Team Koene USA in the Hunt for Championships in Winter Karting Programs
Challenge of the Americas and Florida Winter Tour set to close
With the summer karting season just around the corner, Team Koene USA is set to close out two popular winter series, first the Rotax Challenge of Americas (COA) and then the Cold Stone Florida Winter Tour (FWT). Taking part on opposite ends of the country, Koene USA drivers will by vying for championships in multiple classes as both series come to an end.
“It has been a great start to the 2015 karting season,” explained Team Koene USA Manager Mike Maurini. “We have drivers on both sides of the country doing well, our team is growing and sales are also on the rise. We have a lot of interest from drivers for the rest of the events this season, and we are happy with the way things are progressing. First and foremost, we will be working hard to close out the COA and FWT programs with race wins, podiums and hopefully a few championships.”
Team Koene USA’s Payton Durrant will be the sole team member to compete in the final round of the Rotax Challenge of Americas program. As the series descends on the Simraceway Performance Driving Center in Sonoma, California, over the March 13-15 weekend, Durrant is in the thick of the battle for the Rotax Mini MAX championship, as he currently sits fourth in the overall standings. Coming off a victory in round four in Phoenix, Durrant will look to carry the momentum into Sonoma as he looks to close out the series strong.
Team Koene USA will enter five competitors in the Cold Stone Florida Winter Tour ROK Cup USA program the following weekend as Nicholas d’Orlando leads the way in the championship chase. With three wins to his credit at the FWT so far in 2015, he enters the final event weekend of the championship as the point leader as he looks to claim the overall title. Vortex Mini ROK, Team Koene USA teammates and class rookies Ugo Ugochukwu and Ryan Rackley are further down the championship points battle but continue to improve with each and every outing, gaining the experience needed to compete for championships later in 2015 and onwards into 2016.
Roman DeAngelis has a pair of podium results in Vortex ROK Junior and currently sits tenth overall as he enters the final round at the Ocala Gran Prix. ROK Junior teammate and class rookie Michael d’Orlando, who claimed the FWT Vortex Mini ROK title in 2014, has shown the speed to run at the front of the field against competitors much his elder. Look for both drivers to be a threat in Ocala.
Four of the five mentioned drivers above will return for the Rotax MAX Challenge of the program as Ugochukwu will compete in Rotax Micro MAX, Nicholas d’Orlando in Rotax Mini MAX and DeAngelis and Michael d’Orlando in Rotax Junior. Texan Trento Estep will join the quartet, as he will get back behind the wheel of his Team Koene USA Tony Kart in Rotax Junior.
Ugochukwu and Nicholas d’Orlando both currently sit second in the points chase in their respective classes and will be major threats for the series championships. Ugochukwu is coming off a solid podium result in round four in Orlando while d’Orlando continues his consistency and point gather event after event.
Roman DeAngelis sits fourth in the Rotax Junior championship battle while fellow Team Koene USA drivers Trenton Estep and Michael d’Olrando are just outside the top-ten. DeAngelis has shown the speed to win in 2015 and is consistently at the front of the field in every class that he competes in. D’Orlando, who continues to learn the ins and outs and now has two weekends aboard his Rotax Junior package, is on the verge of a podium result. With some bad luck on track taking away some solid results, Michael d’Orlando is proving he has what it takes to compete in the junior ranks. Matching pace with the leaders, both DeAngelis and d’Orlando are set to break through in Ocala and solidify their names as the drivers to beat in 2015.
Trenton Estep had a great first weekend with Team Koene USA and showed speed right out of the box. Qualifying in the front half of the field, Estep was on pace in both wet and dry weather competition. Leading the field for a handful of laps on Sunday, the Texan showed he has what it takes to win at the national level. Look for Trenton to be a threat in Ocala as he is more accustomed and familiar with the Team Koene USA environment.
Maurini continued, “We can’t guarantee wins or podiums or even change the outcome of on track results, but we can be prepared in the best way possible and give our drivers the best chance to do well. We will continue to do what we have done all series long and hope that we will come out on top after the final checkered flag.”
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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 at www.Facebook.com/KoeneUSA.