SKUSA Pro Tour
|Superkarts! USA Announces 2013 Pro Tour Prize Package|
|Friday, 29 March 2013 07:02|
This season will be the fourth running of the popular Superkarts! USA Pro Tour program, which will host three major events for shifterkart and TaG competitors on the season. The numbers have grown each year – from drivers and teams to sponsors and prize money. 2013 will see the series rising to the next level, as another record number of entries is expected for the upcoming SpringNationals – set for the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona in just two weeks.
Roughly $96,000 in cash and prizes could be awarded throughout the season on the Pro Tour, with the April 12-14 event kicking off the series that travels next to the SKUSA SummerNationals in Colorado on July 19-21 and then completes the schedule with the 17th annual SKUSA SuperNationals on November 20-24. Last year’s SpringNats welcomed a record number of racers (185), and pre-entry numbers to date are nearly at that mark already. Projections are set for well over 200 drivers for this year’s event in the Tucson desert.
“The paddock diagram is filling up for Tucson, there’s no doubt about that. The numbers we saw at the California ProKart Challenge, and what we see projected for our other regional programs across the country, are carrying over to the Pro Tour for 2013,” stated Superkarts! USA CEO Tom Kutscher. “Each year, the numbers improve – and now we’re breaking that 200 mark. The SKUSA ladder system that we developed four years ago when we started all this is now beginning to show signs of how well it can work. Kids are graduating from the Cadet and Junior ranks, moving up to the Senior level, and now some are even racing in the Pro categories. Add to that the number of new competitors in all categories who just want to race at the ultra-competitive level and have a good time doing it. This season is going to rock!”
The prize package continues to grow year after year for the SKUSA Pro Tour championship, and the potential payout for the two headline categories – S1 and TaG Senior – is now roughly $50,000 for the year. At the SpringNationals in April and again at the SummerNationals in July, $3,500 is split between the two categories, with the overall point winner in each category for each weekend earning a cool $1,000 check. The recently announced SuperNationals XVII purse saw an increase to $15,000 per category, offering up an astonishing $10,000 to an eligible Pro Tour competitor (a driver who has raced in both the SpringNats and SummerNats) that wins in Las Vegas. To close out the year, SKUSA Pro Tour champions in the Pro classes will race for $6,000 in the championships points fund, with both drivers atop the point standings taking home $3,000. In total, should a Pro driver sweep the SpringNationals and SummerNationals, and score the victory at the prestigious SuperNationals (likely clinching the Pro Tour title in the process), that person would earn in excess of $15,000 for the season.
New for the 2013 SKUSA Pro Tour will be potential cash purses for the six remaining classes in the line-up. For any class other than S1 and TaG Senior, a $1000 purse will be put on the line – should the field hit a minimum of 30 drivers at the SpringNationals and SummerNationals events. The overall weekend point winner will be awarded a check for $500, while second and third will receive $300 and $200, respectively.
“Our focus is on constantly improving all of our programs, including the Pro Tour,” Kutscher continued. “We’re starting to see the development of the class line-ups to the point where I want to reward them for their support, and I expect that we’ll be paying out the purse in a couple of classes for sure, namely S2, S4 and TaG Master. I’d love to be able to hand a few of our S5 Junior Stock Motor, TaG Junior or Cadets a check as well. How cool would that be?”
Honda Performance Development is back again with its lucrative HPD SKUSA Pro Tour Championship contingency, which will award $1600 to the top-three drivers in each of the Stock Moto categories. The Pro Tour champions will take home $750, and second and third will be rewarded with $500 and $350, respectively. For more information and eligibility requirements, all Stock Moto drivers should head to http://www.superkartsusa.com to download the necessary documents and program instructions.
The champs in the Pro divisions, along with the other six SKUSA Pro Tour title winners, will be included as part of the 2014 SKUSA ‘Circle of Champions.’ The 2013 program includes: Fritz Leesmann (S1), Sabré Cook (S2), Eddie Olpin (S4), Jim McKinney (S5), Phil DeLaO (TaG Senior), Paul Bonilla (TaG Master), Luke Selliken (TaG Junior), Hunter Kelly (TaG Cadet). All are scheduled to compete in 2013 and will be provided a sponsored entry into all Pro Tour events, covering their entry, race tires, fuel and oil – roughly a $3,000 prize to each – funded by Superkarts! USA. The TaG Cadet Pro Tour champion will again be invited to compete at the Rok Cup International Final in Lonato, Italy at the 2014 event, representing SKUSA. This is a full support package for the driver, including entry, equipment, pit space and more – worth $3,000.
The benefits for drivers participating in the SpringNationals, and the entire Pro Tour, are extremely valuable. An added bonus for competitors who compete in both SKUSA Pro Tour events prior to the SuperNationals XVII will be included in the ‘Priority Pre-Entry Registration’ program for the Las Vegas event. This program is being put in place to ensure that SKUSA racers have a first shot at participation in the largest karting event in the world. Also, the top three drivers in the SKUSA Pro Tour point standings for all eight categories are ensured a chance to compete for the championship to the final session, as they will be added to the Guaranteed Starting Position list for SuperSunday at the SuperNationals, in addition to the ProKart Challenge champions from across the country. Regardless of their performance through qualifying, the heat races or even the Last Chance Qualifiers, these competitors will at minimum have a spot at the tail of their respective fields for the main events in Las Vegas.
Superkarts! USA is also happy to announce the class sponsors for the upcoming SpringNationals: CRG-USA (S1), Pure Karting (S2), DRT Racing (S4), Italcorse America (S5), Leading Edge Motorsports (TaG Cadet), Phil Giebler Racing (TaG Junior), Italian Motors USA (TaG Senior), and Mike Manning Karting (TaG Master). SKUSA will also be providing a complimentary dinner and drinks at the track on Friday evening of the April 10-12 event, sponsored by Rolison Performance Group and Vemme Kart/Extreme Karting and open to all in attendance. Each evening after the races, attendees will be encouraged to visit the Mothers podium ceremonies, where Mothers Polish buckets – in addition to the other scheduled prizes – will be handed out.
For the fourth straight year, Superkarts! USA will partner with eKartingNews.com as they will provide their ‘EKN Trackside Live’ broadcasts for the entire Pro Tour. Those unable to attend the event in Tucson can listen to live play-by-play action called by veteran announcer Rob Howden, view live timing provided by Race-Monitor.com, and take part in a forum discussion on the event, all at http://www.ekartingnews.com/live or through a mobile app at mobile.livestream.com/ekartingnewslive.
Pre-entry to the 2013 SKUSA Pro Tour SpringNationals will continue until Sunday, April 7 at midnight. Following that cut-off, at track entry begins Thursday prior to the event with an increase of $150. Racers are also encouraged to submit their pit spot reservations and pre-orders for practice tires and practice fuel by April 7. All event details are posted on the SKUSA event page (www.superkartsusa.com/national/skusa-pro-tour/event-calendar/springnationals.html). To follow updates on Superkarts! USA, the upcoming SKUSA SpringNationals, the SuperNationals XVII, and the 2013 SKUSA Pro Tour, be sure to visit http://www.superkartsusa.com as well as on Twitter at @SuperKartsUSA and at Facebook.com/SKUSA.