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Jurca Nominated for Driver of the Year Award

After a month of nomination form tabulations, the staff at Shifter Kart Illustrated (SKI) is pleased to announce the nominees for this year’s SKI Excellence Awards. Chosen by the readers of the publication, a total of five candidates have been selected for each of the seven categories. The winners will be announced and the awards will be presented at a special party that will be held at this year’s Kart Expo show in St. Charles, IL on the evening of Saturday, February 21.

The evening’s festivities will run in conjunction with the 5th anniversary of the magazine and will begin at 7:30 pm with a cocktail hour before the awards ceremony gets under way at 8:30 pm. A number of special segments will be included in the party as the magazine celebrates its first five years of publishing. SKI publisher Rob Howden will be the host for the evening and he will announce the winners in seven different categories, a list that includes Driver of the Year, Team of the Year, Tuner of the Year, Engine Builder of the Year, Rising Star, Road Racer of the Year and Young Driver of the year. Nominees for this year’s awards will receive two free passes to the ceremony; additional passes may be purchased during the show at the Shifter Kart Illustrated booth.

Nomination forms for this year’s SKI Awards were delivered with the December issue of the magazine and they have been flooding into the office via mail and fax for the past six weeks. “The piles of forms we have received have been overwhelming,” explained Howden. “I have had my staff members adding to a running tally each day so that we could lock the nominees in as soon as possible.”

With the nominations now closed, the time has come to announce the nominees for the 2003 Shifter Kart Illustrated Excellence Awards: As determined by our readership

Driver of the Year

Darren Elliott – Canyon Country, CA – SSC Racing
Bobby Wilson – Dousman, WI – First Kart North America
David Jurca – Federal Way, WA – Italian Motors
Alex Speed – Manteca, CA – KLS Racing
Ron White – San Jose, CA – RC20/Premier Performance

Team of the Year

First Kart North America – Tony Ventresca - Guelph, ON, Canada
Italian Motors – Claudio Valiante - Vancouver, BC, Canada
KLS Racing – Scott Jeffrey - Sonoma, CA
MRP Motorsports – Garry Lobaugh - Three Oaks, MI
Team Extreme – Tom Kutscher - Anaheim, CA

Tuner of the Year

Dave Carpentier – David Jurca – Italian Motors
Shane Noud – Kyle Wiegand – McGrath / Fury
Mike Speed – Alex Speed – KLS Racing
Terry Ventresca – Bobby Wilson – First Kart North America
Kimball Williams – Assorted Drivers

Road Racer of the Year

Chad Dokken – Clearwater, FL
Scott Holmboe – Aloha, OR
Lance Lane – Algonquin, IL
Mike Spear Jr. – Springdale, AZ
Johnny West – Chicago, IL

Rising Star

Wesley Boswell – Alameda, CA – MRP Motorsports
Gary Carlton – Marysville, CA – Kosmic Racing
Alan Sciuto – Orange, CA – Team Extreme
Wade Van Hooser – Tulare, CA – Champion Racing
Kyle Weigand – Indianapolis, IN – Factory Fury

Engine Builder of the Year

CKT Racing Engines – Jim Perry
Darcy DeCoste Racing – Darcy DeCoste
Hi-Tech Performance – Paul Leary
Italian Motors – Claudio Valiante
SwedeTech Racing Engines – Reine Persson

Young Driver of the Year

Jonathon Beason – Broken Arrow, OK – Beason Motorsports
Kevin LaCroix – St. Eustache, PQ – PSL Karting
Kyle Rahal – Glen Ellyn, IL – MRP Motorsport
Cole Whitt – Alpine, CA – PKS Racing
Robert Wickens – Guelph, ON, Canada – Team Hurricane

The SKI staff would like to congratulate this year’s nominees and we are looking forward to seeing everybody at the awards party in February.

To obtain more information on Shifter Kart Illustrated or the SKI Excellence Awards, please contact Rob Howden or Mike Maurini at the HCI World Headquarters at 905-271-3236. For advertising inquiries, please contact Mike Maurini via e-mail at