"Pan-American Champion will join Team USA in Portugal"
Article By: Race Tech Development
Ocala, Florida - September 27, 2012 - After claiming a title in the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer's Cup Program two weeks ago, Ashley Rogero and her father Jim, loaded their pick-up truck for a cross country trek to Englewood, Colorado. After three speeding tickets throughout the tour and Ashley even getting behind the wheel of her Dad's truck, they descend on the challenging 'The Track' at Centennial facility as the smallest operation in the paddock. When the weekend had finally came to a close, Rogero stole the show by claiming the Rotax Junior Pan-American Championship and accompanying Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) ticket to join Team USA in Portimao, Portugal later this year.
After driving part of the night Sunday from the WKA event and all day Monday, the Rogeros would arrive in Colorado for some much needed rest Monday evening. Off to the track for testing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Rogero would look to find the speed to compete with drivers that had been at the facility testing months in advance. Struggling slightly to come to grips with the jetting on her Rotax powerplant, qualifying would be a slight disappointment for the female driver but she would make up for it by the weeks end.
"Qualifying in the seventh position was very disappointing for me," explained Rogero after the event had concluded. "I was hoping to have a better starting spot for the heat races than the fourth row, but it all worked out in the end."
Heat one would start disastrously for the Ocala Gran Prix pilot as contact in the first corner sent her spiraling down the running order. Falling to the tail of the field, Ashley would work her way forward for an 11th place finish. Heats two and three would be much better for the Tony Kart driver as she better came to grips with the tricky facility. A solid fifth place run in the second heat and an impressive second in heat three would set Rogero up with a top ten starting position even after her heat one incident.
Rogero continued, "As the heat races went on, I became more and more comfortable. I knew if I could make it through the start of the prefinal, I would have a good shot at the race win. I was also very confident heading into Sunday knowing that I had a fast kart after claiming the fastest lap in all three heat races."
Playing it a little cautious on the drop of the green flag during the prefinal, Rogero maintained her position during the start of the 16-lap race. Methodically working her way forward, the young female would score the fastest lap yet again en route to the prefinal victory and elusive pole position for the main event.
Knowing the race was hers to lose, Rogero got a great start in the final as she quickly jumped out to the lead. Relinquishing it for only a few short circuits, the OGP supported pilot moved back to the point just before the halfway mark and never looked back. Consistently running laps two tenths faster than her competition, Rogero opened a large gap on the stout field of juniors and went on to take the checkered flags by 3.113 seconds.
Ashley Rogero is the fourth Ocala Gran Prix driver to earn a position on Team USA. Rogero will join fellow OGP pilot Oliver Askew in the Rotax Junior class while Cody Hodgson and Bill Lester will do battle in Rotax DD2 and Rotax DD2 Masters respectively.
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 at 352.291.0600 or via e-mail to: Info@OcalaGranPrix.com .
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