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January 10, 2013 News
Rotax Challenge of the Americas - Tucson Preview - Junior Classes

The Rotax Challenge of the Americas program is entering its sixth season, kicking off with a full weekend (January 11-13) of action set for the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona. The several of the best Rotax drivers from Canada will battle at the premier winter karting series on the left coast. On the line for the registered drivers are direct tickets to the Rotax Grand Finals for the DD2, Senior, DD2 Masters, and Junior championship winners, with Grand Nationals tickets to the Masters, Mini-Max and Micro-Max title winners.

The first stop toward those championship awards is the 8/10-mile course outside Tucson. Built in 2005, the circuit - formally known as the P1 Kart Circuit - is a replica of the famous Suzuka track in Japan. A full day of official practice will take place on Friday, followed by two independent rounds on Saturday and Sunday. Each on track session will be important toward the series championship, with five points going toward top qualifier, up to 10 points in the Prefinal, another five for fast lap in the main event and 100 points for the victory at the end of the day.

A Senior class preview will be published Friday morning. Complete coverage can be found in the EKN Event Page, updates posted throughout the weekend on the EKN.com Official Discussion Thread and EKN.ca Official Discussion Threadwith live coverage set for Saturday and Sunday at http://www.ekartingnews.com/live


Jeff Fulham ready to be a front-runner in his transition to Junior class during Challenge of the Americas (Photo: Manitoba Karting Association)
Jeff Fulham ready to be a front-runner in his transition to Junior class during Challenge of the Americas
(Photo: Manitoba Karting Association)

Canadian Rotax Junior racers have enjoyed good success in the past at the Tuscon track, and the series as whole, with Parker Thompson winning a race last year in Arizona, and Zacharie Scalzo taking home the series title. Seeking to keep that trend going during the season-opening twin-bill will be Jordan Redlin, Coltin McCaughan, Jeff Fulham, Ryan Martin, and Vincent Combret. Piloting a Zanardi chassis under the True-North Zanardi banner, Redlin is focused on building on a strong runner-up finish in the 2012 Western Canadian Championships, and solid debut effort in last year's Challenge of the Americas. He has the skill and speed to not only better his 14th and 12th place finishes last year in Tucson, but also start his pursuit of a top finish in the overall standings, after finishing ninth in his rookie Junior campaign in the Challenge of the Americas. McCaughan likewise is poised to better the results he garnered last time he raced in Tuscon, taking the checkered flag in 15th and 29th. The CRG West racer, who is making his third COA appearance, hopes to translate his fifth place finish in the WCC last year into not only a top result this weekend, but also in the overall title fight, having finished 17th and 25th the past two years. Fulham will make his Junior debut in Arizona, having impressed in the Mini Max ranks. The LH Kart driver ended the 2012 season third in WCC title chase, and added a top-six finish at the Canadian Nationals, showcasing he is more than capable of bettering his sixth and fifth place finishes in last year's Mini Max races during the Arizona doubleheader, as well his eighth place finish in the overall Challenge of the Americas standings. Martin will make his COA debut, piloting a Ryan Perry Motorsports Tony Kart, having shown good racecraft in the Edmonton & District Kart Racing Association. Combret will be making his first Challenge of Americas appearance driving a CRG West entry.

Full Pre-Entry List
200Josh KurtzUnser Racing/GphactoryKosmicHuntington BeachCA
202Coltin McCaughanCRG WestCRGCalgaryAB
208Lindsey FreierBillet PerformanceBirelArvadaCO
209Blaine RochaRolison Performance GroupKosmicOakdaleCA
210Ryan MartinRyan Perry MotorsportsTony KartEdmontonAB
212Stevie Pugsley Jr.Cambrian KartingBirelEagle PointOR
214Vincent CombretCRG WestCRGKaledenBC
216Brenden BakerART GP/D-PowerARTPalmdaleCA
218Marco EakinsBuddy Rice KartingEnergyBeavertonOR
219Jim McKinneyOverdrive MotorsportsKGBChandlerAZ
221Lindsay BrewerCRG-USACRGArvadaCO
222Royal MckeeSmoking FastTony KartLas VegasNV
224Noah GreyPhil Giebler RacingFADana PointCA
226Jake BoyleCRGAnthemAZ
228Nathan AddsDallas Karting ComplexSodi KartRowlettTX
229Vincent DePalmaPure KartingTony KartGlendaleAZ
231Jeff FulhamLewis HamiltonWinnipegMB
234Christian BrooksBuddy Rice KartingEnergySylmarCA
251Jake PrestonPhil Giebler RacingFARentonWA
266Grant CoppleKosmicGoldenCO
271Sonny CervelliSnow RacingCRGBeniciaCA
277Austin KuehlRuthless RacingKGBCave CreekAZ
279Austin VersteegCRG-USACRGSandyUT
280Toni BreidingerCRGHillsboroughCA
283Nick RamirezTop KartRiversideCA
288Annie BreidingerCRGHillsboroughCA
290Jordan RedlinTrue-North ZanardiZanardiAldergroveBC
291Sara HoustonMike Collins RacingBirelGlendaleAZ
298Phillippe DenesBuddy Rice KartingART GPCarmelCA
299Scott HuffakerSnow RacingEnergyMenlo ParkCA


