California ROK Championship Sets 2020 Opener at PKRA

Breaking Tuesday afternoon (May12th), the California ROK Championship announced it is crossing the border into Arizona to open the 2020 season. The regional program confirmed the opening round of the championship to be held on June 19-20 at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association facility in Glendale, Arizona. The event is set to be one of the first major events since the COVID-19 pandemic shut the sport and the world down in early March.

EKN spoke with series promoter Andy Seesemann regarding the event, which is scheduled to be a two-day race weekend with Friday-Saturday format. This schedule will allow racers to return home to enjoy the Father’s Day holiday on Sunday. Track time will be focused on the afternoon and evening hours with the warmer temperatures already hitting the Phoenix area. Continue reading

Challenge of the Americas Cancels 2020 Series Finale

The following is a statement from Andy Seesemann from Challenge of the Americas regarding their series finale for the 2020 season.

It should come as no surprise that the Challenge of the Americas finale at Sonoma Raceway, originally scheduled for the end of March and rescheduled for May 15-17, is now cancelled. As I announced back in March, this would be the only date change for the series, and if we had to postpone again, the series would officially end for 2020.

It was an extremely disappointing outcome, as the Challenge of the Americas has huge momentum. We had just had a series record in February, with another record likely to be set at our Sonoma finale. While some other California clubs and series opened with kart counts that were a fraction of what they were just a couple of years ago, COTA was breaking records. That is a great sign for the future of ROK racing in the West. Continue reading

Challenge of the Americas Gearing for Return to the Track

Efforts remain in place for 2020 finale in May with plans put in place for 2021 season

For Challenge of the Americas, the 2020 season has been a turning point. Entering the 13th year of the program, third under the ROK Cup USA banner, the Challenge set out to make great memories and establish new records for the series. The series welcomed triple digit entries at the opening two events of the season, including a record-breaking 141 entries at the CalSpeed Karting weekend in February. The record was expected to be broken for the series finale in March before the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America and the entire world. The Challenge, and the karting world, is looking ahead to when racing resumes.

The 2020 Challenge of the Americas series finale was originally scheduled for March 27-29 at Simraceway Performance Karting Center in Sonoma, California. With the stay at home order for the state of California and throughout North America, the event was rescheduled for May 15-17. Challenge of the Americas owner Andy Seesemann continues to monitor the situation as the event draws closer.

“First off, I hope everyone is taking the proper precautions while staying at home and being safe during this pandemic,” stated Seesemann. “We are five weeks away from the series finale weekend, but I am keeping an eye on things. Our hope is to have a better understanding of the situation we are facing in two weeks as to what will happen regarding the event. If we can not have the event at that time, there will be no rescheduling of Rounds Five and Six. The series will end and champions will be crowned based on the results we have up to this point.”

Should the 2020 series finale on May 15-17 be cancelled, the point standings for Challenge of the Americas will be completed as is. The 2020 Challenge championships for all categories will be based on the four rounds of results that have been completed with no drop.

The stay at home order has helped to put time into planning next year’s Challenge of the Americas. The 2021 season marks the 14th year for the premier winter series on the left coast. The international series has secured three race weekends for 2021.

“While racing is on a hiatus, we still need to keep looking forward to when we return to the track,” Seesemann added. “The 2020 season would have been completed by now, and our 2021 plans would have been in the works as normal. We are keeping to that, and happy to confirm our dates for the 14th season of the Challenge. These are the traditional weekends for our program, and excited with the momentum the Challenge is having under the ROK Cup USA banner.”

The 2021 Challenge of the Americas will continue to host two rounds of racing at three unique and exciting circuits. Next year’s program is scheduled to open on January 22-24, 2021. The middle event set for February 26-28, 2021. While the series finale is slated for March 26-28, 2021. Track locations will be confirmed at a later time.

For complete information regarding the Challenge of the Americas and the California ROK Championship, visit challengekarting.com. More information, videos and photos can also be found on the Facebook and Instagram page.

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Challenge of the Americas finale postponed until May 15-17, 2020

Wow. What a difference 3 hours makes.

About an hour ago, Gavin Newsom, the Governor of CA, made a executive order to mandate that all gatherings with more than 250 people be cancelled or postponed for the next few weeks. This is no longer a recommendation, it is an executive mandate, carrying with it certain penalties.

At that point, the track and I were forced to officially postpone the Challenge of the Americas finale to May 15-17, 2020.

This was already a California ROK Championship event weekend on our calendar. We will determine how to blend the two events at a later date. The event obviously will be at Sonoma. There is no need right now to discus any details, as I simply wanted to get this information out to everyone.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, but I certainly hope that everyone understands the position that we have all been put in.

If this May event gets cancelled by any further issues with COVID-19, the 2020 Challenge of the Americas will officially end. There will not be another postponement .

Thank you for your continued support throughout this difficult situation.

Andy

Sonoma 2020 COVID-19 Update

Hello Everyone.

Obviously the book on COVID-19 added a few chapters over the past 24-48 hours. We are already looking at our options for the upcoming Challenge of the Americas event at Sonoma.

From the standpoint of my staff and myself, we are good to go. I am a realist when it comes to this stuff and refuse to panic, although I do respect everyone’s right to their own opinions. I know that all of our racers and teams have already made an investment and are concerned and curious to see how this plays out. Trust me, with prepaid plane tickets for staff, rental cars, hotel rooms, track rentals, insurance binders and $150,000 in tires and fuel en route to Sonoma, I know how you feel.

That being said, we are in discussions with the track. We will create a drop dead date, for lack of a better word, that the track can say “yay or nay” on the event. We will probably let things settle out over the weekend and make an additional statement on Monday with more solid information.

Obviously, we have no control what any county, state or Federal agency demands, as we are at their mercy. That is the real variable. I know that they are focusing on “events”, and ignoring every McDonalds and supermarket that sees many many more people each day than our event does.

Many of you have called or texted and I am not ignoring you. It would simply take me all day to answer each one of you individually and tell this exact same story. There are no further details available at this time, so please don’t call and ask for “anything more that I can share”.

Talk again on Monday and hopefully see you in two weeks at Sonoma!

Andy