Racers Gamble For Glory In Vegas!!!

by Charles Demirjian

The 16th annual Superkarts USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals were held at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas with the largest entry of the events history and in fact the largest entry for any event worldwide on the karting calendar. Many of the top European drivers made the trip to battle it out against the US and Canadian contingent for SuperNats glory. Tillotson was the carburetor of choice for the majority of the Jr, Sr and Master TAG drivers and also many were using the latest PrecisionJet tool allowing the driver to find the optimum setting with ease.


It was reigning European KF3 Champion and 2011 SuperNats victor George Russell (OK1) that looked odds on to take victory in the event. Fastest in timed qualifying, he then went on to win all of his qualifying heats putting him on pole position for the Final. His main opposition looked to come from Dalton Sargeant (Tonykart), Yurik Carvalho (Italkart) and Lance Stroll (Zanardi) all of whom showed strong pace throughout the event. In the final Russell took a commanding lead and looked comfortable to win a second consecutive SuperNats title, however Stroll had other ideas!! He fought his way up to the bumper of Russell and once he made the pass he was never headed taking the biggest victory of his career to date. The victory wasnt without drama however as Stroll was excluded for a technical infringement only to be reinstated following an appeal. Russell finished runner up with Luke Selliken (Kosmic) completing the podium.


Looking at the entry list predicting a winner from this category would prove difficult. Top European drivers Denis Olsen (Energy) and Charles Leclerc (ART) were sure to be front runners but would be challenged hard by Michael Valiante, David Sera, Joel Miller to name a few. Olsen it was who qualified on pole position for the Final however was taken out at Turn 1 to end his chance of glory, also causing a large melee taking out some of the pre-race favourites. The lead for the race changed many times with Jens (Tonykart), Chudleigh (Maranello), Hargrove (Italkart) and Pagano (Birel) all taking charge of the race at one point or another! With 5 laps to go it was Gabby Chaves’ (Kosmic) turn to take the lead who wasnt to be headed from there until the chequered flag, following him was Pagano in 2nd and Spalding (Topkart) 3rd. An entralling race with fastest lap coming from the charging Leclerc (ART) who raced his way up to 4th position at the end.

With the crowning of the race winners, it was then time to enjoy the scenery of the Vegas skyline from the rooftop Voodoo bar where the teams, drivers and organisers all celebrated in style at this unique end of season event! Until next year Vegas….

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