“Hodgson, Neri, Evans, Koytek and Rogero look for race wins”
April 26, 2010 – The Ocala Gran Prix/Tony Kart race team will make their first trek out of the state of Florida in 2010 as the team will travel to the second round of the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer’s Cup program in northern Indiana. Competing at the MRP of South Bend facility in South Bend, Indiana, OGP will enter five pilots in an array of different divisions as well as be teamed with Indianapolis-based Tony Kart dealer Indiana Racing Services (IRS).
Coming from California and Ocala Gran Prix’s only senior competitor will be 2009 Rotax World Finals DD2 podium finisher Cody Hodgson. The talented teenager will compete in the Rotax Senior and TaG divisions at the difficult South Bend facility utilizing an Ocala Gran Prix Rotax powered Tony Kart in his first WKA action of the season.
Leading the junior ranks will be multi-time race winner and champion Nick Neri. The Floridian pilot, who has already claimed two championships at the 2010 Florida Winter Tour, will look to keep his momentum rolling in WKA action following a pair of wins at the opening round in December. Neri will do battle in four separate divisions as he competes in both Yamaha and Komet Piston Port powered Tony Karts.
Joining Neri in the junior divisions will be another two drivers from the Sunshine State as Andrew Evans and Jonathon Koytek will look to hit the national scene. While both drivers compete in the WKA state series, the Florida Karting Championship Series in Florida, the up and comers will head to the national program to do battle with some of North America’s best drivers. Evans will compete in both the Yamaha Junior Lite and Junior Heavy divisions while Koytek will battle in the Komet Junior Lite and Junior Heavy classes.
Rounding out the five kart OGP team will be female Sportsman driver Ashley Rogero. The talented driver is a front runner in every class that she enters and will be a force for multiple wins in South Bend. Competing in the Cadet Junior Sportsman, Yamaha Sportsman and HPV Sportsman classes, Rogero will run a total of five different classes as she looks for race wins and points towards the end of the year championship.
“We have put together a quality team for the WKA program, and we are heading to South Bend with the goal of winning,” stated OGP’s Jorge Arellano. “We have five very good drivers and a crew with years of experience that I like to call the “A Team.” I have no doubt that we will be at the front of the pack.”
Joining the Ocala Gran Prix squad under the team tent will be Indianapolis-based Tony Kart dealer Indiana Racing Services. Taking advantage of working with the knowledge base of a bigger team at a national level race, Indy Racing Services will enter three competitors for the weekend as they look to add to the Tony Kart success.
Leading the way for Team IRS will be 2009 WKA TaG Masters champion John Dixon as he will compete in both TaG and TaG Masters. Dixon is a talented Masters competitor and currently leads the TaG Masters points championship after taking the opening round win in Daytona. At the age of 41, Dixon will look to continue his hot streak and add to his championship point total. Senior rookie Morgan Nelson will be Team IRS’ second entrant as he will look to battle in the TaG Senior and Leopard Senior classes. Fresh out of the junior divisions, Nelson ran the TaG class at the Great Lakes Sprint Series event two weeks ago claiming two second place results. The third and final entrant from the Indy Racing Services team will be team owner Mike Burrell. The runner up in the 2009 WKA Yamaha Masters championship will be back in the same division this season as he looks to improve his position by one. Burrell will also compete in the TaG Masters category and will utilize a Rotax powered Tony Kart in his search for victory.
Looking to support the team and Tony Kart customers, Ocala Gran Prix has brought in some of the best chassis and engine tuners in the industry to ensure race winning packages. Martijn Koene of Koene Racing will make the trek from the Netherlands while Race Tech Development’s Mike Maurini will work with Nick Neri. Multi-time WKA champion Tony Loniewski will tune for Cody Hodgson while OGP’s Nate Grindell and Mario Ioffredo will join Kyle Kraus in overseeing the complete team operations and rental engine program.
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 Kyle Kraus at 352.291.0600 ( Kyle@OcalaGranPrix.com ) or Mike Maurini at 317.270.8723 ( Mike@OcalaGranPrix.com ) .