SKUSA: Rookie of the Year 2003 title up for grabs

A new crop of young SuperPro pilots to make a run for rookie supremacy. Dublin, OH -- With the 2003 ProMoto Tour quickly approaching and as SuperPro contenders continue to throw their names on the entry list, some of the new faces on the tour ...

A new crop of young SuperPro pilots to make a run for rookie supremacy.

Dublin, OH -- With the 2003 ProMoto Tour quickly approaching and as SuperPro contenders continue to throw their names on the entry list, some of the new faces on the tour become prevalent. The 'Rookie of the Year' title, sponsored by K&N Filters, is up for grabs and these new faces look to be some of the best in recent years. Last year's award was won by Matt Champagne by one point over Kyle Wharff in a title chase that went down to the very final race. For 2003, K&N Filters have upped their involvement by awarding the top SuperPro rookie with a check for $1,000.

"We have had a long and exciting relationship with SKUSA in recent years," said Tom Cates of K&N Filters. "We are very pleased to extend our involvement with the ProMoto Tour and the 'Rookie of the Year' award by offering a year-end prize fund at the 2003 SKUSA awards banquet."

Perhaps the favorite in the 'Rookie of the Year' title chase is Extreme Karting's newest entry, Matt Jaskol. With many front-running drives in Formula S1 and Stars competition in the past three years, Jaskol is now focused on a strong 2003 campaign in SuperPro on the ProMoto tour.

"I feel kind of funny about coming in as a rookie, but I guess I officially am," said Jaskol. "Hopefully I can add another award to Extreme Karting's impressive accomplishments and hopefully make a bid for the championship as well."

The other rookie contenders may have something to say about that. Drivers like APD Karting's S1 stand out, Ben Petter and KLS Racing's Gary Carlton have already begun testing and are looking forward to making a run for the title. For Carlton, it won't be for a lack of seat time as the young driver is planning on running both the East and West ProMoto Tour schedule.

"We have great team chemistry right now," said the young Carlton of his KLS Racing team. "I think we have a good shot at rookie of the year. We will be working hard at top tens and see if we can continue to improve throughout the year."

The early favorites won't have it so easy however, with many exceptional competitors starting to plan their assault on the ProMoto Tour. Out of the SKUSA Florida region is Columbian shifterkart champion, Mauricio Borrero making the jump from Formula S1 for Advanced Karting's Fittipaldi Kart Team. Some of the darkhorse entries for 2003 are Texas-based brothers, Mike and Phillip Johnson, both piloting the Evolution Racing Team's own Evolution F125 chassis. Also new to 'the show' is the privateer effort from Zimmerly Motorsports with SuperPro rookie, Mike Rolison. While more and more entries enter the SuperPro arena each week, the competition gets stronger and stronger.

"I am very impressed by these young guys stepping up from S1 to compete in SuperPro," said SKUSA CEO, Jim Murley. "Each year young drivers such as these go from being great racers in S1 to professional shifterkart pilots in SuperPro. We take great pride in watching these guys, with the help of the current pro drivers, develop and take their place as some of karting's top racers."

To see driver bios and race team information for 2003 SKUSA ProMoto Tour entries, log onto www.skusaonline.com or contact the SKUSA office at (614) 760-9540.

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Series Kart
Drivers Kyle Wharff , Matt Jaskol