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It’s labelled by many as the most glamorous event in Karting as for one week drivers from all around the World head to Las Vegas to take part in the Supernationals Kart event. A one off race where the winner takes all come the final. All the big names in the sport have competed in this race at some point in their careers and this year a handful of Brits made the trip over to see if they could leave Vegas with the title and generous prize money.
Where do they race?
Many will be wondering, will where do they actually race and that’s a good question. There is no permanent kart circuit in Vegas so the Convention Centre car park is turned into a circuit each year. It’s obviously not an idea track surface and the barriers aren’t quite so forgiving either, but this all adds to the pressure come the final. The organisers do their best in trying to add in lots of overtaking spots and away from that they also do put on a good show! Crowds flood in to watch the drivers fighting it and I imagine the party at the end of the event isn’t too bad either…
So let’s head into the racing then and start with the youngest drivers first, the Micro Swift class.
Micro Swift – Slater a close 2nd
Freddie Slater got his Supernationals campaign off to a perfect start when he took pole in qualifying. From there he went on to get three 3-D place finishes in the heats all of which put him right at the sharp end for the final. Freddie took the lead straight away and led until lap seven where he was passed by rival over the weekend, Vinicius Tessaro. Slater followed Tessera round before hitting the front on the penultimate lap. With the pair well clear from the rest of the field it would be a straight victory, but unfortunately for Slater he just missed out by 0.129 seconds to take 2nd place.
Behind, after a good set of heats Brandon Carr recovered well from a poor start to finish 5th place.
1st Vinicius Tessera
2nd Freddie Slater
3rd Kai Sorenson
5th Brandon Carr
Mini Swift – Joseph Taylor takes 2nd place
There was a strong grid of 77 karts entered into the Mini Swift class and amongst them was Joseph Taylor and Max Dodds. They both got off to a decent start with 11th and 16th in qualifying respectively. In the heats they both managed to finish in and around the top ten in all three which gave them a decent chance at victory come the main final.
Unfortunately for Max Dodds things did not go to plan. After losing a couple of places at the start he had worked his way back through to 6th and was going after the lead group before one small mistake saw him go into the barriers. As mentioned earlier it is not a forgiving track, but Max’s overall weekend performance was very impressive!
As for Joseph things went a lot better. He dropped back to 7th early on, but by lap 11 he had hit the front. The lead group contained a number of drivers and on the penultimate lap he fell back to 3rd before climbing back up to 2nd on the last lap. He was just 0.066 seconds away from victory at the flag!
1st Thomas Nepveu
2nd Joseph Taylor
3rd Luca Mars
DNF Max Dodds
Junior X30 – Clarke and Edgar show fantastic pace
Just over 60 drivers had entered into the Junior X30 class in what was arguably one of the most competitive classes. In qualifying Oliver got off to a fantastic start with 2nd place overall, Jonny was last with obviously some sort of issue.
The first two heats for both drivers went exactly to plan. Oliver had a 2nd and 3rd with Jonny having two 11th’s. Unfortunately the last lap disaster struck as Oliver had a DNF with |Jonny down in 27th place. This heavily affected their starting positions for the final and may have been the difference in a memorable result.
Starting down the order Jonny did a good job to work his way through to 21st place. Up ahead Oliver was also on a charge and managed to finish 11th. Both drivers perhaps deserved better results, but throughout the weekend they both showed tremendous pace and race craft.
1st Tyler Gonzalez
2nd Dylan Tavella
3rd Nicholas D’Orlando
11th Oliver Clarke
21st Jonny Edgar
Senior X30 – Danny Kierle
One of the unexpected entries into the Supernationals was Danny Kierle. He headed to the states to race with Fullerton USA and having made a name for himself on the World stage at the IAME International Finals I’m sure many saw him as a big threat!
Danny did not let anyone with big expectations down, he started official proceedings with 5th in qualifying out of 86 drivers. Heats one and three went to plan ad Danny took victories, however heat three saw his grid position for the final heavily affected when he dropped from 5th to 28th in a last lap incident.
But with two wins no matter where Danny started he was going to be a strong contender, but any chances he had of victory were unfortunately gone by lap two as Danny had to retire from the race. It was an unfortunate end to what had been a fantastic weekend for him, for many he certainly deserved at least a podium in Vegas but that’s racing I guess.
1st Jake Craig
2nd Zach Clamen DeMelo
3rd Joshua Car
DQ Danny Kierle
1st Danny Formal
2nd AJ Myres
3rd Jake French
DNS Alexander Rossi
1st Renato David
2nd Leonardo Nienkotter
3rd Derek Wang
1st Gian Cavaciutti
2nd Antonio Perez
3rd Ryan Kinnear
13th Tiffany Chittenden
1st Mathias Ramirez
2nd Austin Wilkins
3rd Collin Daley
1st Robert Marks
2nd Nick Firestone
3rd John Crow
1st Paolo De Conto
2nd Anthony Abbasse
3rd Bas Lammers
Written by Chris McCarthy
Images courtesy of On Track Promotions