 4-finish in front of Ryan MacDermid. Struck by bad luck in this Final, Travisanutto had to make do with 6th while Pedro Hiltbrand (CRG) crossed the line two places further back for his maiden appearance at the SKUSA SuperNats. If Jorge Pescador didn’t make it to the grid, seven other drivers joined him on the retirement list including the Australian Joshua Car who had qualified 6th thanks to strong results in the previous heats.
X30 Junior Final
An 11th starting position wasn’t going to make Jeremy Fairbairn give up on his winning ambitions as the American driver fought hard to claim the SuperNats Junior title in front of pole-sitter Jak Crawford, who edged the victor for only 0.166 seconds before being given a one-position penalty due to a broken seal, handing over the runner-up spot to Italy’s Gabriele Mini’ (6th on the grid). Crawford preceded Luca Mars and Connor Zilisch whose hope of repeating his 2017 win (in the Mini Swift category) wasn’t met despite starting on the second row of the grid. The fastest of them all in Qualifying, Tymoteusz Kucharczyk ended up in sixth while Kas Haverkort and Sebastian Montoya both lost ground during the 20-lap race to see the flag in tenth and eleventh positions respectively. As Angus Wallace (n° 751) wasn’t on the grid, five other of his colleagues retired before the conclusion of the Final.
Pro Shifter Final
Making good use of his hard-fought pole position, the American Billy Musgrave concluded his SuperNats weekend with another success (as in 2017), 0.698 seconds clear off AJ Myers on the following podium’s step, both miles away in front of Matt Hamilton, Danny Formal, who made up five places from 9th, and Kyle Wick, who clinched his second top 5-finish of the event (as in the KZ class). Despite starting just behind Musgrave in third, Jason Pettit couldn’t convert his good run from the Heats with a sixth position-finish while some of the European ‘Top Guns” in the category faced trouble like France’s Jérémy Iglésias (after four laps) and Spain’s Pedro Hiltbrand (in the first lap) who both had to retire, as well as 17 other drivers.
Master Shifter Final
One of the most-experienced classes of the event saw the domination of Rob Logan. Runner-up in this event back in 2015, he was able to pull away from pole position to win with a clear 2.4-second margin over Ryan Kinnear, who was happy to see the chequered flag waving in front of a pressuring Jason Faint. The triple-SKUSA Pro Tour S4 Master winner Jordon Musser lost two places in the battle to cross the line in fourth ahead of John Crow. On the 35 drivers who lined up on the grid, only 23 saw the end of the 20-lap race.
X30 Master Final
Already a two times SuperNationals winner, Kip Foster wrote a new line of his own legend by making it triple this Sunday. Starting from pole position, the Australian defeated Jason Burns for 0.184 seconds, his fellow countryman being once again his closest opponent of the day. Renato David, the winner of one heat, progressed well through the field from 10th on the grid to finish on the podium in front of Romania’s Laurentiu Mardan, originally 13th at lights out, and Luis Schiavo. Matt Johnson, who started on the front row as one of the names to keep an eye on, couldn’t fight until the end after retiring on lap 12, imitated by four other drivers while three found themselves disqualified.
KA100 Senior Final
In the first of the two 100CC Honda powered-engine categories, Steve Barros was awarded the final win from a distant 7th starting position. Colton Ramsey emerged from the second row of the grid to claim the second spot in front of Josh Hotz who was handed a 5-sec penalty for jumping his start. Scott Foster and Nick Ramirez completed the top 5 while pole-sitter Dakota Pesek faced a disqualification for failing to scale his chassis. Two other drivers were hit by a similar punishment while three others retired.
KA100 Junior Final
In the Juniors, James Wharton took advantage of his pole position to finish on top of the pack even though the fight against Connor Zilisch had all the fans strapped to their seats, the two crossing the finish line split by just 34 thousands of a second. Kaden Wharff clinched the third final position from a very close Dylan Christie followed by Bryson Morris. Third on the grid, Luca Mars dropped down the order to finish 9th. Six names went missing due to retirement, two others didn’t start and one, Oliver Calvo, faced disqualification for non-compliant tires.
Mini Swift Final
Brent Crews showed no fear in the Mini Swift Final that he won for a tiny 0.067-second gap over Nikita Johnson, who started one row in front of him on the grid. Jamaïca’s Alex Powell made his way up to third while Jace Park missed out the podium after recovering from 16th at the start. Pole-sitter Kai Sorensen took the opposite direction when losing four places to edge the final top-5 of the weekend. Two-time SKUSA Pro Tour champion Carson Morgan, qualified at the forefront alongside Sorensen, faced a similar path to end up a distant 7th. Due to line up on the ninth position, Brandon Carr wasn’t able to present himself on the grid as well as Jeremy Fletcher, while Santiago Hernandez retired in the first lap and Paolo Milan was disqualified for a bumper pushed in.
Micro Swift Final
Click here to check the complete results of the SKUSA SuperNationals XXII, held from Nov. 14th to Nov. 18th in Las Vegas.
Text: Guillaume Alvarez
Photos: Alex Vernardis