Anyone here know what just happen with the Ocala GP? Website indicates they are permanently closed! Why? What happen?
Wow I thought it was just closed for repairs I guess I was wrong, that’s a real shame though it looked like a wonderful track
I’m trying to get more info, but it sounds like it might be related to some legislative issues that came up in Florida.
There was a death in rental karting in 2018 that caused the state to temporarily shut down any tracks being used for both rental/concession AND racing.
I heard about that but wasn’t that in Miami?
Yes, but it had repercussions for the entire state. In May 2018 Jorge at OGP was hand delivered a letter from the state. Orlando Kart Center had the state stop by, close them down and tag every kart.
This is the statute in question at the time:
I stress that as far as OGP’s announced permanent closure, I don’t have any info that would suggest that this legislation played a role in their decision.
Word is they are bulldozing it to develop it for apartments or condos or something.
That’s really disappointing to hear, really hope that other tracks don’t follow suit
Someone said it was in a rough neighborhood?
Not really, it was next to a freight shipping company and a big flea market. They originally were going to be expanding the flea market parking which was going to impact the track I think.
Just heard an unconfirmed rumor that OGP had been running in the red for several years, and couldn’t dig themselves out of debt when the rental business was affected by the state legislation. They just couldn’t bounce back and were forced to close. Guy I spoke with knew the owner but said he hadn’t spoken to him recently, but knew they have been struggling financially for some time now.
Hopefully my local track (Monticello) absorbs their business, its unfortunate this happen to OGP cause I’ve always heard good things about that track and staff who worked there.
Its in an industrial area next to the highway, but not a bad neighborhood- all things considered.
It’s becoming a storage unit. I can’t help but think legislative hassle played some part in the decision though…
With a United States Pro Kart Series (USPKS) and two ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour (FWT) events in the past six weeks, Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) announces today that those will be the last of the national events run at their premier facility. Closing indefinitely, the short but challenging eight-corner circuit that has been the home for national karting events in the past will be torn up to make way for a new 180-unit storage facility.
“It is a sad day for karting but something that must happen to make a viable business,” explained Jorge Arellano. “With the karting industry, both race and rental sides evolving and changing every year, it is not easy to stay ahead of the game. My team and I have worked tirelessly but have come to the conclusion that it is time for a change.”
With a large, new equestrian center complete and a booming horse industry in the Ocala area, Arellano will look to take advantage of frequent visitors to the Ocala region by offering a place to store their equipment, RVs and assets for the years to come.
Arellano added, “I wanted to break the news on April 1st but was convinced that most people would think it was an April Fool’s Joke, but it is not. This is about business, money-in versus money-out and providing something that is needed in the Ocala, Florida area.”
As the breeding ground for several national champions, world champions and some of today’s professionals in the world of motorsports, the Ocala Gran Prix circuit has seen the who’s who of motorsports on site to train and prepare for the future. The OGP race team, once a powerhouse in karting, earned several national titles and launched the careers of many in motorsports. Jorge Arellano was also one the first recipient of the Dan Wheldon Ambassador Award and OGP was named the largest dealer for several brands since Arellano took over the reigns in 1999.
“I would like to thank all of the past and present OGP employees, teams, racers and customers that made Ocala Gran Prix what it is today,” continued Arellano. “I will never forget the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows that we have had in the 22 years since I have been the Owner, but I am excited to close this chapter and open a new one moving forward. Thank you all for the love, help and support, and I look forward to seeing everyone at a karting event in the near future.”
Stinks to lose a great Karting facility but can hardly blame them for going this route. Business is business.