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eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings - April 5

There is little doubt that eKartingNews.com has evolved greatly in its seven-year history and, in doing so, it has provided many different programs to the karting community and online viewers. With the recent end to the publishing of Super Kart Illustrated magazine, EKN adopted the Driver Rankings program from its sister publication, which has set the bar for the top drivers in the ICC and ICA categories since 1999. With the power of the Internet providing more and more information, the renamed EKN Driver Rankings is expanding the program to include more regional programs, along with the introduction of the new TaG Driver Rankings.

For the ICC Driver Rankings calculations, four series have been added (class in brackets), including the ProKart Challenge (S1), SKUSA Great Lakes Pro Tour (S1), Colorado Sprint Championship (125cc Shifter), Southwest Regional Cup (125cc Senior), the Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship (Formula Senior) and the Greeley Grand Prix in Colorado. Each program will have a ranking of eight points, just like the Florida Winter Tour and WKA Manufacturerís Cup Series.

The segment of karting that has seen the most growth over the past few years is the Touch and Go (TaG) engine classes. Fields at Rock Island Grand Prix and the SKUSA SuperNationals reached record levels in 2006 and they are expected to be just a big in 2007. Regionally, dealers and tracks have been able to introduce the package as a great introductory kart for those newly-introduced to the world of karting. Along with newcomers, young drivers making the move from the Junior level to the Senior ranks see the TaG division as a great stepping stone. This growth has led EKN to develop the TaG Driver Rankings to promote these up-and-coming pilots and regional renegades.

Including many of the events used for the ICC rankings, the TaG Rankings will add other regional programs that have a strong following in the TaG division, such as the Cascade Regional Series, and the IKF Region 7 Southwestern Super Series. Like the ICA category, the TaG Rankings will begin counting the best five finishes for each driver, beginning with the 2006 Rock Island Grand Prix. The RIGP, Stars National Finals, TAG World Finals and SKUSA SuperNationals will be the only Ď06 events counted toward the rankings before starting the 2007 schedule. Obviously, as the year goes along, EKN will evaluate every region and event to correct the ranking for each race properly and may expand the number of races counted to seven.

The #1 pilot for the debut of the TaG Driver Rankings is Arrow USA factory shoe Brandon Jones. Including three victories at the Florida Winter Tour, Jones has a runner-up at the Rock Island Grand Prix and a third at the TAG World Finals to make up his five best finishes, which are being used to tabulate this initial offering. New FirstKart.com driver Zach Beard sits second with Californian Grant Hebner in third. Florida Winter Tour race winner Edward Fortier is fourth while GP pilot Will Martindale is fifth. Only 11 drivers have five or more races in the books thus far, so as the season moves on, there will likely be some major changes on top.

For TaG Rankings, Click Here

In ICC, PCH Motorsportsí Gary Carlton will look to defend his national championship and #1 plate by starting the season atop the EKN Driver Rankings. After eliminating last March's Stars of Karting Race of the Americas from the rankings, which occured due to the fact that the ranking calculations only use events that have been run in the past year, Jordy Vorrath has moved up to second with Stuart Marsell, Matt Jaskol, and David Jurca all moving up as well. Tad Funakoshi fell to sixth, but deserves much credit for where he sits despite running only eight races last season, promoting how consistent and strong he was with the Italian Motors squad.

For ICC Rankings, Click Here

ICA looks the same on top with national champion Joel Miller and Chris Larson sitting 1-2. The top ICA rookie in 2006, Eric Morrow, moved to third with Tyler Dueck and James Kennedy also moving ahead of Jake Rosenzweig. Morrow will drop quickly, as he is set to campaign in the Formula BMW USA program this year with Hearn Motorsports.

For ICA Rankings, Click Here

EKN Driver Rankings Calculation Process
The EKN Driver Rankings are calculated using a driverís best finishes in major North American races. Assembled using events from the previous 12 months from the current date, we use a driverís top seven finishes in ICC to determine their overall current point total. The top five as used for ICA due to the lower number of available events. With each new release, results before one year ago at this date are discarded. To deliver this current ranking list, we tabulated the results of all the Snap-on Stars of Karting national events as well as other regional programs. We have also included the results for the major one-off events such as the Rock Island Grand Prix, SKUSA King of the Streets, the SKUSA SuperNationals, the KartSport Grand Prix and the Greeley Grand Prix.

Each race was initially weighted based on the prestige and history of the event or series with a score of 10 being the highest attainable base ranking. For 2007, the Stars of Karting Race of the Americas and National Finals, the SKUSA SuperNationals, Rock Island Grand Prix, as well as the North American Karting Championships and TAG World Finals are the only events to receive a score of 10 in their initial weighting. The Stars of Karting national series events draw a base ranking of 9 while the WKA Manufacturerís Cup, Florida Winter Tour, and other regional program races were given a base ranking of 8.

Added to these initial rankings are two variables that help confirm the true importance of an event to the ranking process Ė field size and field strength. A percentage of one weighting point is added for the size of the field while the number of existing top 50 drivers (top 25 for ICA and TaG) entered offers another fraction of a point. The sum of these numbers becomes the overall ranking for any race.

Following a race, drivers receive points based on their finishing positions with 100 points earned for a win. Each subsequent position drops by one point with 99 points given to the second place driver and so on throughout the field. These points are then multiplied by the overall ranking to produce a driverís final point total from each event. Using a driverís best seven races for ICC and the best five for ICA and TaG, we calculate each driverís overall score and subsequent ranking.
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