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Last Updated: Thursday, 05 April 2012 19:16

WKA George Kugler / Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series driven by Mazda

man.cup1Named in honor of WKA founder George Kugler, the Manufacturers Cup Series possibly is the most competitive 2-cycle sprint karting series in the United States.

Over the past couple season Man Cup nationals have averaged over 500 entries. The traditional season opener, annually held Dec. 27-30 at the Daytona Int’l Speedway Sprint Track, regularly boasts over 600 entrants with a record of 690 in 2010.

With nearly every racer running multiple classes on a Man Cup weekend, 500 to 600 entries means approximately 200 to 250 drivers.

The six-race tour features events throughout the eastern half of the country and teams based throughout the country, including the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and West Coast.

In 2012, the series travels to Daytona; Kershaw, S.C.; Wampum, Pa.; South Bend, Ind.; Norway, Ill.; and New Castle, Ind.

Event schedule

A typical Manufacturers Cup weekend consists of four days. Thursday is parking and registration; Friday is practice; and Saturday and Sunday are devoted to one round of morning practice, qualifying, pre-finals and finals for each class.

The only deviation is Daytona, which consists of the same daily schedule, albeit the days of the week vary from year to year and always fall on Dec. 27-30.

Class structure

Five age categories make up the Man Cup class structure.

Yamaha Rookie Sportsman (age 7 to 10) offers more inexperienced youngsters a chance to hone their skills before advancing to the Jr Sportsman categories (age 7 to 12), which offer three divisions – Cadet, Yamaha and Komet (KPV).

Racers between the ages of 12 and 15 have four divisions in which to compete – Yamaha Jr Lite and Heavy and Komet (KPV) Jr Lite and Heavy. Each of these divisions regularly has entry counts over 35 and some of the stiffest competition in all of junior-level karting.

The fourth age category is “senior,” which is for karters 15 years old and up. Seven divisions make up the Man Cup’s senior class structure – TaG 1, TaG 2, Parilla Leopard, Komet (KPV) Lite, Komet (KPV) Heavy, Yamaha Supercan Lite and Yamaha Supercan Heavy.

The fifth category is “masters,” which is reserved for drivers age 35 and up. TaG Masters is the only class in this category and it runs both Saturday and Sunday on a Man Cup weekend for one class championship.

Click here for more information on the Man Cup Series class structure.

A rich history

WKA’s Manufacturers Cup Series has long history of gifted racers who’ve gone on to successful careers in the highest forms of American motorsports. These include IndyCar and NASCAR stars Danica Patrick and Sam Hornish Jr., the late Dan Wheldon, IndyCar racer turned team owner Sarah Fisher and NASCAR up-and-comer Paulie Harraka.

NASCAR Sprint Cup standouts Jamie McMurray and A.J. Allmendinger continue to compete in the Man Cup Series when their schedules allow. The two have competed in the TaG divisions for several years running at Daytona KartWeek’s Margay Sprint Championships and both attended the Zoom Zoom Nationals at Carolina Motorsports Park in March 2011 on an off-Cup weekend.