When Ben Cooper decided to race to the 2018 SKUSA SuperNationals, it was a fun chance to jump back into a kart and race for the first time since his unofficial ‘retirement’. Life for Cooper had changed from driver to track and team manager, as well as father and so his priorities, had changed.
Following his victory at North America’s biggest race of the year, in possibly the toughest class of international competition, he questioned if he needed to race again or once again go out on top. He waited out the decision, welcomed the birth of his second son and in the summer began discussions with PSL Karting. By the end of the Canadian season, Cooper and PSL had decided to compete in both Las Vegas races, putting him back aboard the BirelART brand that he was so successful on.
Using ROK the RIO two weeks ago as a chance to get back into race mode, Cooper showed no signs of rust, pacing many of the early practice sessions, qualifying on the pole-position in Rok Senior and winning enough heat races to retain the top starting position for the Final. Unfortunately, his pace slipped a bit in that Final and after leading early, he fell back a few spots before racing his way back to a second-place finish.
Returning to Las Vegas to defend his title of X30 Senior SuperNationals Champion, Cooper has a humble and much different approach to the event than most drivers. He’s ready for the challenge, but knows what he gets to go home to following the week in Sin City.
“Being here two weeks ago for ROK the RIO helped me prepare for this weekend’s race. Just the fact of getting in the kart and going through the motions of a race week and getting some races under my belt has put me a couple of steps ahead of where I was last year coming into the SKUSA SuperNationals. I’m looking forward to the week and trying to defend the title from last year.”
“I don’t need to say that it’s not going to be easy at all. There are so many quality drivers in the field that are trying to do the same as me and win. But having kids back home and the age that I am at means that I can approach the weekend different to how I always used to. Just to remember it’s only a go-kart race and that no matter what happens I get to go back home and play with the boys, which means that I can just enjoy myself and smile through the week.”
It all begins on Wednesday when Cooper takes to the temporary circuit at the RIO All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It will be a long week that culminates on Super Sunday with the SKUSA SuperNationals Finals for all categories.