In an effort to provide the karting community with a national series for both Rotax and Stock Honda competitors, MAXSpeed Entertainment, along with several partners within the karting industry, have come together to form the US Open and International Kart Expo. Managed by MAXSpeed Entertainment, who are known for promoting world-class events such as the Rotax Pan American Challenge, Florida Winter Tour, United States Rotax Grand Nationals and the 2013 Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, have put together a three race program that will see stops in the states of Texas, Colorado and Nevada as well as a premiere kart show that will take place the week of the Championship Finale in Las Vegas.
“We had several teams, competitors and business owners within the industry approach us over the past two years to build a race program that covered the calendar from January to November as an international Rotax series within the United States,” explained MAXSpeed Group’s President Richard Boisclair. “Entertaining the idea and adding a few of North America’s popular and competitive shifter kart classes as asked for by our customers, we formed the US Open and will kickoff the series at the Dallas Karting Complex in May.”
“We are very excited to announce the US Open,” explained MAXSpeed Entertainment’s Garett Potter. “Over the past year we have worked with our clients and listened to their ideas and concerns. Our customers love the current winter racing programs offered from COTA on the west, FWT on the east, along with the US Rotax Grand Nationals, but they needed more racing. Not just races but true international quality competition. With this new series we can not only deliver on that but also give racers one program to race with the entire year, and dealers and teams will also have a solid, stable platform to build their programs around. We have taken every minor detail to put together a series that is for the competitors, and with the support from some of North America’s top karting teams, we are now ready to move forward.”
Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada at The LINQ Hotel & Casino, which will host for the Championship Finale, MAXSpeed Entertainment and multiple teams, importers, dealers and supporters joined forces to commit to the three race weekend program. Offering all seven Rotax MAX Challenge classes and five shifter divisions, the US Open will provide all with an abundance of track time, fair technical inspection and a great platform for competition all while drivers can battle wheel-to-wheel for race wins, podium results and impressive awards and prizes. Present in ‘Sin City’ and putting their support behind the US Open include Full Throttle Karting, Rolison Performance Group, J3 Competition, Dallas Karting Complex, Grand Junction Motor Speedway, CRG USA, Miller Motorsports Park, Champion Racing/Intrepid, 2Wild Karting and Phil Giebler Racing. While several other high profile teams have committed to the series, they were unable to attend due to prior obligations in getting ready for the upcoming 2015 season.
The US Open will kick off their inaugural season at the Dallas Karting Complex (DKC) in Caddo Mills, Texas. Taking place on the May 14-17 weekend, teams and competitors will be treated to a Texas-size welcome, as track owners Kevin Adds and Mike Jones are excited for the new and promising series.
“We are very excited to host the first round of the US Open series at Dallas Karting Complex,” explained DKC’s Mike Jones. “We are approaching our fourth anniversary in the next couple of months and our facility continues to grow and improve with each and every passing day. As the Rotax classes continue to grow in our region, we feel adding the Stock Honda classes to the venue will only help the new series and our local racers.”
Kevin Adds continued, “The US Open concept is a great idea and will only strengthen the relationship between DKC and MAXSpeed Entertainment. Just as our facility has been growing for the past four years, so has our relationship with MAXSpeed Group, Rotax and Richard Boisclair. Business people for the better of the sport, I can see the vision of the US Open and am excited to put our efforts behind the program.”
Next on the docket, the US Open will travel north to CRG USA and Stacey Cook’s Grand Junction Motor Speedway facility in Grand Junction, Colorado. Set to take place the weekend of June 25-28, championship battles will begin to take shape before drivers depart the Mile High state and head west to Las Vegas
“As the owner of the Grand Junction Motor Speedway, we are very excited to support the new US Open championship in 2015. With a true National Championship series that brings the two biggest motor packages in the country together under one series, we believe this will bring stability and a business model that will be extremely successful,” explained Stacey Cook. “Also MAXSpeed is the one organization that is fully capable of organizing and running a National program of this caliber! We are also very excited to host the series at our facility Grand Junction Motor Speedway June 25-28, 2015. Both Stock Honda and Rotax race very well on our track and we believe it will be an incredible opportunity to showcase our facility to the best drivers in the country.”
The US Open Championship Finale, set for November 10-14, will be one of the premier events on the North American and world calendar in 2015 as The LINQ Hotel & Casino welcomes the close of the championship series. With a $250 million dollar makeover just in time for the arrival of the US Open, this venue is ready for a Vegas kart show like no other. With the LINQ located right on ‘The Strip’ in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, MAXSpeed Entertainment has inked a deal with Caesars Entertainment that will see the US Open end the year with a bang. An industry show, championship finale event and black tie gala on Las Vegas Boulevard will be featured right below the ‘High Roller Wheel’ in a true “on the strip” atmosphere in downtown Las Vegas. Ending the weekend with the black tie gala on Saturday evening, similar to the CIK/FIA Championship awards ceremony, teams and competitors will have the chance to experience an awards ceremony unlike anything seen in the United States. Competitors of all ages will have the chance to celebrate a successful year of racing while in a professional yet fun atmosphere and will be recognized for their amazing skill, teamwork and perseverance it took be successful in the US Open program.
Keeping with the international Rotax scene, all seven Rotax MAX classes will be offered including Micro MAX, Mini MAX, Junior MAX, Senior MAX, Masters MAX, DD2 MAX and DD2 MAX Masters. With Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals tickets available for the winners of the Championship Finale event in Las Vegas for Junior, Senior, DD2, and DD2 Masters, MAXSpeed Entertainment will also award the championship finale winners of the Rotax Micro and Mini MAX classes with an all-expense paid trip to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) as a member of Team USA. With the opportunity to support their fellow Americans and take in the sights and sounds of the world-class event, this trip is an opportunity of a lifetime for any young and up-and-coming karter.
Potter added, “The younger divisions are the future of karting and giving them a chance to join Team USA overseas as a spectator will be the chance of a lifetime. This will show them that all the hard work does pay off, and what they need to prepare for. Their awards will include flight and hotel for each Mini and Micro champion.”
The US Open will also offer five shifter kart divisions that will give a chance for drivers to do battle in a true professional karting series. As Stock Honda classes become the premier shifter class in North American karting, it was only fitting to introduce the series with five different divisions. Starting with the youngest category, Junior Shifter (ages 12-15) will be the first of the classes followed by Senior Shifter (ages 15+). Elite Shifter (ages 15+), with the approved MAXSpeed Entertainment license, will be the headline shifterkart class. Rounding out the classes will be Masters Shifter (ages 30+) and Veterans Shifter (ages 45+). All shifterkart classes will utilize MG FZ (Yellow) tires with a rules package to be announced in the coming weeks.
While Rotax finale race winners will receive tickets to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals event, MAXSpeed Entertainment is excited to announce a complete prize structure in the coming weeks that will be the largest in the company’s history. Stay tuned for more details soon!
Boisclair continued, “Rotax is the largest racing program in not only the United States, but the world. The US Open will provide the North American market with a true, international Rotax campaign while adding additional classes that are prominent in the market. With the acquisition of the Florida Winter Tour and already promoted events such as the Grand Nationals and Pan American Challenge, MAXSpeed Entertainment is quickly being recognized as one of the most respected and one of the largest race promoters in the world.”
Registration for the US Open will commence on March 1, 2015 and will take the same approach as other MAXSpeed Entertainment promoted events. Focused on the complete program, the US Open will offer discounts for teams and competitors that register for all three series events in advance. With two events per weekend for the opening two rounds and a championship finale event in Las Vegas, the series will count heat races, prefinals and all five main events towards the end-of-the-year championship.
Potter continued, “The professional series in motorsports do not offer drops. They reward drivers that are consistently at the front of the field. The US Open will adopt the same format and count all five main event results towards the end-of-the-year title chase. Drivers will also have the opportunity to garner points through their qualifying, heat race and prefinal results.”
2015 US Open Schedule
May 14-17: Dallas Karting Complex – Caddo Mills, Texas
June 25-28: Grand Junction Motor Speedway – Grand Junction, Colorado
November 12-14: The LINQ Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada
Not part of the US Open series but part of the MAXSpeed Entertainment package is the additional announcement of the International Kart Expo (IKE). Set for the week of the Championship Finale, the IKE will take place at the entrance to the race track on the grounds of the newly renovated LINQ Hotel & Casino with free admission for all industry members and spectators. With support from designers, karting companies and manufacturers, the IKE will allow these vendors to showcase the newest karting products from all around the world. With manufacturers on site all week giving dealers, racers and the general public time to check out the new innovations for the 2016 karting season, teams, competitors, families and spectators will need to proceed through the exhibitors to enter the facility.
Boisclair continued, “The industry is in need of a place for vendors and manufacturers to display their efforts and what better place to do that than in Las Vegas before one of the largest kart race weekends in North America. We have talked to all the major chassis brands and they will all be in attendance. It is going to be a great event.”
With the US Open now on the 2015 karting calendar, MAXSpeed Entertainment will now promote the Florida Winter Tour, Rotax MAX Challenge and the United States Grand Nationals for a total of ten national Rotax events across the country. The Rotax Pan American Challenge will be taken off the schedule as it was replaced by the US Open.