Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals 2014 – Team USA – Thursday Review

American pilots post wide range of results in first two qualifying heats

For complete coverage, visit the EKN Event Page or follow the Official Forum Thread

With the memories of success in New Orleans last fall fresh on their minds, the drivers on the Team USA have just not enjoyed the same level of luck and opportunity this time around.  Harsh penalties severely damaged the hopes of Alan Rudolph and Ashley Rogero in Wednesday qualifying, and mid-field time trial speeds put so many others directly in the middle of the heat race chaos.  The American squad needed to steer clear of the mayhem during the open two rounds of the heats, but it seemed like every time there was an altercation, there was at least one Team USA pilot taking the brunt and the subsequent DNF.

Idaho’s Sting Ray Robb put in the best overall result for Team USA with a pair of top-12 finishes, staying out of trouble in Junior Max to put himself in a good position to qualify straight through to the Prefinal with a strong run in Heat #3.  Christian Brooks was also impressive with his consistency, surviving the first two heat races with back-to-back top-15 runs.  This will be key as carnage as characterized the Junior racing thus far.

Senior Max pilot Oliver Askew, a podium finisher last year in New Orleans, was solid in the opening heat in finishing seventh, but he was excluded from the results due to contact.  He fired back in the second heat race, winning the event to make a much-needed statement heading to Friday. There is still a great deal of racing to do, and Askew has the speed to win.  Like Askew, each of the five other Senior pilots on Team USA had a least one rough finish outside the top-25, so again, Friday morning’s final heat will be so crucial.  Philip Arscott is the most adequately positioned, having scored a top-five in his opening heat (4th) before getting caught up in an opening lap race incident in Heat #2 to finish dead last in 36th.  Mason Marotta came back from his Heat #1 DNF with a solid 10th place run as well, proving that he’d still in the game.  As it all plays out, we expect to see some very strong Team USA drivers on the attack in the LCQ or at the tail of the Prefinal gunning for improved main event grid positions.

In DD2 Masters, Alan Rudolph was hit with a huge penalty yesterday when he was excluded from qualifying for instructing his tuner to check the tightness of his wheel nuts.  The penalty dropped the Bondurant Superkart School lead instructor to 33rd for the start of his two heats, and the veteran worked hard to fight his way through the field, staying out of trouble to post a 22nd in the opening heat and an important 17th in Heat #2.  Rudolph needs one more solid result to improve on his starting position in the LCQ.  He has the speed of the leaders, but the short eight-lap races aren’t giving him the time he needs to advance.  Texan Mike Jones has put in two decent results, although you can be sure that he was hoping for more pace.  Jones finished both heat races in the top-20, beginning with a 17th.

As stated on the live broadcast by the voice of Rotax – Ken Walker – this might be the most competitive DD2 grid in the history of the Rotax Grand Finals.  Michael Ilavia posted the best result of the day for Team USA, finishing ninth in the second heat race.  He’s was just a couple tenths off the pace being laid down by the leaders, but the ninth was simply a strong recovery after a 20th in the opening heat.  Both Nick Neri and Gavin Reichelt has bolted a pair of mid-field results, having avoided the carnage.  With potential rain on the schedule for Friday, they’ll need to break out their wet weather prowess to have a shot at top-five come Saturday.

Action begins at the Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero at 8:30 am local time (2:30 am ET) with morning warm-up.  Follow EKN’s Facebook or Twitter feeds for instant results posting, or head to our official forum thread to see all the Team USA results in one place.


Junior Max


#157 – Austin Garrison
Age: 16
Hometown:
Davie, Florida
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series:
North Florida Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Ocala Gran Prix
Sponsors:
Ocala Gran Prix
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic: Austin Miles

Facebook
Instagram

Heat #1: 22nd
Heat #2: 20th

#161 – Ryan Norberg
Age: 15
Hometown:
Orlando, Florida
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series:
North Florida Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Ocala Gran Prix
Sponsors:
Razor Image, K1 RaceGear, Ocala Gran Prix
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2013
Mechanic: Robert Bujdoso

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 16th
Heat #2: 31st

#163 – Sting Ray Robb

Sting Ray Robb continues to lead the Junior Team USA contingent after the two heat races (Photo: Ken Johnson - Studio52.us)

Sting Ray Robb continues to lead the Junior Team USA contingent after the two heat races (Photo: Ken Johnson – Studio52.us)

Age: 12
Hometown:
Boise, Idaho
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series:
Rotax Can-Am ProKart Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Black Racing Engines
Sponsors:
Red Apple Marketplace
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic: Blake Choquer

Instagram

Heat #1: 12th
Heat #2: 10th

#165 – Austin Versteeg
Age: 15
Hometown:
Sandy, Utah
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series:
MSquared Racing Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Rolison Performance Group
Sponsors:
Litho Flexo Graphics, K1 RaceGear, ActivaDerm
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic: Brian Fletcher

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 19th
Heat #2: 16th

#168 – Christian Brooks
Age:
14
Hometown:
Santa Clarita, California
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series:
So-Cal Rotax Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Nash Motorsportz
Sponsors:
MB2 Raceway Indoor Karting Centers, Nash Motorsportz, OMP, Bell Racing, DVS Shoe Co., Mechanix Wear, Precision Works Racing Engines, Replay, Kart FX Graphics
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic: Colin McGinnis and Chris Brooks “The A-Team”

