EKN One-on-One: Glenn Biggs – Florida Pro Kart Series
Momentum rolling to second event for burgeoning winter program
If there is a flurry of kart racing activity these days, it can definitely be found in the state of Florida. There is racing being held nearly every weekend right now, through to the end of March, as the Florida Winter Tour has two weekends booked each month to run their Rotax and Rok Cup programs. One of the remaining two weekends has been reserved by a new and exciting program – the Florida Pro Kart Series – which is giving valuable track time and winter month competition to IAME competitors and gearbox racers, many of whom are focused on dialing in their race packages ahead of this year’s Superkarts! USA Pro Tour and United States Pro Kart Series. In addition, others have jumped into the FPKS community to enjoy the family atmosphere and the opportunity to do a little off-season Briggs LO206 racing, which is unique to the assorted winter series being offered in Florida. All in all, the FPKS series is providing some distinctive options in terms of class structure and overall atmosphere. FPKS promoter Glenn Biggs and his staff believe that the nature of their series helps it stand out from the others, which feature a decidedly more aggressive tone.
eKartingNews.com: Glenn, you must be thrilled with the debut winter weekend of the Florida Pro Kart Series back in January. You enjoyed the participation of over 110 drivers and a really cool mixture of big teams, family operations and small trailers. We’re told that the atmosphere was really relaxed and fun, but the racing was obviously hardcore. We’ll get to your next race in a second, but tell us how you felt leaving that opening round at Palm Beach?
Glenn Biggs: Yes, Rob, we were very thrilled with the debut weekend, as we have a lot of teams and family involvement with the series. The atmosphere was really relaxed and VERY FUN!!!!! The racing was top notch and featured some of the best drivers in the world. My wife and I started the series for the racers and their families. We don’t import anything to do with karting and we are, and will stay, unbiased. We don’t care what you drive, we just want everyone to race. We felt awesome after the racing was over, and then my wife and I went to the front of the grid and took some time to ourselves. It was wonderful.
EKN: Your position as a pure event promoter certainly sets you out from the crowd, and the addition of classes unique to the assorted winter series is obviously part of your success. With the IAME classes on the schedule, are you hearing from your drivers that they’re excited to be able to test their X30 and Leopard packages in preparation for the SKUSA Pro Tour and the USPKS?
GB: Rob, a large customer base from the Pro Tour events are racing with us this winter, and I think that says a lot about the other two series. We expect nice turnouts for the remainder of the year, as a lot of SKUSA and USPKS competitors are snowbound right and they are pumped to have the chance to escape the snow and come down to dial in their 2015 programs with us. I’m happy that we can provide a series for them.
EKN: The addition of the Briggs LO206 program is also something new, and you had over a dozen racers in the Senior class. Do you expect that class to grow for the next two events?
GB: It’s actually really cool, because we are getting calls every day about the 206 program. The Senior class is going to grow in a big way. We have also found a sponsor for the Briggs 206 Junior class and we expect that class to grow as well. I love having the full spectrum of the sport in our series, because it’s cool to see the progression in speed from the 206s, through the IAME classes and into the shifter categories.
EKN: You left the opening round with a great deal of momentum and I think there was a lot of excitement generated by the surprising strength and attendance of the first round. You’re obviously offering a product that a unique driver pool is looking for. Your second round is coming this weekend, back at Palm Beach. Do you have anything new in store for your racers in terms of prizes? You doled out over $14,000 in cash and prizes for Round #1, including $9000 in cash. I know that’s the plan for Round #2 as well. Is anything else in the works?
GB: I’m happy that we’re indeed going to see more going back to our racers for the next round. We are still getting more and more support from the community. Stock Honda and Briggs 206 Jr. are now sponsored. We’ll have more details coming soon. Right now, we are giving $80,000 back to the karting community and I am very proud to say this is the biggest prize package in karting right now.
EKN: We’re just three days from practice day at Palm Beach. How are the pre-entries looking for the second round? We know that pre-registration wraps up today (Tuesday), so feel free to give a call out to your racers with a link to the sign-up page.
GB: The registrations for the second round are looking quite a bit better than I thought, but with championships on the line going into round two, people are excited about getting back into competition. We have trips to Europe on the line and the guaranteed SuperSunday starting spots for the SKUSA SuperNationals in November. There’s a lot at stake, including a whole lot of cash to be given out this coming weekend. We just can’t thank all of the supporters and families, sponsors, racers, and the Palm Beach Kart Center enough for all the support that we have received so far this year. There’s still time to register by going online and visiting at our page – FloridaProKartSeries.com. All pre-registration fees include a driver’s armband, mechanic’s armband and the race tires, so we’d like to official invited everyone to come join us at the Florida Pro Kart Series event in Palm Beach this weekend, February 7-8. It doesn’t matter what motor you own, it doesn’t matter what chassis you own; the Florida Pro Kart Series is unbiased. We just want people to have a place to race. Our focus is on bringing new people into the sport and bringing back frustrated families, so we will always continue to have fun.
We would also like to welcome Mr. Roeper with Architectural Artistry in Grilles & Metal (AAGM) as a new sponsor. With his help, we have been able to sponsor Stock Honda and Briggs 206 Junior for the race in February. We have said in the past that we are all about giving back to karting. The Florida Pro kart Series does not benefit financially from the sponsors. We give every penny back to the karters that support the series.
EKN: Glenn, those are great goals, as bringing new people into the sport is extremely important to the long-term stability of the sport. We wish you the best of luck this weekend…we’ll be watching!