“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.