ROCKETSPORTS RACING AND THE CHAMP CAR ROTAX KART CHALLENGE/NATIONAL KART NEWS TEAM TOGETHER IN LONG BEACH
[rotax.jpg] LONG BEACH, California (April 7, 2006) - Rocketsports Racing is proud to announce the partnership with the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge Series/National Kart News in Long Beach as logos were officially displayed this morning on the sidepod of the yellow and blue #8 Rocketsports Lola driven by former Formula One pilot Antonio Pizzonia this weekend in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season opener.
The deal was originated by National Kart News Magazine, one of the oldest independent karting magazines in America. With world-wide circulation, the magazine focuses primarily on the kart racing world. NKN Magazine publisher, Curt Paluzzi, worked out a deal to team up with Rocketsports Racing for the Long Beach event and invited Rotax Kart Challenge to share in the partnership.
"I felt that it was a natural fit," said Paluzzi. "NKN Magazine was designated specially to the Rotax Kart Challenge Series last year. We truly support the program and are a true believer in the ladder system. Having them partner up with us and the Rocketsports team for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach only made sense to enhance their overall exposure as the newly named Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge series, the official karting series for Champ Car."
Organized in 1997 by the Rotax Kart Challenge, a division of Bombardier Ltd., Rotax Kart is the fastest growing kart racing series in the world. Rotax Kart is now organ ized by authorized distributors as a national competition in over 50 nations covering five continents and the popularity for the series continues to grow. Rotax distributors in the various countries organize their national series and during 2005, the Rotax Kart Challenge involved over 5,000 competitors.
The Rotax Kart Challenge is a spec-engine race series. The series was designed for the recreational racer on a budget with limited time to spend as a mechanic. Rotax Kart is more than just a karting class based around a spec-engine; it is the embodiment of a return to the art of racing. In a sport that has always been a combination of science and art, these sealed engines have minimized the role of science by combining maximum performance with 50 hours of running time backed by a 6 month warranty. Support this technology with a worldwide program of local, regional, national and world championships and you have the Rotax Kart Challenge.
The Rotax Kart Challenge teamed up with the Champ Car World Series for the 2006 season as the first step to the ladder system, and officially became the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge series. Every single driver that races in Champ Car has come from the karting ranks.
Rocketsports driver Antonio Pizzonia is a prime example of that, the Brazilian began his racing career behind the wheel of a go-kart. He won his first karting championship at the age of 10. Growing up in the Amazon, he traveled long distances from his home to compete in temporary parking lot tracks in Brazil. Hooked at a young age, Antonio was introduced to karting when a friend of the family gave him a go-kart for his ninth birthday.
"Karting is where it all began for me," said Pizzonia the Rocketsports driver of the #8 Champ Car Rotax/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone. "I am proud to have been chosen to represent the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge this weekend in Long Beach, it is very special becau se I am representing drivers that have started their careers in go-karts, and this weekend makes it even more special because I will be making my debut in the Champ Car World Series. I understand the importance of a great series such as this, because any driver can make it to Champ Car if they have the proper racing background, one that the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge offers to many up-and-coming racing stars."
"The Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge is thrilled to seize the opportunity to become Rocketsports primary sponsor for the #8 car driven by Antonio Pizzonia of Brazil, said Joe Ramos Jr., Program Director for the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge. "This debut at Long Beach validates the partnership between Champ Car and the Rotax Kart program as we begin to work towards narrowing the gap between karting and major motorsports."
Team owner Paul Gentilozzi's interest in the Champ Car World Series continues on to its ladder system. Knowing the importance of finding top drivers, he starts by following racers in the karting ranks and continues to watch them as their careers enrich by the various steps it takes to have the proper credentials to become a Champ Car driver.
"I am very excited about this opportunity and having the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge on board with us here in Long Beach," said Gentilozzi. "This is a great opportunity for them to join us as a team sponsor, especially after they signed on board with the Champ Car World Series as the official karting series in the ladder system en route to Champ Car. Karting is very important; it is the first step for any driver that has the ambitions to drive in Champ Car. It is great that the Champ Car World Series and now us, have an opportunity to work with and support another great series, recognizing the fact that the future Champ Car drivers are in the making!"