Facebook
Instagram

Heat #1: 14th
Heat #2: 13th


Senior Max


#264 – Oliver Askew

A heat win by Oliver Askew has been the best result of Team USA thus far (Photo: Ken Johnson - Studio52.us)

A heat win by Oliver Askew has been the best result of Team USA thus far (Photo: Ken Johnson – Studio52.us)

Age: 17
Hometown:
Jupiter, Florida
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: North Florida Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Ocala Gran Prix
Sponsors:
Ocala Gran Prix, Bell Helmets, Sparco USA, Swiftwick Socks, Studio52, Race Tech Development, Risk Placement Management, Racing Driver Management
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanic:
Mario Ioffredo

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 7th (excluded for contact)
Heat #2: 1st

#255 – Phillip Arscott
Age: Newberg, Oregon
Hometown:
25
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: Rotax Can-Am ProKart Challenge
Rotax Service Center
: CMC
Sponsors:
Rolison Performance Group, CMC
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2008, 2009, 2013
Mechanic:
Wes Boswell

Facebook

Heat #1: 4th
Heat #2: 36th

#266 – Jake Craig
Age: 17
Hometown:
Mission Viejo, California
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: So-Cal Rotax Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
TruTech Racing Engines
Sponsors:
TruTech Racing Engines, 2Wild Karting, Complete Trailers
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2011, 2013
Mechanic:
Kyle Kuntze

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 28th
Heat #2: 17th

#259 – Dan Roeper
Age: 17
Hometown:
Delray Beach, Florida
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: South Florida Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Ogden UK
Sponsors:
Oemetrix AAGM
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic:
Bryn Nuttall

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 17th
Heat #2: 27th

#260 – Mason Marotta
Age: 20
Hometown:
Bakersfield, California
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: So-Cal Rotax Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Ogden USA
Sponsors:
Parents and Grandmother
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic:
Ryan Perry

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 34th
Heat #2: 10th

#267 – Ashley Rogero
Age: 17
Hometown:
Mooresville, North Carolina
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: GoPro Motorplex
Rotax Service Center:
AM Racing Engines
Sponsors:
Advance Automotive and friends
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2010, 2012, 2013
Mechanic:
Jim Rogero

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 33rd
Heat #2: 31st


DD2 Masters


#456 – Bobby Greene
Age: 43
Hometown:
Fernandina Beach, Florida
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: N/A
Rotax Service Center:
Oakland Valley Race Park
Sponsors:
SKLTN
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
none
Mechanic:
Mike Ramirez

Facebook

Heat #1: 33rd
Heat #2: 27th

#467 – Erik Jackson
Age: 38
Hometown:
Long Beach, California
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: So-Cal Rotax Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
PSL SoCal
Sponsors:
Baldozier Racing, Motul, Gut Wrench Crossfit, HKE
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2011
Mechanic: Francois Doran

Facebook
Instagram

Heat #1: 34th
Heat #2: 30th

#460 – Mike Jones
Age: 43
Hometown:
Union Valley, Texas
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: Dallas Karting Complex
Rotax Service Center:
Dallas Karting Complex
Sponsors:
Dallas Karting Complex, Sodi Kart, Bell Helmets, Alpinestars
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2012, 2013
Mechanic: Sean Owens

Facebook
Instagram

Heat #1: 17th
Heat #2: 20th

#455 – Ken Maxfield
Age: 52
Hometown:
Salt Lake City, Utah
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: MSquared Racing Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
MSquared Karting
Sponsors:
Leading Edge Motorsports, KartSport North America, MSquared Karting
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic: Garrett Maxfield

Facebook

Heat #1: 26th
Heat #2: 32nd

#454 – Alan Rudolph
Age: July 4
Hometown:
Gilbert, Arizona
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: Bondurant Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
PSL Karting
Sponsors:
Michael Dobbelsteyn, Bondurant, K1 RaceGear
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2012, 2013
Mechanic: Jesse Dunham

Twitter

Heat #1: 22nd
Heat #2: 17th

#461 – Derek Wang
Age: 36
Hometown:
Kirkland, Washington
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: Rotax Can-Am ProKart Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Kevin Glover Karting
Sponsors:
Teleion Consulting
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2010, 2011, 2013
Mechanic: Diego Valverde

Facebook

Heat #1: 10th
Heat #2: 26th


DD2


#355 – Michael Ilavia
Age: 17
Hometown:
Houston, Texas
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: Burger King Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
J3 Competition
Sponsors:
Mom, Dad, Nana, and Papa
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic:
Justin Stefani

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 20th
Heat #2: 9th

#359 – Jonathan Kotyk
Age:
20
Hometown:
Atlantic Beach, Florida
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: North Florida Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Ocala Gran Prix
Sponsors:
Ocala Gran Prix
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic:
Chris Enderlein

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 18th
Heat #2: 34th

#357 – Nick Neri
Age: 18
Hometown:
Palmetto, Florida
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: North Florida Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
Ocala Gran Prix
Sponsors:
Ocala Gran Prix, Bell Helmets, Razor Image, GO Designs, Dark Horse Pros
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
2009, 2010, 2013
Mechanic:
Alex Speed

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 13th
Heat #2: 15th

#358 – Gavin Reichelt
Age: 16
Hometown:
Rhinebeck, New York
United States Rotax Max Challenge Home Series: Northeast Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center:
PSL Karting
Sponsors:
N/A
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances:
None
Mechanic:
N/A

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Heat #1: 14th
Heat #2: 17th

EKN Global Members Discussion:

Karting's News and Information Leader ekartingnews | an HMG publication