Sunshine State Karting Challenge Opens 2019 at Ocala Gran Prix


(James McMahon) #1

A Press Release from: SSKC
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The opening two rounds in the 2019 Sunshine State Karting Challenge take racers to the ever-familiar Ocala Gran Prix in Ocala, Florida. The state championship is set for its second full season, after completing a successful maiden series in 2018. IAME International Final tickets are up for grabs in Mini and Junior, with a number of other contingency prizes upping the prize pool in the rest of the divisions as well.

OGP hosted the final two rounds in the 2018 SSKC season, which saw record-high turnouts in numerous classes. Pre-entry numbers have already surpassed each of the three events in 2018, which bids well for the first event held in year two. OGP’s standard counter-clockwise layout is set for action, which measures 6/10ths of a mile in total and features 8 turns.

IAME Bambino / Comer Kid Kart

Two divisions that are new for 2019 are the IAME Bambino and Comer C51 Kid Kart classes. Several drivers from Andersen RacePark and AMR Motorplex in Homestead have thrown their hats in the ring to match the Ocala locals. It will be hard to predict the inaugural champion in each class, but the inclusion of the youngest age group on the karting family ladder is always a plus.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
5 Benja Fernandez Birel VMotorsport Coral Gables, FL USA
17 Alessandro Truchot Birel Art Pole Position Motorsports Miami Beach, FL FRA
22 Andrew Swiatek Top Kart Results Racing Development Pinellas Park, FL USA

IAME Micro Swift

With most of the 2018 grid advancing up to IAME Mini Swift, a host of new names have filled up the entry list. Enzo Vidmontiene (Benik) was a front-runner in the SKUSA Winter Series, and he joins Carson Weinberg (Nitro) and Asher Ochstein (Benik) in making their first career SSKC starts. St. Petersburg natives Oliver Wheldon (Kosmic / JC Karting) and Kai Johnson (Energy / AKT Racing Team) could make some serious noise after having made a handful of Micro starts last year.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
4 Oliver Wheldon Kosmic JC Karting St. Petersburg, FL USA
7 Kai Johnson Energy AKT Racing Team Gulfport, FL USA
49 Asher Ochstein Benik Team Benik St. Petersburg, FL USA
78 Anastasia Markovic TB Kart Seminole, FL USA
84 Carson Weinberg Nitro Nitro Kart Carrollton, GA USA
85 Otto Isenberg Tony Kart Minneola, FL USA
95 Enzo Vidmontiene Benik America Parts Motorsports Boca Raton, FL BRA
101 Beckham Toupikov Energy AKT Racing Team Montreal, QC CAN

Shifter

TB Kart USA has arguably the strongest regional shifter program in Florida, and they are coming fully loaded to Rounds 1 and 2 with returning podium finishers Vincenzo Sarracino (TB Kart) and Michael Stevens (TB Kart). Team Owner Farshad Bagheri has once again found himself in the seat and will look to give his young superstars a run for their money in the series’ fastest class. 2018 Class Champion Zachary Hollingshead (TB Kart) is back behind the wheel as well, but sporting a different shade of green than in years’ past.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
410 Vincenzo Sarracino TB Kart TB Kart USA Bonita Springs, FL ITA
441 Michael Stevens TB Kart TB Kart USA Weeki Wachee, FL USA
444 Nathan Gilbert Kosmic Cena racing St. Bruno, QC CAN
456 Zachary Hollingshead TB Kart TB Kart USA Lake City, FL USA
505 Farshad Bagheri TB Kart TB Kart USA St. Petersburg, FL USA

IAME KA100 Junior

Kyffin Simpson (Tony Kart / Speed Concepts Racing) was the first official KA100 entry for the Sunshine State Karting Challenge. He’s joined by Chloe Chambers (Kosmic / Mike Doty Racing) and Marcos Telle (Kosmic / JC Karting), a pair of KA100 Junior regulars. A soft introduction of the motor package brings just one age group for 2019 and marks the third and final new class for the season.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
1 Marcos Telle Kosmic JC Karting Miami, FL USA
777 Kyffin Simpson Tony Kart Speed Concepts Racing Middletown, NY USA
988 Chloe Chambers Kosmic Mike Doty Racing Monroe, NY USA

