Building off our confirmation that the ROK Cup USA ROK the RIO is confirmed for the dates of November 4-8 in Las Vegas, Nevada, CKN had a chance to follow up with Garett Potter, ROK Cup Promotions Director of Operations to get an update on the event progress.
CKN: What new information can you share with us?
GP: Nothing much is new. We are 100% a go with permits and confirmations in hand. We are just crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s but as you know, this year’s event will be different than previous years. Teams, competitors and staff will be required to wear face coverings and we will have social distancing starting from our check-in at registration, all the way down to post-race technical inspection. We have hand sanitizing stations throughout the paddock and things will be good. The track design will remain unchanged from last year as it provided for some great racing, so I think we are in for a great event.
CKN: What can you tell us about registration numbers?
GP: Registration numbers on pace with where we were in 2019 with 320 competitors. Several of the bigger teams have registered some, but not all of their drivers. On the first day that entry was open via the new Kart Pass app, we had a record number of entries, so everything is going well. There are also some names on the entry list that we cannot yet disclose until their teams make the formal announcement, but I think you will see several drivers from the professional ranks of motorsports compete at ROK the RIO.
Visit http://kartpass.com to download the app and register for ROK the RIO!
CKN: What about entries from Canada and Europe? Is there any concern there?
GP: Yes, of course, travel is a challenge and we will lose some drivers because of it, but I feel it’s very important we push forward to support our teams, shops and racers. They all depend on these races, if not, we risk losing them. Let’s be honest it’s likely the situation we all find ourselves in will not go away before January, so we have to adjust, prepare and make it work. We have provided all teams and competitors with letters from the series similar to what other motorsports promotors have done with their foreign athletes. We have taken the protocols from the top and brought them down into karting. Our Covid safety plan is intensive and it could not have been completed without the ROK team that I have around me. As for teams from Canada, I do know that Goodwood Kartways, PSL Karting, Prime Powerteam and New Speed Motorsports and others are all coming.
CKN: What about other teams’ entries?
GP: I reached out to a handful of teams over the weekend, to see how things were going. Gary [Carlton] with GFC has a strong list of twenty competitors in his program including Hunter Pickett, Cole Shade, Will Ferguson and a surprise entry in the ROK Shifter class. Mike and the Rolison Performance Group have fifteen drivers confirmed including Hannah Greenemeier, Kyle Wick, Ryan Norberg, Billy Cleavelin. As of Friday, he still had eight additional drivers he was waiting to hear from so he could bring upwards of twenty-five entries. Speed Concepts Racing will have six or seven in ROK Junior and Senior, and I heard the Supertune USA will have close to ten, with a handful of ROK Junior drivers. PSL Karting has more than twenty with names of Nepveu, Gafrarar, Greco, French and Musser. Leading Edge Motorsports has been adding drivers daily and will have a bullet in the gun with Daniel Formal in ROK Shifter, looking to defend his title. The shifter class is going to be stacked!
CKN: How has the new Kart Pass app evolved the registration process?
GP: The crew at Kart Pass has been incredible to work with. Each entrant, mechanic or person on the property will need to have the app on their phone. When a pass is purchased, waivers are signed and everything is paid for, the user will receive a QR code. This code will be used to scan and band at registration. We will have no lines and if they do form, getting people checked in will take seconds instead of hours. This is the future of the registration process and we are happy that ROK Cup USA was the first onboard and a leader in this area.
CKN: The last and burning questions on everyone’s minds. How are you able to pull this off?
GP: Well it wasn’t easy, and I will keep the details to myself, for now, I just hope it ends up being worth it. I’m only one part of making the event successful, the most important parts are the teams and drivers. They will be the determining factor if the work was worth it or not.
See you in Las Vegas.