“Race #2 provides excitement under the lights at OGP”

September 26, 2012 – The second event in the Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) fall local series was a barnburner of an affair as nearly 90 competitors would race under the lights in the first night race of the series. Kicking off the local program only two weeks ago, multiple national and international champions would be in attendance to battle the elements and look for their chance to stand atop the podium.

As the main events were kicked off with the playing of the national anthem and a fireworks display by Ocala Gran Prix’s own, Jorge Arellano, wheel-to-wheel action soon ensued as tight close racing highlighted the evening.

In the headline Rotax Senior class, multi-time United States National champion Nick Neri would take the top honors against current Rotax Senior US Grand National title holder and Team USA member Daniel Formal, OGP regular Jonathon Kotyk and Floridian AJ Myers. While all four competitors showed the speed to run at the front of the field, Neri pulled away from the other trio of drivers in the wee hours of the morning when the event finally concluded.

In the Rotax Junior ranks, it was Florida Winter Tour champion and Team USA Member Oliver Askew taking the pole position and prefinal win after choosing to start from the tail of the field. Crossing the line first in the main event, Askew was demoted to P2 after a late race penalty deemed Brian Lockwood as the victor. Olivier Bellanger, Ryan Norberg and Quentin De Bouver all showed the speed to run at the front of the 22-kart field throughout the evening.

“The local series is growing and we are trying to do more and more to help increase the participation,” expressed OGP President Jorge Arellano. ”

With multiple classes on the docket including TaG Masters, Rotax Masters, Cadet Junior Sportsman, Yamaha Junior Sportsman and Kid Karts, the Ocala Gran Prix local series will continue on October 6, 2012. With entry numbers increasing each and every season, series officials are anticipating race four to draw over 100 entries from in and around the Southeast United States.

Three races remain in the OGP Fall Local Program:

  • October 6, 2012 – Race #3
  • October 27, 2012 – Race #4 ** Night Race
  • November 10, 2012 – Race #5

For more information on the Ocala Grand Prix Local Fall Series or to reserve your pit spot, please contact Charlie Kramer via e-mail to Charlie@OcalaGranPrix.com or 352.291.0600.

For more information on Ocala Grand Prix, OGP race team opportunities and info on how to get into karting, please visit Ocala Gran Prix online at www.OcalaGranPrix.com or contact them at352.291.0600 or via e-mail to: Info@OcalaGranPrix.com.

Local Point 2012 Fall Winter


Club Kart Race Points


“OGP used chassis and engine combination scores the victory”

Ocala, Florida – September 11, 2012 – In his first race out of the Sportsman ranks, Rotax Junior rookie Justin Gordon claimed a race win at the Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) Championship Series. Utilizing a used team chassis and motor combination purchased from Ocala Gran Prix in the week’s prior, Gordon went on to claim top honors against a small field of very talented competitors.

“This is an incredible feeling,” expressed Eric Gordon, father of Justin. “We struggled a little in the Sportsman ranks but were coming into our own in the latter half of this season. Knowing that we would need to make the jump up to junior in 2013, we figured it was best to move up now and get some experience. To win in our first try is awesome. Can’t wait to see if we can carry the momentum forward for the rest of the season.”

After claiming the third position in the prefinal as well as tying for the fastest lap of the race, Gordon turned up the wick in the main event to come out on top. Scoring his first junior win in his first try, Justin was extremely excited post race, as was Jorge Arellano, Owner and President of Ocala Gran Prix.

“We always sell our equipment,” expressed Arellano. “There is a strong feeling that an outsider will not receive the same equipment as an OGP Team Driver, but I think this was proved with the results from this past weekend. Justin is a rookie in the class and utilizing OGP’s used chassis and an engine that is regularly maintained by OGP, he was able to claim his first victory.”

Ocala Gran Prix continues to offer a variety of used team chassis and engines that are available for sale. From gently used karts (with two to eight races) and freshly rebuilt team engines, the selection is endless. Please contact Nate Grindell to order yours today.

