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April 12, 2007 News
Stars of Karting - Race of the Americas - JICA/ICA Preview
 


Nearly 40 Canadians are headed South this week as a throng of 200+ karters converges on Norman, Oklahoma, and the Snap-on Stars of Karting Mazda Race of the Americas. Returning to the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex once again for the season opener, all will be looking to start the Stars schedule with a positive result. In the lead-up days, EKN is bringing you a class-by-class preview and noting all Canadians who have preregistered for race one. Yesterday we looked at SPEC Racer and Cadet. Today we will examine ICA and JICA entries, before a final preview of the headline ICC class Friday. Canadian talent and teams are prominent in all classes, as will be seen in the days to come.



JICA 

Brendan Langlois is arguably the title favourite in JICA (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Brendan Langlois is arguably the title favourite in JICA
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Five of the top ten drivers from last year’s JICA class are returning in 2007 and three of the five are top flight Canadians. They will join top returning pilots from South of the border and a handful of graduated Cadets in chasing the Stars National Championship beginning in Norman this weekend. Experience has shown to be an important factor in earning the JICA crown and it could well be the deciding factor when things wrap up in October.

Leading the way and arguably the title favourite is FirstKart.com’s Brendan Langlois. Filling what has become the #1 seat in junior following championships by Brett Smrz, Gustavo Yacaman, and Zach Schiff (80 Junior) over the past three seasons, Langlois heads to Oklahoma with the most JICA experience of any karter on the grid. The Kamloops, British Columbia, shoe was vice-champion in the West last year and earned the National #4. In making a late season switch to FirstKart.com to set up for ‘07, Langlois quickly gelled with his new team and followed teammate Daniel Morad to the line at SuperNationals X in TaG Senior. He primed for Norman by finishing fourth at the Florida Winter Tour, and earned the Sunday victory at the final round. He will surely be one to watch.

Fellow Canadian David Ostella will also be at the sharp end of the grid as he leads Cameron Motorsports/CRG into battle. A Stars of Karting regular since the age of 12 when he began to race internationally in 80 Junior, the teenager from Maple, Ontario, switched to JICA last year with the demise of the junior shifter category and promptly scored a win at Lowe’s. Three other top tens followed, including fifth at the Stars finale in the parking lots of Woodbine Race Track. Ostella was eighth in the National championship last season, and is looking for bigger things in his final Junior run. In preparing, Ostella raced both Rotax Junior and JICA at the Florida Winter Tour, scoring a win and earning seven top fives, and was second in the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup Opener at Jacksonville. Ostella is ready.

Completing the Canadian powerhouse trio is Scott Rossi from Langley, British Columbia. Rossi scored three top tens in the East last season and was runner-up at the Stars National Final at Woodbine to climb to tenth in the National Championship. Running with Champion Racing/Intrepid at its home track this weekend as he begins his third JICA campaign, Rossi will surely be among the leaders. ekartingNews.ca readers will also recall the young star’s season ending trip overseas to compete at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Seven others bring the Canadian JICA count to ten, led by pslkarting.com’s Mikael Grenier. In running the full Winter Tour Grenier scored four top-five finishes in six starts, and in running the final Rotax round for some extra work he was fifth on Saturday and second on Sunday. Calgary’s Tyler Wheeler will put his Rotax World Final experience to good use in representing MRP/Birel; Chad Grunow will sport Genesis kit as the Vancouver-based squad returns to National competiton; BC boys Remo Ruscitti and Hayden Ritter will have Italian Motors’ yellow in the field; Michael Furfari will continue his coming-out party with Juncos Competition; and Ontario’s Connor Carrothers will be taking to his first Stars action with Cameron Motorsports. Additional title threats include Winter Tour Champion Jarvis Gennari and runner-up Chemill Mercado; Californian Garrison Masters, who swept the Tucson round last year; and 12-year-old Gustavo Menezes, who will also run the British championship to gain international experience. The pre-registered kart count is at 43, and the field is sure to once again produce some of the best races at Stars events.

