EKN Trackside: 2022 California ROK Championship – Pat’s Acres Racing Complex – Preview
Winner-take-all format set for Canby, Oregon three-day event with ROK Vegas tickets on the line
This weekend will be a unique and special event held at the historic Pat’s Acres Racing Complex in Canby, Oregon. The California ROK Championship program has experienced some hurdles over the season and series promoter Andy Seesemann is set to make the June 24-26 weekend a memorable one for those drivers set to compete. The new format features a ‘winner-take-all’ style one-off race weekend featuring multiple one-track sessions, plenty of laps, and of course with the FTK Promotions crew, complete fun on and off the track.
The 10 categories will be condensed into five race groups, featuring a new format to the CRC. This will allow for a total of six practice sessions during the official practice day on Friday, June 24. The opening five sessions will be for 10-minutes, followed by the 20-minute hot pit to close out the day for all five groups. Saturday, June 25 begins with a warm-up, the Qualifying session, and three rounds of heat races at 12 laps, 10 for Cadet. Sunday, June 26 is the final day of action, opening with a warm-up session followed by a 16-lap (13 for Cadet) Prefinal and then the 22-lap (18 for Cadet) main events to determine this year’s event winners, and the collectors of the ROK Vegas prizes on the line.
The top-three finishers across the board are set to receive a ROK Vegas prize. The class winner earns a full ROK Vegas ticket – including entry, tires and fuel. The second-place finisher earns a ROK Vegas entry fee. Third-place driver takes home a voucher for race tires at the ROK Vegas event.
One of the highlights on the weekend will be the talented ROK Shifter field competing at PARC. Leading the way are two Challenge of the Americas winners in Kyle Wick and Jacob Gulick. Wick (GFC / Trackmagic) is coming off two wins at the series opener in January and a recent SKUSA SpringNationals victory. Gulick (GFC), in only his second year in shifterkarts, picked up his first Challenge victory at PKRA in February, finishing second in the championship chase. Throw in defending SuperNats Master Shifter champion and veteran of the PARC facility Joey Wimsett (DR Kart). Wimsett will be the driver on the track this weekend with over 15 years of experience at his home track. Conner Wick (GFC) continues to make strides as does Micah Hendricks (Croc Promotions) and the weekend marks the return of another local driver, Kyle Dupell (CRG) who ran in the Road to Indy in recent years.
The largest category on the pre-entry list is the Senior 100cc class. The majority of names are new to EKN and the California ROK Championship. Those who we have seen already this year include Caleb Shrader (RPG / Kosmic), Aaron Farhadi (AKR / EOS) and Jack Doyle (RPG / Kosmic). While the Junior 100cc class is not large, the talent pool is. North Carolina driver Caleb Gafrarar (RPG / Kosmic) is making his way back from Italy, competing at the FIA Karting Academy Trophy event where he finished 10th. Christian Cameron (AKR / Tony Kart) and Stephen Eisert (SSM / Exprit) finished the Challenge championship 1-2, along with Alex Rantala (GFC) who ended the program eighth in the points.
Three classes are reserved for the elder drivers with five set to battle in the Masters 100cc category. 2021 Challenge champion Mike Smith (VMI / OTK) returns back behind the wheel, as the now California driver returns to his former home track as the leading contender on the weekend. Four drivers are entered in ROK Shifter Masters with local drivers Randy Murphy (Word / Italkart) and Rusty Lingle (V&R / Croc Promotions) welcome California drivers Jim Kidd (Aluminos) and Stephane Gaudreau (Aluminos). Chad Wallace (HRE / Redspeed) is the lone Masters ROK driver pre-entered.
A total of four will race in the Senior ROK and Junior ROK. Kieran Rogers (RPG / Kosmic) and James Bernard (CMC / OTK) are the Senior pair with Greyson Shobert (Blackstar / Kosmic) and Javier Herrera (RPG / Kosmic) from Mexico in Junior.
The Cadet divisions feature three in Micro ROK with reigning Challenge champion Cason Hodge (SSM / Exprit) to battle with Jaxon Benham (RPG / Kosmic) and Maximilian de Guzman (Formula K). In the Mini ROK class is Jackson Gibson (RPG / Kosmic), making his class debut with Axel and Jack Bowdish (Race Factory) and Erik Doan (SSM / Exprit) set to fight for the top step on the podium this weekend.
Be sure to tune in all weekend long, both on the EKN website and the EKN social media accounts for completed coverage of the 2022 California ROK Championship event at Pat’s Acres Racing Complex. Listen to the action from qualifying to the final checkered flag on the EKN Live page and the EKN Radio Network app – presented this weekend by Acceleration Kart Racing, Alan Rudolph Racing Academy, and Parolin USA. Daily reports and more will be published to the site with photos, videos and more hitting the social feeds.