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November 12, 2009 News
SKUSA SuperNationals XIII - G1/TaG Masters Preview
 


Courtesy of eKartingNews.com

From the day that the final checkered flag waved and the competitors packed up under their gear in the paddock one year ago, the 13th annual Superkarts! USA SuperNationals has been in everyone’s mind. Set for November 18-22, over 400 drivers will head into battle at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for what is expected to be the biggest and brightest karting event in the sport’s history. Drivers from all over North America and around the world will compete in an effort to score one of the nine class victories, all focused on placing their name into the SKUSA history books. eKartingNews.com has slated the days leading up to the event for an in-depth look at the entry list and the major players in each of the categories. We began with the TaG Junior and S5 categories, today we highlight G1 and TaG Masters, followed by S4, KF2, S3 and TaG Senior, all leading up to the headline SuperPro category.

To discuss the SKUSA SuperNationals XIII, visit the Official Discussion Thread in the eKartingNews.ca Forums.

To follow complete coverage of the event, including the Top-5 Canadian Performances, visit the Event Page.


 

Still looking for that elusive victory, Kelly Baker is among the favorites in G1 (Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
Still looking for that elusive victory, Kelly Baker is among the favorites in G1
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)

G1
While this may be considered as the ‘gentleman’s division’ by many, the G1 shifter class is actually one of the most competitive categories, filled with both championship-winning veterans who have decided to move on from the SuperPro class and naturally talented competitors who came late to the sport. However you want to classify the drivers, the 30 years of age and older formula, which runs 125cc built-moto and ICC engines represents the many motorsports enthusiasts who enjoy getting out on the track, having a good time behind the wheel and maybe a couple of adult beverages afterwards. While on-track, though most respect one another, it is still some of the most hardcore racing that you’ll see.

Last year’s event was a walk-away, as the ‘Texas Tornado’ Collin Lynn put on a clinic to score his first SuperNationals victory by over seven seconds. Though Lynn will not return to defend his crown, having taken a break from racing, a number of drivers are eager at the chance to be this year’s winner. Holding the best record for the last five years in the G1 category is Kelly Baker (Italkart). The Washington driver runs from under the Italian Motors tent and has finished third the last two years running, along with sixth, fourth and 10th in the previous years. Despite the depth of talent in the field, only one driver competing in 2009 is a former G1 winner - Eduardo Martins. The driver from Tony Kart Florida stood on top of the podium in 2001 and the native Brazilian has been a consistent top-10 performer ever since. Martins earned the Florida Winter Tour Masters Shifter title back in March and he and brother Andre will both be favorites aboard their Tony Karts.
 

Eduardo Martins is the only returning winner in this year's G1 field (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Eduardo Martins is the only returning winner in this year's G1 field
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

One driver expected to be near the front is four-time ProKart Challenge South G1 champion PP Mastro (CRG). Since finishing second in 2004, the SoCal driver has recorded two DNFs with a best finish of 10th (2005). Mastro has teamed with High-Rev Engineering and has put in some early practice, winning the recent Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix, which he hopes to use in an effort to continue the good vibe that he’s experienced thus far in 2009 all to the way to a maiden victory at the SuperNationals. Another driver who has not been lucky in Vegas recently is Kurt Mathewson. The two-time Great Lakes Pro Series Masters Shifter champion has yet to return to the top-10 since finishing ninth in ’04. Evolution Karting’s Mathewson was able to score his first Rock Island Grand Prix victory in September after many tries and hopes that this will be a preview of things to come, possibly his first SuperNats podium.

Other notable names to watch for through the event include Aluminos’ Fernando Diaz (GP), Team Top Kart/Grand Products’ Jason Lee (Top Kart) and Cameron Karting’s Jim Kidd (Italkart). Diaz is working with the Aluminos squad and was winner of the ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout. Lee was leading the Rock Island GP ahead of Mathewson until engine failure put him on the sidelines. Kidd is the new ProKart Challenge North G1 champion and will look to improve on a tough ’08 SuperNats result.

