The 2015 season will mark the third edition of the Rotax Can-Am ProKart Challenge. Serving the Pacific Northwest with the most professional and competitive regional championship, competitors will be able to compete in the four-weekend series from April to September in 2015. The Can-Am program will once again serve as a qualifying Rotax Max Challenge program, including racers from the United States and Canada, along with an official Superkarts! USA regional series, while welcoming the grassroots level with Briggs & Stratton LO 206 categories. To jumpstart the upcoming season, the Rotax Can-Am ProKart Challenge is happy to announce the 2015 race schedule and venues.
The 2014 season was another successful year for the racers of the Can-Am program. Four Rotax drivers were awarded tickets to compete at the prestigious Rotax Grand Finals in Valencia, Spain. Senior Max champion Jake Craig, DD2 champion Josh Buzza, DD2 Masters champion Derek Wang, and Junior Max vice-champion Sting Ray Robb will represent their respective countries on November 25-29, competing against the best in the world. The series Junior Max champion Austin Versteeg won the recent Rotax Pan American Challenge event, and already earned a ticket to the 2015 Rotax Grand Finals.
“We are entering our third season, and the excitement and growth continues to build,” stated series promoter Mike Rolison. “Our formula over the last two years has worked well, providing the best racing on the regional stage for the area, if not on the west coast, with our combination of Rotax, SKUSA, and Briggs racing.”
Class structure for the 2015 Rotax Can-Am ProKart Challenge will be very similar to that of last season. Seven Rotax Max Challenge categories will compete at all four weekends, ranging from the Micro Max division up to the DD2 ranks. The four Stock Moto divisions from Superkarts! USA returns for 2015, as does Senior and Junior categories utilizing the growing Briggs & Stratton LO206 engine.
“The Can-Am series is simply one of the best in the country,” commented Briggs & Stratton Racing Director David Klaus. “With the explosive growth of the 206 program in the Northwest, the opportunity to get involved with a series of this caliber was a no-brainer. We look forward to putting together a great program to support all of Mike’s efforts and thank our racers for supporting us.”
The 2015 season will open up once again at the Horn Rapids Kart Track. The Richland, Washington facility is home of the Tri-City Kart Club, and the 33-year old facility was a new destination for the Can-Am series last year. Horn Rapids has played host to several major karting events including the 1986 IKF 2-Cycle Sprint, 1993 4-Cycle Sprint, 2001 IKF Shifters and the 2003 2-Cycle Sprint championships. A long front stretch matched with fast sweeping corners in the infield, Horn Rapids features two different configurations; a 5/8 of a mile long track layout as well as a 1/2 mile short track.
The second stop takes Can-Am racers back to the home of the Southern Oregon Karters and the Jackson County Sports Park just outside Medford. In 2013, the facility hosted the inaugural series finale around the challenging 3/4-mile circuit that features 11 different track configurations. There is never a second to relax, as the flowing track keeps drivers busy.
For a third straight year, the Greg Moore Raceway fills out the Canadian portion of the Can-Am program. Just across the US-Canadian border located in Chilliwack, British Columbia, the Greg Moore Raceway is a 12-turn course that runs 7/10 of a mile in length and features 10 different configurations. Greg Moore Raceway, previously known as CART BC, was designed to meet all CIK-FIA requirements and served as the location for the first ever Can-Am Karting Challenge race last year.
Easily one of the most historic facilities in all of karting, Pat’s Acres Racing Complex will be the Can-Am finale location. Pat’s Acres gained some of its highest notoriety in the early 2000’s when the original SKUSA ProMoto Tour made an annual stop at PARC. Tucked away amongst the Pudding River that snakes around the facility, the kart track was built in 1965. Purchased in 1998 by Chris and Lisa Egger, the Egger family owns and operates this 8/10 of a mile track that will put drivers and tuners skills alike to the test. Pat’s Acres is tight and technical, yet blindingly fast track.
The format for the 2015 season will be slightly different from the previous two seasons. For 2015, the championship will include seven rounds of racing, with the series finale at Pat’s Acres a championship-style one-round event. The Richland, Medford and Chilliwack events will include two rounds of racing, with Friday serving as the official practice day while Saturday and Sunday each host one round. The series finale at Pat’s Acres will be a three day, one-round event that will feature a full day of practice on Friday. Saturday will host one qualifying session, followed by three heat races. The results from those qualifying races will set the line-up for the Sunday Prefinal, which situates the grid for the Final. Points for the seventh round at Pat’s Acres will be increased for the weekend as well.
The championship chase format will now count the best six of seven for the Rotax Max Challenge and SKUSA categories along with the Briggs LO206 divisions. Racers will be able to drop only one of the first six rounds with the series finale automatically included in the championship point standings, as the Pat’s Acres event will not be allowed to count as a drop race.
“This new format will bring some added excitement to the series finale in September,” Rolison explained. “I am a big fan of the Rotax Pan American Challenge and Superkarts! USA SuperNationals format, and this will be a great training weekend for those looking to compete there, as well as give our racers who have not been to those major international events a chance to sample what it’s like. The Can-Am is not just another race series, we are karting in the Pacific Northwest.”
Confirmation on the prize package for the Rotax Max Challenge will be confirmed at a later time, while the SKUSA categories will once again be part of the Priority Pre-Entry Program for the SuperNationals in 2015, along with the guaranteed SuperSunday grid position for class champions. More information regarding the 2015 season can be found at www.rotaxcanamprokartchallenge.com.
2015 Can-Am Karting Challenge Schedule
April 17-19: Horn Rapids Kart Track – Richland, Washington
May 29-31: Southern Oregon Karters Track – Medford, Oregon
July 10-12: Greg Moore Raceway – Chilliwack, British Columbia
September 11-13: Pat’s Acres Racing Complex – Canby, Oregon
About: Can-Am Karting Challenge
The Can-Am Karting Challenge is the newest and growing regional racing program, focused around supporting the western coast of North America with drivers and teams coming from Canadian and the United States. The four event program offers categories of the Rotax Max Challenge, Superkarts! USA along with Briggs & Stratton. This program provides a unique atmosphere, formatted much like a national summer series program. American Rotax racers received punches toward the 2014 US Rotax Grand Nationals, while all Rotax drivers raced for one of four tickets to the 2014 Rotax Grand Finals in Senior, DD2, DD2 Masters and Junior Max. SKUSA class champions raced for a guaranteed starting spot at the SKUSA SuperNationals XVIII in Las Vegas.