JICA Entry List - as of April 6
No.DriverTeamChassis/EngineHometown
4Brendan LangloisFirstKart.comFirst Kart/ParillaKamloops, BC
7Garrison MastersNACRG/ParillaThousand Oaks, CA
9Gustavo MenezesTony Kart USATony Kart/ParillaCoto de Caza, CA
10Scott RossiChampion Racing/IntrepidIntrepid/ParillaCanada
300CJ LintnerArrowUSAArrow/ParillaNorth Salem, IN
301Bijon SpinazzolaTeam OVRP.comMaranello/ParillaKinnelon, NJ
302Jarvis Gennari*Tony Kart USATony Kart/ParillaBoca Raton, FL
303Matthew MairGenesis RacingCRG/ParillaMiami, FL
304Josh CallMargay RacingMargay/ParillaAvon, IN
305Thomas Silva*SSC EastCRG/MaxterFlorida
306Reid JeffriesScreaming TalentGillard/ParillaCincinnati, OH
307Spencer Pigot*FirstKart.comFirst Kart/ParillaWindermere, FL
311Chemill MercadoNATony Kart/ParillaToa Alta, Puerto Rico
314Gabriel Chaves*Sodi Racing USA/G-PhactorySodi Kart/ParillaWeston, FL
316David OstellaCameron MotorsportsCRG/ParillaMaple, ON
320Taylor MiinchMRP-Birel AmericaBirel/ParillaEl Cajon, CA
321Jimmy SimpsonSimpson RacingMargay/ParillaIndianapolis, IN
322Nigel SaurinoTeam SaurinoTony Kart/ParillaTulsa, OK
324Hans SaurinoTeam SaurinoTony Kart/ParillaTulsa, OK
326Sean Rayhall*J3 CompetitionKosmic/ParillaWinston, GA
327Angel CabanJ3 CompetitionKosmic/ParillaSan Juan, Puerto Rico
330Chad GrunowGenesis RacingCRG/ParillaCanada
331Patrick Nirschl*Team MKP-BirelBirel/ParillaZionsville, IN
333Miles MaroneyNAMaranello/ParillaTopanga Canyon, CA
335Devin Jones*PCH MotorsportsCRG/ParillaTemecula, CA
337Tyler WheelerMRP-Birel AmericaPCR/ParillaCalgary, AB
343Christian VogelVogel RacingIntrepid/ParillaImperial, MO
344Joffrey AmayaIndie Race DevelopmentBirel/ParillaMiami, FL
345Pedro DelgadoScreaming TalentGillard/ParillaOrizaba, Ver
350Tatianna CalderonTony Kart USATony Kart/ParillaBogota, Colombia
356Bill McLaughlin, JrTeam MKP-BirelBirel/ParillaMooresville, IN
359Adrian FigueroaChampion Racing/IntrepidIntrepid/ParillaDorado, Puerto Rico
365Bryce CornetChampion Racing/IntrepidIntrepid/ParillaNorman, OK
366Brendan PhinnyTeam TopkartTop Kart/ParillaCarmel Valley, CA
367Andrick ZeenSodi Racing USA/G-PhactorySodi Kart/ParillaHuntington Beach, CA
376Pierce Baldus*Team TopkartTop Kart/ParillaLeawood, KS
377Phil De La OFirstKart.comFirst Kart/ParillaPeoria, AZ
381Mikee MejiaMRP-Birel AmericaBirel/ParillaDanville, CA
387Jose ZanellaPSL KartingCRG/ParillaBarinas, Venezuela
392Remo Ruscitti*Italian MotorsItalkart/ParillaBurnaby, BC
393Connor CarrothersCameron MotorsportsCRG/ParillaSutton West, ON
395Hayden RitterItalian MotorsItalkart/ParillaNorth Vancouver, BC
Michael FurfariJuncos CompetitionNACanada
Mikael GrenierPSL KartingCRG/ParillaCanada

* denotes Rookie


ICA 

Tyler Dueck is sure to be a threat in ICA (Photo: Cody Schindel - Quickpics)
Tyler Dueck is sure to be a threat in ICA
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Quickpics)

The Intercontinental A (ICA) division of the Snap-on Stars of Karting Championship provided expected drama and unpredictability throughout 2006 as both the Eastern and Western Division championships came down to Sunday Finals, as did the National Championship where Joel Miller’s dominating performance at Woodbine clinched the title. Miller went on to win the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Championship in keeping sharp for the coming season, and though he will be on hand in Norman, his schedule is tentative as he will be competing the full Skip Barber National Series in cars, thus leaving the field wide open for another to step up including ten Canadians.

Just as in JICA, many Canadian names in ICA are known quantities in National competition and threats for the National Championship. Port Coquitlam, British Columbia’s Nick Tonkin, a finalist for the EKN Rising Star Award, enters with MRP/Birel and the National #4 after a breakout year in which he scored a pair of wins. Provincial mate Tyler Dueck, from Abbotsford, is also a sure threat entering his second season with Champion/Intrepid. Dueck scored three podium finishes last year and is primed for a run at the championship sporting the National #6.

British Columbia is well represented in ICA as Tonkin and Dueck are just two of six from the Westernmost province, and two of many very real race-winning threats. Kevin Glover returns to National Competition with Genesis Racing at Norman after taking a sabbatical to help build the shop’s Canadian RoK Cup program. Glover dominated the Western schedule in 2003, scoring wins in six straight finals before being edged for the National Championship. He is one of a trio from Vancouver as Colby Jenn will be back in action with Dueck at Champion/Intrepid, and Michael Hogg will put Italian Motors in the field. Surrey’s Brody Goble will take to his first National campaign in joining Tonkin at MRP, and Luke Behnke will also be a Canadian rookie in the field as he teams with Glover at Genesis.

The remaining Canadian trio in the ICA field are from Quebec and will surely join the charge at the front. SH/Karting’s Xavier Coupal won the event as a junior in 2005 working under the tutelage of World Champion Davide Fore, and has the speed to repeat the feat. He will be joined at SH/TonyKart by veteran Camille Hamel, from Brossard, Quebec. Terre Bonne’s Christophe Boisclair completes the ICA lineup with the new ArrowUSA squad. Boisclair is the reigning Canadian Rotax Max Champion and worked his way into the top ten at Stars last year including second on the podium at New Castle for round two.