Aside from the Martins brothers, two other drivers will represent Brazil in G1 - Jorge Borelli (Tony Kart) and Antonio Canedo (Kart Mini). Canada will be represented with five solid drivers. Chris Perreault (Vemme), Daryle Redlin (PSL Karting CRG) and John Kwong (PTK) hail from the Western half of the country, while Daniel Nadeau (PSL Karting CRG) and Michel LeGrand (PSL Karting CRG) will travel in from Quebec. Denmark has two drivers on hand with Michael Zakrisen (GP) and Henrik Hajman (GP) running with Aluminos. Italy and India will also have drivers carrying their flags in Vegas with Antonio Dettori (Energy) and PKC regular Imran Husain (India).

Provisional G1 Entry List - as of November 11
No.DriverHometownCountryTeamChassisEngine
0Daryl ChobyScottsdale, AZUSAInnovative KartingTony KartICC-TM
3David ConyersGolden, COUSARocky Mountain KartworksGPICC-TM
4Kelly BakerBellevue, WAUSAItalian MotorsItalkartICC-TM
5Eduardo MartinsJupiter, FLBrazilTony Kart FloridaTony KartICC-Maxter
7Jim HollowayHuntington Beach, CAUSAAluminosGPICC-TM
9Antonio CanedoSao PauloBrazilTeam Kart MiniKart MiniICC-Maxter
13Jason LeeIndianapolis, INUSATeam Top Kart / Grand ProductsTop KartICC-TM
15John KwongCalgary, ABCanadaPTKICC-TM
18bRobert MarksVisalia, CAUSATeam VisaliaCRGICC-TM
21Antonio DettoriMiami, FLItalyEnergy Corse AmericaEnergyICC-TM
21jJoe SturmNeenah, WIUSACorrida KartingGPICC-TM
21rChris PerreaultCampbell River, BCCanadaCheckered Flag RacingVemmeICC-TM
25jKurt MathewsonCarmel, INUSAEvolution KartingCRGICC-Maxter
26Andre MartinsJupiter, FLBrazilTony Kart FloridaTony KartICC-Vortex
32fDoug CoxCoral Gables, FLUSACRGICC-Maxter
33cJason CampbellGilbert, AZUSATony Kart WestTony KartICC-TM
36bEric WuestenhoeferPhoenix, AZUSAAcceleration KartingFA KartICC-Vortex
41xDarrell TunnellVisalia, CAUSATeam Visalia / Fastech RacingCRGICC-TM
44cPP MastroBakersfield, CAUSAHigh-Rev EngineeringCRGICC-TM
46Michael ZakrisenHvidovreDenmarkAluminosGPICC-TM
47jTim RobertsMuncie, INUSASharing Success RacingZanardiMoto
54Daniel NadeauTrois-Rivieres, QCCanadaPSL KartingCRGICC-Maxter
55cRoy MontgomeryCorona Del Mar, CAUSAKimball Williams RacingCRGICC-TM
57Jorge BorelliJupiter, FLBrazilTony Kart FloridaTony KartICC-Vortex
76Fernando DiazRedondo Beach, CAUSAAluminosGPICC-Maxter
78Michel LeGrandTrois-Rivieres, QCCanadaPSL KartingCRGICC-Maxter
81Luis SousaRoyal Palm Beach, FLUSALeGree MotorsportsBirelICC-Maxter
88Tim UlmenMiami, FLUSAPlaythings Racing / Homestead KartingCRGICC-Maxter
90rDaryle RedlinAldergrove, BCCanadaPSL KartingCRGICC-Maxter
98yJim KiddCampbell, CAUSACameron KartingItalkartICC-TM
151ySergio MachadoSan Leandro, CAUSAAluminosGPICC-TM
172cTroy ButtsGarden Grove, CAUSA2Wild KartingCRGICC-Maxter
176Henrik HajmanSkovlundeDenmarkAluminosGPICC-TM
192Bob KimAuburn, WARussiaItalkartICC-TM
321Imran HusainSanta Monica, CAIndiaPSL KartingCRGICC-TM
911cTim WyattLong Beach, CAUSAUFO MotorsportCRGICC-TM



