SKUSA: PKC-N: Series Sonoma round five preview

PROKART CHALLENGE NORTH PUTS TWIST ON UPCOMING ROUND FIVE IN SONOMA New configuration for program next weekend at Jim Russell International Karting Center TEMECULA, CA (July 3, 2009) -- The one thing that the Superkarts! USA organization and the...

PROKART CHALLENGE NORTH PUTS TWIST ON UPCOMING ROUND FIVE IN SONOMA
New configuration for program next weekend at Jim Russell International Karting Center

TEMECULA, CA (July 3, 2009) -- The one thing that the Superkarts! USA organization and the ProKart Challenge North program have done in its short two year history is keep the competitors entertained and on their toes each month. Round five of the 2009 seven race championship -- set for July 11 at the Jim Russell International Karting Center in Sonoma, California -- will see a new track configuration for the event. Contesting on the 'Sprint' configuration, the 0.68-mile course is sure to challenge those who will be competing.

Aside from the new track layout, the big question heading into the race will be if anyone can stop Jacob Neal. With three straight wins in the PKC North S3 competition, including four more wins in the PKC South program, Neal has been nearly unstoppable. And as he leads with a nearly 200 point advantage in the standings, Tommy Thompson will need some help in the next two rounds in order to challenge Neal for the title. Neal also has a firm hold on the S1 championship, with two feature wins to his credit. Counting a drop, however, brings Cody Hodgson right into the chase with Neal -- as the two will go head to head next weekend. Word has it that a few surprise competitors, wanting to get track time in preparation for the upcoming SuperNats in the SuperPro division, may show up to challenge the S1 contenders for podium bragging rights.

The tightest battle heading into round five is in the TaG Senior standings. Will Martindale has a 12 point advantage over Brett Felkins. Both have two podium finishes -- including a feature win -- to their credit, and will be sure to keep on eye on one another on July 11. Larry Fraser may be the wild card, sitting just 19 points back of Martindale, despite the lack of his own feature win this season. A victory next weekend would certainly put Fraser in the driver's seat. The points are close in the TaG Masters category, as well, with three drivers within 35 points. Round four winner Steve Elo holds the number one spot, with Jim Zootis and Paul Hohlbein locked together in the second spot. Zootis has stood on the podium in three of the four previous rounds, while Hohlbein visited the steps twice, including a win at the West Coast Shootout in Buttonwillow. There is no doubt this fight will go down to the final laps at the finale.

The TaG Junior division continues to raise the bar each round, and next weekend will be no different. With half of the 40 reserved spots for entry to the SKUSA SuperNationals XIII taken in the first 24 hours after registration opened, there is no doubt the class is growing across the country. Many of those at the PKC North program will be among those racing in Vegas, including the top three in the points. Adrian Starrantino currently leads the standings by 16 markers over Kiel Spaulding, with Dylan Lupton lurking in the third position. Round five should see one of the highest kart counts in the division, as racers get early preparation for the SuperNats. Spaulding and Lupton are in a battle in the HPV 2 Junior championship chase, as well. Spaulding has the advantage over Lupton as of now. However, round four winner Luis Tyrrell may have a say in the fight.

In G1, just two drivers are poised to contend for the title -- with Jim Kidd holding the lead over Ethan Wilson by 55 points. Kidd has one feature win to his credit, while Wilson is still searching for that first win of the season. When considering the drop race, the fight for the S4 title gets interesting between Jamie Wilson and Jared Woolf. Wilson comes in with a sizeable lead in the standings; however, Woolf essentially has a drop race already with a low score from round one. Taking out Wilson's worst round, the gap between the two falls to under 30 points heading into the weekend. Though he will need some help, Peter Workum is not out of the chase as of yet, needing a win or two in order to help his cause for the championship.

If this event doesn't sound exciting enough, PKC supporter Shawn Thomas will again impress everyone in the paddock with one of the most valuable vintage race cars in the Tom Price collection. For this event, the winners of the TaG Masters and S4 divisions will receive a victory lap ride with Memo Gidley around the track in a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO on Saturday afternoon.

Pre-registration is open on the series website until midnight on July 8, where competitors can save $35 on fees. Friday, July 10 will be a full day of practice (9am-5pm) with a complimentary BBQ afterwards -- sponsored by Cameron Karting and free to those who have paid for practice or a pit pass. Longtime PKC friend and supporter Scott Jeffery will be serving up the goods to those who attend. Those looking for lodging are encouraged to contact the EconoLodge in Novato for a discount to those who mention ProKart Challenge.

The event will also be broadcasted live on two different websites. The Superkarts! USA website - www.superkartsusa.com/live - will have the live timing running during the event while NorCal Karters - www.norcalkarters.com - will provide a video feed from pit lane. For more information on the Superkarts! USA's ProKart Challenge itself, head to www.prokartchallenge.com or call 951-491-0808.

-credit: skusa

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Series Kart
Drivers Memo Gidley , Tom Price