Stars & Stripes Trophy: Event Primer
J3 Competition launches new vision for US Rotax racing at Utah Motorsports Campus
J3 Competition’s new Stars & Stripes program, which will be run under the ‘Race Rotax’ banner, is set to host its first event of the 2019 season. On May 17-19, Rotax racing returns to the Utah Motorsports Campus for the Stars & Stripes Trophy event. Karters will tackle the 9/10-mile ‘Star Trek’ circuit of the Erda, Utah facility – formerly known as Miller Motorsports Park. Rotax competition is nothing new to the state of Utah as the storied United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals were held there in 2011 and 2014. Next weekend, a new era begins with the inaugural Stars & Stripes Trophy event.
Saving Racers Money
The Stars & Stripes program is like no other in North American karting. The Trophy event is three days of competition at UMC that begins with the Rotax engine lottery. This is not a chance to win millions of dollars in Rotax products. Instead, all competitors receive an engine package as part of their entry into the event. Engine pickup will be open on the Thursday prior to the first on-track sessions on Friday, with racers needing to supply only a few items to complete the installation on their karts.
Once competitors complete the preparation of their machines on Thursday, the Utah Motorsports Campus circuit opens for the lone official practice day of the event on Friday. Practice any day of the race week prior to Friday is forbidden in an effort to provide a level playing field for drivers and teams. What makes the Stars & Stripes official practice day different from any other event is the amount of time provided to competitors. Friday’s schedule offers six 15-minute hot pit sessions for all categories, which equates to nearly 40% more track time than any other karting program in one less day.
Another cost-effective approach that the Stars & Stripes program will employ is a limited amount of tires for use throughout the weekend. Included in the event entry package are two sets of spec MoJo tires with the corresponding compound and size for each category. One set is mandated for Friday’s practice, and the other declared as the official race set from qualification through to the finals. The practice set is mandatory beginning with the first practice session after lunch break on Friday and for all remaining practice and warm-up sessions on the weekend. Competitors may use their own new or used tires at the start of Friday practice, as long as they are compliant with the technical rules. The MoJo D2 tire compound is utilized for Micro Max, Mini Max and Junior Max while Senior Max, Masters Max and DD2 are competing with the new MoJo D5 compound tire. Read more about these tires with the MoJo Tire Report following the All Stars Finals in Texas this past April.
You may be thinking, how else can Stars & Stripes save competitors money? One of the most common complaints with karting events today is the cost of paddock space, or pit spot payments. Teams, shops and even private participants will all pay the same amount for paddock space – ZERO! Stars & Stripes is not charging any paddock fee for any competitors racing on the weekend. Another area to save racers money is the spec fuel purchase procedure. Fuel is only available on-site through the facility ‘fuel pumps’ – clearly marked with the Stars & Stripes branding – and can be purchased by the gallon, saving participants and teams a significant amount of money.
Turning to the on-track side of the event, Stars & Stripes Trophy promoters have enlisted familiar and respected individuals to carry out the international technical and sporting structure of the Rotax Max Challenge program. The Sporting/Race Director is Jayson Brown, Tim Hannen will be the Race Steward, Mike Edwards will act as the Technical Director and Allison Long is the Director of Registration.
The Stars & Stripes Trophy competition truly begins with Qualifying Practice on Saturday morning. Three heat races for all categories will follow to set up for the Prefinal and Final events on Sunday. That’s correct, there will be just one winner per category to raise the trophy on the podium, and he or she will leave as the triumphant racer.
Tickets to the World
Not only does the winner and fellow podium finishers take home some hardware to add to the mantel, each victor in the Junior Max, Senior Max, Master Max and DD2 categories will be awarded with a ticket to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, which are set for October 19-26 in Sarno, Italy at the Circuito Internazionale Napoli. First place in the Mini Max and Micro Max divisions receive a paid entry to the 2019 Stars & Stripes Open in Pittsburgh, PA for a chance to win the four Rotax Grand Finals tickets up for grabs that weekend. Second in all categories at the Stars & Stripes Trophy event earn a paid entry and subsidized expenses to the 2019 Rotax Max Challenge International Trophy at the famed LeMans Karting International circuit on August 21-24. Third-place takes home a $1,000 (USD) voucher valid at any northern USA Rotax Service Center.
Be sure to head to RaceRotax.com to submit your entry for the Stars & Stripes Trophy event and for updates leading up to the weekend. Follow RaceRotax through the J3 Competition account on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as the EKN Social Media network during the event for photos, videos and more.