Briggs Senior

One of the biggest divisions set to do battle in Ocala is the Briggs Senior class, which is pushing double digit numbers solely off of pre-entries. RYSA Racing accounts for a big chunk of the entry total, bringing three hot shoes into town with Elvis Faria (BirelART / RYSA), Jack Copeland (BirelART, RYSA), and Frankie Barroso (BirelART / RYSA). They’ll need all the firepower they can muster, though, as TSRacing will once again be fielding Colin Warren (VLR / TS Racing) who nearly went undefeated in his limited starts in 2018. Multi-time podium finisher Miguel Ruiz (TB Kart) is also back and could be a dark horse threat, but a number of newcomers to the series including recent Andersen RacePark winner Jed Perkins (Margay) could shake things up as well.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
3 Hunter Fox Margay Fox Motorsportz St. Petersburg, FL USA
15 Jed Perkins Margay Team Perkins St. Petersburg, FL USA
21 John Morris Comet Eagle Slow-Mo Racing St. Augustine, FL USA
26 Elvis Faria BirelART RYSA Racing Miami, FL USA
26 Tim Arnold TB Kart St. Petersburg, FL USA
29 Miguel Ruiz TB Kart JaM Racing Keystone Heights, FL USA
136 Dylan Amundsen MGM Brooksville ,FL USA
213 Robert Hagin VLR Riverview, FL USA
244 Jack Copeland BirelART RYSA Racing Miami Beach, FL USA
248 Frankie Barroso BirelART RYSA Racing Miami, FL USA
611 Colin Warren VLR TS Racing Naples, FL USA

Briggs Heavy

Defending champion Neil Breitenbach (MGM) is set to defend his title in Briggs Heavy. However, last year’s vice champion by a mere 10 points, Jorge Ruiz (TB Kart), is back and will be looking to come out on the other end of the fight in 2019. The pair won’t have it made easy, though, as a number of heavy-hitters from across the state have joined in on the action for this season. RYSA Racing’s Manny Sola (BirelART / RYSA) showed measurable pace in this year’s SKUSA Winter Series. A host of others will also be gunning for last year’s top two finishers in order to stake their claim as the class favorite moving through this season.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
2 Josh Olson VLR Gainesville, FL USA
12 Gabe Kuret Tony Kart Orlando, FL USA
14 Roy Avery TB Kart HRA Motorsports Tarpon Springs, FL USA
21 Manny Sola BirelART RYSA Racing Miami, FL USA
27 TJ Scott BirelART Palm Beach, FL USA
44 Evan Cowen Comet Eagle Jacksonville, FL USA
88 Neil Breitenbach MGM Tampa, FL USA
692 Jorge Ruiz TB Kart JaM Racing Savannah, GA USA

IAME Mini Swift

While the 2018 champion and IAME International Final ticket recipient may have aged out of the division, series vice-champion Max Garcia (Kart Republic / KartSport North America) returns to the series in the same colors that nearly won him the title last year. He is joined by fellow frontrunners Miguel Costa (Parolin / MC Racing) and Michael Costello (Benik) as an early favorite for the championship. Fellow national-level talent Jack Jeffers (Benik / Orsolon) will certainly be in the hunt as well as Tony Kart drivers Anderson Leonard (Tony Kart / SuperTune USA) and Kai Sorensen (Tony Kart / SuperTune USA). Cameron Weinberg (Nitro) has also been strong to start this year, and when you add in 2018 Micro Champion Beckham Jacir (FA Kart / JC Karting), predicting the outcome becomes a little bit tougher.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
12 Beckham Jacir Kosmic JC Karting Miami, FL USA
55 Karsyn Walters Tony Kart SuperTune USA Naples, FL USA
101 Jack Jeffers Benik Orsolon Racing San Antonio, TX USA
105 Miguel Costa Parolin MC Racing Miami Beach, FL USA
110 Jorge Ortiz Tony Kart ORT Racing/SuperTune USA Orlando, FL USA
111 Scarlett Toupikov Energy AKT Racing Team Montreal, QC CAN
112 Christian Quijano Parolin Zanella Racing St. Cloud, FL USA
115 Kai Sorensen Tony Kart SuperTune USA Sutter Creek, CA USA
123 Herman Ovenstad Parolin AKT Racing Team Tampa, FL NOR
124 Anderson Leonard Tony Kart SuperTune USA St. Petersburg, FL USA
125 Michael Costello Benik Team Benik Dallas, TX USA
126 Matias Orjuela Praga Miami, FL USA
129 Tom Shoecraft Energy AKT Racing Team Port Charlotte, FL USA
133 Xander Reed Tony Kart SuperTune USA Granbury, TX USA
137 Cameron Weinberg Nitro Nitro Kart Carrollton, GA USA
140 Max Garcia Kart Republic KartSport North America Coconut Grove, FL USA
178 Julian DaCosta Birel ART Andersen Racing Team Myakka City, FL USA
198 Sebastian Wheldon Kosmic Kart JC Karting St. Petersburg, FL USA