A championship favourite runs for a Canadian-based team as PSL Karting’s Jake Rosenzweig heads to Norman after winning the FWT Championship. After a third place at the Stars Race of the Americas last year, the English transplant was poised for the Eastern title until two DNF’s at Shawano ended his hopes. Others sure to be near the front include James Kennedy, who scored an ICA win at Shawano last year, and dominated the S1 class at SuperNationals X; Chris Larson, National #3; Anthony Llopiz, who is teamed with Rosenzweig at pslkarting.com; Johnny Johnson; Garrett Napier; Mike Giessen; and the list goes on - the reason ICA keeps the pundits guessing.

The past two ICA editions of the Race of the Americas have been won by a non-North American, with Italian Davide Fore coming over in 2005 and British driver Alexander Sims dominating last year. This year the British invade again in the form of 2006 Italian Open JICA Champion Scott Jenkins. As an official Intrepid factory team driver, Jenkins was a strong Junior driver and has made the transition to the Senior ranks quickly by earning both the Formula A and ICA British O Plates in February. Jenkins is scheduled to follow the Eastern Division with Champion Racing/Intrepid, providing his European car schedule does not conflict.

ICA Entry List - as of April 6
No.DriverTeamChassis/EngineHometown
1Joel MillerTony Kart USATony Kart/VortexHesperia, CA
3Christopher LarsonMRP-Birel AmericaBirel/ParillaTrinity, FL
4Nick TonkinMRP-Birel AmericaBirel/TMPort Coquitlam, BC
6Tyler DueckChampion Racing/IntrepidIntrepid/TMAbbotsford, BC
200Nicholas BoulleScreaming TalentGillard/VortexDallas, TX
202Anthony LlopizPSL KartingCRG/MaxterFort Lee, NJ
205Xavier CoupalSH KartingTonyKart/VortexSt Jean Sur Richelieu, QB
206Aaron NelitonSodi Racing USA/G-PhactorySodi Kart/TMTigard, OR
207Brandon AdkinsMargay RacingMargay/ParillaSt.Louis, MO
209Derek Wagner*J3 CompetitionKosmic/VortexChaska, MN
210James KennedySodi Racing USA/G-PhactorySodi Kart/TMEscondido, CA
211Dominic ScheerIndie Race DevelopmentBirel/ParillaPinecrest, FL
212Camille HamelSH KartingTony Kart/VortexBrossard, QB
214Garrett NapierCameron MotorsportsCRG/MaxterPlano, TX
218Pat IannucciSodi Racing USA/G-PhactorySodi Kart/TMMuttontown, NY
222Victor Cabrera*J3 CompetitionKosmic/VortexSan Juan, Puerto Rico
224Johnny JohnsonTeam TopkartTop Kart/ComerMarshalltown, IA
226Luke BehnkeGenesis RacingCRG/MaxterPeace River, AB
227Nico SilvaSSC EastCRG/MaxterFlorida
228Cody JollyCameron MotorsportsCRG/MaxterHouston, TX
229Christophe BoisclairArrowUSAArrow/TMTerre Bonne, Quebec
233Jacob Neal*PCH MotorsportsCRG/MaxterWildomar, CA
235Jake RosenzweigPSL KartingCRG/MaxterCambridge, MA
248Dion von MoltkeIndie Race DevelopmentBirel/ParillaCoral Gables, FL
249John MosseyScreaming TalentGillard/ParillaNorcross, GA
250Jeremy NelsonJ3 CompetitionKosmic/VortexRogers, MN
258Federico MontoyaIndie Race DevelopmentBirel/ParillaMiami, FL
264Hunter ShortParagon MotorsportsKosmic/VortexGainesville, FL
265Scott JenkinsChampion Racing/IntrepidIntrepid/TMEngland
268Joe PatersonScreaming TalentGillard/ParillaEngland
272Victor PedrosaNANA/NADavie, FL
278Edward Coffin, JrArrowUSAArrow/TMSiasconset, MA
284Brandon JonesArrowUSAArrow/TMMarion, IL
285Juan Pablo DelgadoScreaming TalentGillard/VortexMexico
286Mike GiessenMRP-Birel AmericaBirel/TMThree Oaks, MI
291Andrew Zimmer*Italian MotorsItalkart/TMSpokane, Washington
292Michael Hogg*Italian MotorsItalkart/TMNorth Vancouver, BC
293Colby JennChampion Racing/IntrepidIntrepid/TMVancouver, BC
294Brody GobleMRP-Birel AmericaBirel/TMSurrey, BC
297Kevin GloverGenesis RacingCRG/MaxterNorth Vancouver, BC
298Mitch CobbItalian MotorsItalkart/TMEdwards, CO
299Steve KrockFranklin MotorsportsPCR/PCRElk Grove Village, IL
Guillermo FreileTony Kart USATony Kart/VortexMiami, FL

* denotes Rookie
United States Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia New Brunswick Nova Scotia



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