Article by: Race Tech Development
It was nothing but praise after the Team USA test was completed this past weekend at the Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) facility in Ocala, Florida. Looking to give Team USA the best opportunity possible at the Rotax World Finals mid-November in Italy, Jorge Arellano and the OGP crew stepped up to the plate to give team members a chance of a lifetime.
After completing preparation of four brand new Sodi Kart chassis for Rotax Junior drivers and four brand new CRG chassis for Rotax Senior competitors, OGP broke in eight complete Rotax packages to ensure no wasted track time throughout the weekend. Not done there, OGP built and prepared four CRG DD2 chassis as well as two Haase DD2 karts for Rotax DD2 and Rotax DD2 Masters competitors, ordered and received delivery of D1, D2 and D3 tires as well as organized a team tent and hospitality for two full days.
"This is big!" expressed Jorge Arellano at dinner on Sunday evening. "When we decided to put this plan together earlier in the year, I never expected we would have such an outstanding turnout. This is not the easiest thing to pull off as bringing in technicians and chassis from all over the world was very difficult."
After an open test session on Saturday, Team USA ran through a simulated Parc Ferme program on Sunday morning to ensure all drivers knew what to expect as well as a pair of mini races for all three classes.
"Each driver received a new set of tires upon arrival to OGP as well as a new set for the second day," explained Team USA entrant Marshall Martin. "Fuel and oil was mixed all weekend long and competitors had to wait for nothing. All of their equipment was fully prepped upon arrival to the track as all drivers had to was pick out and mount seats Friday afternoon or Saturday morning."
Martin added, "This test could not have been completed if it was not for OGP and Jorge Arellano. Team USA members were expected to get themselves to the test and take care of their accommodations and the rest was free of charge. Chassis rental, fuel, oil, tires and an open tab at the snack bar, and catered dinner on Saturday night…Unbelievable."
With transponders used for every on track lap, the likes of Ethan Ringel, Nick Neri, Louie Pagano, Stepanova Nekeel, Sam Beasley, Daniel Formal, Victor Pedrosa, Cody Hodgson, Nathan Mauel, Jim Busby, Ashley Rogero, Dore Chaponick, Andy Dunne and Mitch Carey turned a total of 3177 laps over two days. Floridian pilot Rogero turned the most laps of any driver with a total of 362.
A crew out of this world was also in attendance to help Team USA as OGP's Kyle Kraus, Nate Grindell and Mario Ioffredo were responsible for all the kart preparation. Phil Giebler was brought into assist the junior drivers with their Sodi Kart setups while Dennis Ladefoged was flown over from Denmark to assist with the Haase karts. Koene Racing's Martijn Koene and Race Tech Development's Mike Maurini also assisted with Team USA's setups and testing program. Marshall Martin and Jorge Arellano oversaw the entire weekend providing Team USA with an outstanding platform heading to the
Team USA would like to thank Jorge Arellano for the use of his Ocala Gran Prix facility, preparation and use of the karts and supply of fuel, oil and tires. A special thanks to Dave Davies at SSC East for the use of four DD2 motors as well as Mike McKnight at AIM Sportsystems for the use of eight e-boxes for data purposes.
Arellano added, "Anyone that attended the test is welcome to come back to Ocala and use the karts between now and Italy. I am hoping that all of this hard work pays off and we can help every driver make the final and maybe produce a World Champion."
By The Numbers:
3177 Laps completed
362 - Most laps completed by one driver
70 - Gallons of fuel used
28 - Sets of tires used
14 - Karts used
2 - European tuners brought in to assist with test
0 - Damage done