2016 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings – TaG – May 27
The race for the #1 position in the eKartingNews.com TaG Driver Rankings is well underway. Five months into the 2016 season is now in the books, with a percentage of drivers taking advantage of the first half of the year and others still looking for better results. Dating back to the end of May 2015 for the 12-month tally to calculate the order of the TaG standings, Jake Craig has now moved back into the number one position to close out the month of May.
Craig (Praga North America) has not been setting the United States karting scene on fire thus far in 2016, but the Californian has the best seven-race score from the past 12 months that includes podiums at the two biggest events – the United States Rotax Grand Nationals and the SKUSA SuperNationals. Jarsocrak has slipped down to second, trailing Craig by 27 points. The KartSport North America / Praga pilot lost last year’s first, second finish from the United States Pro Kart Series opener at GoPro, and replaced it with two third-place finishes at New Castle just two weeks ago. Head-to-head in 2016, Craig performed better at the SpringNationals while Jarsocrak had the advantage in New Castle. Ironically, the two ended up pitted next to each other and worked together throughout the USPKS opener.
Still in third is United States Pro Kart Series 2015 champion Elliot Finlayson. The Koene USA / Tony Kart pilot has not been able to capitalize on the first events of 2016, with his best thus far a victory at the Daytona KartWeek 2015. Now into the top-five is Ohio driver Braden Eves. Without a doubt, the month of May was his, winning at the SKUSA SpringNationals and the USPKS opener. Eves (MDD / Kosmic) currently leads the Pro Tour championship and trails by just 13 points in the USPKS title chase.
2016 Challenge of the Americas champion Christian Brooks remains in the fifth position with no change in his point total. The SpringNationals was not as the Nash Motorsportz / CRG driver had hoped for, however, the 15-year-old finished sixth and fourth in his Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites debut in Phoenix two weeks later. Up one position is Ryan Norberg. The Orlando Kart Center / Tony Kart shined in Phoenix, nearly sweeping the weekend only to be sent out into the desert in Sunday’s main event. Norberg did not perform in a similar fashion once arriving at New Castle for the USPKS opener, limiting his advancement in the standings.
The top rookie to this point in 2016 is Brandon Lemke. Advancing up to seventh, the Franklin Motorsports / Merlin driver picked up his first SKUSA Pro Tour podium and the biggest win of the season thus far at the USPKS opener – both on the Sunday rounds. Now the USPKS point leader, Lemke is the target for everyone heading to Shawano where he dominated at a Junior driver. Andrick Zeen drops to eighth as the Californian continues to lose events without replacing them, wrenching for Praga North America drivers.
2014 United States Pro Kart Series title winner AJ Myers finds himself down to ninth. Myers did not have a standout performance at the USPKS opener aboard his iKart machine with a best result of sixth at New Castle. Up 11 positions into the top-10 once again is Kyle Kirkwood. The podium result at the SKUSA SpringNationals in his PSL Karting / Birel ART debut helped to propel the Florida Winter Tour and US Grand Nationals champion back into the top-10. Falling out are Oliver Askew – who lost his SKUSA SpringNationals victory from a year ago – Phillippe Denes and Roger Ralston Jr.
NEW TaG #1 – Jake Craig
The 2014 season was the best yet by Jake Craig. Last year was a year of transition, going from Tony Kart to Formula K, still fighting for wins and championships.
Now in 2016, Craig is adapting to another company and chassis brand with Praga North America.
The Californian spent much of the winter testing, and racing a select few events. A podium at the SpringNationals has put himself in title contention once again, just as he did last year, helping to increase his point total and move him to the top of the standings.
Add in a good recovery from rough starts at his USPKS debut in New Castle, Craig continues to show why he is among the best drivers in North America.
Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca
Jake Craig EKN Point Breakdown
|SKUSA SummerNationals ’15 #1||9||6||1048|
|SKUSA SummerNationals ’15 #2||9||6||1046|
|US Rotax Grand Nationals ’15||10||3||1115|
|SKUSA SuperNationals 2015||10||3||1161|
|SKUSA SpringNationals ’16 #1||9||6||1015|
|SKUSA SpringNationals ’16 #2||9||2||1074|
|United States Pro Kart Series ’15 #2||9||6||1023|
TAG EKN Driver Rankings Top 10