With the start of the 2020 ROK Sonoma Presented by Sanzaru season just under three months away, the 2019 Champions were honored at ROK Sonoma’s annual awards banquet on December 7th. Giving away more than $15,000 in cash and prizes, series champions and the top finishers in overall class point standings were honored, as well as special awards for some of the hardest working people in the sport of karting.
“While I love the on-track action and the heart of the racing year, this is always my favorite time of the season,” explained Steve Cameron. “To honor our class champions as well as give away special awards, it is always great fun to see everyone away from the track in a low stress, fun and family-friendly environment. A huge congratulations to all of our champions.”
2019 ROK Sonoma Presented by Sanzaru Champions
Micro ROK – Andrew Freire
Mini ROK – Anthony White
Junior ROK – Jacob Franks
Senior ROK – William Ferguson
Master ROK – Eric Molinatti
Senior ROK Shifter – Cole Shade
Master ROK Shifter – Neil Joseph
80cc Masters – Roger Cornwall
125cc Shifter Limited – Richard Hilleman
ROK Sonoma also provided several Driver of the Year awards in Junior, Senior and Masters as well as a Mechanic of the Year, the Rising Star Award, and the coveted Memo Gidley Award. Taking home Senior Driver of the Year was Senior ROK Shifter champion Cole Shade while Mini ROK champion Anthony White was awarded Junior Driver of the Year. Master ROK champ Neil Joseph secured the Master Driver of the Year honors. Travis McGrain walked away with Mechanic of the Year for his work in the paddock and Championship win. Ron White added the Memo Gidley Award to his trophy case, which he was awarded for his dedication to the sport of Karting and embodied inspiration to all young racers.
While prizes ranged from cash to gift certificates, several competitors walked away with brand new PlayStation 4s, Alpinestars gear, Nintendo Entertainment Systems, Oculus virtual reality gear, sets of tires, photos, jackets, and hats. Courtesy of his tremendous 2019 season, Cole Shade earned his way to a test in the Radical Northwest Radical SR3 in the coming months.
“This award to Cole continues the tradition established in our race series of taking talented karters and helping to develop racing Champions,” added Steve Cameron. “We’ve seen drivers like Dane Cameron, JR Hildebrand, Scott Speed, AJ Allmendinger, Memo Gidley, Jonathan Bomarito all build racing careers at this track.”
Cameron continued, “A huge thank you to all of our partners and supporters for a successful 2019. Thank you to Sanzaru, ROK Cup USA, Sunoco Race Fuels, Alpinestars, Fastech Racing, Radical Northwest, Simraceway, as well as our teams, friends, families, and competitors. Bring on 2020!”
With the first event slated for the end of March, the 2020 ROK Sonoma season is less than three months out. Combining their first event weekend with the growing ROK Challenge of the Americas, ROK Sonoma will kick off the eight-race program over the March 27th to 29th weekend before ending in mid-October. The seventh race of the ROK Sonoma championship will be in conjunction with the California ROK Championship program. Please see the schedule below.
2020 ROK Sonoma Presented by Sanzaru Schedule
March 27-29 – ROK Sonoma #1 combined with Challenge of the Americas
April 18/19 – ROK Sonoma #2
May 23/24 – ROK Sonoma #3
June 27/28 – ROK Sonoma #4
July 18/19 – ROK Sonoma #5
Aug 22/23 – ROK Sonoma #6
Sept 12/13 – ROK Sonoma #7 combined with California ROK Championship
Oct 17/18 – ROK Sonoma #8
Photos: Rok Sonoma – Pete Heise