PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Team USA - four of America's most talented young race drivers - is in final preparations for the Rotax Max World Finals, an international karting championship that draws competitors from more than 35 countries. This year's...
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Team USA - four of America's most talented young race drivers - is in final preparations for the Rotax Max World Finals, an international karting championship that draws competitors from more than 35 countries. This year's Rotax Max World Finals is being held at Ghibli Raceway in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh, January 20-21, 2004.
Managing the team will be SSC Racing of Palm Springs, Calif., the U.S. importer for Rotax karting products.
Team USA members include Jordon Musser, 22, of College Station, Texas; Juan Sanso, 19, of Costa Rica; Nathaniel Mauel, 19, of Broken Arrow, Okla.; and Justin Melton, 16, of Flower Mound, Texas. The members was selected by virtue of on-track performances at the recent U.S. Rotax Max Grandnationals. Musser, Sanso and Mauel finished one-two-three in the Rotax International class, while Melton captured the Junior class. For Musser, a mechanical engineering student at Texas A&M, this is his second trip to the Rotax Max World Finals, as he represented the U.S. last year in South Africa.
Organized in 1997 by the Rotax Kart Center (a division of the Austrian industrial giant Bombardier Ltd.), Rotax Max is the fastest growing kart racing class in the world and is now organized as a national competition in more than 30 countries.
At the moment, the Rotax Max Class is the fastest growing hobby race class in many countries and is already the largest in Australia and Austria. Within this year, it will be in France and England, as well. Celebrating its fourth year, the Rotax Max World Finals were previously held in South Africa, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico.
The Rotax Max class uses the Rotax FR-125 Max (FR-125 Junior for the Junior Max Challenge) engine with no modifications allowed. Moreover, engines are sealed by Rotax to block any modifications. The chassis types are also sanctioned by Rotax, and "spec" Bridgestone tires are used. The emphasis is on driver skill, not team finances.
The Rotax World Finals opens with practice on Wednesday, January 21; additional practice and official timed qualifying happen on Thursday, January 22, and preliminary race heats begin Friday, January 23, and class pre-final and finals occur on Saturday, January 24. Rotax is a division of Bombardier Ltd., best known for Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo Watercraft, ATVs, etc. Rotax provides powerplants for Bombardier used in land, sea and air. In 1996, Rotax established a department whose responsibility was to research the international race kart market.
SSC Racing (Karbz, Inc.) of Palm Springs, is the exclusive Rotax kart engine product importer and distributor for the United States, Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela. SSC Racing has incorporated the Rotax Max Challenge as a division and has established a network of Max Challenge Centers across America.
For more information on the Rotax Max World Finals, visit www.maxchallenge.com and www.ghibliraceway.com.