Lorain Ohio Kartplex Set for Opening in Summer 2023
Lorain, Ohio, a region 20 minutes west of Cleveland, Ohio is set to welcome a new motorsports facility with a major focus around the sport of karting. The River Park Motorplex (RPM) is breaking ground in Lorain, Ohio, on the Lake Erie coast, beginning with the karting circuit in the Summer of 2023. The Lorain Ohio Kartplex (LOK) is the focal point of the development with the goal of becoming one of the top karting facilities in North America. The RPM complex has 430 acres and is located along the scenic Black River.
River Park Motorplex is the creation of Kris McCrone, an Ohio karter and businessman who also has multiple interests within the karting industry, including Ohio Kart Parts, Three Tenths Race Products, McCrone Motorsports, and the Ohio Sprint Series (formerly the Buckeye Karting Challenge). McCrone has been working diligently over the last three years on the project and things began to move forward quickly in 2022 when he partnered with Nick Jarmoszuk Sr., CEO/Chairman of Skylift, a Lorain, Ohio manufacturing company of backyard easement machines for the power utility industry. Nick brought a vision to the project that was very refreshing for McCrone. He challenged McCrone to think bigger as they bring a major karting presence to Northern Ohio.
McCrone said; “Our goal is to create a facility that provides an amazing experience for the individual jumping into a kart for the first time all the way to national racing teams. From club events to national races or corporate events, we only have one chance to make a first impression. We aim to provide value to those on-track and those enjoying the many off-track amenities.”
The LOK is designed to operate with a competition track and rental track, along with the option to combine both circuits into one large layout. The competition track is CIK-FIA certified at 0.85 miles in length at 27 feet wide. The layout features over 15 feet of elevation change with on-camber and off-camber turns along with a high-banked ‘Daytona’ corner. It is notable to mention the unique “Over/Under” from turns 3 – 6. The facility plans include a world class digital timing and scoring tower that connects three different loops to create track sectors. The main building features separate stands for mechanic/tuner and spectators alongside the 30-foot-high tower. The grid will be constructed with an 80’ x 30’ grid covering while the paddock houses 60 kart owner garages, a garage owner clubhouse including a 2000 square foot driver fitness area, along with an RV parking area including full power and water connections.
“We envision doing everything possible to make this track world class to attract drivers from all over North America to come and have a one-of-a-kind experience,” said McCrone.
To the east of the competition track is the rental kart circuit. An additional 1/2-mile of racing surface makes up the rental kart layout with a total of 50 Tillotson rental karts to provide arrive and drive karting fun and excitement. The overall layout of the two LOK circuits combines into a 1.4-mile full course.
The LOK will also be the new home of Ohio Kart Parts with a full-service retail shop offering karts and parts for multiple brands within the industry. A 1,000 square foot retail store front welcomes new and returning karters to the Pro Shop that features a service section, engine dyno room, certified Rotax service center and kart storage for up to 350 karts.
Part of the Lorain Ohio Kartplex complex will be a 25,000 square foot indoor karting facility that is attached to the north side of the rental kart building. The two-story track will have 30 electric karts and 10 electric kid karts. Inside the building will be eight SimXperience racing simulators, a golf simulator, gaming area in addition to a full restaurant and brew pub with corporate/event space. Part of the building is a 3,000 square foot covered deck overlooking the outdoor rental track.
The karting facility is Phase I of the River Park Motorplex. Phase II includes an over 2-mile road course, featuring car condos, full-service concierge, and will be a semi-private country club. Additional phases in consideration of development are a marina, office space, boutique hotel, additional restaurants, entertainment district and an industrial park. In partnership with the Lorain Port Authority and the promoter of the ‘Rockin’ on the River Concert Series’, attendees of the LOK can enjoy many music experiences within a few miles of the facility each weekend as well as festivities on and near Lake Erie.
Landscape clearing has already begun on the site with an official groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for the month of May. One of the first major events scheduled for the Lorain Ohio Kartplex is the Ohio Sprint Series race on the August 18-20 weekend.
Be sure to follow the facility on social media with a full website currently in development.