For more information on Ocala Grand Prix, OGP race team opportunities and info on how to get into karting, please visit Ocala Gran Prix online at www.OcalaGranPrix.com or contact them at352.291.0600 or via e-mail to: Info@OcalaGranPrix.com.

Local Point 2012 Fall Winter


Ocala Gran Prix Club Kart Series Race Points



“One series closes and another one opens in North Central Florida”

August 29, 2012 – With some of North America’s national campaigns and largest races already winding down or complete, the Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) local fall program is set to kick off over the Labor Day weekend. With single race day events, allowing more family time on the weekends, race one will take place on Saturday, September 1, 2012. A total of five events will comprise the series and class champions will be crowned at the final event in early November with a banquet hosted trackside by Ocala Gran Prix.

“We had great success in the spring series and the North Florida Rotax Max Challenge,” expressed Series President Jorge Arellano. “We had record numbers and the highest kart counts in the series existence, and we thought it may be due to the fact that larger races were coming to our facility after these events. The numbers continued strong throughout the series and we are looking to continue this upward trend in the fall edition of the series.”

Looking to stay away from dates that would conflict with other events, Ocala Gran Prix officials did their best to schedule around national event weekends. Staying away from the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup finale and the SuperKarts! USA SuperNationals, a flexible schedule also allowed the fall series to steer clear of the RoK Cup International Final in Italy as well as the Team USA Rotax Grand Finals test.

Arellano continued, “I always try and do what is best for the sport and staying off other event weekends was the best thing to do. Though we had to juggle our track schedule a little bit, we managed to get it done for the most part.”

“We would like to invite all competitors out to compete,” expressed Track Manager and Series Race Director Charlie Kramer. “Each year the events get larger and the competition gets even better. Also, there is no place that will give you a better deal on track time than us.”

Kicking off September 1, 2012, the complete Ocala Grand Prix Fall Local Series schedule is listed below:

  • September 1, 2012 – Race #1
  • September 22, 2012 – Race #2 ** Night Race
  • October 6, 2012 – Race #3
  • October 27, 2012 – Race #4 ** Night Race
  • November 10, 2012 – Race #5

For more information on the Ocala Grand Prix Local Fall Series or to reserve your pit spot, please contact Charlie Kramer via e-mail to Charlie@OcalaGranPrix.com or 352.291.0600.

For more information on Ocala Grand Prix, OGP race team opportunities and info on how to get into karting, please visit Ocala Gran Prix online at www.OcalaGranPrix.com or contact them at352.291.0600 or via e-mail to: Info@OcalaGranPrix.com.


“Rotax Mini Max driver battles with country’s best to stand on the podium”

August 15, 2011 – Traveling from his home in Florida to the Jet Karting of Michiana Raceway Park facility near South Bend, Indiana, Ocala Gran Prix driver Mathias Ramirez would see action in the talent filled Rotax Mini Max division. Taking on the United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals and a host of drivers with much more experience and testing under their belts, Ramirez remained true to form in both wet and dry weather competition to come home in the second position, narrowly missing a national championship in his first year in the class.

Progressing through the unofficial test days leading up to the event, Ramirez proved to be very quick under the sunny Indiana skies. Running with the top dawgs of the Rotax Mini Max division, Ramirez and his Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) race team were very excited heading into Thursday morning’s qualifying efforts.

As the heavens opened Thursday morning, Ramirez and the rest of the competitors would make the switch to the wet weather Mojo rain tires to begin the official competition. With a track that was getting better with each passing lap, Ramirez would claim the third quickest time of the session, a scant .022 seconds from the elusive pole position.

Moving into the first wheel-to-wheel competition of the weekend, Ramirez and his OGP powered Tony Kart would look to improve on their third place qualifying run. With a light mist keeping the tricky facility damp, Mini Max drivers would continue to utilize their wet weather Mojo tires in the search for grip and results to set Championship Saturday’s grid.

Progressing through the three heat races with very little trouble, Ramirez would score a third place effort on Thursday afternoon before Friday’s second and fourth place results. Setting himself up for an outside front row starting position on Saturday morning’s prefinal, Ramirez was confident heading into the biggest event of his young career.

