In 2018 there are only a small number of events in North America where drivers can qualify for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. One of those is right around the corner, July 4-8, where over 100 drivers have entered to race at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in the US Open of New Jersey. The event will also act the US Rotax Grand Nationals and award a total of ten tickets to the Rotax Grand Finals, held this year in Brazil.
While the national activity around the Rotax Max product has slowed in the past year, having more than 100 drivers enter the event has shown that racers still want to represent their country at the unofficial Olympics of Karting that is the Grand Finals. Both Canada and the USA have had great success over the past fifteen years at the Grand Finals and qualifying to represent your country has become the goal and ambition of many kart racers, young and old, National or Regional.
Rotax Max has taken a different approach for the New Jersey event, providing lottery engines for all categories. Racers will compete on equally prepared powerplants, just like they do at the Grand Finals, leveling the playing field and opening up the opportunity for all racers and teams to use the chassis of their choice with the provided engine. This has helped attract many teams to the event as well as international drivers looking for an arrive and drive chassis program without having to shell out for engines rentals as well.
When the registration opened up in May, it was a busy first few days as entries flocked in, and have since stayed consistent. There is a good chance that three categories will reach their maximum of 34 entrants, with Junior Max already at 30, along with Mini-Max and Senior Max not far behind. As expected the numbers are a little smaller in DD2 and the Master’s divisions, but nonetheless, still show there is interest from North and South of the border for all the classes offered.
Discounted online registration is still open. Click here to sign up for the US Open of New Jersey!
We have also noticed a small but respectable number of Ontario drivers opting to skip the Pfaff Kartsport Cup event at Mosport for the chance to qualify for the Grand Finals at the race in Jersey. It’s a shame both high profile events are on the same weekend, as well as the Western Canadian Karting Championship in Saskatoon, but it shows that drivers still want to be a part of Team Canada and race the Grand Finals because there simply is nothing that compares to it.
On a side note, the US Open of New Jersey will also be the first time we will see the new partners for the Rotax Max Challenge program in the USA. Yesterday, BRP-Rotax confirmed that J3 Competition and RTX USA Group will take over the reigns to the US market from GoRotax/SRA Karting, the Canadian RMC who has been managing the USA program since MaxSpeed Entertainment ceased operations in 2017. GoRotax/SRA will still operate the US Open event in New Jersey, with the new partners officially taking charge after the event.
CKN will be trackside for the US Open of New Jersey, covering all the action throughout the event. We will also kickoff our coverage with previews of each category, starting next week.