Challenge of the Americas Digital Publications
Sonoma 2023 Issue
The season finale of the 2023 Challenge of the Americas cruised through a cool weekend at the 12-turn, 0.7-mile Sonoma Raceway in California, but the racing was hectic at times. Hometown hero Hunter Pickett (PSL / Birel ART) showed the way in ROK Shifter, topping the charts both days. Chris Mann was the only other double winner on the weekend in the 100cc Masters class. Blake Nash dominated the CIK formatted OK-N race this weekend, taking home $500 for his efforts. First time series participant and factory Sodi Kart driver Harley Keeble tamed the Sonoma layout with a win on Saturday in Senior 100cc. The title chase went down to the wire in Senior, Junior and Masters 100cc categories, keeping those in attendance on the fences.
Phoenix 2023 Issue
Rounds three and four in the books. PKRA, the Glendale, Arizona facility shared with us perfect racing weather and happily greeted the roughly 120 entries in the seven categories. GFC Karting’s Jacob Gulick, CompKart pilot Oliver Hodgson, Blake Nash (Nash / EOS), and Nixx Eggleston (Ruthless / Exprit) all went two for two on the weekend. Other winners included: first time COTA winner Bud Grossenbacher (Racelab / TB Kart), Christopher Mann (Ruthless / Exprit), Ian Koentges (FDM / CompKart), Jonathan Vitolo (GFC Karting), Luca Popescu (Nash / EOS), Gabriel Balog (Racelab / JV Kart). The weekend had its share of drama on and off track as the battles for the championships being to play out.
Tucson 2023 Issue
The opening rounds of the 2023 Challenge of the Americas was run at the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona. The track layout is extremely racy and this played a role in many of the final outcomes. Karting history was made during the competition debut of the FIA OK-N category. Nash Motorsportz driver Jesus Vasquez dominated the main event to score the historic victory and his name will forever be in the record books. Joining Jesus in the record books was Macy Williams who became the first woman driver to win in a premier category. She took home first in Sunday’s Senior Shifter Rok category.
Sonoma 2022 Issue
The 2022 Challenge of the Americas closed out its championship season at Sonoma Raceway. For the 15th time, champions were crowned following the action in the sixth and final round of competition at the premiere west coast winter series. Round 5 on Saturday took place under sunny skies with strong winds, bringing on some challenge for the competitors in the west coast winter program. Several championships were more defined, while drivers helped to extend their championships lead going into the final round on Sunday. Weather was a major factor on Sunday’s Round 6 event with rain forecasted on the day. Officials revised the schedule, removing breaks and cutting a few laps off the Prefinals with full main event distances to try and beat the weather. Wind was strong all day, and the sun even showed up at the end during the podium ceremonies to help award the day’s winners and the 10 class champions. Six drivers earned tickets to the Rok SuperFinal in Italy, while four others will be headed to Nevada for 2022’s Rok Vegas event.
Phoenix 2022 Issue
Jacob Gulick bags first shifterkart victory as Oliver Hodgson doubled up in 100cc Senior. The second of three stops on the 2022 Challenge of the Americas calendar was at the PKRA kart track in Glendale, AZ. An up and down week of weather settled in for a perfect weekend of racing with 130 entrants competing in 10 classes All seven race groups provided excitement throughout the event with new and repeat winners taking the checkered flag. Derek Wang, Cason Hodge and Ian Koentges go undefeated so far this year as 100cc Junior saw its 3rd and 4th different driver stand atop the podium.
Tucson 2022 Issue
The 2022 season of karting has opened up on the west coast with Challenge of the Americas hosting their opening two rounds of competition at the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson. Weather was a key factor in not only on Friday practice, but for much of the day on Saturday with strong winds making it feel as if everyone was in the northern hemisphere and not Arizona. Sunday on the other hand had nothing but picture-perfect weather and flawless racing. This weekend was the largest opening weekend in Challenge of the Americas history, featuring 132 entries over the nine categories. Several drivers garnered two victories on the weekend to begin the championship chase as the driver to beat.
