ROK Cup USA’s 2016 season kicked off this past weekend at the 1st round of the Sofina Foods Florida Winter Tour presented by Fiske Wheels. Taking place at Homestead Karting, the event boasted nearly 180 drivers in seven classes, the biggest ROK event to date in the United States. The weather made for some interesting on-track and off-track situations, but as always the racing was extremely competitive on board the VORTEX engine package, making for some heart-pumping and exhilarating race action for drivers and spectators alike.
Now in its 2nd season as part of the Florida Winter Tour series, the ROK Cup USA weekend hosted a field of drivers that was a veritable who’s who of racing talent, from F1 and Indycar star Rubens Barrichello who raced under the Ocala Gran Prix tent and Formula E driver Nelson Piquet who raced with Piquet Sports, to top karting names like DR’s Danny Formal, Orlando Kart Center’s Ryan Norberg, Pserra Racing’s Antonio Serravalle, and Energy’s Jak Crawford, just to name a few. Drivers faced off not only against each other, but also Mother Nature as they battled extreme rains and wind, and tornado warnings throughout the weekend. But it was really the racing that stole the show. Every class was stacked with competition, and drivers were battling for positions not only at the front but for every spot in the field.
One of the teams that reached the top step of the podium this weekend was Koene USA, with driver Michael D’Orlando taking the win in the Junior ROK final. Mike Maurini, Team Principal for Koene USA, had this to say about the weekend: “The ROK Cup USA portion of the Florida Winter Tour has taken big steps in all aspects this year. Despite the weather conditions, the track competition was second to none, and I’d like to thank the FWT staff and everyone involved in the ROK racing program for their hard work.”
Another driver who was racing up front was Arias Deukmedjian, who finished 2nd in the Mini ROK final, and his tuner Greg Bell felt the weekend was fantastic all around. “We were very happy with the race weekend. The VORTEX motor performance was great and the racing program was run very well.”
With growing numbers and a satisfied customer base, this is a clear indication of the gaining influence ROK is having on the US racing scene. The brand has moved an unprecedented number of VORTEX engine packages in the last month alone, and is expanding their network with dealers being added in various key markets. “We’re seeing the strong and steady rise of ROK racing in the United States, and this is due to what we believe is a fair, competitive race package that creates exciting, close racing between the field of competitors,” says Series Promoter Andre Martins. “ROK racing allows for the drivers to really showcase their talent on a level playing field and makes for a thrilling race event to both participate in as well as watch.”
The brand is building on the momentum of the FWT ROK weekend, as it will host the 1st round of the ROK Cup USA Florida Championship the weekend prior to the 3rd round of Florida Winter Tour at the Palm Beach Karting track. Price packages and entry information will be available soon, so be sure to visit the official website, www.rokcupusa.com and follow on social media @rokcupusa to stay in-the-know about all things ROK.