 

Billy Cleavelin will look to defend his TaG Masters title (Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
Billy Cleavelin will look to defend his TaG Masters title
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)

TaG Masters
The TaG Masters driver roster is probably one of the strongest and most talent-filled fields to compete in the category’s seven-year history at the SuperNationals. Since making its debut in 2003, the division’s numbers have grown steady to a point where the category is always one of the classes to first reach the cap number of 40. Aside from the full field, the drivers entered include the top-four from last year, along with three other previous winners. It’s stout field to be certain.

California’s Billy Cleavelin put on a clinic in last year’s edition of the SuperNationals as he ran to a near 12-second victory in the 30-lap main event. Keeping in shape to defend his crown, Cleavelin ran a limited ProKart Challenge South schedule against the young guns in TaG Senior. Back with the same CRG/ Motori 7 package that earned him his SuperNats crown, Cleavelin will be the guy with the target on his back. Second in last year’s event was Ohio’s Brian McHattie (Kosmic/Vortex). Falling to as deep as seventh, the former Rock Island Grand Prix winner muscled his way up to the runner-up spot. McHattie ran to third at this year’s RIGP to ’08 SuperNats podium finisher and reigning RIGP TaG Masters champion Scott Hamble (Margay/Motori 7). Trumping McHattie’s drive forward last year at Vegas, Hamble came from back in 18th and climbed up to finish third, right on McHattie’s on his rear bumper. Hamble is street racing monster, running a number of temp courses in the state of Indiana, so he will be tough once again on the Rio parting lot. BTK Motorsports’ Jim Busby (Arrow/Rotax) was fourth in 2008 and is certainly among the favorites heading into the event. Busby finished the same position at the recent Rotax Grand Nationals in September, but will look for a few steps higher when he reaches Vegas. With the top four returning, things should be interesting at the front.
 

Saskatchewan's Jayson Clunie will roll the dice in TaG Masters
Saskatchewan's Jayson Clunie will roll the dice in TaG Masters

Looking to dethrone the top three are a number of serious contenders within the field. Returning former winners Jerry Henderson and John Crow certainly have the ability to stand on the podium once again. Henderson (MMK/Motori 7) won in 2007 and was the provisional winner back in 2004 until technical issues stripped him of the title. Crow (Birel/Rotax) - the 2005 winner and twice a podium finisher - experienced similar issues back in September after taking the checkered flag at the Rotax Grand Nationals. A spark plug incompliance took away that title, leaving Crow hungry for redemption. In 2007, Rotax Masters was offered and brought out a number of solid Rotaxians to Vegas for the SuperNats. Winning that battle by edging out Crow was Paul Bonilla. The SoCal driver stood on the Rotax Grand Nationals podium this year and was a contender for the win in 2007. Bonilla (Birel/Rotax) hopes his return to the SuperNationals brings him his second win at the famed event.

Aside from them, there are a number of other drivers that will certainly be ones to watch come race time. Veterans of the Masters division include Keith Karr (CRG/Rotax), Larry Fraser (GP/Motori 7), Howie Idelson (MMK/Motori 7), Andy Seesemann (Birel/Rotax), and David Harwin (Tony Kart/Rotax). New to the Masters category and the SuperNationals is Eric Jones. A legendary street racer from Iowa, now the BTK Motorsports team manager, Jones is a young gun in the Masters field and could be the biggest surprise of all.

Canadian entries include Saskatchewan's Jayson Clunie and British Columbia's Mike McGowan, both running Italkarts for Italian Motors, along with Quebec's Francis Mondou (Tony Kart).

