KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — When karts hit Summit Point Motorsports Park’s 2-mile Main Circuit May 20-22 for the annual spring AKRA / Woodbridge Kart Club Road Race Nationals, to no one’s surprise there will be plenty of CIK-style MGM Espionages in the LO206 fields.
But the potent Espionage machines won’t be the only MGMs in attendance.
A trio of new 2022 MGM Mirage chassis are set for action in the 4-Cycle Sprint divisions, which includes 4-Cycle Sprint 390, the division constituted to serve as the 2022 Animal Nationals for Briggs Animal-powered full bodywork sprint-enduro karts. Well over $5,000 between cash and contingencies is on the line, making it the biggest race of its kind all year for this type of karting.
Paul and April Rice and the MGM crew recently completed building the three new Mirages for Summit Point. One shipped out to Wisconsin for 2021 multi-time race winner Joe Adler and two were picked up at the MGM shop a little over a week ago for Zach Linsell and Rob Wells.
The Mirage is a new and improved version of MGM’s once popular Slick 50, a chassis that won many races and championships in the 2000s and 2010s when the team was following WKA’s National Road Racing circuit. A handful of Slick 50s are still in action today, but Linsell and the Rice’s are aiming for the Mirage to become the predominant chassis of choice for sprint-enduro road racers.
“The Mirage incorporates some of the Espionage technology, and what we’ve learned the last bunch of years mainly focused on sprint racing,” Linsell explained. “The Mirage is different from the Slick 50 and a lot of other chassis out there, and it ran great at Daytona, although the results didn’t show it because of some engine problems we had. We’re hoping to get that straightened out at Summit Point, and come away with some wins and top finishes.”
With a price tag of $4,200 for the kart and unmounted body and seat or $5,500 for the fully mounted body and seat package, the Mirage is sold exclusively through Linsell’s new Linsell Speed Shop.
“The road racing karts are a lot more work to build and assemble versus the sprint karts,” Linsell said. “With the Mirage chassis and components sold directly through me, it takes some of the pressure off Paul and April, so they can focus on production and everything they have going on in the sprint world with the Espionage.”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more experienced kart racer in the pits at Summit Point. Linsell is a multi-time national champion in both road racing and sprint, and he’s won races at tracks across the country, including Daytona, Mid-Ohio, Jacksonville, Charlotte and Summit Point.
Gaithersburg, Maryland’s Rob Wells is a veteran kart racer in both sprint and enduro-style racing. After taking some years away from racing following his son Chris going off to college after several championship years in WKA Gold Cup and local Maryland series, Wells is looking forward to rejoining the sport with his own MGM Mirage racer.
“We’re excited and the kart looks great,” Wells commented at MGM’s shop when picking up his new chassis. “Right now, I’m looking to race maybe four or five times a year. In the last couple years, I ran Daytona with the LO206 when MGM had their Shootout in 2020, and then rented a ride at last year’s Animal Nationals. I love the LO206 and what’s its done for the sport and Paul and April’s business, but the Animal road racing is a little better fit at this stage of my career. When I heard about what Zach, Paul and April were doing with the Mirage, I thought it was a great package for what I’m trying to do.”
Wells has plenty of experience at Summit Point and hopes to do well in the Animal Nationals.
“It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure,” Wells said. “Like many others, I got my pre-entry in on the first day to try and get a good starting spot. It’ll be a good field. While I haven’t raced much the last several years, we used to race at Summit multiple times of year when the fields were really big. It’s a great track, and it’s good to see interest building again in the 4-cycle road racing.”
Wells and Linsell will be two of at least approximately 30-plus racers in the Animal Nationals field when on-track action kicks off next weekend at Summit Point. A full day of Friday practice on May 20 precedes two big days of racing Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22.
For information on the Summit Point Nationals, visit woodbridgekartclub.com.
For information on the Mirage and Linsell Speed Shop, visit linsellspeedshop.com or call or text Zach Linsell at 610-216-9231.
For information on MGM Chassis, visit mgmchassis.com.