Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro Preview

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted November 12, 2009 at 4:37 pm Karting, SKUSA SuperNationals

The SKUSA SuperNationals always seems to draw some of the biggest names in motorsports and this year is no exception.  I’ve already written a short post about the entry of 7x F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher as well as F1 drivers Sebastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jr.

Aside from the F1 drivers there are plenty of extremely talented karters and motorsport veterans on this year’s SuperPro entry list.

I’ve compiled some info on each of the SuperPro competitor’s below.   I realize it’s tough to build any more excitement or anticipation into this event, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

Obviously, the list is pretty long… so you’ll have to click the more link below to read the entire preview.

Make the jump to see the 2009 SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro Entry List and a few details about each driver:

Jonathan Thonon- CRG/Maxter, Home:  Belgium
It would be hard to bet against Thonon next week as he is the defending champion of the SuperPro divison in the SuperNats.  Thonon has won the KZ1 World Cup for 3-straight years and I fully expect him to finish inside the top-three next weekend.

Michael Schumacher- Tony Kart/Vortex, Home:  Germany
7x F1 World Champion (need I say more?)  Schumacher has been an avid karter throughout his career.

David Fore- CRG/Maxter, Home:  Italy
David is a career karter who has excelled in every class he has run.  He is a 4x World Champion in the karting ranks and a 2x winner of the prestigous World Cup.  It goes without saying, he will be a top contender in Vegas.

Matt Jaskol- Vemme/TM, Home:  USA
Jaskol is a Las Vegas native who has a tremendous karting resume.  In 2000, Jaskol became the first driver to win five-straight heat races at the SuperNats.  The following year, 2001, he finished on the podium along with Scott Speed and A.J. Allmendinger.

Mike Vincec- Birel/TM, Home:  Canada
Vincec won the 2008 Stars of Karting ICC National championship.  He also won both the East and West ICC Divisions in 2008.  He spent the first part of this season running in the Skip Barber National Championship before returning to karting for some European ventures.

Arnaud Kozlinski- CRG/Maxter Home:  France
Kozlinksi has been stellar this season winning the Super KF- WSK International Series.  He also won this year’s CIK-FIA World Championship.  Previously, he won the Formula A World Cup (2006).  Kozlinski is another career karter who should be very competitive next weekend.

Pierre Ragues- SodiKart/TM, Home:  France
Pierre has a decent amount of experience in karts, open-wheel cars, and sports cars/prototypes.  He spent the 2009 season running an LMP1 car in the LeMans series.  He also ran in the CIK-FIA World Cup (KZ1) this year.

Matt Lee- CRG/Maxter, Home:  USA
Matt Lee has a pretty extensive background in junior level karting.  He moved into cars in 2005 and has competed in Formula BMW, the Atlantic Championship and Indy Lights.  He spent his last two winters competing in karts via the Florida Winter Tour.

Sebastien Buemi- Intrepid/TM, Home:  Switzerland
Buemi moved into Formula One this season after spending 2008 in the GP2 ranks.  During his karting days, he won the JICA Italian Open and the JICA European Championship.  He is obviously a very talented driver and should do well at the Rio.

Tony Lavanant- Energy/TM, Home:  France
Tony won the 2008 KZ2 European Championship.  This season he has competed in both the Florida Winter Tour and the CIK-FIA World Cup (KZ1).  He hasn’t won a ton of championships, but he always seems to be near the front.  I wouldn’t expect anything different in Vegas.

Cyndie Allemann- CRG/Maxter, Home:  Switzerland
Cyndie is another driver with a lot of junior level karting experience.  That said, she has done quite well in the senior ranks as well… finishing 8th in the 2002 Formula A European Championship.  She drove in the Indy Lights series last year and the Florida Winter Tour last winter.

Marcel Jeleniowski- Energy/TM, Home:  Germany
Marcel has a ton of karting experience and dabbled in the car ranks via FBMW in 2004-2005.  He has been driving in the KZ2 class this season in the WSK-International Series.  In 2006, he finished 10th in the European ICC Championship.

Michael Bo Andersen- GP/TM, Home:  Denmark
Michael will be returning to the SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro division again this year.  He finished 14th in 2008, which marked his North American SuperPro debut.

Kody Adcock- CRG/Maxter, Home:  USA
Kody will be moving up to the SuperPro division this year after finishing 14th last year in the S1 class at the SKUSA SuperNationals XII.  The 16-year-old Colorado resident has spent time in the TAG class and the 80cc Jr. class prior to making the jump to KZ2.

Seppo Monkkonen- Energy/TM, Home:  Finland
Seppo will be making his North American debut next weekend at the SuperNats.  He completed the 2009 season ranked 2nd in the  Finnish ICC Championship.  He ranked 5th in the 2006 WSK-International Formula A Championship against some really solid competition.

Phil Giebler- FA Kart/TM, Home:  USA
Phil has an extensive array of karting and car experience.  After spending several years in the car ranks, Phil returned to karting full-time during the 2005-2006 season, winning the  Stars of Karting ICA National Championship in 2005 and the ICC Eastern Division Championship in 2006.  He finished 12th last year in the SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro division.

