Factory team PRAGA – SKUSA SUPERNATIONALS Qualifying

Practice sessions done.
Night qualifying sessions for one half of drivers.
Pilots can start in two categories at the same time.
24.11.2015 | Text by Filip Schovánek | Photos by Alex Vernardis

As we informed you in the previous press release, a part of PRAGA Kart Racing team moved to the USA where they take part in the SKUSA SUPERNATIONALS to race at the new track in Las Vegas, close to the newly remodeled WestGate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

All drivers passed through the registration, and thus administrative check, and recently, they’ve finished all of the practice sessions.  The entire field is broken into two groups: one used the track in the morning part of the schedule and the second group could enjoy the use of the ring in the afternoon. This schedule allowed pilots to start in two classes at the same time which was by all means difficult not only in terms of driver’s physical readiness, but also in terms of perfect teamwork with his mechanic.

In total, there were four practice sessions on Wednesday’s schedule – both in the morning and in the afternoon. All pilots of Praga and Formula K undertook these sessions without any problem and thus, they could prepare their machinery for the next part of the race. Right on the first day it became clear that the track is more bumpy than it was in the previous years of the competition.

On Thursday, every driver undertook three practice sessions that were followed by qualifying.

The morning part of the schedule comprised the TaG Junior category in which is the chassis Formula K represented by a Czech driver Petr Ptáček junior. This class was separated into two groups and in total, 71 drivers competed in this category. Petr ranked 25th in his category. His time was slower due to downfallen airbox that was caused by a broken pulling strap.

Gary Carlton and Patrik Hájek (both Formula K), who competed in the morning part in the S1 class, undertook qualifying also before the noon break. Among 31 pilots they ranked 8th and 19th. The AM session of the schedule also contains the S2 category with 57 drivers, including Jorge Pescador (Praga). Jorge was one the fastest pilots not only in his category, but also in the overall results he managed to finish 2nd with a loss of only 0.034 seconds. As a result, Jorge could start from the first row in the heats.

The PM session comprised, among others, the TaG Senior and KZ2 categories in which also competed Praga’s and Formula K’s pilots. There were again three practice sessions and qualifying on schedule. However, qualifying of the KZ2 category started not before 5:30 PM which meant that artificial lighting was needed.

Three pilots represented Praga Kart Racing Team in the KZ2 category – Jorge Pescador represented Praga’s brand and Patrik Hájek with Gary Carlton started with Formula K chassis. All of those drivers start in both classes so they already had a tiring morning. The fastest from these three was Carlton who had the 3rd fastest time. Pescador finished 5th in qualifying and Hájek managed to rank 8th. There was a tough competition among 40 pilots of the KZ2 category. For instance, 8th Patrik Hájek lost only 0.149 seconds on the winner.

The last category that introduced itself on Thursday was the TaG Senior category. In this category competed a local pilot Andrick Zeen with Praga’s chassis. In total, there were 88 pilots that were separated into two groups. Andrick ranked 8th in his group.

Czech drivers commented on their performance for the kartingsport.cz:

Petr Ptáček junior: “I have some experience from the previous years of the competition in Las Vegas. Therefore, I knew the surroundings and atmosphere of this unique event. In spite of this, I have to admit that this year’s bumpy track surprised me. Although the team worked perfectly and our machinery was very well prepared, still a technical fault occurred. It was caused mainly by that bumpy and disordered track. That is also a part of karting life. I can promise that I will  maximally try to move forward in the heats. On the narrow and artificial track it can be very challenging, however, I will still do my best to achieve it.”

Patrik Hájek: “Las Vegas is an huge show every year to which I am always looking forward. It is simply an unrepeatable event. This year I race in two categories and due to a tight schedule it is very challenging for me. There is a minimum space to rest and almost no time for preparations for the next ride. Before evening qualifying I was a bit afraid. For me, it’s not the best racing with artificial lighting due to my eye operation. Under these conditions, some angles of turns are still not ideal for me. I did my best in qualifying and we will see what happens in heat runs. On this track, everything is possible. I’m looking forward to the heats and – of course – to the finals on Sunday!”

On Friday and Saturday, there are the heat scorings on schedule and on Sunday we can experience final races.

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