Sonoma 2021 Issue
The Challenge of the Americas 2021 season finale presented by Royce & Baxter began its third and final stop at the Sonoma Raceway facility in Sonoma, California. A perfect weekend of racing welcomed the 120 competitors in nine classes with sunny skies and a light breeze. Tickets to the ROK Cup Superfinal and ROK the RIO were on the line. A few championships were decided prior to the checkered flag on Sunday, while others needed to go to extra time with title winners decided after the on-track action was completed. It was a fantastic 14th year for the COTA series and we want to thank everyone who came out to make this the best season yet.
CalSpeed 2021 Issue
Saturday was the first day of competition for Challenge of the Americas presented by Royce & Baxter at the CalSpeed Karting facility. A record of 147 entries in the 10 categories took to the ‘Grande’ circuit outside the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, setting a new mark for a weekend total in the 14-year history of the program. Bright, sunny skies greeted everyone all day, providing the perfect conditions for racing. Sunday saw the series crew, competitors and teams battle one of the toughest days of weather in the 14-year history of the event. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph in the Fontana, California area greeted everyone in the morning and last up until the end of the Prefinals before the speed reduced significantly. Blake Nash and Jake Drew split wins in the largest class of the weekend 100cc Senior while Kevin Woods and Liam Letzsch were the only drivers to score multiple wins at CalSpeed.
PKRA 2021 Issue
Eleven months after the COVID-19 forced cancellation of the final rounds of the 2020 Challenge of the Americas program, the popular West Coast winter series resurfaced at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association facility in Glendale, Arizona to kick off the 2021 Challenge of the Americas presented by Royce & Baxter schedule. Over 130 entries were logged for the first two rounds of the three-weekend, six-races series, with the Senior 100cc category boasting the largest grid at PKRA with 31 racers. After a tremendous day of racing on Saturday, the drivers returned to the Phoenix Kart Racing Association facility on Sunday for round two of the Challenge of the Americas presented by Royce & Baxter, and they were presented with overnight and midday rain that certainly made things interesting.
CalSpeed 2020 Issue
The Challenge of the Americas completed their second stop of the 2020 season at the CalSpeed Karting facility with a record turnout of 141 entries on the weekend. The weekend’s events were some of the most unique in series history. After going four full seasons without even a red flag that streak was broke with three drivers needing medical transport on the weekend for their minor injuries. This meant that the last 3 races from Saturday were run early Sunday morning and the final two events Sunday were held in near darkness. Rain came in and out and for the most part dodged the speedway. A few events took place in actual wet conditions and others in drying. Overall the racing was great on CalSpeed’s Grande Counter Clockwise circuit. Oliver Calvo was the big winner on the weekend winning three out of four main events. Jake French earned a pair of wins in Rok Senior Shifter and Alex Berg continued his dominance in 100cc Junior.
Tucson 2020 Issue
The opening round for Challenge of the Americas was contested on Saturday, January 25 at the Musselman Honda Circuit. The 13th season for the premier winter series on the left coast kicked off the opening weekend at the Tucson, Arizona facility with the first of two rounds completed during a perfect day for racing. Just over 100 entries competed in the 10 categories, eight race groups, on the day to begin the championship chase that will be completed in Sonoma this March. A number of drivers were able to complete a double win weekend, including GFC’s Hunter Pickett in the Shifter Senior ROK while Oliver Calvo ended with three victories in total in Senior ROK and Senior 100cc.
Sonoma 2019 Issue
As it has for the last six seasons, the Challenge of the Americas capped its championship with a doubleheader weekend at the beautiful Simraceway Performance Karting Center in Sonoma, CA. Saturday dawned with a damp track and temperatures in the high-50s, but drivers moved from rain tires to slicks midway through the morning warm-up session. Sunday provided a dry day of competition and some sunshine to decide the championships. With the titles on the line, the intensity was dialed up and the class point leaders did not let off the gas in their quest to win their respective championships. The COTA program has enjoyed steady growth since adopting the ROK Cup program and with the introduction of the four-race ROK California series, the future looks bright for increased participation in 2020.
