The second major North American winter karting series kicks off this weekend as the Rotax Challenge of the Americas holds their first of three rounds at the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona. The exciting west coast series is very popular for Western Canadian drivers and teams as this weekend will see over a dozen Canadian drivers hit the track.
The Rotax Challenge of the Americas will award class champions in Rotax Junior, Senior, DD2 and DD2 Masters with a ticket to the 2014 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, to represent their respective country on the world championship level.
A big difference between last weekends Florida Winter Tour Rotax round and this weekends Rotax Challenge of the Americas is the location in which the drivers hail from. The FWT hosted many international drivers from around the world, while COTA is almost 100% North American, mainly with USA based drivers.
After Tucson the series will stay put in Arizona as it hits the PKRA facility in Phoenix before wrapping up in Sonoma, California.
Here is a rundown of the Canadians taking part in this weekends Rotax Challenge of the Americas event in Tucson.
Griffin Dowler (RPM/TonyKart) of Alberta kicks off his sophomore season in the Mini-Max category. It was a great year that ended with him competing at the Mini-Max Invitational as part of the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.
After a very successful season in Micro-Max, British Columbia’s Marco Kacic (CRG West/CRG) has stepped up a category and will take on a stacked Mini-Max category that will eclipse twenty entries.
What appears to be the largest class of the weekend has five Canadians taking part. From Manitoba, Jeff Fulham (RPG/Kosmic) and Garrett Gulenchyn (GTR/TonyKart) kick off their second year in the category and looked primed to battle for victory. Ryan Martin (RPM/TonyKart) is also back for another year of Junior for the Alberta native. Finally a pair of drivers from British Columbia complete the Canadian lineup as Kale Kunicki (Vemme Kart) and Kellen Ritter (CRG West/CRG) will attack the track in Tucson.
There is a very strong group of Canadian drivers taking on the very talented Rotax Senior category this weekend. NASCAR
Canada star Noel Dowler (RPM/TonyKart) returns to his familiar karting seat as the Alberta driver continues to get back into his karting roots. Also from Alberta is Chistopher Patterson (TonyKart) as he makes a privateer effort this weekend.
From British Columbia, both Bryce Choquer (BBR/Kosmic) and Matthew Moniz (BBR/Kosmic) are looking to leave their mark and stand on the podium in BBR’s Kosmic debut.
Rotax DD2/Max Masters
John Buzza (CRG West/CRG) has made the switch to CRG West as well as Rotax DD2 for 2014. Although DD2 is looking small again this year at the Challenge, hopefully some more drivers enter trackside.
The final driver to fly a Canadian flag this weekend in Dave Kunicki (Vemme Kart) as he will take on the Max Masters class.
The action is currently underway with practice on track today and tomorrow in Tucson. Both Saturday and Sunday are complete race days with Qualifying, Prefinal and Finals on tap for all classes.