Jack Hawksworth won his first British Kartmasters race 11 years ago, and subsequently was among the top karters in the KZ division in Europe before moving to the States in 2010 to compete in Indy Lights.
This weekend in Las Vegas, the 24-year-old Briton returns to his racing roots at the SKUSA SuperNationals XIX. Hawksworth, who is preparing for his second season in the Verizon IndyCar Series aboard the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda for AJ Foyt Racing, will compete in the talent-laden KZ2 division.
KZ2 (125cc engine, six-gear sequential shift gearbox) headlines the event, which includes nine divisions for more than 500 karters overall, on a temporary circuit at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“The class is extremely competitive with the best kart manufacturers from around the world, the best engines, the best tuning where we’re putting new pistons in sometimes after every run. Everything is pushed to the edge,” said Hawksworth, who will be making his SuperNats debut. “A lot of the guys I used to race against back in 2009 and 2010 are entered so it will be nice to go back and test myself at that level again against those guys.”
Paulo De Conto, who scored his first SuperNats win last year in KZ2, returns to the field this weekend. The 2011 KZ European champion from Italy was runner-up in this year’s CIK-FIA World Championships. American Gary Carlton, also a former KZ2 SuperNats winner, is Hawksworth’s teammate at the RaceLab Formula K team.
“I’ve raced with Paulo – we were teammates in 2009 – and know him well,” Hawksworth said. “I’ve raced with Gary, too. He’s been one of the top U.S. karters for a long time. I feel prepared and know that I will have some good material at my disposal. I’m excited to see what we can do.”