Michael Schumacher beats Buemi and Piquet in kart race (Pictures & video)

Michael Schumacher in the SKUSA SuperPro race in Las Vegas

Michael Schumacher in the SKUSA SuperPro race in Las Vegas

Michael Schumacher hasn’t lost his appetite for racing – he was in action in Las Vegas last weekend taking on some of the top young kart racers and two of this year’s F1 drivers.

F1 Fanatic reader Jan Stahl was at the SKUSA SuperNationals XIII kart event where Schumacher was competing along with Sebastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jnr.

Schumacher finished the SuperPro final in seventh place with Piquet tenth. Buemi retired after 13 laps. Here’s Jan’s report from the race:

It was minimally advertised in Las Vegas. Half of the attendance seemed to be karting fanatics that knew about the event from kart racing circles, and the other half showed up in Ferrari gear after getting wind Schumacher was showing up.

The bottom line is that the event was definitely not attended to capacity, although a good size crowd showed up. The announcers mentioned this being the largest SKUSA event ever, largely due to the influx of Schumacher fans.

As for the event itself, I missed the qualifying – it was on Saturday, and I was out of town, so all I got to see was the feature race on Sunday. Schumacher started ninth and had a fairly bad start, dropping as low as 11th, and then working his way back up with some nice passing.

Helped by some retirements ahead of him, he finished seventh, directly ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr, who I believe started 11th or 12th. Sebastien Buemi retired about halfway through the race, never having looked in contention to anywhere close to the top ten (although he was racing an Intrepid kart, which is the team that ended up claiming first and second).

To me, the best part was how accessible the F1 drivers were compared to how it usually is on the F1 circuit. I was able to walk up and chat to both Buemi and Piquet Jr without any problems, as they were just lounging in the Intrepid team tent, which was open to the public. Both seemed very outgoing, and took pictures and gave autographs extensively with the handful of fans that even knew who they were – amazing.

As for Michael Schumacher, he was out of sight in the Tony Kart paddock for the majority of the day – when he came out to take part in the feature race, he was escorted straight to the race area and back, without talking to the public (although he had a mob of people accompanying him there and back, as you can see from the pictures).

However, about two hours after the end of the main event, he came out and spend almost an hour signing autographs for the about 100 or so fans that gathered around the Tony Kart paddock – a measly crowd compared to the amount of people a similar event would attract anywhere else in the world. Definitely seemed impressive to me that he would devote that much time to spend with the fans – I overheard someone say he did the same thing during qualifying on Saturday.

The SuperPro race was won by Bas Lammers, who scooped a $10,000 prize. Lammers was driving for the same Intrepid team as Piquet and Buemi – as were fellow podium finishers Norman Nato and Jeremy Iglesias. See the full SuperPro race results.

SKUSA Supernationals XIII pictures

Here are Jan’s pictures from the SKUSA Supernationals XIII:

Find more photographs from the event in Leandroclaro’s photostream on Flickr.

SKUSA Supernationals XIII video

F1 drivers will be in more karting action this weekend in Felipe Massa’s karting challenge race this weekend. British fans can watch the event live on British Eurosport at 6pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.

The off-season will also see the traditional Granje Viana 500 which Massa is expected to compete in.

F1 drivers karting

Top image (C) Leandro Claro/KartOnline

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24 comments on Michael Schumacher beats Buemi and Piquet in kart race (Pictures & video)

  1. wasiF1 said on 25th November 2009, 7:10

    Is this Schumi gearing up to race for Mercedes in 2010.

    • Maksutov said on 25th November 2009, 15:46

      Just shows that Schumi is neither bothered nor embarrassed if he loses, he is out there to have fun and I believe he will continue to do that without remorse. Which means that we can never rule him out of returning to F1. And good on him, you only live once and nobody else can be in control of his life. If he “does” return, it is very likely that he will do it more for fun than anything else.

  2. José Baudaier said on 25th November 2009, 7:25

    This weekend there will be here in my city (Florianópolis – Brazil) the “International Challenge of the Stars”, or whatever it’s its translated name, and I’ll be there. There will be quite some good pilots racing the karts.

    http://www.desafiodasestrelas.com.br/provasPilotos2009.aspx

    • Ronman said on 25th November 2009, 9:04

      Can’t wait to move to Floripa to watch this race in the future.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th November 2009, 9:12

      Yep that’s the one that’s on Eurosport this weekend.

      Thanks for the list of drivers I’ve been looking for that! Though I understand Fisichella and Badoer have pulled out.

      Anyone think we should do a live blog for the two races?

      • Yes! Definately if it is the weekend and help is needed then I will try my best. I’m absolutely desperate for motorsport and the live blog was brilliant! And it is great for getting links for streaming for those of us who don’t have the channel

      • Almost sounds like a plan, though do have my funny daughters, Fish and the Dweeb, for the weekend, so some serious London Xmas lights needs to be frolicked before I can indulge with you guys. Got any schedule in Zulu?

        And yes Steph, miss the silly wibblefest that is the live blog at Keith’s place. Quali always works best ;o)

  3. David said on 25th November 2009, 8:14

    Jan, it looks like you are the driver and they are the fan!
    Congratulations and thanks for the pictures.

  4. Jan thanks so much for the pictures they look great. I adore karting and this was a nice motorsport fix on the off season.

  5. TommyB said on 25th November 2009, 15:09

    Great pictures Jan. Jealous of the Buemi one!

    • Thanks! Couldn’t believe I was able to just walk up and go “Hey, Seb, how about a picture?” Unthinkable at any F1 event!

  6. Very good publicity for karting in north America, big thanks to the pros that came. Karting could use a big boost in the USA and events like this sure help.

  7. santori said on 25th November 2009, 18:09

    Good pictures.

    Why do some reports have Piquet in eighth?

  8. This is Michael Schumacher

  9. Karting is bliss! Michael gave a ten minute interview to Speed after the race. Only ground rule? No questions about F1, now why would that be? How can you interview MS, the only ever seven time F1 champ, without mentioning F1. And Willi Weber gave an interview to German mag Bunte today stating that Michael is 100% fit and could race for victories. Wish I could be cool and cynical about this, but would LOVE to see Michael compete for one more year, until Mercedes can get Vettel onboard.

    What more fitting return to the sport could the mighty Silver Arrows have, than the greatest driver in F1 history debut their car. Brawn and Schmacher magic one more time? Well I hope so – and that from a old die-hard Damon Hill fan.

  10. Hallard said on 25th November 2009, 21:11

    Piquet Jnr shouldnt even be allowed to race karts…

  11. Rob Wilson said on 28th November 2009, 0:29

    Who actually won that kart race? Buemi?

  12. Rob Wilson said on 28th November 2009, 0:29

    Schumi?

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