“I am happy to be doing so well here in Indiana,” explained Ramirez. “I need to thank the Ocala Gran Prix team and my Dad for all of their hard work and support. I am hoping I can come home with a win.”

Back to the track on Championship Saturday, Ramirez would line up on the outside of the front row for the all-important prefinal. With the rain slowing but a damp track still in play, Ramirez would struggle throughout the 14 lap event as he fell down the running order. Claiming the ninth position and inside row five starting position for the main event, Ramirez was extremely disappointed with his finish and would look to rebound in the final.

The afternoon would see the sun break through the clouds and the track dry just in time for the opening ceremonies and main events. Looking to rebound from his prefinal result, Ramirez quickly went to work on the field of Mini Max drivers as he marched his way forward. With some bold passes and flat out sheer speed, Ramirez drove to a podium result as he crossed the line in the second position.

Mathias would like to thank his sponsors and supporters for a successful 2012 racing season to date. A big thanks to Ocala Gran Prix and Jorge Arellano for his hard work and help, and a big thanks to Nate Grindell, Mario Ioffredo, Alex Speed and Gary Carlton from OGP.


“Cody Hodgson and Bill Lester join Oliver Askew on Team USA”

Ocala, Florida – August 14, 2012 – With the weeklong event finally coming to a close, Ocala Gran Prix solidified another two drivers on Team USA to compete at the 2012 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portimao, Portugal later this year. Rotax DD2 and DD2 Masters pilots Cody Hodgson and Bill Lester will join Rotax Junior standout Oliver Askew as members of Team USA courtesy of their podium results at this past weekend’s United States Rotax Grand Nationals that took place at the Jet Karting of Michiana Raceway Park facility near South Bend, Indiana.

“It was a great week of racing,” expressed Team Manager Nate Grindell. “We had some ups and downs throughout the week but as a team, we all pulled together and worked hard to have our drivers at the front of the pack. Though we did not come out of the weekend with any race wins, we did show that we had the speed from multiple drivers to challenge for podium and top ten results.”

In the Rotax DD2 class, Cody Hodgson would claim the second step on the podium and accompanying Team USA berth later this year. After showing speed throughout the unofficial test days and qualifying in the second position, Hodgson would battle the stout field of drivers and the changing weather conditions to stand atop the podium. Disappointed that he was not able to challenge for the victory, Hodgson was relieved to be back on Team USA after a one-year hiatus from the karting ranks.

Rotax DD2 Masters pilot Bill Lester worked hard in the final to close the weekend in the third and final podium position. Struggling through the heat races with some incidents and not accustomed to racing in the rain, Lester turned up the wick in the all-important final as he sliced his way through the field to come home third.

Having one of his best weekend’s of racing competition, the up and coming Mathias Ramirez impressed all with a second place run in the Rotax Mini Max class. Racing against drivers with much more experience, Ramirez battled hard to stay at the front of the field for the heat races, setting up a solid starting position on Championship Saturday. Falling back from the leader early, Ramirez would utilize his natural skills and abilities to move back into the second position and hold off the advances of his fellow pilots.

Aaron Bass would show improvement in the Mini Max final to cross the stripe in the 17th position while Mikey Hornborg and Vincenzo Sarracino would run into trouble just past the halfway mark and claim the 30th and 31st place results respectively.

A pair of drivers would finish in the top ten in Rotax Senior as Nick Neri narrowly missed the podium and accompanying Team USA invitation. Running in the second and third position for the majority of the race, Neri was passed in the late stages but would hang on for a solid fourth place result. Floridian Jonathon Kotyk would be the next Ocala Gran prix driver to cross the line as he did so in the eighth position, a great improvement from last year’s Rotax Grand Nationals in Utah.

Filling out the rest of the Rotax Senior field, Andrew Evans would claim the 14th position while Brandon Salyer and Annie Hayden would come home 24th and 27th. Not able to complete a lap in the main event, Timothy Venable would be classified in 33rd.

