SKUSA: PKC-N: 2009 season opener preview

PROKART CHALLENGE NORTH READIES FOR 2009 DEBUT Sophomore season on the horizon for Northern California program TEMECULA, CA (March 10, 2009) -- The Northern California region is in a state of growth within the karting community, thanks in part...

PROKART CHALLENGE NORTH READIES FOR 2009 DEBUT
Sophomore season on the horizon for Northern California program

TEMECULA, CA (March 10, 2009) -- The Northern California region is in a state of growth within the karting community, thanks in part to the introduction of the ProKart Challenge North series in 2008. A successful first year has garnered the respect of many competitors and teams within the area, which is helping to build the excitement for this weekend's opening round of the 2009 season. With the heavy rains that the area has been experiencing over the past few weeks, the arrival of the PKC program will look to bring in sunny skies and great racing weather to start the year off right.

Seven events over the next seven months are on the PKC schedule for the sophomore season, with the Infineon Raceway's Jim Russell International Karting Center set as the focal point of the series. Six events will be held at the Sonoma, California facility -- including this weekend's opening round -- with a NorCal vs. SoCal shootout scheduled for May 16 at the Buttonwillow Raceway kart track. PKC will be varying the track configurations at Infineon throughout the season. The first round will run in the National Track layout in the normal (clockwise) direction.

The majority of the classes campaigned in '08 will return, with the exception of TaG Masters Light. The S1, G1, S3, and S4 classes will fill up the shifter divisions while TaG Senior, TaG Master and HPV2 Junior will return, as well. New for '09 will be the TaG Junior division, a class that was very successful for the Superkarts! USA organization at the SuperNationals XII just four months ago. In addition to the Parilla Leopard engines, PKC will also allow Rotax Junior engine packages per Rotax Max Challenge specifications in the class.

A number of drivers have already committed to the opening round this weekend. In the S3 division, PKC South championship contenders Patrick Cushenberry and Clinton Schoombee will make the trip to NorCal with the Select Shifter organization, while Brad Dunford and New Zealander Daniel Bray (returning to the states) will be running with Team Aluminos yet again. S1 champion Cody Hogdson, fresh off his big national victory this past weekend, will return to defend his crown and battle PKC South star Jacob Neal. The TaG Senior division will surely be the showcase class once more, with some big names coming back for season two, including Brett Buckwalter, Will Martindale, and Larry Fraser. PKC Newcomers Michael Hogg and Hayden Ritter of Kartel Motorsports are also scheduled to compete.

Primary series sponsor and PKC partner Jim Russell Racing Drivers School will be intimately involved in the program in '09. In addition to the PKC divisions, JRRDS will again offer two arrive-and-drive groups to run within the race day schedule. Both PKC and JRRDS are working hard on putting together an exciting line-up of championship prizes for the year-end awards. Already part of that package will be an award given to one lucky racer from the region selected for an all-expense paid trip to compete in the annual Granja Viana 500 race in Sao Paulo, Brazil (valued at over $13,000). The winning driver will compete with other Superkarts! USA regional drivers against the elite in international motorsport, including many F1 drivers. Also, if a competitor finishes in the top-three in their respective class in the championship, they will be eligible to win a free entry to the 2009 SKUSA SuperNationals.

SwedeTech Racing Engines will be sponsoring the Friday night BBQ following the unofficial practice day. Longtime PKC friend and supporter Scott Jeffery will be serving up some tasty treats for all who are in attendance. Pre-entries will be taken through Wednesday, March 11 up to midnight, where competitors can save $35 by registering early. For more information on Superkarts! USA's ProKart Challenge, head to www.prokartchallenge.com

-credit: skusa

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Series Kart
Drivers Michael Hogg