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CKI All Stars Event at the PRI Show

Making Karting a Household Name
Monday, December 14, 2009

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Scott Morris raced for AR1 in the new media race
photo by Juha Lievonen
Every year at the PRI show, the kart race seems to get bigger and bigger. Despite the very small and tight track, all of the kart manufacturers come out to earn bragging rights, and enter top-name kart racers and major racing names from IndyCar, NASCAR, sports car racing, and F1.

This year was no different, and the racing was tough and tight form the very first turn of the first race, where there was a pile up of at least 20 karts. On a track that small, that is a pretty big scrap. The race was red flagged, and all of the teams scrambled to replace broken parts and make it back to the grid.

The stands were packed full and the crowd was several bodies deep all around the fences to the track. We would venture to say there are few other places in the karting world that a karting driver can get exposure to an audience like this. Many of these people didn’t seem to be very familiar with karting. So it is not a crowd of family and friends, or even the hard-core kart fans. It is a fantastic way to expose the world to kart racing, and the drivers that come out of the sport’s grass-roots level.

The track is perfectly positioned in the parking lot to the convention center building for the PRI show. So most of the people leaving at the end of the day to go to their car, see a great race going on, and they stay to watch. That is the beauty of this event, and why it is so good for the sport and karting’s significance therein.

AR1's Scott Morris sits on the grid
photo by Juha Lievonen
From an organizational standpoint, we would recommend some better bathroom facilities and concessions for food. We speculate that some type of merchandise area would also get some traffic, especially if there were event t-shirts made.

This year, the event had a new promoter as Championship Karting International (CKI) took over for the defunct Stars of Karting. We are told a number of the same people are now with CKI, which surely contributed to the seamless transition of the event.

CKI is owned by a group of partners that includes racer-businessman R.J. Valentine, who also is the east coast dealer for CRG karts, Kiss Kart Barriers, and a number of other businesses including the F1 Boston karting center and a charter private jet service.

They did a nice job with the event overall, and the unique part of this event is that the paddock tent area where the karts are being prepared is entirely open, and the fans can walk through and interact with the teams and famous drivers as they prepare their karts. It’s a really cool immersive experience for any racing fan.

AR1's Scott Morris races back from DFL to 4th
photo by Juha Lievonen
A fun addition to this years event was the media race, that put members of the media in karts to battle one-another and get an understanding of what this is all about. Of course, there were a few media members that also have racing experience.

Scott Morris represented AutoRacing1.com (AR1) with support from K1 Race Gear and took to the wheel as well, and showed well in a wet qualifying session, with second qualifying position, 1/10 sec. behind David Cole from E-Karting news, and ahead of renowned motorsports writer Jeremy Shaw.

"Driving the karts on this tight track in the slightly slower karts still gave a very obvious indication of how much a kart beats on the body, and especially on this very tight twisty track. We ran three 20 lap sessions and a 20 lap race to the main karter’s several sessions at more than 30 laps each, with a 40 lap main event. It is easy to understand why race drivers have to be in top physical condition." said Scott.

K1 Race Gear produced a custom suit for us, to show us their product. Having worn a lot of different karting suits, Scott said this was the most comfortable suit he has ever worn, with a very breathable design.

"To me the low price almost doesn’t make any sense, and they turned around a custom suit for us in about two weeks!"

This company is all about making affordable quality essential racing gear. Be sure to click on their banner ad on the top of the AR1 page and check them out.

In the media race, which was the first race of the evening in front of the capacity crowd, who seemed to take a genuine interest in anything that was on-track, even if the karts were a few seconds slower than the 125cc Rotax and TAG karts of the main event.

The green flag dropped and Jeremy Shaw scooted inside Scott for second. Then, in the third turn, he was mercilessly drilled from behind by the driver from Racecar Engineering, and demoted to last, with the entire field already a couple of corners ahead by the time he got turned around and back up to speed. He picked his way through the field and into fourth position and was challenging Shaw for third at the final turn, but could not quite get by.

