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summernationals - rounds 5&6 July 26-28, 2024
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SKUSA Pro Tour

EKN Trackside: 2024 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SpringNationals – Sunday Report
Monday, 17 June 2024 00:00

Matheus Morgatto claimed his second straight in Pro Shifter (Photo: EKN)

The 2024 edition of the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SpringNationals wrapped up on Sunday at the Motorsports Country Club of Cincinnati. A hot and sunny day at the Batavia, Ohio facility with Round Four action for the ‘Semi-Pro’ divisions was contested along with the main events for the SKUSA Pro Show divisions. The tight confines of the MCC KartPlex showed today with multiple red flag incidents to delay the action on the day. In the end it was PSL Karting’s Matheus Morgatto coming through for a second straight Pro Shifter triumph while British driver Kai Hunter invaded the USA for the first time to steal the Pro X30 victory.

Morgatto (PSL / Birel ART) was improving as the weekend continued, making his first start in the PSL Karting Pro Shifter class at MCC. The former FIA Karting World Champion was starting third behind top qualifier and two-time heat race winner AJ Myers (Magik Kart USA) and Kyle Wick (GFC Karting) on the front row. Wick grabbed the holeshot from Myers to begin the 25-lap race, however, Myers reclaimed the top spot before the lap was over. Morgatto pushed Wick back to third on lap two and began pressuring Myers for the lead. The move was made on lap seven, as the top two drivers inched away from the rest of the field. They would run 1-2 the entire distance with Myers waiting until the final lap to put on the pressure. Through the final section of the track, he was on his bumper, literally, going into the left hand carousel. Morgatto was defensive, holding the spot through the final two corners and winning the race to the line for a second straight SKUSA Pro Tour victory. Wick was pressured by a charging Billy Musgrave (Factory Kart) until the spark plug boot popped off with four laps remaining. This allowed Gavin Bayliff (Trinity / Kart Republic) to advance up to fourth from the 11th spot. He however would not be cleared through tech, promoting Ian Quinn (PSL / Birel ART) up to fourth behind Wick with Tahlon Yockel (Sodi Racing USA) classified fifth.

Kai Hunter claimed Pro X30 victory in his first SKUSA Pro Tour start (Photo: EKN)

The script on the weekend originally look to have a sweep in place for Ryan Norberg (RPG / Kosmic) for the Speed Concepts Racing Pro X30 class. The WinterNationals winner was quickest in qualifying and won both heat races to retain the pole position for the main event. First time SKUSA competitor Kai Hunter (RPG / Kosmic) was adapting to his first time in the USA, and racing at MCC. Starting on the outside of the front row, he slotted in behind the five-time SKUSA Pro Tour champion to begin the 25-lap main event. Fellow Brit Oliver Hodgson (CompKart) was a close third until battling for that position allowed the top two of Norberg and Hunter to pull away. The lead duo swapped the top spot multiple times but continued to hold the advantage over the second pack that was shuffled up due to contact in turn two of the opening lap. As they were completing lap 21, Norberg exited the final hairpin with little to no power. This allowed the second pack to pass as his engine sputtered down the front straight. He would eventually pull off a few corners later, ending his race with a mechanical issue. This allowed Hunter to run unchallenged to the checkered flag for his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory. Diego Ramos (PSL / Birel ART) was able to win the battle for second as the Brazilian secured the championship lead with a second runner-up performance. British driver Brandon Carr (Trinity / Kart Republic) joined them on the podium in third, earning the hard charger honor advancing 10 positions. Hodgson fell back to fourth ahead of Pauly Massimino (BJR / LN Racing Kart) who was the top finishing USA driver. Massimino fell back to 15th on the opening lap, driving his way forward to fifth by the checkered flag.

Sunday sweep for Steven Miller to claim his first SKUSA Pro Tour win in KA100 Senior (Photo: EKN)

A sweeping performance by Steven Miller (Nash / EOS) gave the Florida driver his first SKUSA Pro Tour win in the Sodi Racing USA KA100 Senior class. Miller set fast time in qualifying and came away with the victory in the Prefinal. The Final started with a red flag after the opening corner as Fernando Luque (Supertune / Tony Kart) flipped hard on the outside of the corner as another kart made contact with him while upside down. He was alert and awake when he was transported off-site and ruled to have a concussion with no other injuries. The race was restarted as paced the field after Henry Wheeler (PSL / Birel ART) led after the opening circuit. Once back out front, Miller took advantage of the racing behind him to establish a sizeable gap. He continued with a comfortable lead until the closing laps as James Overbeck (BJR / Tony Kart) inched closer with fast laps of the race. On the final circuit, Overbeck was unable to get close enough in the final corners to make a move, however, a great run and early celebration by Miller brought the two together as they reached the line. Only 43 thousandths separated the two at the line with Overbeck dropping a wheel and sliding off course into the wall. Walking away unharmed. Wheeler was able to win the battle for third over Saturday winner Finnegan Bayliff (Trinity / Kart Republic) with Keagan Kaminski (GFC Karting) in fifth. Kaminski was part of early portion of the incident in the first attempt at a start. His fairing was broken off at the front, however, he was allowed to start the race. Following scales, he was penalized to the tail of the field for ‘broken bodywork’, thus promoting Connor Ferris (TFR / Kart Republic) into fifth.

Last lap pass gave Turner Brown his first win of the year in KA100 Junior (Photo: EKN)

It was a double win day for Turner Brown in the Junior divisions on Sunday. Brown (RPG / Kosmic) grabbed his first on the day in the Nash Motorsporz KA100 Junior division. It was a not a sweep as Payton Westcott (RPG / Kosmic) put in the fast lap during qualifying, edging out Brown by one thousandths of a second. Brown dominated the Prefinal and led the field to the green in the main event. It was stopped after three laps for a red flag involving Andres Dumith (RPG / Kosmic) – who was taken to hospital for pain in his back. The race resumed with Brown breaking away with Saturday winner Diego Ardiles (RPG / Kosmic) with Westcott battling in the second pack. She and Enzo Vidmontiene (Trinity / Kart Republic) came together on lap seven, with Westcott getting the worse of it with hard contact to her arm. She would walk off the track however suffering a broken arm. Up front, Brown led the up until after taking the white flag with Ardiles slipping past for the lead. As they made their way to the final hairpin, Ardiles opened the door and Brown dove to the inside. They drag raced to the checkered flag with Brown reaching it first by 14 thousandths of a second. Ardiles was penalized three seconds for blocking on the final circuit, however, retained the second spot. Racelab and TB Kart drivers Travis Pettit and Ty Fisher worked together in the second pack to come away in third and fourth at the line, however, Pettit was disqualified for losing a camera. This promoted Fisher to third – who had fast lap of the race – Nico Sarphati (GFC Karting) to fourth and Chace Gassiot-Lee (Nash / EOS) to fifth.

Two wins on the day for Turner Brown with his first of the year in X30 Junior (Photo: EKN)

Brown was able to pull off the sweep in the Rolison Performance Group X30 Junior division. The RPG / Kosmic driver set fast time in qualifying and won the Prefinal. He was shuffled back to fourth early in the 20-lap main, but reclaimed the top spot by lap seven From there, Brown drove away from the field with fast laps of the race to earn a 6.3-second advantage by the checkered flag to become the third different winner in four rounds. Enzo Vidmontiene (Trinity / Kart Republic) came up from sixth to finish second ahead of Sarah Bradley, as the Speed Concepts Racing driver completed only her second day on a new Sodi Kart chassis. Bradley however was penalized for a pushback bumper, advancing Saturday winner Jackson Wolny (SCR / Gillard) up to third and Bradley down to fourth. Ty Fisher (Racelab / TB Kart) came from came from 16th on the grid to finish fifth with the hard charger honor.

Two straight for Joe Ruch in Master Shifter (Photo: EKN)

After securing his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory on Saturday, Joe Ruch (Maranello USA) repeated that performance on Sunday in the Fury Motorsports / GP USA Master Shifter division. Ohio driver Larry Pegram (Magik Kart USA) once again set fast time in qualifying to start the Prefinal from the pole position with Ruch on the outside of row one. Ruch grabbed the holeshot however Pegram fought back early reclaim the lead and take the race win. Slotted in the same spots for the start of the Final, Pegram took the holeshot as Ruch slotted into second. A slight error by Pegram on lap six allowed for Ruch to claim the top spot. Pegram kept the pressure on until Ruch began to slip away little by little. At the checkered, Ruch celebrated a second straight victory, winning by four-seconds over Pegram. Round One winner Scott Barnes (Maranello USA) recovered from a spin in the Prefinal to go from 10th to third for a third podium on the season. John Crow (Factory Kart) escaped the gremlins to end up fourth, holding off Luca Bortone (Factory Kart) at the line.

Back-to-back wins in Mini Swift for Ashton Woon (Photo: EKN)

Ashton Woon (Supertune / Parolin) left Ohio with two wins in the Trinity Karting Group Mini Swift division. By 66 thousandths of a second, Arturo Aguillon (MPG / Kart Republic) was able to edge out Woon for the fast time in qualifying. Woon went on to win the Prefinal, leading nine of the 10 laps. The first half of the Final was action packed with multiple lead changes. The complexion of the front pack changed on lap 10 when contact for the lead between Rocco Simone (Trinity / Kart Republic and Royce Vega (Team Benik) took them out of contention. This put Woon back into the lead but only briefly as Troy Ferguson (Team Benik) and Maxwell Macha (SLA / Kart Republic) – who started 29th – fought for the lead. Contact between them allowed Woon to slide past on lap 16. He went on to the checkered flag unchallenged for the victory. Enzo DiGennero (TFR / Kart Republic) – who started 28th – came across the line in second but a starting tram line penalty took him off the podium and down to eighth. This promoted Macha to second and Josh Bergman (Trinity / Kart Republic) with his first podium of the season in third. Ferguson ended up fourth with JohnJohn McLellan (Nash / Energy) in fifth.

Dramatic final lap saw Zayne Burgess escape with the victory in Micro Swift (Photo: EKN)

For a third time in four rounds, Zayne Burgess (Sodi Racing USA) celebrated victory in the JNM Racing Micro Swift division. Burgress found himself in seventh after qualifying with Daniel Ramirez (RPG / Kosmic) setting fast time in the session. During the Prefinal, Burgess was able to work himself up to the front for the provisional win, however a pushback bumper penalty dropped him to fourth, giving the win to Ramirez. The Final ended up becoming a two driver battle as Burgess and Lawrence Pereman (BJR / LN Racing Kart) escaped the pack to fight for the top spot. Each led throughout the race with Pereman taking the lead as they took the white flag. Their racing brought in Ramirez and Round Two winner Santiago Orioli (MPG / Kart Republic). Pereman appeared to have the position in hand with Burgess fighting off the other two, until exiting the final hairpin he pushed wide. With all four wheels in the dirt, this allowed Burgess to slip past along with Ramirez, however, Orioli was not as he and Pereman made hard contact on the front straight, going off track. Burgess would take the checkered flag first ahead of Ramirez. Wynn Godschalk (Team Benik) avoided the wreck as well, winning the race to the line for third ahead of Jacobo Agudelo (Team Benik) and Dominic Vera (AKT / Energy).

The Superkarts! USA Pro Tour will come to a close with the 15th running of the SummerNationals, set for July 26-28 at the New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Indiana.