Video and Gallery - SKUSA Great Lakes ProKart Challenge – Rounds One and Two

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(James McMahon) #1

A Press Release from: Superkarts! USA
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(Photo: Karlie Jones Photography)

Superkarts! USA competition returned to its roots with the re-launch of the Great Lakes ProKart Challenge regional program, hosting Rounds One and Two at the New Castle Motorsports Park this past weekend. The four-race series will travel to three tracks this season, including the Concept Haulers Motor Speedway, CTECH Manufacturing Motorplex at Road America and closing out the year with a return to the New Castle Motorsports Park in early August.

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Carrying the professional image and execution the SKUSA programs have become known for, the Great Lakes PKC series presented by HMG – TB Kart Indy will offer drivers of all experience and skill level a place to experience the next step of competition in an inclusive, fun environment. The new program, led by Joe Janowski, will be home to some of the best shifter and TaG racing the Midwest has to offer, and has already made its mark following the first event of the season.

The marquee platforms including KZ, Pro Shifter, and the X30 categories saw fantastic racing on the Ironman circuit at NCMP, with multiple classes being decided by just hundredths of seconds at the finish line. The series made the decision to go to a two-day format for the opening event following the poor weather forecast for Sunday, and the response to the format was so positive that officials are strongly considering adopting a similar format for future races in the championship.

“We want to provide teams and drivers with a program that gets them excited about karting again, and after the feedback we received from the event, I think we have done just that,” said series owner Joe Janowski. “Being a lifelong racer myself, I wanted this to be somewhere I’d want to compete, and the competition and atmosphere of the event was exactly what we were hoping for.”

Being a new program, a lot of racers look to the numbers to get a better picture of what they can expect from the series. Here are some statistics from the opening weekend of the Great Lakes ProKart Challenge:

  • 2,520 – Number of miles driven by competitors during competition sessions
  • 20 – Number of champagne/cider bottles sprayed at podium celebrations
  • 4,690 – Dollar value of prizes given away at podiums
  • 528 – Ounces of margaritas served at the Friday Fiesta
  • 80 – Pounds of chicken and steak served at the Friday Fiesta
  • 0.010 – Closest margin of victory (KZ / Pro Shifter)
  • 7 – Sets of Evinco tires handed out at podiums
  • 8 – Number of states represented on the weekend
  • 0 – Number of red flag incidents
  • 0 – Number of incidents requiring emergency medical staff
  • 950 – Furthest number of miles travelled to compete at the event (Zach Schiff)

Click HERE to view the photo gallery produced by Karlie Jones Photography.

The next installment of the series will take place at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway in Norway, Illinois on June 1-2. For more information and content from the SKUSA Great Lakes ProKart Challenge, follow along on Facebook and Instagram at @skusagreatlakes.


(Charles Skowron) #2

Since I have a particular interest in the Shifters, I was curious as to how many gearbox karts would show up for this inaugural event. It appears they got 14; 6 IAME 175s, 5 KZs, 3 Hondas. Strangely enough, the gearbox engine makeup may have been more diverse than the number of chassis brands. It looks like every shifter there was either a TB or DR chassis, save for one or two.

The other surprise was that Joe Ruch managed to eke out the overall shifter win in the 1st round with his KZ 125, just beating out a couple of IAME 175s, and he almost pulled it off in Round 2. Then again, you just have to see his Quincy on-board video from last year to know that he is a fast driver.

Now I’m wondering how many shifters will show up at the first Gearup F-Series event at Go-Pro N.C. next week. They have a new class format for the gearbox karts this year, a KZ-class running strictly to CIK rules, and a “Formula Shifter” class, allowing a mix of KZ, Rok Shifter, and Stock Hondas at different weights, plus a 43+ “Ironman” class coinciding and running with Formula Shifter.
Marco, the promoter, has been hyping the turnout for these classes, how many actually show up, and if the weather plays a factor, remains to be seen. But I think the turnout, along with the Great Lakes PKC races, will be a pretty good barometer of how the shifterkart racing is doing in this part of the country.


(James McMahon) #3

Always appreciate your insights @C.Skowron.

I’ve read a lot of folks saying that the 175 is faster, or that they expected it to be.

I don’t think that was necessarily the design goal. It was more to offer laptimes in the range of KZ with longer intervals between maintenance and some healthy torque for a wild ride. Parity and stability of rules as well.

Marco runs a good show, I’m excited to see what they do this year.


(Charles Skowron) #4

That’s exactly what I thought was the reason for building a 175 engine instead of the typical 125, KZ performance but with much better rebuild longevity. So being tuned down a little in performance from what it could be, you could see a highly-tuned KZ do well against it.

But then again, it’s still 50 extra CCs. And that is quite a difference in capacity no matter how you look at it.

And then of course there’s Billy Musgrave on Facebook a few months ago, enthusiastically showing how much more powerful the SSE dyno curve was compared to all of the other shifter engines…


(James McMahon) #5

Love Billy but the Rok looked suspiciously low IMO.

You can also see that that 175 has a lot less overrev and area under the curve (at the top end) compared to the TM KZ. Eyeballing the comparative area under the curve, the 175 has more, but not a huge amount.

In case anyone is wondering what we’re talking about…