Tucson 2019 Issue
The first 2/3rds of Challenge of the Americas 2019 season is closed out, with the Rounds Three and four contested at the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona. After two wet days of racing at CalSpeed it was nice to get a dry weekend of racing in. The wind blew and it got a little chilly as the sun set, but it was a perfect weekend of racing. The near 8/10-mile course provides great racing, and we saw that class after class. Saturday saw Wes Boswell return to the seat and grab the win in Senior Rok. Cooper Becklin took out the Senior ROK win on Sunday, his second of the season. Hunter Picket was a double winner in Rok Shifter Senior, his first and second series victories. Rod Clinard in Masters Shifter was another event double winner as was Micro ROK driver Filippo Sala. After a weekend full of tight battles the championship heats up as we head to Sonoma for the final rounds of the 2019 COTA season.
CalSpeed 2019 Issue
The 2019 Challenge of the Americas kicked off at the CalSpeed Karting facility in Fontana, California. Following a full day of perfect weather on Friday, Saturday began with rain in the area, lasting until qualifying and causing a wet track until halfway through the qualifying sessions. A mostly cloudy but windy weather covered the circuit as the rest of the day was based around timed Prefinal and Final sessions to end just before the sun set over the Pacific Coast.
The final day of action was a wet one for Challenge of the Americas at the CalSpeed Karting circuit in Fontana, California. While rain moved away on Saturday, the clouds remained in the area throughout Round Two on Sunday, including some heavy precipitation during the main events. Series officials braved the elements as competitors fought for the fast way around the soaked ‘Grande’ circuit.
Sonoma 2018 Issue
The series finale for Challenge of the Americas welcomed perfect weather conditions for the opening day of racing at the Simraceway Performance Karting Center. The Sonoma, California facility welcomed over 80 drivers in the Rok Cup USA and Briggs divisions for the fifth round of the 2018 championship chase. Saturday provided those in control with the opportunity to secure provisional titles heading into Championship Sunday, thanks to their performances on the day.
Challenge of the Americas closed out with Championship Sunday at Simraceway Performance Karting Center. The Sonoma, California area in which the famed circuit sits was forecasted to be hit with rain. The precipitation pushed later into the day then expected, coming in to effect the last two finals of the day to make it a very exciting end to the weekend and the series.
CalSpeed 2018 Issue
Clear blue skies and low-60s temperatures greeted the Challenge of the Americas drivers for Rounds #3 and #4 of the series at the 15-turn, 0.720-mile CalSpeed Karting Center in Fontana, CA. Over 90 drivers took the track in the program’s nine categories. Jake Drew (Ricciardo) made an impactful impression as he dominated the Senior Rok action winning both days. Alex Keyes followed suit in Rok Shifter Senior as he topped the charts all weekend. It was the first Challenge win for both drivers. Ugo Ugochukwu (Tony Kart) extended his Junior Rok win streak to three races, but missed out on Sunday on the win as Austin Torgerson stood atop the podium in Junior Rok. Logan Toke (Top Kart), became the third different winner of the year in Mini Rok. He too scored victory on both Saturday and Sunday. Kalvin Chen doubled up in Rok Masters Shifter as did Gage Jarvis in Micro. On track Paul Bonilla had things handled in Masters Rok, but a tech infraction cost him the double this weekend. He split wins with first time Challenge winner Jonathan Silva.
Phoenix 2018 Issue
The new era for the Challenge of the Americas is underway with the opening round of the 2018 season in the books. The first of three events for the premier winter series on the west coast is welcoming over 80 entries for the Rok Cup USA and Briggs & Stratton divisions competing around the Phoenix Kart Racing Association facility in Glendale, Arizona. The weather was perfect for racing, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures all day long. McKinney and Ugochukwu completed weekend sweeps in Sr. Rok and Jr. Rok to open up championship chases while other categories saw multiple winners throughout the weekend.
Sonoma 2017 Issue
Excitement and controversy seems to follow the Challenge of the Americas each and every time the program visits the Simraceway Performance Karting Center in Somoma, California. The 10th anniversary season came to a close this weekend in ‘wine country’ with Round Five and Six contested on the popular circuit in Northern California. Wet weather tested the competitors throughout the event, with rain falling Thursday, Friday and lightly Saturday morning. Wet conditions existed through qualifying and the lunch break Saturday, making the track damp enough for wet weather tires. By the time the main events rolled around, it was about taking the gamble of rain tires or dry slicks for the first categories in the order before the track finally dried out for the last two races on the day. Sunny skies greeted competitors on Sunday much welcome of those in the paddock. For a select few, history was on the brink with the results from the day to deciding the 2017 series champions.