After a solid run in the prefinal, Rotax Micro Max pilot Dylan Gennaro would run into a mechanical failure in the main event. Working through the rain soaked heat races, Gennaro would improve on Saturday claiming an 11th place finish in the heat race, before having an axle failure in the main event to come home 21st. In his first Rotax Grand Nationals ever, Gennaro gained some valuable experience that he will look to utilize in the years to come.

A pair of Ocala Gran Prix drivers would finish Saturday’s Rotax Junior main event in the top five as Oliver Askew and Austin Garrison would be at the pointy end of the field. Askew, already a member of Team USA through his championship at the Florida Winter Tour, would claim the third and final podium position while Austin Garrison showed he has what it takes to run with the top junior drivers in the country as he came home fifth.

Coming from the 34th and last spot on the grid in the main event, female pilot Ashley Rogero would cross the line in 11th while Brian Lockwood, who ran inside the top ten in the main event, would fall to 29th after a broken chain took him out of contention. Floridian pilot Alex Hornborg had a trying weekend as wet weather competition wreaked havoc on his results. Showing that he had the speed to run inside the top ten throughout the dry test session, Alex was disappointed to see weather move into the area for the official competition.

A trio of drivers would compete in the Rotax Masters class as Jerry Brown, Scott Roberts and Rob Maier would all see action. Maier, who crashed hard in testing and chose to sit out Wednesday’s official practice day, would score the Master’s class highest result, as he would claim the seventh position when the checkered flag flew. Roberts, who led a pair of heat races and was in the running for a top five result in Saturday’s main event ran into trouble mid race as he would claim the 17th position.

Karting rookie and 55-year-old Jerry Brown would show his wet weather skills in Thursday’s qualifying effort as he battled hard to turn the seventh quickest lap of the session. Saturday would see the weather turn back to dry for the main event and Brown would come home 16th.

“I think this 2012 Rotax grand nationals was the best showing of Florida drivers I have ever seen. At the same time, it was amazing to see every one under the OGP tent work so well together in such a short period of time. I would like to personally congratulate all the drivers that will be part of this year’s Team USA,” expressed Jorge Arellano. “We will have another team test in Ocala later this year and I look forward to seeing you all there.”

For more information on Ocala Grand Prix, OGP race team opportunities and info on how to get into karting, please visit Ocala Gran Prix online at www.OcalaGranPrix.com or contact them at352.291.0600 or via e-mail to: Info@OcalaGranPrix.com.


“National championships and Team USA berths on the line in Northern Indiana”

Ocala, Florida – August 1, 2012 – With already countless race wins and championships in the 2012 racing season, Ocala Gran Prix will now make the trek north for their assault on the United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals. With invitations to join Team USA and United States national championships on the line, a 20-kart team with Rotax Grand Finals experience will head to the Jet Karting of Michiana Raceway Park facility near South Bend, Indiana.

“We have assembled a strong team,” expressed Ocala Gran Prix’s Jorge Arellano. “Anything can happen in racing and we will work hard to put our drivers in the best position possible in Indiana. Goals are set high, and our drivers and their tuners will work hard to achieve them. I truly believe I have put the best support team together to help each driver under the OGP tent. ”

Four Ocala Gran Prix drivers will enter the event with overseas Rotax Grand Finals experience, as Cody Hodgson, Nick Neri, Oliver Askew and Ashley Rogero will look to utilize their speed and experience. Hodgson enters the event as a two-time United States Rotax DD2 national champion and will look to add a third to his resume. As a podium finisher in the Rotax Grand Finals in Egypt in 2009, Hodgson is sure to be one of the favorites entering one of the largest Rotax races of the year in the United States.

Joining Hodgson in the senior ranks and always a threat for victory will be multi-time champion Nick Neri. Having competed in the Rotax Grand Finals in the Junior category in Egypt in 2009 and again in Italy in 2010 with an impressive top five result, Neri would like nothing more to add another United States Champion and Rotax World Champion to his resume come the conclusion of the 2012 racing season. Having claimed multiple championships already this season as well as competed with the Tony Kart factory team in Italy, Neri is ready for the challenges of South Bend.

