One of the most exciting events of Race Industry Week 2011 will take place this year outside the exhibit hall of the giant Performance Racing Industry Trade Show—the world’s largest racing trade show.
Red Bull brings new energy to karting at PRI with a competition that will include stars from NASCAR, IndyCar, ALMS, Grand-Am, NHRA and other racing series and will compete in one of the most unique and star-studded races on the annual motorsport calendar: Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax.
The popular karting race takes place Thursday night, December 1, 2011, in Orlando, Florida. The race course is a tight, technical, purpose-built race track adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center, housing the 700,000 square feet PRI Trade Show. Over 40,000 racing business people from 65 countries arrive in Orlando each December for the PRI Trade Show to view the latest advances in racing technology by 1,100 racing companies.
Past competitors include Indy 500 winners Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice, Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray, current Indy 500 winner as a team owner Bryan Herta, 2011 Indy 500 pole position winner Alex Tagliani, NHRA Funny Car star Ron Capps, Top Fuel star Antron Brown and F1 star Vitantonio Luizzi.
Young racing stars of tomorrow have competed in the Karters division, including Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly and Joel Miller, now in Indy Lights; Michael Lewis, now in Formula 3 Italia; and Gary Carlton, now a factory pilot in Europe for Zanardi Kart.
“Red Bull is one of the top consumer brands active worldwide in race sponsorship, and we’re very happy to have them take such a strong interest in this event, and the sport of karting,” said Steve Lewis, producer of the PRI Trade Show. “Race fans everywhere are appreciative of Red Bull for its sponsorship investment in racing at all levels of this great sport, from F1 to NASCAR, World of Outlaws to off-road racing. To have Red Bull as a partner truly elevates the stature of this great karting event.”
Red Bull Kart Fight qualifiers will be activated at 10 kart tracks in the southeastern United States, where drivers will be able to set a lap time and compete for a spot in one of the night’s races at the big show.
"I always loved karting growing up," said Red Bull Athlete Cole Whitt. "I first got interested in racing because one of my cousins was racing karts at the time and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I started racing karts and it’s what really catapulted my career. It's nice to be able to look back and appreciate where you came from. I'm really excited to be a part of Red Bull Kart Fight and give back to the karting community."
The Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax race will be televised later in the year.
Lewis also noted that another important new development for this year’s kart race at the PRI Trade Show is the addition of Rotax as a presenting sponsor. Rotax is the leading supplier worldwide of kart racing engines with a multi-configurational platform that covers racers from ages 6 to 65.
“Rotax is the single biggest brand name in kart racing worldwide,” said Lewis. “The sport of karting continues to grow, and Rotax is a major factor in making it easier and more fun to go kart racing around the world, therefore expanding the karting market for the industry as whole.”
Garry Lobaugh, Director of the Maxspeed Group (North American distributor of Rotax) commented, “This event is a great opportunity for us to showcase how the Rotax program works and rewards a level playing field. Rotax is the fastest growing segment of the karting market and creating the equal-engine formula for this event, with a sealed engine, putting the emphasis on driver and chassis, will no doubt showcase that fact.”
The distribution and service network for Rotax kart products covers more than 50 countries on five continents, and over 100 dealer/service centers in the U.S. alone. All authorized service centers are technically trained and licensed to be able to provide the best support for service and repairs for all Rotax kart products. Local racers are able to compete at their home tracks and work toward a single year end championship event to find a "true" U.S. champion. Individuals are then featured to a final world event competing against 60 other countries drivers to crown a true international champion."
Maximilian Siegl of BRP-Rotax commented, “The ROTAX MAX community is by far the biggest kart racing series in the world, with 70,000 MAX Members as of today.”
Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax race also is being co-sanctioned by the nation’s two largest kart racing organizations: WKA and IKF. It is the only kart race to have this sort of unification of the karting segment of the racing industry.
“We feel this event is great for the karting industry. It has always been a huge fan favorite and we believe the race will enhance the entire PRI Show in Orlando,” said Buddy Long, General Manager of WKA.
Bill Hilger, President of the IKF commented, “The IKF has utilized the PRI Show for several years as a marketing venue to connect with manufacturers, tracks, sponsors, and competitors. Karting has been the starting point for almost every auto racing superstar. We think having the karting event at PRI is very important to showcase the sport in front of the national motorsports industry and IKF is excited to be a partner in this effort. We look forward to working hard to help deliver this first-class event.”
More details, including announcements of this year’s participants in the Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax race, will be unveiled on the PRI website: www.performanceracing.com.
For more information, contact Jeff Swoboda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949/499-5413.