Michele Di Martino- Energy/TM, Home:  Germany
Michele has been competing in the South Garda Winter Cup, German Challenger Kart Championship, and the ADAC Kart Masters championship in 2009.

Danilo Dirani- Kart Mini/Maxter, Home:  Brazil
Danilo spent the 2009 season racing Formula Truck and shifter karts.  The Brazilian has been very impressive in the karting ranks, winning the 2009 Brazilian shifter kart championship (12 wins).  This will be his third year competing in the SKUSA SuperNationals; he finished 8th in 2007 and 16th in 2008.  He finished 2nd in the 2008 Florida Winter Tour.

Alan Sciuto- CRG/Maxter, Home:  USA
Sciuto has always been an impressive driver.  He moved into cars at a young age after doing really well in the karting ranks.  Unfortunately, his car career never truly blossomed due to ill-funded efforts.  It will be great to see him back in the karting ranks next weekend, I expect he will do quite well.

Matthew Mair- CRG/Maxter, Home:  USA
Mair ran four races in the Skip Barber National championship this year, where he earned three top-ten finishes.  He also competed in the Pro Shifter category of the 2009 Florida Winter Tour where he finished 7th.  His previous karting experience at the national level includes JICA and Rotax-Max.

Brad Weiss- NA/TM, Home:  USA
Brad Weiss has been fine tuning his 125cc skills in the IKF Northwest Gold Cup where he won the Super Stock 125 Light class.  Weiss finished 19th in the S3 division at the 2008  SKUSA SuperNationals XII.

Jeremy Iglesias- Intrepid/TM, Home: France
Jeremy has really stepped up his game in recent years.  This season alone, he has finished 2nd in the CIK-FIA European Championship (KZ1), 3rd in the WSK-International Series (KZ2), and 2nd in the CIK-FIA World Cup (KZ1).  He has raced in the SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro division twice and finished in the top-five both times.

Anthony Abbasse- SodiKart/TM, Home: France
Anthony Abbasse competed in the 2008 SuperNationals SuperPro division and finished 22nd.  Although, that doesn’t tell the whole story.  He was incredibly quick and qualified 2nd heading into the heat races.  In the main event, his fast time was about 2/10’s off Thonon’s quick lap.   Earlier this year he competed in the CIK-FIA European Championship (KZ1).  He should do well next weekend.

PP Mastro- CRG/TM, Home: USA
PP Mastro will be looking to carry some momentum into this year’s SKUSA SuperNationals as he just recently won the Open Shifter class at the Lancaster Grand Prix.  He has been driving shifter karts for several years now.  Last season, he drove in the S1 class at the SuperNats.  This will be his SuperPro debut.

Gary Catt- Tony Kart/Vortex, Home: Great Britain
Catt has been busy this season competing in both the KF and KZ1/KZ2 categories.  Earlier this year, he won the Super-KF Winter Cup.  Last season, he won the prestigious Margutti trophy for the second consecutive year.  In 2007, he topped David Fore to win the Italian Open Master-KF.

Marco Ardigo- Tony Kart/Vortex, Home: Italy
Ardigo is a clear favorite for next weekend’s event.  The 26-year-old Italian won the 2007 SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro divison following the retirement of race leader Jonathan Thonon.  He qualified on pole in 2007 and ended up Q6 in last year’s SuperPro qualifying.  In 2008, he won the KF1 World Championship, the KZ2 WSK-International series, the KF1 European Championship, as well as the KF1 Asia-Pacific Championship.

Ben Schermerhorn- CRG/Maxter, Home: USA
Ben will be moving up to the SuperPro division this year after finishing 12th in the S1 class at last year’s SuperNats.  The Colorado resident is no stranger to the SuperNats and has been karting competitively for 6+ years.  Ben finished fourth overall in the 2009 Florida Winter Tour Pro Shifter division.

Bas Lammers- Intrepid/TM, Home: Netherlands
Bas is another top-contender in the international karting ranks.  Just this season, he has won the CIK-FIA European KZ1 championship and the WSK-International series (KZ2).  He finished third in the 2009 KZ1 World Cup. Lammers competed in the 2007 SKUSA SuperNats.

Daniel Bray- GP/Maxter, Home: New Zealand
Daniel Bray has about 15 years of karting experience and has somewhat flown under the radar of many.  Bray made his SuperNats debut in 2007 where he qualified 2nd only to drop out of the main event with mechanical issues.  He returned in 2008 and finished 2nd in the S1 class.  This will be his first year in the SuperPro division, but I expect him to put in a solid performance.

Zac Meyer- GP/Maxter, Home: Canada
Zac made his SuperNationals debut in 2008 where he qualified 20th in the S1 class.  This year, he finished 11th in the Florida Winter Tour Pro Shifter class.  He finished fifth in the 2009 Rotax DD2 Canadian National Karting Championship.  This will be a big jump for Meyer, but if he can qualify well and stay out of trouble in the heat races, he might surprise a few people.

Norman Nato- Intrepid/TM, Home: France
Nato will be returning to the SuperNationals after finishing 7th in the 2008 SuperPro division.  This season he finished 8th in the CIK-FIA KZ1 European Championship and 4th in the KZ1 World Cup.  In last year’s SuperNats final he was only 6/1000’s off of Thonon’s best time.   He also set the fast time in morning warm-ups last year heading into the SuperPro final.  Nato has made some pretty big gains this year and should do well in next weekend’s event.

Ron White- CRG/Maxter, Home: USA
Ron White can’t be counted out for a win next weekend.  The 28-year-old has an insurmountable amount of karting experience.  The California native won a European ICC Championship race in Sarno, Italy during the 2004 season.  He will be looking for his second career SuperNats victory as he won the 2002 SuperPro division after qualifying on pole.  He also qualified on pole in 2005.

Nelson Piquet Jr.- Intrepid/TM, Home: Germany
Nelson Piquet Jr. is another Formula One driver that likely needs very little introduction.  He has been karting for 16 years now and is a welcome addition to this year’s SuperNats.  He won 3 Brazilian karting championships before moving into cars at the age of 16.

Jose Zanella- Tony Kart/Vortex, Home: Venezuela
Zanella will be moving up to the SuperPro ranks in 2009 after winning the 2008 S1 division at the SKUSA SuperNationals.  In 30-laps he crossed the stripe just over 10-seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.  He finished 6th in the 2009 Florida Winter Tour in the Pro Shifter class.

Brandon Frank- Intrepid/Maxter, Home: Bermuda
Brandon Frank will be making his SuperPro debut this year at the SuperNats.  He finished 20th last year in S1 just behind former Indy Lights competitor Arie Luyendyk Jr.  Frank finished 11th in the 2009 Florida Winter Tour.

Etienne LaSalle- CRG/Maxter, Home: Canada
LaSalle has been focusing on both Rotax and the shifter category this season.  eKartingNews.ca has LaSalle ranked 33rd in their Rotax Senior Canadian Karter Rankings (Oct. 23rd).  Etienne has been competing in the shifter class in the Vega Cup this season.  He landed on the podium, in Rotax Sr., in the Coupe de Quebec at the Grand Prix of Shawinigan.

Joao Jardim- GP/Maxter, Home: Brazil
Joao Jardim, 16, had a solid season in the 2009 Brazilian Shifter Kart Championship running alongside fellow Brazilian SuperPro entry Danilo Dirani. This will be Jardim’s first SuperNational’s visit.

Dominic LeGrand- CRG/Maxter, Home: Canada
Dominic LeGrand spent some time in both the Rotax division and the F125-ICC category of the Vega Cup in 2009.  He produced a really solid result in Round 5 of the Vega Cup at the Château-Richer Club by driving from the back of the field to finish 2nd in the 125 class.   He also put in a solid drive at the Monaco de Trois-Rivières, where he finished 5th in Rotax Sr.

Alex Manglass- CRG/Maxter, Home: USA
Alex Manglass has been driving shifter karts at the national level for a few years now, competing in both the Stars of Karting ICC National Championship and the Florida Winter Tour: Pro Shifter class.  He finished 8th overall in the 2009 Florida Winter Tour.  This season, Manglass has been focused on the KZ2 category with CKI (Championship Karting International).

Gary Carlton- CRG/Maxter, Home: USA
Gary Carlton is a favorite for the outright win this year.  Carlton topped all the KZ2 drivers this year in CKI competition.  He has international experience, competing in both the CIK-FIA European Championship, the World Cup, and the WSK-International series.  He won the 2006 SKUSA SuperNationals SuperPro division.  Last year, he finished third trailing Thonon by 2.373 seconds at the line.  Watch for him to do very well next weekend.

Fritz Leesmann- CRG/Maxter, Home: USA
Fritz Leesmann drove to a solid top-ten finish in the 2008 SKUSA SuperNationals after posting the 2nd quickest time in warm-ups before the final event.  Leesmann has made some big improvements over the last year and finished 2nd in the 2009 Florida Winter Tour.  I expect him to be quite quick at the Rio.

Myles Marolt- GP/Maxter, Home: USA
Myles Marolt had a tough outing in the 2008 SuperNats via the S1 division.  Next weekend will mark his SuperPro debut.  The Colorado native has spent much of the 2009 season running regional events in his home state.  eKartingNews.com had him ranked as high as 21st among North American ICC drivers.

_______________

**updated**

Last Minute Additions

Andrew Vargas– Vargas decided to join the SuperPro field at the last minute.  He competed in the 2008 SKUSA SuperNats where he finished 17th.

Raphael Matos– Matos—who is another late addition—was the 2009 IndyCar “Rookie of the Year’.  He also has one of the most impressive resume’s in North American junior formula car racing.  He is an avid karter and extremely fast in everything he drives.

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One Comment

  1. Ryan (JOWT) on November 19, 2009 6:31 pm

    Add 2009 IndyCar Rookie of the Year, Raphael Matos to the SuperPro entry list. He was a last minute addition.

    -Ryan

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