Joe Crupi hasn’t been karting that long. A few years running around with the Master’s drivers at Goodwood Kartways built up the karting bug and before he knew it, he was competing on the National level, chasing podiums and race wins in the Rotax DD2 category.
Fast forward to 2017 and Crupi enjoyed the most successful season of his career, winning not one, but two tickets to compete in International karting events.
Over the next two weeks, Crupi will be in Italy preparing for and competing in the Rok Cup International Final. Crupi won his ticket through the one-off Rok Cup Canada shootout at his home track, Goodwood Kartways. Taking the win the Masters Rok category was one challenge, but racing in Italy will be a whole new test, as he will race amongst the Senior Rok GP drivers, albeit still as a Masters driver.
“When I got back into karting a few years ago I never would have expected to be in this moment, to have this opportunity,” said Crupi.
“To have reached the point in karting of participating in two International Finals in 2017 is pretty surreal. I don’t know what I was expecting to accomplish all those years ago when I got back into the sport but I’m at the airport now heading the Rok International Final and it feels pretty special.”
To prepare for the big event, Crupi decided with his Goodwood Kartways team manager Marco Di Leo to compete in the Trofeo D’Autunno, the Fall Trophy, at South Garda Karting this weekend. He won’t be alone as many drivers competing at the Rok Cup Finals will be in attendance, jumping at the opportunity to come to grips with the South Garda circuit.
“Marco and I decided it was best to do the race the weekend before as well so we get as much track time as possible. I’m expecting to have an eye-opening week of racing for sure.”
Crupi is also keeping his head on his shoulders and looking to learn as much as he possibly can at such an International event and if he has the pace, hopes he can race for the podium. And as a lover of karting, this is a dream come true.
“From what I’ve heard it’s next level karting, pass or be passed, so I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two.”
“I’m hoping to make it to the Final in one piece and hopefully, if my speed is there, have a shot at a podium. I know it may be a long shot but I’ve spent more time in a kart this year than any previous year so who knows! Regardless just being a part of this special event in the sport I love is enough. I’m just going to try and appreciate my time in Italy and take in the event at the beautiful Lonato facility.”
Following the Rok Cup International Finals, Crupi will shift his attention to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, which will be held in Portimao, Portugal. Crupi qualified to race in the Rotax DD2 Masters Grand Final and will look to lead Canada to the podium.
CKN will be trackside at the Rok Cup International Finals. Be sure to follow along with all the action as a number of Canadian drivers will be in attendance.