While Canada will only be represented by one driver in Rotax Mini-Max, it is a racer more than capable of running at the front. Griffin Dowler will make the move up in class in a Buddy Rice Karting Energy entry, having previously been a leading force in the Micro-Max class. Given Dowler was the Western Canadian Championships champion last year, and was previous COA runner-up in 2011 - with one win - there is no reason to believe he can't better his eighth place finish last year in race two of the Tucson doubleheader.

Full Pre-Entry List
100Chase FarleyWalnut CreekCA
102Derek DeslauriersBuddy Rice KartingEnergyLittletonCO
103Max FedlerUnser Racing/GPhactorySodi KartDenverCO
107Sting Ray RobbRolison Performance GroupTony KartOntarioOR
112Dezel WestSmokin FastCRGHendersonNV
113Evan BennettDallas Karting ComplexHeathTX
116Griffin DowlerBuddy Rice KartingEnergySherwood ParkAB
117Sophia PriceUtah ContingencyKosmicHeber CityUT
121Zoey EdenholmAZ Kart WerxCRGScottsdaleAZ
132David IlaviaDallas Karting ComplexSodi KartHoustonTX
147Trenton SparksPhil Giebler RacingFABakersfieldCA
153Jacob Blue HudsonBuddy Rice KartingEnergyKeizerOR
156Horatio Fitz-SimonClayton Snow/Ricky LutherCRGPleasantonCA
176Everest FedlerUnser Racing/GPhactorySodi KartDenverCO
186yRoy Fulmer IVFull Throttle KartingArrowPlacervilleCA


Marco Kacic poised to be a contender for top honors during the challenge of the Americas opener (Photo: PSL Karting)
Marco Kacic poised to be a contender for top honors during the challenge of the Americas opener
(Photo: PSL Karting)

The youngest racers at the Challenge of the Americas - Rotax Micro-Max - are renowned for putting on a good show. In 2013, a pair of Canadians will part of the mix in Tucson, with Marco Kacic and Christian Newland getting behind the wheels. Driving a CRG for CRG West, Kacic is positioned to not only entertain the race fans on hand, but also be in contention for top honors. With the High Jr. Points award and Micro-Max championship title in the West Coast Karting Series, as well third in the Western Canadian Championships last year, everyone believes Kacic will better his sixth place results in last year's opening twin bill and seventh in the title fight.

"I'm very excited to be able to race in the Challenge of the Americas this year," commented Kacic. "My goal is to win!! I believe I have all the skills and tools to win this weekend's race. I'm very confident going into this weekend, but my number one goal is to have fun. I would like to thank my mechanic Mario, my team, CRG West, and my sponsors, MIR race wear, CRG and PSL engines. I know that without them, I would not be able to race at this level."

Newland meanwhile travels to Arizona seeking to build on the speed he has shown in the West Coast Karting Series, driving an Overdrive Motorsports ItalKart entry.

Full Pre-Entry List
2Aaron FarhadiAcceleration Kart RacingCRGLas VegasNV
3Sebastian DavisOverdrive MotorsportsKGBPhoenixAZ
5Marco KacicCRG WestCRGWest KelownaBC
09Max WrightBuddy Rice KartingEnergyDamascusOR
10Filip NiemkiewiczBuddy Rice KartingEnergyBreckenridgeCO
14Christian NewlandOverdrive MotorsportsItalkartNanaimoBC
19Cooper BecklinBlack Flag RacingEnergyMedfordOR
23Ellie Anna MusgraveCRG WestCRGSnohomishWA
50Jacob YesnickHudspethBirelRancho Palos VerdesCA
56Diego LaRoqueAZ Kart WerxCRGLaveenAZ
81Payton DurrantBirelLehiUT
88Austin TorgersonOverdrive MotorsportsKGBCentral PointOR
91Tanner HudspethBirelSan DiegoCA
99Josh PiersonNRCTony KartWilsonvilleOR
78xPaden HallAZ Kart WerxCRGTucsonAZ
United States Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia New Brunswick Nova Scotia

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