Cold Stone US Open Series Kicks Off with Rave Reviews
Wet weather doesn’t dampen spirit of inaugural weekend
Faced with challenging weather conditions, to say the least, MAXSpeed Entertainment’s inaugural weekend of their new series, the Cold Stone US Open presented by MG Tires and Chase/Brash Racing, was met with rave reviews. With a unique event format, stacked fields, an international flavor and fun atmosphere despite the rain, the US Open’s first weekend, held at the Dallas Karting Complex in Caddo Mills, Texas, was definitely a success and teams and drivers are already excited for round two.
“The US Open event was an absolute BLAST for us, and it was an honor to host the inaugural event at DKC,” noted Dallas Karting Complex Co-Owner, Mike Jones. “We’ve been under an enormous amount of rain lately, so it made it very difficult to make sure everything was prepped in the correct fashion. The new gantry was just installed in time for the race and worked perfectly; we received a lot of compliments on it too. I was so glad to see the “Hot Pit” back in action. I had many team managers approach to me to say this was the most fun they’ve ever had at a karting event. I really applaud all the folks at MAXSpeed for their dedicated, hard work.”
Hard work was required by everyone on the property for the event, as drivers battled the rain, mechanics perfected many a setup and track staff endured the elements all weekend. DKC was in fact the perfect host for the first ever event weekend of the Cold Stone US Open, showing class and poise in the most difficult of situations.
As the wet weather plagued the circuit for the entire event, MAXSpeed officials decided to adjust their already unique event format to ensure all the racing was completed in an efficient amount of time. After qualifying and heat one on Friday, three remaining heats were completed on Saturday, setting up grids for the finals on Sunday. After an overnight downpour causing standing water as well as lightning in the area, US Open officials decided to forgo Sunday warm ups, instead opting for three hot laps and a five minute hot grid to complete any necessary changes before each class final. The format added some flair and excitement to the final day of US Open racing at the DKC, with class victors honored at the new Koene USA Performance Podium.
Taking home wins at the US Open of Dallas were 2015 Florida Winter Tour champion Ugo Ugochukwu in AM Engines Rotax Micro MAX, multi-time Team USA member Derek Wang in Orsolon Racing Rotax Masters MAX, up-and-comer Trenton Estep in CRG USA Rotax Junior MAX, the colorful Oliver Askew in Rolison Performance Group Rotax Senior MAX, Karting Community United-liveried Payton Durrant in J3 Competition Rotax Mini MAX, New Orleans native Luis Zervigon in PSL Karting Rotax DD2 Masters MAX, Texans Jake French in Dallas Karting Complex Rotax DD2 MAX, Andrew Engberson in Champion Racing Shifter Junior, and Ryan Kinnear in Falcone GP Shifter Masters, Colorado’s Jet Davis in Falcone GP Shifter Veterans, multi-time karting champion Cody Jolly in Tru Tech Racing Shifter Senior, and five-time karting world champion Davide Fore in PSL Karting Elite Shifter.
“It was an amazing, tough week of racing with the effect weather had on chassis and engine tuning,” added Junior MAX winner Trenton Estep. “The competition was very tough but along with my tuner Victor Pedrosa and team Koene USA we were able to make the right adjustments to secure the win. I also have to thank both Martijn Koene and Yonni at Chase Racing for building me two engines that allowed me an equal chance of competing with the usual cast of frontrunners. It was a combined effort and a lot of hard work from all, along with some tough love from Mike Maurini that resulted in this win.”
“The inaugural US Open event definitely lived up to the hype,” added Oliver Askew, Rotax Senior winner. “The level of competition was tremendous throughout all US Open classes.”
The weekend also featured a welcome party with dinner for all, as well as the launch of the Karting Community United charity, with $5,000 donated to the organization from MAXSpeed and the US Open of Dallas competitors.
All this would not be made possible without the support of all the series sponsors and partners: Cold Stone, MG Tires, Chase/Brash Racing, Koene USA, AM Engines, J3 Competition, CRG USA, Rolison Performance Group, Orsolon Racing, Dallas Karting Complex, PSL Karting, Falcone GP, Tru Tech Racing, Champion Racing, Crosslink Coatings, University of Miami Global Academy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Bell Helmets and Mazda Road to Indy.
The US Open will continue with round two at the Grand Junction Motor Speedway in Grand Junction, Colorado. Registration is now open at www.MAXSpeedEntertainment.com. The first 30 drivers to register will be put into a draw for a state-of-the-art GP2 Cmr helmet from MAXSpeed partner Bell Helmets. Congratulations to Marcelo Garcia, who was picked as the winner from the Dallas round.
“Overall, we felt this past weekend was a terrific start to what is going to be the premier series in North America,” explained Stacey Cook, Owner of CRG USA and Grand Junction Motor Speedway. “The competition was world-class, the racing was incredible and the atmosphere in spite of the weather was fun and very exciting. We can’t wait for the next event in Colorado!”