The Ocala Gran Prix/Tony Kart race team showed their strength this past weekend at the second round of the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup event held at the Michiana Raceway Park in South Bend, Indiana. Coming to the WKA program for the first time as a big operation, the Ocala Grand Prix (OGP) along with their dealer, Indiana Racing Services (IRS) walked away with five wins and nine podiums when the weekend was complete.
Leading the way in the Sportsman divisions was Floridian female Ashley Rogero. The up and coming star had an outstanding day in both wet and dry action on Saturday as she claimed victories in Cadet Junior Sportsman and Komet Sportsman as well as a solid second place result in Yamaha Sportsman Heavy. Proving it was no fluke, Rogero led the majority of Sunday’s Cadet Junior Sportsman final only to come home fourth but rebounded later in the day to take the second spot in the Yamaha Sports Lite class.
Junior pilot Nick Neri would lead in the junior classes as the multi-time champion would score the victories in the Komet Junior Lite and Yamaha Junior Heavy classes in Sunday’s racing action after scoring a third place podium result in Komet Junior Heavy on Saturday. An incident at the start of the Yamaha Junior Lite class took Neri out of contention for the win.
Californian Cody Hodgson used the Ocala Gran Prix Rotax power in the TaG division to take a fifth place result on Saturday. Competing in his first WKA action and his first time to Michiana Raceway Park, Hodgson drove wheel-to-wheel with WKA veterans as he ran towards the front of the pack. Having to catch a flight and get back to the West Coast for school, Hodgson was unable to compete in Sunday’s Rotax final as OGP tuner Mario Ioffredo jumped behind the wheel. After never turning a lap at the facility, Ioffredo ran fifth before driving offline and damaging the rear sprocket and would eventually be classified in eighth.
“I am extremely happy with the OGP team this weekend,” explained Ocala Gran Prix President Jorge Arellano. “I have to admit, this is my first attempt at a Manufacturer’s Cup event and I see areas where we can improve our program. I am looking forward to the next event and will be working with the team to make our operation event better. Also, I would like to congratulate John Dixon and Nick Neri on their victories as well as Ashley Rogero on her first and second career national wins.”
Tony Kart dealer Indiana Racing Services driver John Dixon scored Sunday’s TaG Masters win in dominating fashion. After taking the prefinal victory, Dixon made little changes to his Tony Kart as he drove to a solid victory.
Also competing under the Ocala Gran Prix banner was Floridian pilots Jonathon Koytek and Andrew Evans. Both drivers would enter their first WKA Manufacturer’s Cup series event and would battle hard throughout the weekend making constant improvements. Indiana Racing Services driver Mike Burrell would score two top ten results in his Masters classes while Senior and Tony Kart rookie Morgan Nelson would battle with some of the nation’s best TaG drivers.
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 ).
Photo courtesy of: On Track Promotions
Possible photo caption: Ashley Rogero joined Nick Neri on the top step of the podium as OGP took home five victories