Askew, who already has a Team USA berth through his championship win at the Florida Winter Tour (FWT), will be looking to add to his run of championships in 2012. Having garnered the FWT Rotax Junior title, Askew went on to claim the Florida Karting Championship Series (FKCS) TaG Junior and Rotax Junior championships as well as the top spot in the North Florida Rotax Max Challenge (NFRMC). Basically living at the Ocala Gran Prix facility the past few months, Askew is primed and ready to rebound after last year’s disappointing finish. Female pilot and World Karting Association front-runner Ashley Rogero will join Askew in the Rotax Junior class and will be a major threat for victory. Having been part of Team USA in the past as well as claiming a race win at this year’s Florida Winter Tour, Rogero knows what it takes to land a spot on the squad and will be working hard to put herself in the right position by the time the checkered flag flies.

Bill Lester will join Hodgson in the two-speed Rotax class, as he will enter the Rotax DD2 Masters class in South Bend. Having gained some experience at the Florida Winter Tour and obtaining his punches through the North Florida Rotax Max Challenge program, Lester is excited to get to Indiana and get back behind the wheel of his OGP prepared Tony Kart.

With Neri leading the way in the Rotax Senior class, a quartet of fellow Ocala Gran Prix drivers will enter the class and look to put themselves in position for a national title. Jonathon Kotyk, Andrew Evans, Brandon Salyer and Annie Hayden will fly the OGP flag as all of them will look to carry the momentum from their FKCS campaigns to the Rotax Grand Nationals.

With a junior program that that has had tremendous results the past few seasons, four drivers will head to northern Indiana to see action in the Rotax Junior category. Joining Askew and Rogero will be Floridian drivers Brian Lockwood, Alex Hornborg and Austin Garrison. The trio has been potent as of late in the Florida karting market with all three running at the front of the pack. Garrison and Hornborg battled tooth and nail in the final NFRMC event for the victory while Lockwood had some impressive runs in the FKCS program. All five Ocala Gran Prix junior pilots will look to stand atop the box at the end of the weekend.

Ocala Gran Prix will enter four competitors in the Rotax Mini Max class. Mathias Ramirez, Aaron Bass, Mikey Hornborg and Vincenzo Sarracino will all see action at the tricky eleven turn facility as they look to claim solid results. Learning from the junior and senior level drivers, this quartet will work with their tuners in the efforts to find the necessary speed to challenge for the elusive national championship.

With only one driver scheduled to take part in the Rotax Micro Max division from OGP, the pressure lies with Dylan Gennaro to provide the team with results. Training at Ocala Gran Prix and competing in multiple different racing series in the south, Gennaro is excited to try his hand at a new facility.

Three Florida based pilots will make the trek north to compete in the Rotax Masters class as Scott Roberts, Rob Maier and Jerry Brown will all see action in the over-32 division. Just like the rest of the OGP counterparts, the trio has competed at the NFRMC and FKCS scoring multiple race wins and podium results.

With a group of talented drivers, a long list of experienced tuners is needed to help achieve success. With over 300 years of karting experience turning the wrenches and running data, Ocala Gran Prix tuners Nate Grindell, Mario Ioffredo, Alex Speed, Gary Carlton, Mike Maurini, Austin Elliott, Marty Neri, John Russell, Cody Johnson, Scott Greniere, Jay McKeague, Wes Boswell, Phil Kirby, Cale Wyse and Gary Willis will be joined by father and son/daughter combos of Neil Hodgson, Vic Evans, Roger Salyer, Jim Rogero, Doug Garrison, Ismael Ramirez, Eddie Gennaro and Luigi Sarracino.

Utilizing Ocala Gran Prix prepared engines outside the team tent will be Rotax Senior driver Mason Chelootz. Available trackside, Ocala Gran Prix will have prepared race winning engines that will be available for rent.

For more information on Ocala Grand Prix, OGP race team opportunities and info on how to get into karting, please visit Ocala Gran Prix online at www.OcalaGranPrix.com or contact them at352.291.0600 or via e-mail to: Info@OcalaGranPrix.com.