As previously confirmed, the 2019 ROK Cup USA ROK the RIO event is set to be the largest ever ROK Cup race to date in the United States. With a total of 219 entries for the 2018 edition, the 2019 entry list has surpassed 300 pre-entries as drivers from around the world are set to descend on the city of Las Vegas. Taking place at the temporary circuit on the grounds of the RIO All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the 2019 ROK the RIO is now here.
“The growth from year to year has been tremendous but not something that is unexpected,” explains Director of Operations Garett Potter. “The ROK program continues to grow around the world, and we are happy to continue the growth in North America. Two weeks ago, the ROK International Final had a record number of entries, and we are following suit with a record number at ROK the RIO. We have surpassed our expectations for only our second year in Las Vegas, and we can’t wait to put on a great event!”
With a big week planned, ROK Cup USA officials have been on site since October 22nd to begin track construction. With a same layout to the 2018 edition, a few minor changes will be made to improve efficiency to maximize track time, and safety as the number of entries continue to climb.
With many teams arriving over the weekend to begin the setup of their temporary home for the week, today and Tuesday will see registration open for competitor check-in as teams complete the finishing touches to their equipment. Tuesday afternoon will provide drivers the first look at the ROK the RIO temporary circuit as a track walk is scheduled from 4:00 to 8:00pm.
With on track action kicking off early Wednesday morning, drivers will have five opportunities throughout the day to get up to speed as practice will run throughout the day. Wednesday evening will once again be the home for the Bridgestone Tire Changing Competition Presented by Fittipaldi Wheels. Mechanics, drivers, parents, team owners and whomever wishes to enter is urged to contact Ursula at ROK Cup USA to reserve your spot on the limited entrant list.
The urgency and tension will rise on Thursday as classes will each have one warm-up session before the ever-important OMP Qualifying sessions begin. Pole position winners will be awarded the OMP Pole Position Award as well as an OMP Swag Bag. The unique ROK Cup USA progressive heat format will kick off Thursday afternoon as all qualified competitors will have their first of four rounds of heat races.
Friday will be the busiest on track day as thirty heat races will take the green flag with drivers battling wheel-to-wheel to secure the best starting position possible for Saturday’s main events. Utilizing the full day of sunlight, ROK the RIO drivers will be on track from 7:30am until 5:15pm as ROK Cup USA takes over Las Vegas and commits to their heavily appreciated time specific schedule.
“ROK Cup USA is committed to running a safe, fun, relaxed, on time schedule, not only for our customers but also our staff. After all, for us, Vegas is an end of the year celebration to say thank you to all the ROKKERS and everyone that support us,” continues Potter.
As if the tension wasn’t high enough through the heat races, Saturday will provide drivers with one warm-up session and their main event with only one opportunity to be crowned the 2019 ROK the RIO Champion. A split schedule on Saturday will see five classes complete their events before lunch while the afternoon groups will have their warm-up and main events following the break. Podium celebrations will take place following each main event at the ROK Cup USA ROK the RIO podium presented by Turtle Plastics. Race winners will receive a voucher for a free OMP suit as well as Turtle Dollars to be used on any Turtle Plastics offered products, with the full podium awarded cash prizes totaling $45,000. First place will take home a cool $2500, second will receive $1000 and third $750. Additionally, the driver who posts the fastest lap in each main will be awarded $250 from Sunoco Fuels, for a total of $2500 in additional cash prizes.
Throughout the ROK the RIO event week, ROK Cup USA, through their media partner, RTD Media and Management, will be providing multiple announcements. Stay tuned to the ROK Cup USA social media pages for up-to-date news, information, photos, videos and results.
Additionally, throughout the week, International Karting Media Group’s (CKN) Cody Schindel will be on site providing teams and drivers with prints and digital photo packages. ROK Cup USA will also continue to push their social media and promotional program through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and series officials ask everyone to invite friends & family as well as share posts and tag yourself or friends to increase the awareness for the growing ROK Cup USA program. Also, stay tuned for some cool event videos from HM Vision’s Hugo Mousseau.
ROK Cup USA would like to thank all of their supporters in making 2019 a success. A huge thank you to all teams and drivers that are helping push the Vortex ROK product to new heights within North America. Last but not least, ROK Cup USA thanks their 2019 ROK the RIO Partners listed below:
Sunoco Race Fuels
Micro ROK – ROK Cup Canada
Mini ROK – Supertune
Junior/Masters 100cc – World Karting Association (WKA)
Senior 100cc – Pentair
ROK Junior – AM Engines
ROK Senior – Racing Edge Motorsports
ROK Masters – Orsolon Racing
ROK Shifter – PSL Karting
ROK Shifter Masters – TB Kart
Photos: Cody Schindel / CanadianKartingNews.com