“Neri, Rogero and Kotyk provide results in New Jersey”
Article By: Race Tech Development
September 21, 2010 – The Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) and Tony Kart race team had a victorious weekend at the fifth and final round of the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer’s Cup program this past weekend. With the on track action taking place at the New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) facility in Millville, NJ, OGP drivers went on to claim five podium results including three victories in their hunt for multiple national championships.
Leading the way in the junior ranks was Floridian driver Nick Neri as he would do battle in Komet Piston Port Junior Lite and Heavy as well as Yamaha Junior Lite and Heavy. After official practice on Friday, Neri and his rivals could be seen at the pointy end of the field as they all looked to have a chance at the victory.
Saturday would see the Tony Kart driver compete in Komet Piston Port (KPP) Heavy and Yamaha Junior Lite. After qualifying on the outside front row in both divisions, Neri took control of the KPP Heavy class as he went on to claim the heat race win. Taking the lead early in the main event, Neri fell back to the second position but never gave up as he stalked the leader. As the white flag flew, Neri made a passing attempt in corner two but was unsuccessful. As both drivers lost momentum, Neri followed the leader closely as they got back up to speed before attacking again in corner six, this time making it stick. Opening a small gap on the exit of the corner, Neri was able to hold off the advances of his fellow competitors for the last half a lap to take the win.
After claiming the second quickest time in the Yamaha Junior Lite qualifying session, Neri would finish fifth in the heat race after being involved in a first corner incident that would see him close the first lap in the nineteenth position. Battling hard, the OGP pilot moved forward to claim the fifth spot in the prefinal before finishing a solid second in the main event.
On Sunday, Neri scored a perfect day in the KPP Lite class as he took the pole position, heat race win and demanding six second win in the main event. Disaster would strike in the Yamaha Junior Heavy class prefinal after Neri claimed the pole position, his second of the day. After running the entire race in the second position, Neri looked content to have an outside front row starting spot when a broken connecting rod bearing on the last corner of the last lap caused him to drop back a spot as he coasted across the finish line. Utilizing WKA rules, a change in motor automatically forces you to start from the tail of the field as Neri would have to start in the 33rd position. Looking to make a show of it, the talented up and coming driver passed 23 competitors to claim the tenth position.
Saturday would be an up and down day for Sportsman driver Ashley Rogero. The female driver from Florida had a lot on her mind entering the weekend as she would be challenging for four different class titles. Things started off well in the Cadet Junior Sportsman class as Rogero claimed the pole position and heat race win. Looking to continue her momentum through the day, Rogero would battle hard with the lead group but would eventually be classified in the sixth position.
Rogero would also see battle in two other classes including Komet Junior Sportsman and Yamaha Sportsman Heavy. Working hard with her engine builder and her tuner to ensure her equipment was in championship winning order, Rogero cautiously attacked both fields of drivers. When the dust had finally settled, the Floridian scored a sixth place finish in Komet Junior Sportsman and a fourth place result in Yamaha Sportsman Heavy.
On Sunday, Rogero would do battle in the second of the two Cadet classes of the weekend as well as Yamaha Sportsman Lite where she would be victorious. After qualifying third and finishing seventh in the prefinal, Rogero showed that she is one of the best drivers coming out of the Sportsman categories as she had a spirited drive in the final. After moving into the second position, Rogero worked the leader over on the final two circuits to make a bold outside pass on the final set of corners to take the checkers.
After struggling in the Cadet Sportsman qualifying session in the morning, Rogero would need to work hard to move forward from her seventeenth place starting spot. After claiming the tenth position in the prefinal, the Tony Kart pilot would move forward three more positions in the main event to finish seventh.
Jonathon Kotyk would also make the long journey from Florida to New Jersey to compete in the Yamaha Junior Lite and Heavy classes. After not attending Friday’s test day, Kotyk used Saturday to get up to speed as he ran inside the top fifteen. Kotyk continued to improve with each passing lap of every session as he finished just outside the top ten in both classes.
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 ).
Press release prepared by: Race Tech Development
Photos courtesy of: Sean Buur – Go Racing Magazine