Provisional TaG Masters Entry List - as of November 11
No.DriverHometownCountryTeamChassisEngine
8kKeith KarrMontevallo, ALUSAkartsouth.comCRGRotax
10cJerry HendersonFountain Valley, CAUSAMike Manning KartingMMKMotori 7
11eBrit PhillipsRaymore, MOUSAWildKartLeopard
12yLarry FraserNovato, CAUSAG Force MotorsportsGPMotori 7
14Mike DanielDundee, ORUSACRGRotax
16dBrian RobsonGolden, COUSADoghouse RacingBirelLeopard
17Glenn McKinnonReno, NVUSATony KartLeopard
19cHowie IdelsonPacific Palisades, CAUSAMike Manning KartingMMKMotori 7
20aKip FosterBalcattaAustraliaKartforceMMKMotori 7
20bPaul BonillaCypress, CAUSAFull Throttle KartingBirelRotax
20rJayson CluniePrince Albert, SKCanadaItalian MotorsItalkartLeopard
21Leonardo NienkotterFlorianapolis,BrazilJ3 CompetitionKosmicVortex ROK TT
22Keith StuckeyDallas, TXUSAThe Kart ShopBRMLeopard
22kPeter WorkumParadise Valley, AZUSAAluminosIntrepidLeopard
23Juan Carlos PulidoLaredo, TXUSAArrowRotax
29cBilly CleavelinCovina, CAUSAMike Manning KartingCRGMotori 7
31cJohn CrowAnaheim, CAUSAFull Throttle KartingBirelRotax
31yPaul HohlbeinFair Oaks, CAUSAEmmick Cobra RacingEmmickVortex ROK TT
34Eric JonesDecatur, ALUSABTK MotorsportsArrowRotax
44Joe PalmerSt. Augustine, FLUSAParagon MotorsportsTony KartVortex ROK TT
49yEthan WilsonCampbell, CAUSAG Force MotorsportsTony KartVortex ROK TT
51Andy SeesemannOrange, CAUSAFull Throttle KartingBirelRotax
54cSteve WienerChula Vista, CAUSAFX RacingTrackMagicLeopard
57Jorge BorelliJupiter, FLBrazilTony Kart FloridaTony KartVortex ROK TT
61xJim BusbyRancho Santa Fe, CAUSABTK MotorsportsArrowRotax
62Ken MaxfieldMurray, UTUSAMSquared KartingArrowRotax
63yJP CadouxSan Rafael, CAUSASyar MotorsportEnergyMotori 7
A63Eric SmithKarrathaAustraliaMike Manning KartingMMKMotori 7
64bJim EliaBakersfield, CAUSAArrowLeopard
65Craig WillisBalcattaAustraliaKartforceMMKMotori 7
73Ty MattaBaldwin Park, CAUSAPosition One MotorsportsAvantiMotori 7
78Jose Luis TrevinoLaredo, TXUSAArrowRotax
86zTim MossPortland, ORUSATeam RPGCRGRotax
87Mike McGowanVancouver, BCCanadaItalian MotorsItalkartLeopard
91Cody LeibelBeverly Hills, CAUSAFull Throttle KartingBirelRotax
93jBrian McHattieYoungstown, OHUSAJ3 CompetitionKosmicVortex ROK TT
96jScott HambleIndianapolis, INUSA2nd 2 None RacingMargayMotori 7
128Francis MondouShawinigan, QCCanadaApollo MotorsportsTony KartRotax
141zKurt FisherRichland, WAUSAGibraltar RacingCRGRotax
151yCarl FreeseSalinas, CAUSACambrian Go-KartsBirelLeopard
161yDavid HarwinReno, NVUSAMMS Racing EnginesTony KartRotax
171yMike KelleyLas Vegas, NVUSAAcceleration KartingBirelRotax

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