ROK and Briggs & Stratton categories to fill out class roster for international winter series on west coast
The new era begins on-track for the Challenge of the Americas in four months as the international winter series in western North America opens up the 2018 championship series. Planning for the transition over to the ROK by Vortex engine platform and Bridgestone tire line is well underway. Series promoter Andy Seesemann has helped to grow the ROK presence with the three powerplants available for competition in the 2018 Challenge of the Americas.
One of the most competitive divisions in North America, and around the world are the Cadet categories. The youngest classes at the Challenge have produced some of the top talent in the sport today, with a new generation of racers primed for success. The largest category at the ROK Cup International Final for the past few years has been the Mini division, with 168 drivers competing in the 2016 edition and the same expected in 2017. The Micro ROK and Mini ROK classes fulfill that age group, utilizing the popular 60cc Mini ROK engine (exhaust restrictor and spec gear for the Micro class).
The ROK GP engine is the flagship powerplant, utilized in the Senior ROK, Masters ROK, and Junior ROK. A 125cc ‘Touch and Go’ water-cooled engine is the backbone of the ROK engine platform, allowing racer to compete in all three classes with a single engine (Junior ROK requires an exhaust restrictor).
Rounding out the ROK engine platform is the shifter divisions. The ROK Shifter is the powerplant reserved for the ROK Shifter Senior and ROK Shifter Masters categories. The 125cc six-speed engine produces over 40 horsepower, developed from years of experience from the Vortex engineers and designers. The ROK Shifter has been on the karting market for a number of years, providing an affordable and reliable selection for karters.
“I’m very excited to get the new Challenge underway,” stated series owner and promoter Andy Seesemann. “Our new partnership with Vortex and Bridgestone helps solidify our position in North American karting. Bridgestone tires are acknowledged for their performance in motorsports, and all ROK classes will use the worldwide-spec Bridgestone YLR tire. Vortex is a world-wide brand, with its primary focus on providing the best technology to the racers. The ROK engine platform is tested and proven, especially our shifterkart engine package where no winter prototype testing is needed.”
The Challenge of the Americas is working directly with ROK Cup USA, ROK Cup Promotions and the Florida Winter Tour to confirm a rules package to be used for the next five years, assuring a solid foundation of the ROK program in North America.
Introduced last year, the Briggs & Stratton 206 powerplant was a welcomed addition to the Challenge of the Americas. The lower cost, affordable and exciting racing that the Briggs 206 engine provides will be back in 2018. Two classes will be offered – Briggs 206 Senior and Briggs 206 Junior. With support from RLV, the Bridgestone YLC compound has been chosen as the spec tire for the LO206 classes.
“This was a no brainer, as Tri-C Karters, our Southern California partner club, utilizes the YLC tire for its large Briggs categories. We expect larger numbers in these categories for 2018”, commented Seesemann.
“Some of the best racing we had at the Challenge last year came in the Briggs classes. Briggs 206 within the Challenge is aimed at bringing local drivers to our series, and give them a chance to experience the joy of racing alongside the ROK categories we offer. The three facilities we are attending in 2018 each have solid Briggs following, so we expect many locals competing with our COTA regulars. The Senior and Junior divisions will remain as non-championship classes, with a purse offered at each event, and a purpose to welcome local drivers to compete at their home track, or even travel to the other events on our schedule.”
ROK Cup USA has opened an additional two months for their highly successful engine trade in program. Until October 31, racers in the United States market can trade in a complete and working race engine from the eligible list in on trade for a brand new Vortex ROK powerplant. For more information on the trade in program, please contact Andy Seesemann at email@example.com.
A full class structure, including class weights and ages, for the 2018 Challenge of the Americas will be published soon at the NEW website – challengekarting.com. More information and new regarding the 2018 season can also be found on the Facebook page.
2018 Challenge of the Americas Schedule
January 26-28: Phoenix Kart Racing Association – Glendale, Arizona
February 23-25: CalSpeed Karting Center – Fontana, California
April 13-15: Simraceway Performance Karting Center – Sonoma, California