Like they say in racing “Sometimes you are the windshield, and sometimes you are the bug”

But overall, it was great fun to participate. This is really a great event that is great for the sport.

We are also hereby issuing a public challenge to Dave Despain to get out there next year!

Full Race Report

Race Results

Pro Results

Pos No. Name Total Diff Best Btlap
1 88 Jan Heylen 40 - 15.148 12
2 14 Scott Speed 40 0.044 15.168 37
3 15V Tonio Liuzzi 40 0.154 15.196 17
4 20 Buddy Rice 40 5.791 15.298 13
5 8 Gary Carlton 40 7.104 15.223 10
6 7 Alan Rudoplh 40 8.604 15.3 10
7 69 Jamie McMurray 40 8.918 15.257 13
8 54 Wes Phillips 40 9.192 15.204 13
9 55 Michael Vincec 40 12.934 15.281 7
10 29 AJ Allmendinger 40 15.196 15.399 9
11 4 Brendan Langlois 40 15.353 15.304 11
12 1 Jay Howard 39 1 LAP 15.159 13
13 111 Gustavo Menezes 39 0.468 15.302 10
14 8 Townsend Bell 39 3.63 15.304 13
15 77 Alex Tagliani 38 2 LAPS 15.326 8
16 78 Joe Sylvester 37 3 LAPS 15.901 11
17 14 Ryan Hunter-Reay 23 17 LAPS 15.373 9
DNF 2 Arie Ouimet 28 - 15.283 7
DNF 38 Zach Beard 27 - 15.34 10
DNF 15 Ed Carpenter 22 - 15.418 10
DNF 86 Kyle Wiegand 16 - 15.299 7
DNF 38 Colin Braun 16 - 15.319 14
DNF 16 Chris Wehrheim 11 - 15.387 6
DNF 21 Thomas Sheckter 6 - 15.66 2
DNF 18 Justin Wilson 0 - --:--:--.--- 0

All-Stars Division

Karters Division

Pos No. Driver Total Laps Diff Best Time BTlap
1 8 Gary Carlton 40 15.186 12
2 16 Chris Wehrheim 40 1.100 15.2 20
3 86 Kyle Wiegand 40 1.847 6.491 24
4 2 Arie Ouimet 40 5.087 15.266 6
5 38 Zach Beard 40 6.156 15.337 22
6 55 Michael Vincec 40 11.384 15.259 7
7 54 Wes Phillips 40 11.487 15.205 21
8 111 Gustavo Menezes 40 13.115 15.416 16
9 4 Brendan Langlois 40 13.478 15.267 20
10 66 Spencer Pigot 40 13.908 15.319 6
11 421 Jimmy Simpson 40 14.974 15.48 20
12 42 Michael Lewis 39 1 LAPS 15.338 11
13 117 Chris Scribner 39 1.138 15.405 8
14 13 Erik Haase 39 6.057 15.521 17
15 23 Austin Dyne 39 17.694 15.641 28
16 22 Connor Daly 38 2 LAPS 15.488 12
17 66 Lucas Barnett 37 3 LAPS 15.716 16
18 12 Jackson Mears 37 9.921 15.515 7
DNF 21 Josef Newgarden 38 15.447 8
DNF 45 Mario Romancini 37 15.241 21
DNF 6 Wilson Phillipe 33 15.693 17
DNF 9 Tony Lavanant 23 15.366 14
DNF 5 Matt Jaskol 23 15.428 8
DNF 11 Stefan Wilson 23 15.544 12
DNF 24 Bobby Kelley 14 15.564 6
DNF 56 Bill McLaughlin 14 15.579 7
DNF 12x Phil DeLaO 13 15.510 8
DNF 0 Carlos Duenas 0 --:--:--.--- 0
DNF 49 Scott Saunders 0 --:--:--.--- 0
DNF 10 Josh Hurley 0 --:--:--.--- 0
DNF 656 Mark Pellegrini 0 --:--:--.--- 0
DNF 25 Brandon Newey 0 --:--:--.--- 0
DNS 3 Bobby Wilson 0 --:--:--.--- 0



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