Growing prize package and rules updates
In just over a month, a new era will begin for karting in the USA as the United States Pro Kart Series kicks off its inaugural season. The series opens at the new Mooresville Motorplex in North Carolina on April 26-28, presented by GoPro. Pieces to create and operate a new racing program are coming together quickly, based on the principle of value for the racers. Prize packages are coming together for the seven categories offered, industry leaders are showing their support, final tweaks of the rule structure to ensure each and every class is competitive and fair have been made, and more details regarding the first event are being finalized.
"Our mission is to provide the best value for the racers and the teams in the eastern half of the United States," added United States Pro Kart Series CEO Mark Coats. "Racers new and old have been looking for something different offered on the national level, and that's what we are putting together. Looking at the numbers, we are estimating that competitors cost per lap in entry fees and tire cost will be half of what they are used to spending, roughly $3 for each class and $4 in the Pro category. Racers will experience more track time, more fun, more prizes for less money."
The series is building an amazing prize package for the 2013 season, and has begun by announcing the minimum guaranteed payout for Leopard 125 Pro and prize for the Leopard 125 Masters champion. The podium finishers in each of the Leopard 125 Pro feature races will split $1,550 in cash - $750 for first, $500 for second and $300 for third per day - providing $3,100 per weekend. If the same driver wins both main events on the same weekend, that driver will receive a $500 bonus. This incentive will grow every weekend until it is won.
The Leopard 125 Masters champion will be awarded an entry into the Championkart International Final, held in Jesolo, Italy on October 6. The USPKS champion will compete in the Over category consisting of drives 32 years and older, utilizing a spec Parolin chassis with FIM engine. Support will be provided by Russell Karting Specialties and the Parolin Management Team, including a hotel room with the team (driver will be responsible for international license, passport, flights, meals and crash damages). Additional prizes and cash payouts will be announced in the near future.
A number of additional companies, both inside and outside of the karting industry, have pledged their support for the 2013 United States Pro Kart Series. DRT Racing and Ribtect will be the presenting sponsors for the New Castle Motorsports Park in June. Freem-usa.com, Lonici Rental Group, QPS Employment Group, Steiner Electric Company and Verde Speed Resources have also been added to the growing list of companies lending their support in 2013. Bridgestone, Comet Kart Sales, Franklin Motorsports, Grand Products, KartLift, KartSport North America, Laukaitis Racing, Margay Racing, McLaughlin Motorsports, and Russell Karting Specialties are among the early supporters of the USPKS.
As the season draws closer, the USPKS staff is making the final tweaks to the rule structure for 2013. One point of emphasis is the age clarification for Leopard 125 Pro and the advancement of minor drivers. Competitors in the Pro category must be at least 16 years of age on the date of the race. A minimum of one year of national level competition is required to compete. It is the Race Director's discretion to determine a driver's qualification for the Pro class. Those unable to match the pace of the field may be asked to compete in the Leopard 125 Semi Pro class, and some may be asked to move up to the Pro class pending their pace and skill level. Drivers are not allowed to compete in both categories.
Minor drivers of at least 9 years of age whose birthday qualifies them to move up to a class may do so under two conditions; 1) birthday occurs by June 30 of competition year may advance to class of next higher age requirement at the beginning of the competition year; 2) birthday occurs after June 30 of competition year may advance to class of next higher age requirement on or after their birthday and complete the competition year.
Engine tech regarding the Yamaha and Leopard powerplants will include a 'blowdown' rule for each engine. The Yamaha 'blowdown' rule includes a minimum of 0.380" and a maximum of 0.410" as measured with the LAD tool. The Leopard measures a minimum of 0.395" and a maximum of 0.405". More specifics on the 'blowdown' rules will be posted on the website. The spec fuel for the series will be Sunoco leaded 110. A fuel truck will be at the track or can be purchased from your local shop.
Another rule implemented for the series will be a practice ban prior to each event. Testing Monday thru Thursday the week of the event will not be permitted for competitors in their own kart or someone testing a kart competing in the event. Anyone violating this rule will not be allowed to practice on Friday, forced to qualify and will start at the back of their heat race.
Details for the Mooresville Motorplex event, presented by GoPro, are taking shape day by day. Competitors who will be in the area over the next few weeks can contact the track to learn about practice hours and fees for March and April. Trailer storage is also available at the facility for a $50 fee to help cover extra security measures. Reserved pit spots are available for the weekend, and are asked to contact George Sieracki of Franklin Motorsports at 262-814-5400. The USPKS will host a Friday cookout following the practice schedule on track, and everyone is invited.
Registration is open, with drivers from 14 different states already registered. The first 100 drivers to enter will be given a free drivers pass and all pre-entries post-marked by April 3 will receive inaugural series t-shirt designed by TJ Koyen of Oktane Visual. Beginning March 15, the USPKS will begin taking credit cards for entry in addition to personal checks.