Phoenix 2017 Issue
Cleavelin, Torgerson and Crawford double up, while Senior Max sees its 3rd and 4th different winners. The first half of the 2017 Challenge of the Americas went into the books following the Round Three and Four action at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association facility in Glendale, Arizona. Bright sunshine throughout the day welcomed the seven categories competing over the weekend at the 3/4-mile circuit following a crisp, cool start. The three headline categories – with 2017 Rotax Grand Finals tickets on the line – signified the top players for the championship and the trip to Portimao, Portugal for the world Rotax championship.
Tucson 2017 Issue
The 10th season of Challenge of the Americas opened up the racing Saturday as the first round of competition took place at the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona. Competitors of Rotax, Honda and Briggs competitors took to the 7/10-mile course for the opening laps of the 2017 season. The weather was a bit warmer than Friday, however, still not the type of temperature you would expect while in the Arizona desert. Each and every time the Challenge visits the Musselman Honda Circuit, we are greeted with a weekend full of great racing. The start to the 10th season of the premier west coast winter series welcomed a number of new winners and quickly established those who will contend for the series championships.
Sonoma 2016 Issue
The 2016 Challenge of the Americas closed out the season at the Simraceway Performance Karting Center in Sonoma, California. This year marked a change in track layout as drivers had to learn the “National” circuit in the reverse direction. A solid number of drivers contested the final two rounds of the series with most of the championships coming down to the final round. On the line were three Rotax Grand Finals tickets, which included the champion of Senior, Junior, and Masters Max with the prestige of earning the title in the in new Shifter Senior, Shifter Masters, Mini Max and Micro Max. Christian Brooks, Nick Brueckner and Mike Jones became members of the 2016 Team USA squad for the Rotax world championships by earning their respective titles at the Challenge.
Phoenix 2016 Issue
It was picture perfect weekend at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association for the third and fourth rounds of the Challenge of the Americas. The Glendale, Arizona area reached high temperatures in the 80s, with clear blue skies providing the backdrop for the seven categories competing around the 7/10-mile facility. Saturday action saw Christian Brooks go from zero to hero in Senior Max, Colton Griffin defended his home turf in Shifter and Mike Jones extended his lead in Masters. Nick Bruckner notched up two more victories in Juniors while the Sodi contingent brought home 3 of the 7 wins on Sunday. The championship picture has been painted now as the program heads to Sonoma for the finale weekend on April 1-3. We would all like to wish Michael Michoff a speedy recovery from his injuries sustained in the Senior Max red flag accident on Sunday.
Tucson 2016 Issue
Ninth season underway for premier winter karting series following action at Musselman Honda Circuit in Arizona
The Challenge of the Americas kicked off its ninth season over the weekend at the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona. Three-days of competition took part on the challenging 3/4-mile course with over 100 drivers taking part in the seven categories that began the championship chase – five representing the Rotax Max Challenge joined for the first time by two Shifterkart categories. Three 2016 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals tickets are on the line in the headline categories, going to the Senior, Masters and Junior champions. A select few put their names in the hunt with solid performances through two rounds of the title chase.
Sonoma 2015 Issue
Selliken, Robb, Bonilla and Cook set to join Team USA at Rotax Grand Finals after claiming series titles. As with any series finale, championships were on the line this weekend at the Simraceway Performance Karting Center for rounds five and six of this year’s Rotax Challenge of the Americas. Saturday’s event served to clear up the overall picture of the point races, showing that two competitors have all but clinched their respective titles. Sting Ray Robb (Tony Kart) triumphed in his main event to take control of the Junior Max class, while Diego LaRoque (Benik) won his fifth straight Micro Max finale to complete his title aspirations. The final day of competition for the Rotax Challenge of the Americas went into the books after another beautiful day of weather at the Simraceway Performance Karting Center in Sonoma, California. With four remaining class champions yet to be crowned it came down to the wire, and even beyond that to decide this year’s outcome. For the four headline divisions, it provided four drivers with the opportunity to compete at this year’s Rotax Grand Finals, scheduled for Portimao, Portugal in November. All four drivers – Luke Selliken (Senior Max), Sting Ray Robb (Junior Max), Paul Bonilla (Masters Max) and Sabre Cook (DD2) will represent Team USA at the ‘Olympics of Karting’ thanks to their Rotax Challenge of the Americas title.
