MacDermid Moves Up to Senior as Canadian Drivers in Action at SKUSA WinterNationals
There is a good handful of Canadian drivers tackling the NOLA Motorsports Park for this weekends SKUSA WinterNationals, the first of three stops of the 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour.
In the city currently hosting the craziest party of the year, Mardi Gras, drivers will need to put aside the excitement when they strap on their helmets and compete against the United States best IAME and Stock Moto drivers.
The ten Canadian drivers in attendance are spread across the spectrum in regards to the classes, but they are housed in only four different team tents.
Two drivers will compete in S2 Semi-Pro Shifter category as Jeff Kingsley and Gianfranco Mazzaferro will make their S2 debuts. Mazzaferro has been racing shifter karts for a year now and will be interesting to watch while Kingsley is excited to reach for more than just two gears that he is accustomed to in Rotax DD2. Both will race under the PSL Karting/BirelART banner.
Across the IAME single-speed classes we will see Justin Arseneau (PSL) and Dale Curran (Koene USA) in Mini Swift and Thomas Nepveu (PSL) in X30 Junior.
Ryan MacDermid (PSL) will make his Senior debut after starting the season in Junior, joining Cedrik Lupien (RPG), Sam Lupien (RPG), Bryce Choquer (BBR), Kellen Ritter (RPG) and Logan Cusson (RPG) in X30 Senior while Blake Choquer (BBR) is the lone Canadian driver in X30 Masters.
Bryce Choquer and Kellen Ritter already have race wins in 2017 from the Challenge of the Americas races in Arizona while the Lupien brothers have been on the podium at the Florida Winter Tour.
We asked MacDermid if he felt intimidated heading into his first competition in Senior and he had this to say.
“No, definitely not intimidated by the competition. Looking to keep my nose clean as much as I can during the weekend. Also, I am looking to earn some respect on track and learn as much as possible. After driving the track last year, even though it was in the opposite direction, I do know some of the general racing lines throughout the track. Also, racing at last years SKUSA SuperNationals I learned what the Evinco tire felt like and I am planning on putting what I learned to good use this weekend.”
This will be the fourth major event at the relatively new NOLA facility, as it has hosted the Rotax Grand Finals, US Open and Pan American Championships since 2013 but this will be the first time the track is raced in the counter-clockwise direction. With long straights and 17 corners to challenge drivers, the track will be a handful with drafting coming into play for the single-speed categories.
With over 200 entries entered in the event it is noteworthy to see the shortage of international drivers. The Pro Tour has been popular for international drivers in the past but that does not seem the case this weekend with less than 10% of the entry coming from outside the USA.
The SKUSA WinterNationals continues today with practice ahead of two complete race days of action on Saturday and Sunday at NOLA Motorsports Park. The WinterNationals is the first of three SKUSA Pro Tour races on the agenda in 2017 all leading up to the SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas!