SKUSA: Prime/GRG SuperNationals preview

Prime/CRG will make its team debut at SuperNationals XIII. Prime Kartsport will make its team debut next week as some of the best drivers on the continent mix with International superstars at SKUSA SuperNationals XIII. Two Prime/CRG drivers will...

Prime/CRG will make its team debut at SuperNationals XIII.

Prime Kartsport will make its team debut next week as some of the best drivers on the continent mix with International superstars at SKUSA SuperNationals XIII. Two Prime/CRG drivers will be in the mix at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino as Luke Chudleigh and Reid Arnold are set to take on one of the toughest junior fields in karting. Originally capped at 40 entries, TaG Junior quickly sold out and was extended to its current crop of near 70 drivers heading to Las Vegas.

"We are definitely excited about making our debut at what can easily be described as one of the world's largest karting events," said team principal Trevor Wickens. "While the classes being run are unfamiliar to Luke and Reid, I'm confident that we will be able to figure things out. When you go to a race of this magnitude you have to be as efficient off the track as you are on it, and this bodes well for us as the ability to convert data into performance is one of our greatest team assets."

It's a fact the drivers are banking on, as both Chudleigh and Arnold realize what is at their disposal. "Trevor and the rest of the team are well qualified veterans and it is a privilege to be racing with them," said Chudleigh this week. "I am so looking forward to landing in Vegas! A lot of preparation has gone into getting ready for my first SuperNats, and we have been working since the beginning of September to get everything ready. I really have no great expectations as I realize my rookie status, but I'm hoping to show my best abilities through the whole event, and a good, clean race is the most I can hope for."

Arnold will also be relying heavily on his Prime/CRG team, as along with joining Chudleigh in TaG Junior, he will make his shifter debut in Stock 80cc, S5 in SKUSA lexicon. "I am thrilled to be going back to Vegas and really excited about running the S5 class!" he said while preparing. "I love driving shifter, although I have only put in practice laps and had some instruction, I have never raced it. I'm just hoping to gain some experience and have fun." Assisting the effort as a Prime/CRG driving coach when action gets underway will be Robbie Wickens, fresh from a second-place finish in the Formula Two Championship. The Red Bull Junior Driver and world-class talent got his start in karting and is a veteran of four SuperNats events himself.

In seeing double-duty, Arnold will be looking for much more in TaG Junior based on his 2008 performance. Racing as he hobbled to the kart on crutches due to a broken ankle, Arnold came 22 positions forward in heat races and was taking more in the final when the race was called early. "The key to the heats was getting through the starts and keeping out of trouble," he said on his success in Vegas. "It was really hard, as most of the heats were held at night and when you were coming down the straight to take the green you couldn't see anything from the exhaust and lights! Then we had two red flags during what was supposed to be a 25 lap final. The first one was on lap 8 and I had already moved up a few spots, then we had another at lap 14 and they called the race. I was tenth and moving up as my tires were coming in, but scoring went back a lap and put me in 11th. I was happy overall, considering the injury and with such a tough group to race against. It was great."

For his part, Wickens has been to every SuperNats since 2001 and worked with an impressive array of drivers. He guided brother Robert to the podium in the formation stages of his career, and the senior Wickens also assisted both Gianmarco Raimondo and Michael Vincec to the podium in Vegas, including Vincec charging to fifth last year in headlining SuperPro.

After moving in early next week, the Prime Kartsport/CRG drivers will have practice days on Wednesday and Thursday before qualifying and Heat 1 on Friday. Heats 2 and 3 will be contested on Saturday before things wrap up on Super Sunday.

-credit: p/crg

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Kart
Drivers Gianmarco Raimondo