The lone event in the United States for drivers to qualify for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals hits the track on July 5-8 at New Jersey Motorsports Park and over 100 drivers from around the world have entered for the chance to represent their country this November in Brazil.
For the second year in a row, NJMP hosts the joint event of the US Open and the US Rotax Grand Nationals, where ten tickets will be awarded to drivers to compete in the RMCGF, including three exclusively for US entrants. All entrants will race on engines provided by GoRotax for the event, providing equal opportunity for all racers and the same engine raffle experience as provided at the Grand Finals each year.
As we write this preview, entries are still rolling in for the event, with Rotax Junior Max currently having 32 entries, only two away from the cap of 34. The Rotax Micro/Mini Max and Senior Max classes are also nearing their cap. To enter, click here sooner rather than later.
The Rotax Grand Finals is a prestigious event for US drivers over the past two decades, where Juan Manuel Correa (2013) and Diego LaRoque (2016) have succeeded in winning the title of Rotax World Champion. The USA has also being crowned Nations Cup Champions twice, (2013 and 2015) and hosted the event in 2013 in New Orleans, the only time the event has taken place in North America. Canada has also had success at the Rotax Grand Finals, earning four titles in the Rotax DD2 category alone, a Max Masters championship as well as two Nations Cup honours.
In our first preview, we look the entrants in Rotax Junior, where seven different countries will be represented on the grid. Twenty-three of the entrants are from the USA and four are from Canada. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Columbia and Costa Rica each have one entrant. TonyKart is the chassis of choice, with nine of the green Italian brand and a further seven just listing OTK. BirelART and CompKart each have four entrants, three for Parolin and two for Kosmic Kart with single entries for CRG and FA Kart.
The list is full of drivers who have had success in the eastern half of North America over recent years. American Tyler Gonzalez returns to defend his title and will be tough to beat. Josh Pierson was also victorious in New Jersey last year, winning in Mini-Max, making him one to watch. Brazillian Matheus Morgatto and Canadians Thomas Nepveu, Mackenzie Clark and Justin Arseneau have all been very busy in the USA over the past year, always contending for the victory. From the USA, Luca Mars, Aidan Fox, Kyffin Simpson and Cooper Becklin are surely threats as is Nichola Zecchinato from Costa Rica. We also cannot count out the racers from the region who consider NJMP as their home track, as experience is always key.
Just scrolling through the list, we have a good feeling a large group of qualifying positions will be decided by mere hundredths of a second or less. And with a number of these young racers having been to the Rotax Grand Finals before, we know they will be pushing very hard for another chance to represent their country.
Only time will tell the results. Karts hit the track on July 6 for Qualifying.
Rotax Junior Entry List, as of June 26.
|221||USA||Maximilian Opalski||FA Kart|