We don’t often see too many young Canadian drivers take the Stock Moto Shifter route, but Brampton, Ontario’s Justin Luik has decided to try his hand at the S2 Honda Stock Moto category on the grand stage that is the SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Luik enjoyed his first full season in the senior ranks competing in Rotax DD2 this summer. Seeing a few of his teammates mention the SuperNats got him interested in the event, but it meant switching to a 6-speed kart or a single speed Tag option. Choosing the Shifter direction, Luik opted for S2 instead of the higher profile KZ2 Shifter class, after acknowledging his inexperience. S2 is the place that many shifter drivers have started out and so, it is a chance for him to learn and develop with a little less pressure on his shoulders.
“We had been thinking about taking on the SuperNats for a while now, as it is the next step. My dad and I had been interested in checking it out for about two years now and because I felt more comfortable in the DD2, we decided to take the step. We haven’t had too much time in the Shifter so far but I feel, with time, we can get where we want to be.”
One thing Luik has had to learn is standing starts, something that replicates formula car racing and is an art among shifter drivers.
“If you ask Trevor Wickens, he would tell you that there was a lot of stalling, which there was. After some more practice, however, I began to get the hang of it.”
Luik will suit up with the Prime Powerteam under the guidance of Trevor Wickens. Over the past four years, Wickens has helped develop Luik, taking him from the rookie series at Hamilton Kartways to now what is the highest profile karting race in North America.
Also under the Prime tent this weekend will be Robert Wickens, who has raced the last five years in the DTM and will race in Indycar in 2018. The information and knowledge that comes from the Wickens brothers will no doubt help in getting Luik up to speed as he chases the podium in Las Vegas.
“Trevor has been a huge help and support throughout my entire karting life and I would not have been able to do any of this without him. He is extremely knowledgeable and is the reason the team can run as smoothly as it does.”
“Having someone like Robert driving with us is definitely a big help. He is exceptionally talented and happy to help when other drivers and I are looking for some advice.”
Having never competed on a temporary circuit will also be a steep learning curve for Luik this week in Las Vegas, he is beyond excited to tackle this challenge and take it to some of the worlds be S2 Stock Moto drivers.
“I am beyond stoked to be competing here in beautiful Las Vegas! I started racing later than most, at the age of 10. Over the years and with the help of Trevor, the support of the team and most importantly, the endless support from my dad (and mechanic), I have been able to accomplish far more than I’d have ever imagined. Karting has truly changed my life and I am so excited to see where it takes me in the future.”
Luik hits the track today for official practice at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Sin City. Qualifying starts Friday leading up to the Main events on Sunday.