TaG Senior

2018 class champion Colin Warren (TB Kart) finds himself once again with good odds to come out on top, but a win is far from clinched for the Floridian. Brandon Simeone (Kart Republic) has shown measurable pace throughout the state and the opening round of the Florida Winter Tour, and he could be a real threat come this weekend. Jack Copeland (BirelART / RYSA) joins the fray with his first start in an X30-powered BirelART, as he along with Warren will be balancing competing in two classes over the weekend.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
31 Tyler Montague Intrepid MRE Bradenton, FL USA
55 Zachary Pecorelli Top Kart Arias Pecorelli Motorsports Belleville, New Jersey USA
244 Jack Copeland BirelART RYSA Racing Miami Beach, FL USA
Nick Andries Fullerton Pinellas Park, FL USA
311 Colin Warren TB Kart TB Kart USA Naples, FL USA
345 Brandon Simeone Kart Republic Legree Motorsports Jupiter, FL USA
351 Julia Boos Kosmic KAOS Kart Shop Orlando, FL USA
380 Andrew Burley Tony Kart Melbourne, FL USA

TaG Master

Miguel Gransaull (TB Kart) is back once again in TaG Master, looking to defend his crown from last year. He’s joined by midwestern veteran drivers Cristian Vomir (TecnoKart USA) and Laurentiu Mardan (TechnoKart USA).

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
8 Laurentiu Mardan TecnoKart TecnoKart USA Arlington Heights, IL USA
13 Miguel Gransaull TB Kart TB Kart USA Clearwater, FL USA
583 Cristian Vomir TecnoKart TecnoKart USA Hoffman Estates, IL USA

TaG Junior

Alessandro de Tullio (Exprit / AM Racing Team) comes in riding a wave of momentum from his dominating season in 2018. He’ll be joined by a handful of drivers in the TaG Junior division, including the likes of Canadians Daniel Ali (Kosmic / Racing Edge Motorsports) and Adam Ali (Kosmic / Racing Edge Motorsports) as well as northeastern Junior class sophomore Chloe Chambers (Kosmic / Mike Doty Racing).

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
216 Alessandro De Tullio Exprit AM Racing Team Doral, FL USA
231 Dale Curran Kosmic Racing Edge Motorsports Bowmanville, ON CAN
232 Daniel Ali Kosmic Racing Edge Motorsports Toronto, ON CAN
243 Joey Atanasio Tony Kart Racing Edge Motorsports Windermere, FL USA
286 Adam Ali Kosmic Racing Edge Motorsports Toronto, ON CAN
288 Chloe Chambers Kosmic Mike Doty Racing Monroe, NY USA

IAME X30 Junior

The second biggest class heading into opening weekend is the IAME X30 Junior division. It arguably is also the most competitive, boasting 2018’s SSKC Mini Swift champion Jeremy Fletcher (Tony Kart / Zanella Racing), Kyffin Simpson (Tony Kart / Speed Concepts Racing), Dylan Christie (Tony Kart / Mike Doty Racing), and Lucas Rodriguez (Tony Kart / P1 Racing) — all of whom have multiple national podiums to their names. Plenty of other drivers with less experience could threaten these top-level pilots, though. Michael Mallardi (BirelART / Andersen) and Hayden Bradley (BirelART / Andersen) both find themselves with one full year of X30 Junior racing under their belts coming into this weekend, which is one more year than what they had at the beginning of 2018.

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS TEAM Driver/ City, State NAT
207 Nikita Johnson FA Kart AKT Racing Team Gulfport, FL USA
220 Aidan Kenny Tony Kart Zanella Racing Orlando, FL USA
225 Aaron Benoit Comp Kart URace Jupiter, FL USA
226 Marcos Telle Kosmic JC Karting Miami, FL USA
229 Kekai Hauanio Tony Kart Newt Racing Riverview, FL USA
233 Artie Flores Tony Kart Fittipaldi Racing Spring, TX MEX
271 Paul Bocuse Tony Kart Speed Concepts Racing Orlando, FL USA
712 Marcello Paniccia Kosmic Team Benik Aurora, ON CAN
716 Hayden Jones Nitro Kart Nitro kart Matthews, NC USA
722 Jeremy Fletcher Tony Kart Zanella Racing St. Cloud, FL USA
727 Hayden Bradley BirelART Andersen Racing Team Seminole, FL USA
728 Michael Mallardi BirelART Andersen Racing Team St. Petersburg, FL USA
738 Tyler McIntyre BirelART Andersen Racing Team Palmetto, FL USA
777 Kyffin Simpson Tony Kart Speed Concepts Racing Middletown, NY USA
792 Dylan Christie Kosmic Mike Doty Racing Princeton, NJ USA
795 Lucas Rodriguez Kart Republic KartSport North America Miami, FL USA