Team Koene USA Adds Another Victory at the Rotax Summer Shootout
Ugo Ugochukwu wins Rotax Micro Max on Sunday
Descending on the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, Team Koene USA would enter four drivers in the annual event. Claiming two victories in the 2013 edition of the event at the GoPro Motorplex, Team Koene USA’s Ugo Ugochukwu would top the blocks during Sunday’s main event and secure his first major victory of his young career.
“It was very cool to see a new driver to the team take the win in his first real event with Team Koene USA,” expressed Team Principal Mike Maurini. “Not knowing what we would have entering the event, we were more focused on using the Rotax Summer Shootout as a test for the upcoming Cold Stone US Grand Nationals but it is always nice to walk away with a win.”
Over the weekend Jeremy Fairbairn and Ugo Ugochukwu would enter the Rotax Micro Max ranks and both would run inside the top-ten throughout the weekend. After Saturday morning’s qualifying session, wheel-to-wheel action would commence with Fairbairn being classified in sixth after the prefinal and Ugochukwu back in ninth. Working hard to improve in the day’s main event, the duo would once again be in the top-ten with Fairbairn crossing the line in seventh and Ugochukwu in hot pursuit in eighth.
Sunday would be a much better day for the Team Koene USA Micro Max competitors right from the get go. Qualifying would see Fairbairn improve to fifth with Ugochukwu back in eighth. Turning up the wick in the prefinal, Ugochukwu would improve greatly as he circulated the tricky MMP facility with one of the fastest karts on the track. Crossing the line in fourth and securing an outside row two starting spot for the days main event, Ugochukwu would finish three spots ahead of Fairbairn who would cross the line in seventh.
The final would see a dramatic turn of events as the leaders would be involved in contact and Ugochukwu and Fairbairn would find themselves running in second and third respectively. Ugochukwu would stalk the leader as they worked together to draw away from the field. Fairbairn, who ran third, would eventually be caught by fellow competitors who were working together to try and chase down the lead group. Unable to hold off the advances of his fellow competitors, Fairbairn would fall back to just outside the top-five when the checkered flag flew.
Ugochukwu would bide his time as the race went on and made a move for the lead on the start of the final lap. Able to slip into the lead, Ugochukwu drove a defensive line for the final circuit and held his competitor at bay as he went on to take the victory.
Michael and Nicholas d’Orlando would be the Team Koene USA duo entered in Rotax Mini Max as they consistently ran at the pointy end of the field. Saturday would see a disappointing qualifying effort for both drivers as Nicholas would end the timed session in sixth and Michael back in ninth.
Looking to move forward in the prefinal, Michael drove like the champion that he is and quickly moved forward. Running in the second position, he made a move for the lead on the final lap that was unsuccessful and fell back to fourth by the time he reached the checkered flag. Younger brother Nicholas would have no luck at all in the short prefinal and found himself in the tenth position and outside row five starting spot for the main event.
Falling back one position in the final, Michael would cross the line in the fifth position adding another top-five to his resume. Nicholas would be forced to retire after a first corner incident and eventually was classified in 21st.
Looking for improvement on Sunday, the duo would both improve in qualifying with Nicholas ending the session in fifth and Michael in seventh. Ensuring consistency through the prefinal to give themselves a shot at the victory in the day’s main event, Michael would advance forward to finish fifth while Nicholas would follow in the wheel tracks of his brother at the end of the race to finish sixth.
Sunday’s main event would be one of the most exciting races of the weekend, as the top six karts would draw away from the rest of the field. Running nose to tail and passing lap after lap, Michael would eventually work his way up to the second position at the start of the final lap. Looking to run down the leader and focused on his driving lines, d’Orlando failed to drive a defensive line into a premier passing zone and was overtaken by two drivers behind him. Crossing the line in fourth and narrowly missing the podium, Michael is confident that he has the track knowledge and speed to be a two-time national champion in a few weeks time. Nicholas would battle hard in the top-ten but an ill-handling chassis that was severely damaged in Saturday’s main event would hinder his process of driving forward and he would end his Summer Shootout weekend in eighth.
Koene USA’s trackside sales program will be in place for the upcoming Cold Stone US Grand Nationals as well as the SuperKarts! USA (SKUSA) SummerNationals as they offer the karting community a wide array of products. From Rotax components and Mojo Tires to a full line of Tony Kart and OTK products, Koene USA has you covered. Also stocking PKT Axles, Alpinestars race gear as well as offering Rotax engine rentals; Koene USA is your one stop shop.
For more information on Koene USA and their online store, please visit www.KoeneUSA.com or contact company representatives at 317.270.8723 or via e-mail to Info@KoeneUSA.com. Team Koene USA is also very active in social media and can be found on Twitter at @KoeneUSA or on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/KoeneUSA.