Askew and Craig to battle for their second US National Rotax Championship
This week in wine country, the best Rotax Max racers from across the United States of America to battle for the elusive opportunity to become a National Champion. Cody Schindel looks ahead.
Converging on the SIMRaceway Performance Center in Sonoma, California, racers will be spread across seven different Rotax Max categories aiming for National supremacy.
For many, the US Rotax Grand Nationals is the premier event on their annual race schedule, and two drivers enter the weekend seeking their second US Rotax Grand National title in the Senior Max category. Both Oliver Askew and Jake Craig have been at the top of the charts for many seasons, but reflect on being a National Champion as one of their career milestones.
“The moment I was able to say ‘I am a national karting champion’ was definitely a huge milestone for me,” explains Oliver Askew of Jupiter, Florida. “Having done it in my rookie year of Senior competition (2013) made it that much more special. To this day it is one of my biggest accomplishments.”
For Craig, who hails from Mission Viejo, California, his success at the US Nationals came a year after Askew, when he was victorious at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.
“Becoming the 2014 US Rotax National Champion was a huge accomplishment for myself. That win led to the opportunity of becoming a factory Formula K driver which has been a huge opportunity in my career."
On top of adding ‘National Champion’ to their résumé, drivers know that winning means the opportunity to represent their home country at the annual Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, an Olympic style event that gathers nearly 300 drivers from around the world to compete on equal equipment. While Team USA drivers didn’t win any Rotax World Championships last year, Team USA did succeed in winning the Nations Cup and that is the goal every year for MaxSpeed Entertainment.
With the official addition of Micro-Max and Mini-Max at this year’s Rotax Grand Finals, held in Napoli, Italy, it means each and every US National Champion will represent their home country on the Grand Finals stage.
Qualifying takes place on Thursday afternoon before an array of heat races help set the grids for final day of competition where seven Rotax Grand National Champions will be crowned on Saturday afternoon.
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