We’re only one week away from the start of the 2019 Challenge of the Americas. The west coast winter series kicks off their eleventh season of competition, and second with the Vortex Rok engine platform, at CalSpeed Karting in Fontana, California. A strong debut with the Rok Cup USA program was welcomed last season and looking at the pre-entry numbers for CalSpeed, they have momentum on their side with over 100 drivers already set for competition.
We caught up with COA series owner Andy Seesemann to get his thoughts heading into season two with the Rok Cup USA program and as expected, he was really upbeat to see continued growth from where things left off way back in April.
“It’s been a busy offseason getting ready for the 2019 Challenge of the Americas. After exceeding my expectations in 2018, my goal was to have a 15-20% growth for 2019. I am excited to say that we have already hit that mark, with just about 110 pre-entries for the first weekend at Fontana. When we get to the track next week and have our typical on-site entries, we should be in the 120s, which is more than 30% growth over last year.”
Seeseman was also aware that his program is growing while others around him are doing the opposite.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Numbers don’t lie. While other programs are declining at a rapid rate, the Challenge of the Americas and Rok on the West Coast is growing every day. That bodes well for the future of the program.”
A bit of a shift in the schedule will see the series kickoff in California this year, after previous years in Arizona. Round two marks the return of the Musselman Honda Kart Circuit in Tucson, Arizona, followed by the championship finale which returns to SimRaceway in Sonoma, California.
New for 2019 is the introduction of the 100cc engines. After a successful run at Rok the Rio, 100cc Senior and 100cc Masters categories have replaced the Briggs 206 classes on the COA roster. Open to both Vortex VLR and IAME KA engines it’s expected to be a bit of a slow start as the 100cc engines build popularity in the USA.
Following the Challenge of the Americas, Seesemann will operate the California Rok Championship, providing more options for Rok Cup drivers to race throughout the summer months. More information about both the COA and California Rok Championship can be found on their website, http://challengekarting.com.
CanadianKartingNews.com will be trackside at all three rounds of the Challenge to provide race coverage, photos and highlights of our Canadian contingent of drivers competing down south during the long winter months.