The 20th edition of the SKUSA Supernationals will be taking place this week and a handful of Brits have made the trip across the Atlantic for a shot at victory in the annual Las Vegas event. It’s certainly one of the most unique races in the World taking place in the Convention Centre car park in the heart of Las Vegas.
Of course there are big money prizes up for grabs, being Las Vegas that come as no surprise and last year Jonny Edgar took victory in a move at the last corner of the last lap. There have been three other British winners at the event and they include:
Jake Dennis – 2009
George Russell – 2011
Jordan Lennox-Lamb – 2014
Who will be the Brits looking to cash in this weekend? There are 10 in total present, here’s a full run down for you…
Danny Kierle – Senior X30
Danny will be racing at the event with the Fullerton team and is the sole Brit racing in the Senior class in a field of over 80 drivers! Danny won the IAME European Open and Kartmasters titles this year along with winning races in the LGM Series. He’s a top driver and has a good chance of victory, but will have tough competition especially from some of the home favourites.
Jake Craig will be one of those, he’s very experienced and has raced all round the World. Kyle Kirkwood is another to watch, but the one to beat will be defending champion Louie Pagano. It was his first time winning the event and he’ll be desperate to add to that this year. Brandon Lemke was a name I mentioned ahead of the IAME International Finals and on home soil I think he’s going to be quick. A name readers may be more familiar with is Darren Keane. He raced with the Strawberry Racing team once upon a time and always shows his face at this event.
So that’s the Americans, but what about drivers from elsewhere? Well Jordan Sherratt was on the podium at the 2015 Rotax Max Grand Finals and therefore is one to watch as is David Sera. The hugely experienced Australian has a shot at victory this year. Dark horses may come in the shape of Mike Bartels (NED) and Jorge Pescador (ESP).
Three Brits will be competing in the Mini Swift class this year and they are returnees to the event Max Dodds and Joseph Taylor along with Kartmasters winner, Zak O’Sullivan.
Max and Joseph both did the event last year and didn’t do too badly. Although the track layout has changed, I think the experience of being at the event and racing in a car park will help them for this year. They have both been extremely quick this year with plenty of wins between them and their chances of a podium are very strong. Zak O’Sullivan is making his first appearence at the Supernationals, but has been on terrific form since his win at Kartmasters. He’ll be an interesting watch.
There are going to be lots of Americans who will be bidding for victory, but in my opinion the biggest challenger for the three Brits will be Diego LaRoque. The Micro Max Rotax Max Grand Finals Champion has had a fantastic season both domestically and internationally and will be looking to end 2016 in style.
Also watch out for Irish driver Tom Edgar who heads to the event with Fusion Motorsport.
Two British drivers will be taking part in a big grid of Junior X30 drivers, they are Jonny Edgar and Oliver Clarke.
Jonny of course won the Supernationals last year in of the Cadet classes so will be coming into this event high on confidence. He’s had a good season in the UK and almost had a very good Grand Finals. He’s jumping up from the quicker Mini Max he is used to but I still think he has a good chance.
Oliver Clarke has a had a fantastic season, he was on the podium at the IAME International Finals, 7th in the CIK Academy and he took wins in Super One. It’s going to be a new experience, but I think he may surprise one or two of the locals if he can adapt to the unique track.
There are three drivers who I stand out to me looking at the entry list and they are Ryan MacDermid, Jagger Jones and Dick Yu. Ryan was super impressive at this years Grand Finals and had the rain not of fell during his Pre Final he probably would have been on pole for the Final. Jagger is a driver who always goes well over in the states and has had a few good performances in Europe too. As for Dick, most people would recognise the name from the IAME International Final.
There are two British drivers competing in the Micro Swift class, they are Freddie Slater and Brandon Carr.
Freddie has already made a name for himself out in the states with his performances in the Florida Winter Tour. Despite being just 8 years old he was hugely impressive and also won the British Bambino Championship last year. This year he has ran towards the front in some of the biggest club championships making him a strong contender for this event.
My knowledge on Brandon is much more limited, but he’s in good hands with the Benik Kart Team. Two more names people will recognise on the entry list are Aqil Alibhai and Emmo Fittipaldi.
Tiffany Chittenden (GBR)
Ryan Kinnear (GBR)
Keep an eye on #kartingmag for updates on proceedings including full results for all the Brits!
Written by Chris McCarthy