Phoenix 2015 Issue
Beautiful weather greeted the EKN staff in Phoenix this past weekend for the second stop of the 2015 season, and for the Rotax Challenge of the Americas. Nearly 100 drivers took part in the third and fourth rounds of the six-race championship series, set to crown champions next month in Sonoma, including four ticket to the 2015 Rotax Grand Finals. It was nearly 100 degrees difference from that of the northern portion of the United States and parts of Canada to the picture perfect conditions in Glendale, Arizona at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association. The chase for the Rotax Challenge of the Americas titles was amplified on Saturday, as five of the six point leaders scored race wins at the PKRA. Canadian Marco Kacic scored his first COTA win to break the point leader sweep, taking the checker in Mini Max, while Sabre Cook (DD2), Christian Brooks (Senior), Paul Bonilla (Master), Nick Brueckner (Junior) and Diego LaRoque (Micro) all defended their point leads. Sunday’s racing provided a great end to what was a phenomenal weekend, finishing off the first half of the series and beginning the second, setting the stage for the final two rounds in Sonoma next month. Four of the six feature winners took their first checkered flag of the season – Mason Marotta (Senior), Matt Jaskol (DD2), John Crow (Masters), Payton Durrant (Mini) – while Robb and LaRoque added to their win totals for the year.
Tucson 2015 Issue
Exciting weekend of racing in Tucson, Arizona for premier winter karting series on the left coast. The eighth season of the Rotax Challenge of the Americas program commenced over the January 9-11 weekend at the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona. Over 100 karters gathered to contend in the premier winter karting series on the left coast, with four of the Rotax Max Challenge divisions beginning their journey toward the 2015 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals tickets up for grabs to the series champions. The weekend in Tucson was historic for seven of the 10 drivers to win over the two days of racing, standing on top of the podium as first time winners in the series.
Sonoma 2014 Issue
Four drivers added to Team USA for Rotax Grand Finals following final rounds in Sonoma. The 2014 Rotax Challenge of the Americas season came to an end with the final two rounds of the six-race series returning to the picturesque Simraceway Performance Karting Center located in Sonoma, California. Battling with rain showers during the official practice day, the skies become full blue with the sun shining the remainder of the weekend to provide perfect racing weather. Over 100 drivers contested the seven Rotax Max Challenge categories in Sonoma, providing dramatic conclusions to the championship chases. Gavin Reichelt, Alan Rudolph, Phillip Arscott and Austin Versteeg left Sonoma as champions, earning tickets to the 2014 Rotax Grand Finals as part of Team USA. The three remaining class title winners – Donald Durbin Jr., Dylan Tavella and Jak Crawford – score a paid entry to this year’s United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals.
Phoenix 2014 Issue
Arscott and Craig split wins in Sr. Max as Cook earns first DD2 victory and Brooks bags last lap Junior Max triumph
The Rotax Challenge of the Americas program put the first half of the championship chase into the books with the third and fourth round scompleted at the Phoenix Kart Racing Association (PKRA) facility in Glendale, Arizona. Picture perfect weather provided the right setting for the seven international Rotax Max Challenge categories as four drivers, bidding for the four Rotax Grand Finals tickets up for grabs to the class champions, drove to perfect scores on the day to put themselves at the top of the order.
Tucson 2014 Issue
Opening round welcomes plenty of new winners to the series
The first round of the 2014 Rotax Challenge of the Americas was a day of firsts. The Musselman Honda Circuit welcomed over 130 drivers to begin the six round championship series, greeted by perfect racing weather in Tucson, Arizona after a cold and windy day on Friday. Each of the seven drivers to claim the top spot of the podium for round one experienced their first, whether it was a first victory at the track, first in the class, or a first victory in the series, it was a historic day as the chase toward the titles began.